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Modubule rules out fresh congress

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Even before the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) makes a determination on the leadership crisis at the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), the Sidney Pilane-led executive committee of the party is adamant that there will NEVER be another congress.

The national chairman of the Sidney Pilane-led faction of BMD Nehemiah Modubule stated this in an interview with The Midweek Sun on the backdrop of a meeting by the UDC in Francistown this past weekend. Modubule said he was aware that the UDC leadership met in Francistown and discussed the BMD split with a view to reconciling the two factions.

Modubule added that he is also aware that the rival faction led by Ndaba Gaolathe wants a fresh congress while his Pilane-led group never made a formal request to the UDC for intervention. “After the congress, we introduced the new committee to the UDC but never approached the coalition for any help. I understand the other group did that by way of a letter to the UDC. They did this because they know they are not a committee. “Because of the sense of insecurity consuming them, they are running all over the place screaming for help.

I must make this clear: there will be no fresh congress. We held a legal congress at Matshekge in Bobonong. Another one is out of the question. The matter is not negotiable,” said Modubule. He added that the UDC never sought their views before the meeting. “To me, the fact that they did not meet us before deliberating on our affairs is not a problem.

I hear they are preparing to meet us anyway,” he said. Secretary General of the Gaolathe-led BMD, Phenyo Butale told this publication that, he wrote a letter on behalf of his faction inviting the UDC to intervene in the impasse. “Our position is that there should be a fresh congress organised and run by the UDC. In the letter we wrote to the UDC, we asked them to recommend this to the other faction as a way forward,” said Butale who added that he was confident that the UDC would adjudicate fairly if allowed by the other faction to get involved.

When addressing a press conference after the NEC meeting, UDC president Duma Boko, who had been roasted for inaction with respect to the divisions within the BMD even before the split, said that the time was now ripe for the UDC to intervene. “This matter has reached an inflection point,” he said, noting that the UDC is concerned about the state of the BMD. “This is because the UDC is about opposition unity and nothing else.

This is the animating concern and it means that if any unhealthy situation occurs in any of the constituent members of the collective, we get concerned. UDC is now in charge of the matter,” said Boko. This marked a clear departure from his previous position on the matter, saying that he had confidence in the ability of the BMD to resolve its problems using its processes and protocols. The UDC leader refused to share the decision of the UDC NEC regarding the BMD because the principal stakeholders, which are the two BMD factions, need to be formally informed before anybody else.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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