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Matambo defends BDF spending

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Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo, has defended his ministry and government position for allocating Botswana Defence Force a huge budget. Moving that the Appropriation Bill No.1 of 2018/19 be read for the second time as well as responding to points raised by Members Parliament of Parliament when debating the budget speech, Matambo told Parliament that MPs always ask who we are preparing to attack when we give so much money to BDF. “I think that is a wrong question. I am not saying that all money should be given to the BDF or that Members should not query the quantum and so forth. I think you should be informed where the money is going to be used because you are the ones who really approve this expenditure.

But I think if we approach it from the point of whom we want to attack I myself will say it is a wrong question, for as long as I understand the mandate of the BDF. That is precisely that it is a defence force. Therefore I think the right question to ask is in the event that Botswana were to be attacked does the BDF have the capability to defend the nation of Botswana?” He said that is what is paramount, and if requests are justified in those terms by the BDF and the ministry concerned that is what “we are interested in to defend this country to make sure that no other country ever dreams of attacking Botswana.

Then I think that is enough justification to give them the resources such that they are able to defend us in the event that we are attacked.” Commenting on corruption, Matambo said he did not mention it in the 2018 statement but that it was there in the 2017 statement. “It does not mean I will always be talking about it all the time because sometimes these things are boring. But I want to make it clear that from my point of view, not withstanding that the word “corruption” did not appear on my speech, it is my point of view that corruption is an evil that must be rooted out at all costs.” However, Matambo said he was happy that Transparency International has ranked Botswana as the least corrupt country in Africa, but advised MPs that this calls for enhanced vigilance to maintain it.

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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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