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DPP mull over amendment of bailout law

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The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) says there is need to amend bailout laws regarding offenders who commit serious crimes like rape and murder. This comes after DPP took into consideration the outcry of Batswana that such offenders should be locked away until their trials are concluded. Speaking to The Midweek Sun this week, DPP Director Stephen Tiroyakgosi said the public’s concern is appreciated and there may be need to amend the law to ensure that offenders are not easily granted bail.

He however noted that prosecutors are mere implementers of the law and also laws passed must first pass the constitutional test. As the DPP, he said they have a duty to oppose bail in all cases where in their opinion, they feel that bail should not be granted. However the final decision as to whether bail should be granted or not lies with the court. Bail applications he said are in their nature inherently urgent and at times, the prosecutors barely have enough time to gather all relevant material that has to be placed before court in opposing bail.

“This is a policy issue that should be decided by policy makers and to influence law makers in that regard. The DPP’s role is to prosecute any offender brought before it and present his antecedents to the court to rule on. Members of the public as well should inform their legislators what they want to be done in this country,” Tiroyakgosi said.The DPP Director explained that factors such as the ability by the accused to attend court to answer for the charges preferred against them when required to do so by the court are very pertinent.

There is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty that must also be placed on the scale of justice. Asked about the reported backlog of cases at their office, which is alleged to be a major contributor to offenders being given bail, Tiroyakgosi said the matter is a concern to all. “Delays in concluding criminal cases before the courts lead to denial of justice to victims of crime and if the situation is to continue unabated, the general public may start to lose confidence in the criminal justice system,’ he said. To try and address the situation, in 2016 the Directorate established a Backlog Eradication Unit to deal with the worrying situation and according to the DPP Director, significant changes have since been noted.

However, he acknowledged that there is need for collaboration with the administration of justice to speed up the process.There is also need for all relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice system to embark on an extensive public education campaign to sensitise the public about the law and the consequences of non-compliance. Meanwhile, during the official opening of the 2018 legal year, Chief Justice Dibotelo also intimated that releasing dangerous crime suspects on bail has the potential to backfire in the near future if not handled properly. He has since assured that Batswana’s cries have not fallen on deaf ears.

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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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