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Govt. turns Francistown into ghost city – councilors

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Furious Francistown councilors from both sides of the political divide have accused the government for stripping Francistown of major economic developments. They said this during a full council meeting addressed by minister of Agriculture Patrick Ralotsia on the operational closure of Botswana Meat Commission abattoir. Ralotsia made a stopover in the city after meeting with northern farmers to break the bad news. He revealed that the abattoir was experiencing acute shortage of animals since farmers were reluctant to sell to BMC as a result of late payments.

He said so bad was the situation that money intended for the upkeep of Lobatse abattoir was shared between the two despite that the northern slaughterhouse had economically collapsed. Asked to say whether the abattoir has been closed indefinitely, Ralotsia said there was no longer any work to be done there, adding that employees only spend the whole days playing games. “Ga gona tiro ko BMC, babereki ba thola ba tshameka mhele. Hence we have decided to close it down unless you come up with ideas to resuscitate it.”

He continued that they have since approached Botswana Railways to assist them transport livestock to Lobatse. In reaction, councillors complained that all major developments intended for Francistown have been taken elsewhere to places including Palapye. Specially elected councillor Peter Ngoma decried that they were denied a teacher training college when it was unceremoniously closed and replaced with a state of the art Vocational College which has since turned into a white elephant. Tuelo Zazambi also of the ruling party suggested that cattle should be transported from the South to the North since Francistown abattoir is envied by the Europeans due to its quality beef.

He reminded Ralotsia about the closure of Tati Nickel mine which he said was done in bad faith to intentionally hurt residents of Francistown. Councillors were also annoyed that just recently, their efforts to develop the golf course through investors was stopped by the minister of local government for no reasons, saying these are clear signs that government wants to turn Francistown into a ghost city.

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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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