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Zambian journalists suspended over Masisi error

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President Mokgweetsi Masisi has left a stink among journalists in Zambia where he was recently on a state visit.

During an interview at the airport, which was broadcast on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Masisi was referred to as ‘Botswana of the president’. The appropriate phrase would have been ‘President of Botswana’ or ‘Botswana President’. A clip of the interview has gone viral online exposing this muff.

While this would appear to be a small mistake, it appears the powers that be in the Zambia government media fraternity are perfectionist and has no room for journalists who sleep on the job, regardless of how small the mistake. ZNBC sub-editor Barbara Malilwe and reporter Mark Ziligone are bearing the pecaddillo for this oversight, and have reportedly both been suspended from work following the incident. Inside sources at ZNBC who commented on condition of anonymity, said that the matter has stunned the media industry.

“Mistakes such as these are common occurrence. It is not as if they maligned the president of Botswana or anything.” Another colleague insisted that this was a move to deter journalists from being careless with their work. “There is nothing sinister beyond the error in the caption. Such a mistake can be seen as small but it can taint ZNBC, which is a respected media organisation.

This was a big issue because Masisi is a foreign dignitary.” In an interview with The Midweek Sun, Zambia Union of Broadcasters Secretary General Andrew Mpandamwike confirmed the incident, saying they awaited to hear a full report. “I have been in communication with the human resources office at ZNBC and was informed that the two journalists were suspended from work pending investigations into the incident,” he said. Efforts to get a comment on the matter at the Office of the President hit a snag. President Masisi has been criss-crossing the region on state visits.

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‘My life is a living hell’

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A Zimbabwean double amputee, Gift Ncube who received a lot of public sympathy after a farmer, Keitumetse Khunou shot him in 2013 over a payment dispute thereafter losing both arms, says that his life is a living hell.

This is because his former employer, Khonuo has not honoured terms of agreement to compensate him for his lost arms. As of September 2017, the two through their lawyers agreed on an out of court settlement in which Khonou undertook to give him 20 goats and eight heads of cattle to start a new life. Khunou, through his lawyers K. Sekgabo Attorneys further proposed to transfer his rights and title in respect of his only residential house consisting of a two-bedroom house, main house with two rooms, toilet bath and a kitchen situated at Radisele.

They also agreed that they were going to pay, Ncube a sum of P100 000, which was proposed to be paid on or before the end of May 2018. However, Ncube through his lawyers, Chibanda Makgelemele & Co said May was far and proposed end of February 2018, which was accepted.

At one point, the parties agreed to pay P125 000 from the initial P130 000 demanded by Ncube, but Khunou’s lawyers said he could pay him P22 000 per month commencing December 1, 2017.
Narrating his story, Ncube cut a frustrated figure. “I now knock on people’s doors, asking for money to buy food. This is not who I am and who I had thought I’d be at any point in my life. This man has destroyed my life and I’m finding it hard to accept that I don’t have my hands,” he said.

He stated that Khunou’s lawyers had told him that their client was not cooperative. “They even told me to seek the assistance of the media,” he said, adding that life is hard as he has a three year old daughter to look after.

As of May 7, 2018, the parties went to the High Court where there was also another settlement made regarding compensation. Khunou signed to give Ncube his plot in Radisele, with its two houses. The agreement was that should he fail to procure transfer of the property to Ncube through the Landboard, then he shall within six months of failure to procure transfer cause it to be sold at a price to be agreed by both parties and the proceeds shall be paid to Ncube.

The agreement also entailed eight cows and 20 goats, and P130 000 payment in installments of P5 470 per month commencing March 31, 2018 until May 1, 2020. The court papers have the certificate of Customary Court Grant, which is yet to be given to Ncube.

The shooting incident happened at Khunou’s ploughing field at Diphateng lands near Radisele where he had temporarily engaged Ncube to de-bush his field.Meanwhile, Ncube said he has opened an account with a local bank where he wanted to save money for Myo-electric prosthesis. Quotations from Gaborone Private Hospital show that he needs P172 500 to get it done. The system consists of wrist insert, wrist/elbow unit, functional hand, prosthetic glove, cable above elbow, harness above elbow and prosthetic sheath.

Khunou’s lawyer Kgololesego Segabo confirmed that there was a settlement agreed that was signed between his client and Ncube. “What is left is for my client to act on the agreement. He is in the process of mobilising resources to honour the agreement,” he said.

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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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