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I can’t sell my soul – Khan

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Amidst the pomp and fanfare that saw former Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Secretary General Kentse Rammidi being welcomed back into the ruling party yesterday, insinuations filtered that Botswana National Front (BNF) Member of Parliament for Molepolole North, Mohammed Khan was one of the other big fish to be welcomed into the party some weeks to come. But Khan has refuted the rife allegations that he is about to join Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). Information reaching this publication is that the BDP was using their Treasurer Satar Dada to recruit the long-time BNF stalwart.

Dada could not be reached for comment on the matter, but Khan told The Midweek Sun in a telephone interview that he was aware of the talk of his defection, adding that since his early days at BNF, he has always been said to be headed to the ruling party only for such allegations to die a natural death. “This has become an old story since time and again, I am rumoured to be on my way to another political home. I should state on record that I am a BNF member and will remain so until such a time that I will make an arrangement,” he said. Despite this, a source close to him said that it is a question of time before Khan defects to the ruling party since there is a “catch” on the other side of the fence.

There has been talk about the BDP-recruited opposition politicians being targeted because they have been seen to need financial aid that the ruling party is said to be promising to provide. BDP President Mokgweetsi Masisi however dismissed insinuations of financial incentives to the recruited politicians, saying there has been no money given or promised the new members and those expected to join as weeks go by. After the late Isaac Davids was welcomed into the party last year, social media went viral with clips of ‘In the matter between’ notices that involved the MP, with attendant speculation he was to be aided through his financial troubles by the ruling party. Similarly, social media yesterday was flooded with clips that suggested Rammidi also needed financial aid with some piece of land he owns that the National Development Bank has allegedly attached for sale.

At the press conference called to welcome Rammidi and others, Masisi said there was no such ‘penny’ extended to the newly-recruited. BNF Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa also refuted the claims of Khan’s defection, saying he had not received any correspondence from Khan that he is quitting the party. Khan himself was adamant that whatever his circumstances, he can never sell his soul. He expressed empathy for some of the situations that could cause some members of the opposition to join the BDP, saying some people find themselves cornered into debts with nowhere else to run. “I am not about to do so. In any case, I don’t find the BDP attractive to join because they do not have internal democracy. While there you have to toe the party line,” he said Khan added that if he were to join the BDP or any other party, he would have first gone to his voters to let them know of his intentions and why he was doing so. “I got into parliament through a voting disc, voted in by people. I have to respect them enough to go back and let them know if I want to move away, for whatever reason,” he said as he shot down speculation of his defection as baseless.

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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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