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Justice Moroka blasts Unions

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Trade unions should not only be seen as “mere peddlers of the democratic rhetoric” but become custodians of democratic principles, Francistown High Court Judge Lot Moroka has advised.

Officially opening the ongoing Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) congress in Palapye on Monday, Justice Moroka told unionists that trade unions should instead be seen as champions of the democratic process.

“It is my deep rooted belief that trade unions can achieve the foregoing by ensuring that they run their affairs in a democratic manner. Too often organisations find themselves at war as a result of a tyranny perpetuated by the minority or vice versa,” he said.

According to Justice Moroka, for trade unions to help build an inclusive nation, they should themselves run an inclusive organisation which protects the rights of the minority as jealously as they protect those of the majority.

“This therefore is a challenge to you to endeavour to run a clean house. Democracy is in itself not only an expensive undertaking but a culture that needs to be cultivated and strongly inculcated amongst the masses,” explained Moroka.

He said there is an overarching need for trade unions to be united in their quest to achieve amongst others economic prosperity and parity for the working class. For his part, former Secretary General of COSATU, Zwenlinzima Vavi advised BOPEU to ensure that there is no gap between union members and union leaders.

“They must be organically linked, so that no one, no counter force, is able to exploit the gaps that have opened up, and divert us from our historic mission. We have to be models of accountable democracy,” explained Vavi.

He said as the former COSATU leader he has learned that many union leaders are not merely supporting pro-capitalist policies, but are themselves in business, using workers’ money which is invested in trusts and funds, to enrich themselves, even becoming involved in companies in which unions members are in dispute with the employers.

“COSATU, once a bastion of integrity and democracy, regarded by large sections of the public for its high moral and political authority has degenerated, and has been captured and manipulated by anti-working class forces,” he said.

BOPEU is holding elections today in which Andrew Motsamai is defending his position as President against his first Deputy Sikalame Seitiso.

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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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