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BOPEU’s possible return to BOFEPUSU

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The newly appointed President of Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU), Masego Mogwera will not make any promises about the union affiliating to its former mother-body, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU).

Addressing members of the media this week at union head office in Gaborone, Mogwera said that decision rests with BOPEU members if they make a resolution to go back to the federation. The marriage fell apart in 2015 when union members resolved to dissociate from the mother-body at the Palapye elective congress.

“I am guided by the resolution and I will follow what is proper for BOPEU. I will comply with the constitution. BOPEU can only go back to BOFEPUSU if there is a resolution saying that. We are not a one man show,” said Mogwera.Mogwera ascended to BOPEU’s highest position after former leader, Andrew Motsamai resigned from the post.

He is now employed as Executive Chairman of Babereki Investments. “In November 2016 Cde Motsamai wrote a letter to Babereki Investments tendering his resignation as Board Chairman.

The Union Board of Trustees brought this matter to the attention of the Babereki Investments Board at a special meeting convened early in December 2016,” said Mogwera. She added, “When the special Board meeting assessed the abrupt departure of Motsamai as Board chairperson in December 2016, against the business interests and transition that Babereki was going through, it was then resolved by the board that an appointment to the position of Executive Chairman be made immediately,” explained Mogwera.

Motsamai assumes his new post today (Wednesday). He has been BOPEU President for the last ten years.  He was elected to the Presidency of the then Botswana Civil Service Association (BCSA) in 2006, and transitioned it into BOPEU in 2007.

He was re-elected in 2009, 2012 and 2015 respectively, a position that he left by resignation on 28th January and  making him the longest serving president of the organisation. Martin Gabobake was appointed the 1st Deputy President, a position that was held by Mogwera before. 

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Basarwa’s indigenous knowledge could be used in fire fights

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Two hundred delegates from countries that include Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia and Namibia have converged in Maun village for the 7th National Fire Management Conference.

The event taking place on May 14th-16th is held under the theme: ‘Fire Management – A key to sustainable livelihoods.’ Its objectives are to promote implementation of the fire management strategy, facilitate information sharing amongst key stakeholders, as well as promote collaborative partnerships in fire management.

One partnership that has proven to be beneficial is that of government of Botswana and the Australian government. The relationship was born following the deadly fires that claimed the lives of 13 people, and forced the government to seek help outside.

This year, Botswana, which deals with ravaging veldt fires annually, is now looking into exploring knowledge from indigenous tribes when it comes to dealing with fire. Head of Technical Support Services at Department of Forestry and Range Resources, Gabagomotse Mafoko told a media conference that indigenous rangers from Kimberly and Australia will share stories about Traditional Fire management.

He explained that they were also looking into tapping into the knowledge of local tribes. Mafoko shared that the climatic conditions of Botswana and Australia are almost the same, hence this knowledge is vital.

“Indigenous tribes have been fighting fires for years with less emissions. Take for example, the Aborigines of Australia have been doing it, and we want to tap into their knowledge. Locally, the San have been using fire for decades with little damage to the environment,” he explained.

The Botswana and Australian government have a longstanding relationship in the fire management areas. The relationship dates back to 2008. And through it, over 5000 people have been trained in Fire Management Strategy, as well donations of used and refurbished fire equipment units.

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KBL returns Kickstart funding initiative

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Kgalagadi Breweries Limited will start inviting applications for its revamped Kickstart initiative which funds youth aged between 18 and 30 years, The Midweek Sun has learnt.

Today, the company which produces soft drinks and clear beer was expected to take the media on a tour of some of kickstart beneficiaries in Gaborone. Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo is expected to officially launch the revised initiative this afternoon at the KBL’s Broadhurst offices. The program was suspended a few years ago due to lack of funds, among other reasons.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. Speaking to the press last year, KBL Managing Director, Beauchamp, said P1, 5 million has been set aside for this program on annual basis.

“We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent by the President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime.

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