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Deputy Mayor in trouble with the law

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Debt-ridden Francistown City Council (FCC) deputy mayor and Botswana Democratic Party councillor for Moselewapula ward, Lechedzani Mudenga was on Friday ordered to pay P3500 to settle a debt of four goats that he took from Tebalo Mpona last August.

But his take-home salary is only P200, and prospects of him making the huge installment of P3500.00 look bleak and thus jail beckons for the councillor. The default judgement was delivered by the Francistown Magistrate Jennifer Chikate on Friday in her chambers, but the Deputy Mayor was not in attendance.

It is alleged that Mudenga took the goats from Mpona saying that he will pay but failed to do so. Hardly a month ago, Mudenga was reportedly being investigated by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) for allegedly selling plots to some women under false pretence.

About three weeks ago, he failed to attend a special full council meeting. Sylvia Muzila, Mayor of the city, was reportedly not amused by this as she said that it was not the first meeting that her junior was missing in action.

In April, he was ordered to pay a three months instalment of P5000 to settle a P15 000 loan that he had sought from Lumbidzani Bajo. It was discovered at the court session that the debt-tangled councillor’s monthly salary is P200 after all deductions are made. Allegations are that Mudenga did pay the loan but failed to settle costs.

Late last year, the deputy mayor disappeared from the public amid allegations that he was running away from those he owed. As if that was not enough, Francistown councillors, especially from the BDP, at one point were allegedly planning to pass a motion of no confidence against him because, according to sources, he had become a liability and embarrassment to both the municipality and the party. He was allegedly saved by the party leadership.

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Making outstanding art through waste material

Keletso Thobega

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Following one’s vocational calling can be a tall order in a world that still believes that white-collar work is the only way to make a living. No one knows this better than 28-year-old Khumoyame

Addam Ndove, who is a police officer by profession and an artist by vocation. While he is committed to his work as a law enforcer he dedicates most of his free time to making art. Ndove runs a company called Craft-eyed Designs which specialises in upholstery designing, artistic furniture and décor ornaments, mostly made out of waste materials such as empty oil drums, tyres and pallets, among others. The Francistown born and raised lad tells Vibe that his artistic journey started with a passion he had for art and using recycled material to create distinct new pieces.

One day he got an idea to try out a few art works and he went out to collect raw material and got down to work. “I knew I was talented in hand craft but had never explored my potential. I was impressed with what I managed to do. My work was interesting and outstanding. I also received positive feedback from the public and realised that this was something I could do out of passion and to complement my earnings,” he says.

Ndove explains that Art is a way of expressing himself. “I enjoy art because that is how I communicate and share what is in my mind.” He points out that he is also a businessman so selling his craft was not too difficult as he has the acumen. He however notes that the biggest challenge he faces is that a large number of Batswana do not appreciate art and therefore do not recognise the value of his work. Other challenges he faces include lack of operational space and shortage of capital.

He says that shortage of raw materials limits him from unleashing his full creative potential. Ndove currently runs his company alone and juggles it with his day job. He hopes to one day get an investor to bolster his business so that he can employ other people and grow the enterprise. “I would like to get a spacious workshop and showroom, and also hire relevant employees.” But doing what he loves makes him content. “Bringing an idea to life makes me fulfilled. I always feel great when I see my finished products.”

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BOMU awards go on…

Keletso Thobega

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The 10th annual Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) awards will be held on 26 January 2019 at GICC. Revellers should expect performances from Lister Boleseng, Nono Siile, Perion, Slizer, Matheke Letane and Kwaito Nation among others. Tickets are said to be already on sale through Webtickets.

The awards will also be broadcasts.
Over the past few weeks there has been confusion over whether the awards will go and this week Phemelo ‘Fresh Les’ Lesokwane officially confirmed that it is all systems go. Artists caused a stir this week on social media when they indicated that was confusion and miscommunication around the awards. But Lesokwane insists that there is nothing confusing going on as the interim committee had been planning the awards for a while now, and had even roped in sponsors.

He said that the awards had been organised since last week but they had to change the date due to a few glitches. Lesokwane says that they had opted for the people’s choice approach to awards. “We have given the public the power to decide who they want to vote for under the different categories. What happens is that when you vote you sms the category and name of the artist to 16565. We are then going to tally the votes when voting lines close on 23 January 2019.

We will then cut down the number of entries based on the number of votes. This will make the process easier for our judges, who will listen to the artists’ CDs and give them points.” He further said that having a high number of votes would not automatically mean that an artist makes it. “One might have many votes but with low quality music and we consider that. We are looking at quality
Lesokwane said that when former chairperson Pagson Ntsie was outsed, the awards were still open. “Registration is still on at BOMU office in Kgolagano at Main mall. Those who had registered can check their documentation.”

Last year BOMU was wrecked by infightings following a ruling that Pagson Ntsie is not the legitimate chairperson of the music body. The ruling was passed in August by the Registrar of Societies. The ruling came following investigations regarding adherence to the BOMU Constitution and corruption claims. Accusations of financial mismanagement and poor leadership also cropped up.

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