Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 02 April 2019 - Botswana Guardian

Stalled work on the Kazungula Bridge development has been returned to normalcy with the contractor, Daewoo International re-mobilising to full capacity. Daewoo International in early this month had issued a contractually enforceable notice to suspend works on the bridge project as a result of delayed or non-payment of amounts due from the employer, a joint 50/50 partnership between the governments of Botswana and Zambia.

Following intervention and facilitated interactions between President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi and President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu as well as ministers responsible, work returned to full capacity on Monday April 1. Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcus Makgato jointly met the contractor with her Zambian counterpart yesterday to map a commonly understood and agreed way forward.

The project that was initially anticipated to be completed sometimes this year is now expected to be completed in 2020. “Necessary consultations have since taken place, and the employer has moved swiftly to correct by paying all the arrears, and obtaining the contractor’s agreement to not only lift the prevailing suspension conditions, which have, lately, been in force, but to assure that the project will be delivered to the required standards and specifications by 2020,” Makgato said.

According to Makgato, as part of resolving the problem, a required minimum amount of US Dollars 16.62m, which has been overdue, is in the process of being transmitted to the contractor. Makgato further says an added control measure with direct ministerial oversight has been put in place as of yesterday to ensure that such disruptions are avoided in the future.

Because of its strategic importance to the SADC region, and wider trade-facilitation across Africa and beyond, both the governments of Botswana and Zambia recognise their mutual commitment to having the Kazungula Bridge Project completed soon and in the most cost-effective way.

Published in News
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 15:55

Molosi wins African Authors award 2019

The recently released, Dear Upright African manifesto has clinched its first international accolade. The book authored by Botswana’s award winning actor, producer and author Donald Molosi will this July be bestowed with an African Authors Award.

MOLOSI IS THE FIRST MOTSWANA TO WIN THE AWARD
The 2019 edition of the ceremony is pencilled to take place at the end of July in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg. News about the award come a month after the worldwide release of Molosi’s manifesto Dear Upright African.  Confirming the news on social media, spokesperson for Africa Writers’ Awards, Anthea Ambursley wrote that, “the African Authors Awards 2019 cannot wait to host and honour Molosi in July 2019.”

Molosi has been in Kenya for the last month on a pre-release promotion tour which included Molosi’s several meetings with celebrated Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o ahead of the release of the book.

Dear Upright African bears a powerful foreword by acclaimed Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of Nervous Conditions.  Molosi previously won many awards for his first book, We Are All Blue which is currently being taught at universities around the world. He first shot to stardom with his Broadway debut in New York in 2007 and his film role opposite Matt Damon in the same year.

He has since starred in A United Kingdom opposite Academy-Award nominee Rosamund Pike. Molosi’s next acting role is in the British film called 2064 set for release this year. In a statement regarding his upcoming honour, Molosi says in a statement, “I am humbled and emboldened at once. I wrote Dear Upright African to be part of the change I desire as a self-loving decolonized Pan-African.

So, I am elated that this conversation will now involve many more key voices, thanks to the African Authors Awards 2019.” The African Authors Awards are an annual award ceremony held in Johannesburg. At the ceremony, authors from all over Africa are honoured and given awards by fellow African literati.

“I dedicate this specific honour to the memory of Dr. Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete who sought to decolonize the African classroom in as early as 1930 and built schools to that effect all over Africa. May we have the decolonized foresight to continue where we stopped, as a continent!” Molosi said about the honour. In Dear Upright African, which was released in February 28, 2019 in New York City, Molosi shares his experiences attending school in Africa and calls for the decolonization of the African classroom.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 15:37

Meatless burger hits local market

For a country that has more cattle than people, where a meal without beef is regarded as incomplete, a meat less burger could be a farfetched idea of cooking. Infinite Foods thinks not. Last week Thursday, they just did that, launched…guess what, a meatless burger. The burger is a new plant-based protein offering. Also launched on the day was Nature & Moi Cheese. 

The event was held at the Caravela Restaurant, a Portuguese flavoured eatery in Extension 4, in the periphery of the African mall shopping complex.  The big launch was attended by the media, and notable faces in the banking and hospitality industry, including the outgoing M.D of Baclays Bank Botswana, Reinette van der Merwe, as well as the General Manager of Cresta Lodge, Greg Soutter, among many others.

The moment of truth came for the attendants to sample and bite this burger. When this reporter heard about the meatless burger, her initial reaction was of curiosity. Will the bite live to the expectation of a meat burger as it is known to be? The Patti was something else, could not tickle the beef taste buds. Needed some seasoning, perhaps. If it was an audition and this reporter was the judge, the burger would probably have frowned at the verdict.  The launch comes on the back drop of the signing of a contract between Go Fresh and Infinite Foods.

The deal will see Infinite Foods distributing the leading plant-based protein products in Botswana. It is part of the Botswana-based fresh produce brand expansion plans, to include plant-based protein products as part of its offerings.  A press release explains that the brains behind Go Fresh is none other than leading entrepreneur Michelle Adelman. The company, says the release, has been delivering high quality fresh produce to consumers in Gaborone and Maun since 2014 and has won numerous awards for its technology-abled farming and approach to engaging Batswana youth leaders to run the company. It further says that The Beyond Burger is the flagship product of leading US plant-based meat company Beyond Meat. 

The company, explains the release is at the forefront of the growing global movement towards a more sustainable approach to meat and protein. “Livestock agriculture has a detrimental impact on the environment, and it has become imperative that sustainable, less detrimental meat and protein alternatives be sourced. Companies like Beyond Meat are using cutting-edge science to change the way we think about and define meat. While the positive impact of plant-based meat on the planet and to human health is massive, the most revolutionary thing about The Beyond Burger® is that it looks, cooks, and tastes like beef. It is made entirely of plants and has no added hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, soy or gluten,” says the release.

According to the Director of Infinite Foods, Phenyo Moroka, as much as Batswana love their beef, we know that too much meat has been linked to high cholesterol, cancer and heart disease. He also says that it is high time we find ways to eat less meat.
“These are the words most of us don’t want to hear but imagine if you could enjoy all the things you love about eating meat, get all the protein, nutrients and delicious taste, but have no health worries linked to eating too much meat? That’s what has consumers going crazy for The Beyond Burger. It really is The Future of Protein,” he says.

A Beyond Burger patty has 20g of protein, more than a beef burger, with less saturated fat and no cholesterol. It also uses 99% less water than a traditional 113-gram beef burger, 93% less land, and produces 90% fewer greenhouse gases, according to a joint study by Beyond Meat and a major US university. Infinite Foods will initially launch The Beyond Burger in restaurants and foodservice outlets, adding to Beyond Meat’s current distribution in more than 12,000 restaurants including Carl’s Jr., TGI Fridays, BurgerFi, Bareburger and A&W Canada.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 15:33

Riding away from Gaborone worries

The tranquil of Notwane Equestrian Centre with its breath-taking beauty, and unique offering is giving guests a taste of paradise. Secluded and located in a small piece of land surrounded by nature, this is one place that those who wish to get in touch with their spiritual self needs to frequent.

Located in Notwane, the centre is fast gaining momentum as one of the hot spots within the vicinity of the capital city. The Notwane Equestrian Centre has a number of offerings, and these include horse riding adventures, horse riding lessons as well as an opportunity to sit still and enjoy a meal at the recently opened Zorro Restaurant. On Saturday morning as part of her birthday celebrations, this reporter threw caution to the wind, chaffed her childhood fears of horses, and attempted to do the impossible.

This would turn up to be the first time that she interacted with a horse, and rode into the wind one of the magnificent giants. Horse riding came up after yours truly saw adverts of the centre on social media. Driving into the centre, testing faith and stamina, it was not an easy mission. Accompanied by family and friends, who were also here to have their first go at horse riding, their fears were allayed the minute they took the brave steps into the centre. The group comprised of three potential riders, and children who were looking for something fun to do while the adults attempted this mission impossible. The group was split into two.

And yours truly took the second session. In between riding, the children were spoilt for choice with so many activities that they could get up to. The little ones were also catered for, and a playroom equipped with an array of toys would keep them busy for a while.
The horse handlers started each session with safety briefs and precautions such as to wear helmets at all times.

The sessions were split into three options, 30 minutes (P150), 20 minutes (P100), and 10 minutes (P50). The 30 minutes and 20 minutes rides take a scenic route to the banks of the Notwane River. And one also has a chance to take pictures either with their phones or a camera, capturing these moments for life. For our group, we opted to take the 20 minutes ride, and indeed we got value for our money.

Now back to the ride itself, Dimpho Serumola was charged with briefing and guiding yours truly about how to ride, and the dos and don’ts. He is one of the top horse handlers here. And it is easy to see why. Serumola has been manning horses for many years, and he carries his passion with him as he guides one of their best stallions away from the clubhouse; a life changing experience.

As soon, as Big Boy, strides away, one soon forgets about their fears for horses, and you just take in the sights and sounds around the course. Time stands still as Big Boy slowly gallops around the course. A majestic and calm horse, it is evident to see that this eight-year-old is just incredible. The climax of this ride, is descending down the Notwane River, and just marvelling at its beauty. For a few minutes, time stands still, and all else is forgiven.

Speaking in an interview, owner Heidi Kalterherberg explains that they have been offering horse riding to the public for close to a year now. She also says that they wished to offer both adults and children with an opportunity to experience horse riding. In total, they have 18 horses that include ponies. The centre has a staff compliment of 12, and is open on week days. She explains that since opening their doors, one of the highlights is seeing the smiles of the riders, and the exceptional feedback that they get from their clients.

“The feedback from people who are riding for the first time always puts a smile on my face,” she says. She also explains that they are about to start a school sport riding programme. The programme is made possible by funding from the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale), and is endorsed by the Horse Society of Botswana and the Botswana National Sports Council. The program that will target both the learners in the private and government schools, seeks to identify, promote and coach young talented riders. 

The goal is to see the young talented, ambitious and interested pupils enjoy the Sport of Dressage or Show Jumping, to create an environment where riding is taken as a Sport Subject in the school curriculum, leading to schools competing in a fair and fun-filled spirit.

According to Serumola it is important for riders to come dressed in the right clothing. He says that for those who are beginners, they need to be patient, and move at the pace of the horse. “It is very important to listen to instructions as it is very dangerous not to listen to,” he explains. He also says that riding is open to everyone aged from 3 years upwards, and that the weight limit is 90/95 kg.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 15:29

Inside Hilton Garden Inn

The warm colours of the hotel and the warm reception from the general stuff just makes one to enjoy their stay at the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn hotel, located in Gaborone’s Central Business District .

The exquisite hotel boasts of 147 contemporary and spacious guest rooms, all equipped with the latest technology and ergonomic comfort for maximum convenience. Unlike in other hotels, all the rooms are fitted with a Digital key dubbed Hilton’s mobile-enabled room key with that special technology allowing the room owner to access the floor of their room directly from the elevator.

General Manager of Hilton Garden Inn, Evan Harrington says that security and safety of their clients is one of their core mandate as well as putting up with the digital trend. He emphasizes that the digital key, Hilton’s mobile-enabled room key technology would allow their guests to be able to book on their phone and use it as a key for their rooms.

This, he explains, would be carried out through the support of an app, which will make the life of guests much easier during their stay at the hotel. The poolside terrace of the hotel is one amazing feature that allows the guests to chill and enjoy that fresh breezy air, especially in the evening and morning. 

On the other hand, they also offer delicate cocktails that leave one lingering for more. They have a mix of luscious cocktails that includes Louis ice tea, ginger fruit punch, melon, lemongrass and ginger frozen daiquiri as well as mixed berry frozen daiquiri among others.

Harrington says that they want everyone to enjoy their stay at their hotel without hustling for any of their needs which is why Sanga Grill and Bar restaurant offers all the range of drinks and food including the sumptuous steaks from the best quality of Botswana beef and fresh local produce.

He also states that because they understand how hectic a day could be for their guests after long meetings, they also offer daily evening room service, to deliver their tasty meals at one’s doorstep.  

The hotel also makes a business guest to feel rejuvenated through their services that are under one roof. These include; 24/7 Pavilion pantry, business centre, fitness centre fitted with the latest equipment and the outdoor pool.  The pavilion pantry, which is a 24-hour market, offers an assortment of snacks and refreshments as well as toiletries, to help the guest save time and shop from within.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 14:50

Riverwalk Mall turns sixteen

Riverwalk Mall will this Saturday host a fabulous shoppers’ day dubbed, ‘Riverwalk Mall Shoppers fun day’ to appreciate their customers as part of their 16-year anniversary.

This celebratory event would also end with customers walking away with variety of gifts, as there would be ongoing competitions. Marketing and Promotions Manager of Riverwalk Centre Management, Hosaiah Motlhalawapitse tells BG Style that they have always been a successful shopping mall over the past 16 years because of the support from their customers. “We therefore thought that it would be ideal to host this shopping day which would be filled with specials and giveaways on the day,” he explained.

Riverwalk Mall boasts of a wide array of exciting store mixture ranging from restaurants, grocery stores, beauty palours, home ware, and clothing to mention a few. Motlhalawapitse says that they have always received positive feedback from clients and they wish to continue improving their services to make sure that their customers are always satisfied.

He also clarified that the event is not restricted to adults, hence they should also bring along their children just like on a daily basis as they have kids corner in place for the children. “We don’t want to exclude children because we also sell children’s stuff so we want them to celebrate with us too.

They would be taken care of and entertained the whole day,” said Motlhalawapitse.   There would also be a line up of renowned local artistes to keep the day going for the attendants. These artistes will include, Han-C, African Yard, Lowly, King TAPF and the most cherished traditional group; Mafitlhakgosi.

“We do not want to disappoint anyone, hence we have selected this line up of the most amazing and admired groups in BW. We are confident that they would give the audience a satisfactory performance that would reflect the purpose of the day of celebrating together,” he says.

“Everybody who spends on the day will get to present a till slip and stand a chance to win amazing prizes from the stores,” Motlhalawapitse clarified. He also added that various tenants and other businesses will also exhibit their goods and services with most giving out discount vouchers.

He says this is a way of celebrating together and also marketing their tenants. Han-C would be the headliner of the occasion and Maitisong various groups will also grace the event with their exciting performances.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 14:35

Cabinet discusses Climate Change Policy

The Draft Climate Change Policy (2006) has been tabled before Cabinet for discussion, Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Nonofo Molefhi has confirmed.

He told a workshop at the University of Botswana recently that government was making strides to seriously tackle climate change by putting in place legislative and adminstrative instruments such as the Climagte Change Policy as well as the Energy Policy. Meantime, Botswana is signatory to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was ratified in 1994. The country also ratified the Convention’s legal instruments - Paris Agreement in 2016, and the Kyoto Protocol in 2003.

Botswana has also set up the National Committee on Climate Change and was part of the preparations of the 3rd National Communications (2018). During a recent conference on Earth Hour and Climate Change at Travel Lodge in Gaborone a Department of Meteorological Services official Janet Selato noted that Batswana should employ a timely response to climate change benefits because it affects them too.

“Climate change requires alertness and profound changes in our lives especially as active response to climate change benefits development,” she said. She added that although there is increased awareness on climate change, practically, there is still a lot that needs to be done on the ground to make changes that would help reduce emissions. Among the key aspects that the public could implement in their day-to-day lives to mitigate climate change Selato mentioned responsible use, maintaining and recycling.

She also said energy could be saved by switching off idle consumers, investing in efficient alternative systems and using climate smart farming among others.

As for energy efficiency, she said it was important to create more awareness on energy saving and efficiency and also be informed on building codes (insulation), efficient appliances (including LPG), transport (hardware, planning and fuel-saving driving styles) as well as investing in improved energy supplies, renewable energy (solar) and efficiency in fossil power generation.

Selato noted that the current factors that are accelerating climate change are man-made, explaining that climate change is predominantly a result of consumer lifestyle, growing world population, inefficient resource use and reliance on fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas).

She added that technically, climate change is caused by emissions of “greenhouse gases” (GHG) into the atmosphere. “Most emissions come from energy production, industry, transport and agriculture.” In terms of electricity generation, which Earth Hour largely focuses on, she noted that the contributory factors included cement and steel production, industrial processes, heating and transport. *Botswana Emissions Distribution

Published in News
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 14:31

BDP won’t split – Kablay

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Members of Parliament have called for calm and a clean campaign ahead of the party’s Special Congress in Kang next week Friday. The MPs raised the concerns last week during the party’s Parliamentary Caucus meetings.
President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi will become the first BDP leader to be challenged for the presidency of the party at this Special Congress.

He will defend his seat against a former member of his cabinet, Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi. Campaigns for the presidency have been marred by controversy. There have been accusations and counter-accusations of use of underhand tactics to lure voters.
Dr. Masisi’s camp has been accused of using both state and party resources to advance their campaign while Dr. Venson-Moitoi’s team is accused of mudslinging, ignoring party processes and procedures and attacking the president.

Some key members are known to be supporting Dr. Venson-Moitoi among them Central Committee member and MP for Tati East Samson Guma Moyo, who has since fled the country on claims that he is a target of an assassination plot. During the caucus meeting MPs expressed concern over the dirty campaigns that both camps have engaged in. According to sources who attended both last week and this week’s Tuesday meetings, the MPs want a peaceful Kang congress that would also unite the party.

“We want both teams to be humble as they get to the final lap of campaign. Things have not been going well and this has divided us even more. So, we believe we have to air our concerns as MPs because we are the ones more senior when it comes to delegates. We want to come back from Kang a united force,” said one MP.

Another MP stated that “the issue here is not about who is powerful than who, but it is about the democratic dispensation within the party which we have for years preached (that) we stand for. This is the time to lead by example that indeed we are a democratic organisation.”

The MPs pointed out that it is not wrong for Vice President and BDP Chairman Slumber Tsogwane to support Dr. Masisi as it has always been the party tradition that the president and his second in command stick to each other even during central committee elections.

Government Whip (BDP) Liakat Kablay confirmed that the MPs have called for calm as the campaigns get into the last lap before the congress. Kablay said the MPs spoke with one voice as concerned leaders within the party. He stated that they have put to rest the issue of Tsogwane supporting the president as party chairman and former president Dr. Ian Khama supporting Dr. Venson-Moitoi. According to Kablay they have concluded that this is nothing new and should not be used by either camp to attack the other.

“This is why you will hear people saying BDP MPs would resign. I can assure you that no MP would dump the BDP after the Kang congress and we are not going to split. “Of course, we have our differences for now but that is not happening for the first time and BDP is not going for internal elections for the first time.

“We have been on this road before even during our National Congresses where presidents endorsed their deputies there were tensions. Even during the Festus Mogae era and Dr. Khama’s times,” said Kablay adding that they have urged both camps to accept the results and work together towards building a strong BDP ahead of this year’s general elections.

Kablay who is also MP for Letlhakeng-Lephephe rubbished claims that BDP Women’s Wing Chairperson Dorcas Makgato was behind the postponement of the Women’s Wing congress. He revealed that it was the Parliamentary Caucus that pursued her to postpone because of logistical issues such as accommodation.

Published in News
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 14:26

‘Venson-Moitoi is paranoid’

Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Director General Brigadier Magosi says he is disappointed by former Minister Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s claims that security agents are following her around the country. Dr Venson-Moitoi whom next week will challenge President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi for Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidency recently revealed that DIS agents have been following her around the country as she canvasses for votes.

He revealed that she has since expressed her concern to Magosi about the agents who are always following her. In an interview with this publication Magosi expressed his disappointment at the utterances made by the former cabinet member. He stated that politicians have the tendency of being paranoid and thinking that they are being tailed around by DIS agents.“She is one of the first people I engaged when the standoff between the president and his predecessor started.

“I requested that since she is the eldest between Dr Masisi and former President Dr Ian Khama and a senior BDP member she has to intervene. “I asked her to request the former to acknowledge that Dr Masisi is the current head of state and deserves the respect any president must be given.

“I went to her because I treat her like my mother,” said Magosi indicating that he was later shocked to see Dr Venson-Moitoi attacking his organisation in the media. According to Magosi, he has no reason to be following Dr Venson-Moitoi around. He said if he has any issue with her, he would go straight to her and state his case. Magosi explained that what is being said about his agents is not true, positing that DIS is not the only law enforcement agency that uses unmarked motor vehicles.

Magosi wondered why politicians would be the only ones among citizens complaining that the DIS is targeting them. He said his aim is to ensure that he runs a clean and respected agency. “I will never have the DIS accused of things that are not true. This is why I am going around the country to address councils to allay fears that the DIS is targeting politicians or members of the public.

“Under my leadership the DIS will not be accused of violating human rights in this country. Anything that could happen of such nature I will take stern action against perpetrators because I will never sanction such action.
“I will even take action before such acts are committed under my leadership,” he stated.

Published in News
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 14:21

Just how honest is Minister Madigele?

Dr. Tawanda Mashinya of Zeta Medical Day Care Clinic - who recently won a case to have his practice back - has robbed patients, medical aid schemes and institutions huge sums of money, says his partner and main antagonist,  Dr. Alfred Madigele. Dr. Mashinya recently won his court application against the Director of Health Services who had revoked his practicing licence.

But Madigele, who incidentally is also Minister of Health, says that the Zimbabwean national obtained or defrauded numerous organisations through clandestine schemes at the CBD-based Zeta Clinic, which they co-own as shareholders and directors. Dr. Madigele accuses Dr. Mashinya of colluding with service providers and using the clinic as a conduit for illegal activities, which improper and disgraceful conduct contravenes the professional ethical code of conduct.

Dr. Mashinya’s alleged unprofessional conduct has been reported to President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi who in turn approached Dr. Madigele and questioned him about the conduct of his private clinic.This publication has documents that show that Mashinya has been running a laboratory service outside the scope of Zeta Clinic licence.

He achieved this through colluding with other professionals to defraud the patients through alleged falsified lab requests.  The documents show that he also defrauded Medical Aid schemes and institutions (names withheld) by doing unnecessary blood tests, a matter that has potential to put the lives of clients in danger. Mashinya is alleged to have acted and or defrauded Zeta client, Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) through procurement of medicines and other related consumables.

It is alleged that Mashinya formed a shadow company that made business with BAC under the umbrella of Zeta. Based on the above and other issues, Zeta Board led by Madigele suspended Mashinya pending disciplinary hearing. It also reported the matter to Botswana Health Professionals Council (BHPC) which is also investigating.

Dr. Mashinya’s licence to practice under Zeta was revoked by the Director of Health Services on 01 February 2019 subsequent to a request from Madigele in his private capacity as owner and chairman of the clinic board on 31st January 2019. Madigele also wrote to Director of Immigration and Citizenship informing them that the work permit which he applied for Dr. Mashinya under the guarantee of Zeta is invalid.

Suspension
Dr. Mashinya was suspended from duty on 30 January 2019 with full benefits pending investigation of allegations levelled against him. Among others these included misappropriation of company funds, gross misconduct related to attendance at work while under the influence of intoxicating substance and dishonest practice with potential to bring Zeta Clinic into disrepute.

A special general meeting of Zeta was held on 1st February 2019 with only one agenda item being the removal of Mashinya as director of Zeta. Dr. Mashinya was allegedly given the right to address the members on the allegations levelled against him. Minister Madigele confirmed this.

Speaking to Botswana Guarduan Madigele explained that he started the clinic with him but just after “I became minister I roped him in so that he can continue with the operation work as I was being held busy by political work. The clinic is operating under my private practice license”. 

He said that Dr. Mashinya does not have a private practice license to operate in Gaborone, but he has been allowed to work under “my license by the Director of Health Services after I requested such”.   Madigele said the clinic has been operational for several years until last year when “we started receiving complaints from patients that he (Mashinya) would sometime smell intoxicated especially in the evenings. Others claimed they would feel that he had consumed some drinks”.

Late last year Madigele was called by President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi to explain if he was operating a laboratory at his clinic. He denied this because his private practice license does not have such a provision. He explained to the president that they refer patients for blood tests to Diagnofirm and continue the management of the illness once results have been obtained.

But Madigele says that since he was not aware of the goings-on at the clnic, he decided to conduct his own investigation after the president’s call. “I found that indeed he (Mashinya) was running a laboratory in my service where he collected blood samples and liaised with an external lab to process those tests”. This practice is not allowed under Zeta’s license; it also compromises patients’ safety and care because there is no assurance of the quality of the tests in terms of the times to transport the blood specimens to the laboratory.

Madigele says he also found out that there was collusion between practitioner and a laboratory service. “The two parties would collude to have as many tests done on a patient so that the practitioner can get money in terms of fees and commissions paid by laboratory service,” he said. Madigele said this has been confirmed but they have not established the amount of monies that has exchanged hands in this illegal transaction.

Fraud
In early January 2019 Madigele had a contract with BAC for provision of medical services to students and staff. “I have been running this clinic since 2010; the agreement is that we provide service while BAC buys the medicines and the consumables. “So each time when we realise that there is shortage, we make up a list of those items in shortage then submit it to BCA, they in turn request us to look for three quotations so that the normal procurement process ensues.

“It has come to light that Mashinya has formed a clandestine company behind the scenes and incidentally it shares the same name and domicile with Zeta Clinic in terms of address. “It shares the same landline in terms of telephonic conversation. So what he has been doing is that he “cooks” or forges two quotations so that he also submits his after playing around with the figures so that his company wins the tender”.

Madigele says he only got to realise this after one of the organisation’s employees told him that they suspect something because the vote for medicines and consumables was getting depleted quickly.

Action
Since the alleged fraud is being committed under Zeta’s licence Madigele approached his lawyers who advised him to suspend Dr. Mashinya pending hearing.  He also reported the matter to Botswana Health Professional Council (BHPC) and requested that they investigate. Dr Mashinya protested that he is a shareholder and cannot be fired.  That’s when Madigele sought intervention of Director of Health Services to revoke Dr. Mashinya’s license pending investigations by BHPC.

Report to Masisi
In January 2019 Madigele reported to President Masisi what has since transpired and action taken. “Dr. Mashinya has committed fraud, I was waiting for the BHPC investigation, then I can report him to the police or they report him to the police”.

Court appearance
Madigele said that Mashinya never served him with papers when he went to court but instead he served the ministry because “I was appearing as a doctor from the clinic.  “I only came to know about the case after it was decided in court”. The Registrar of BHPC Maruping Maruping confirmed having received a formal report from Madigele around February of improper conduct.

“We have since written to Dr. Mashinya to give his side of the story, but he is not easy to get hold of by phone as it continues to ring but unattended. His letter still awaits him in our office”. Attorney Basimane Bogopa of Bogopa Manewe Attorneys confirmed that his company represents Zeta Clinic. He said as attorney of records they were never served with court documents and that “we got the court documents from our client Dr. Madigele on Tuesday this week”.  All efforts to contact Dr. Mashinya were futile as his phone rang continuously unattended and he was physically not at the clinic.

Published in News
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