Items filtered by date: Thursday, 18 July 2019 - Botswana Guardian
Thursday, 18 July 2019 15:23

DIS falls under DCEC’s radar

Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has launched an investigation on the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) for 35 missing motor vehicles at the agency. The case that was initially handled by Botswana Police has been moved to the corruption-busting agency after it was established that it would be difficult to establish criminal activities, as there has been no one coming forward with information.

Investigations by Botswana Guardian have revealed that the motor vehicles of different makes and models were bought during the reign of Isaac Kgosi who was fired as spy chief by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi. Information gathered suggests that the vehicles were bought for covert operations and they were bought cash from various car dealers. According to sources, the vehicles were not bought under the DIS name but using individuals’ names for covert purposes. It has since emerged that the vehicles were not entered into the inventory book for record keeping.

Some officers are said to have taken advantage of Kgosi’s sacking to keep the vehicles. Information about the missing vehicles was discovered when auditing was done at the spy agency. It was only last year when the DIS was being audited since its inception in 2008. It is alleged that DIS boss Peter Magosi roped in the DCEC to investigate his agency with the aim of getting to the root cause of alleged corruption activities at the organisation, which happened during the tenure of his predecessor. Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe declined to comment on the matter and said the DIS is better placed to talk about it. Contacted for comment Magosi confirmed to this publication that the DCEC is investigating them.

He said all they want is to establish what happened to the motor vehicles. The spy chief said he would not go into details on the matter because it might compromise the work of the DCEC. He referred this publication to DCEC regarding the matter. DCEC public relations unit had not responded to a questionnaire sent to their office last week at the time of going to press. Magosi has been accused of trying his best to bring down Kgosi ever since he was sacked last year. Kgosi has been hauled before courts for allegedly taking pictures of DIS agents on covert operations and leaking such pictures to the media.

Magosi has since denied targeting anyone to revenge on anything but is fighting corruption which has resulted in the country losing millions of Pula. Magosi said he takes responsibility for the bad image associated with the DIS promising a new slate. Recently he told the media that the audit report is ready and he only awaits office of Auditor General to avail the report. A few weeks after he ascended to the Presidency on April 1st 2018, Masisi fired Kgosi and had him replaced with Magosi.  When the DIS was established in 2008 under the presidency of Khama, Kgosi was appointed its first Director General responsible for direction, control, administration and expenditure of the Directorate.

Ever since his appointment Magosi has been a very busy man, conducting operations and searches all said to be targeted at mostly former President Khama’s allies, a move seen as a political witch-hunt by some. It was Magosi who then arrested Kgosi at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in the full glare of members of the public and the media while the former DIS boss was arriving from an international trip in India.

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Positive business atmosphere is expected to envelop the country in the second quarter of the year, the central bank’s   quarterly Business Expectations Survey has revealed. Published last week Wednesday, the analysis said firms are confident about business conditions in the second quarter of 2019.

“However, the level of optimism declines in the third quarter of 2019, consistent with the anticipated higher cost pressures.  “Firms expect the economy to grow by 3.8 percent in 2019, lower than the 4.2 percent projection stated in the 2019 budget speech,” reads part of the survey. Business Survey indicates that the political climate, domestic demand and the current exchange rate are viewed as being the most supportive factors to doing business in Botswana during the second quarter of 2019. The water and electricity subsectors are also expected to contribute positively to economic activity.  “There are ongoing efforts to improve the supply of utilities through measures such as the implementation of the North-South Carrier 2 water project and the North-West Transmission Grid electricity connection.”

In addition, confidence in the domestic market-oriented firms is mainly driven by trade, hotels and restaurants, transport and communications and the finance and business services sectors. And the export market-oriented firms are more optimistic about the third quarter of 2019 compared to other periods of the survey especially those engaged in the manufacturing business. The study further points out that on average, firms expect inflation to be slightly below four percent, which is consistent with the Bank’s projection that inflation will remain within the objective range of 3 - 6 percent in the medium term.

Though there is a strong expectation of cost escalation in the third quarter of 2019, attributable to the expected rise in wages and cost of materials and transport.  The firms’ expectations about domestic inflation have generally been on a downward trend since 2013 and within the Bank’s inflation objective range of 3 - 6 percent since 2014.  “Furthermore, uncertainty about future inflation has generally declined as shown by the narrowing standard deviation from the average expectations. Firms’ inflation expectations for 2019 average 3.6 percent, suggesting that inflation expectations are well anchored within the Bank’s objective range,” said the report.

Some of the factors anticipated to affect doing business include lack of external financing, as perceived by a number of firms, predominantly market-oriented ones, across various sectors. Another challenge is shortage of raw materials, commonly cited by the manufacturing sector, followed by construction and trade, hotels, restaurants and transport and communications. The local economy posted positive figures for gross domestic product (GDP), according data from Statistics Botswana (SB). SB reported that P48, 728.9 million worth of goods and services was produced in the first quarter compared to P48, 491.6 million during the previous quarter, translating to a 4.3 percent economy increase in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a rise of 4.5 percent recorded in the same quarter of 2018.

The report show that non-mining sectors trade, hotels and restaurants remained the major contributor to GDP by 19.1 percent, followed by mining and quarrying, general government and finance and business services at 16.6, 14.5 and 14.3 percent respectively.
Economist at Barclays Bank Botswana, Naledi Madala said though the first quarter GDP is lower than the 4.5 percent recorded in 2018, it is a welcome development given the current global and regional economic conditions.

“The on-going trade disputes between the US and China, geo-political tensions, risks of a no Brexit deal and other factors have led to a significant slowdown in global growth making institutions such as the IMF to revise down expectations for global expansion to 3.3 percent. Regionally, South Africa which is Botswana biggest trading partner continues to underperform,” Madala highlighted. She said South Africa’s first quarter national accounts data came in worse than expected, adding that it was its worst quarterly contraction since the height of the global financial crisis in 2009.

Madala cited that the services sector should continue to play an increasing role in the economy, a development she welcomes. “Over the past few years, there has been a difference in performance between the buoyant services sector and the slowing primary (mining, agriculture) and secondary (manufacturing) sectors,” said Madala.

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Umbrella for Democratic Change President Advocate Duma Boko has admitted that there have been some flaws in the coalition leadership. “Leadership is not perfect. We made mistakes. At times we lost sight of certain responsibilities - the need to communicate better, for instance.

“But we believe strongly and have spread our commitment to certain values and principles, like the rule of law and human rights and democracy and the notion of the inherent dignity and worth of every individual”, he told a UDC Conference in Gaborone this week.
He added that the leadership of the UDC has one shared objective, which is to create decent lives for all Batswana, as defined by the party manifesto. Boko said the UDC has come under attack and that sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change.

The UDC leader indicated that more often the attack is manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep the UDC divided and keep “us angry and keep us cynical because that helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege.” He said their opponents fear their strength because they know their time has come. “They know this election will be our victory. We will stay steadfast and united. “This is a time of much inequality, of fracturing of economic opportunity. And that growing economic divide compounded other divisions in our country: regional, tribal, religious.

“Appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, that’s an old playbook. It’s as old as time. This has made it harder to build consensus on issues. It made politicians less willing to compromise, which increased gridlock, which made people even more cynical about politics. However, we have bridged this divide. Which has instilled even more fear in our opponents,” he said. He told the conference that the coalition came together to answer the call of the people of Botswana in recognising that the country was in dire straits. The UDC, he said, was created in response to the will of the people. “While we were once different parties, we now share one objective – to unite for the good of the country and the growth of the country”, he stated.

“Today, together, we will take our campaign to win the October 2019 election to the next level. We are here because we understand the importance of this election, because our democracy depends upon it. “We can no longer sit around and wait for something to happen, to leave it to others to do something we have to lead this movement for ourselves.  “We need to get involved, knock on doors and talk to our constituencies, our families, our friends. To argue with them, to convince them that with change, something powerful can happen. It’s time for the second republic! It’s not just possible but it is imperative”, said the UDC leader.

He explained that the UDC has adapted to a new economy, a 21st century economy. He said the coalition has worked hard to develop a clear and concise plan and they are committed to rebuild the country’s economy to create a better life for all.“Decent lives and decent jobs are our promises”. Boko who is also Leader of Opposition in Parliament said his party is committed to protect health and safety and fair competition, empowering workers and ensuring a living wage; investing in a stronger, diverse economy encouraging 100 000 new jobs and a more supported local SMME industry, developing new and maintaining existing infrastructure; strengthening the system of primary, secondary and tertiary education which ensures young people have a sustainable future. “We will ensure that our people will not be forced to seek work elsewhere. We will create the ability to be a hub of services for the entire SADC region.”

Published in News
Thursday, 18 July 2019 15:10

Masisi promises to return Kgafela II

Umbrella for Democratic Change Councillor for Mosanta ward in Mochudi West, Tona Mooketsi has warned President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi against using the name of Kgosi Kgafela II of Bakgatla to ask for votes. Dr Masisi has for the second time told members of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) that he would not rest until Kgafela II who has fled to Moruleng, South Africa returns home.

He told a BDP National Congress in Mochudi over the weekend that Kgafela II has to return to the warmth of his mother’s home. Kgafela fled the country at the height of his clash with government following his cases of unlawful flogging and escaping from lawful custody. Kgafela II and 14 members of his Madibela Nkwe regiment were in May 2010 dragged before court for illegal flogging in Mochudi.

He was later slapped with another charge of escaping from lawful custody after he disappeared after a court session at Village Magistrate court following a ruling that he should be detained with others including the current acting Chief of Bakgatla Bana Sekai.
Most of the accused persons have settled the matter out of court with the complainants. In May this year President Masisi told a two-day BDP Parliamentary Candidates workshop that his government is working round the clock to ensure the return of Kgafela II.

He explained that as government they need traditional leaders in the running of the country. He told the democrats that for the past years government has been sidelining the traditional leaders something which he said fueled tribalism.
Masisi pointed out that it is time the traditional leaders are brought on board.

Mooketsi told the media this week that if the president is genuine and serious about bringing Kgafela II back to Botswana, he knows exactly what he has to do rather than use political platforms to talk about the matter. He said what the president is doing is just a political stunt. “The president knows that they would have to withdraw the charges against Kgafela II if they are serious about bringing him back home. “What we know is that the warrant of arrest is still in force. This issue is very sensitive and the president should desist from misleading Batswana about it.

“Kgafela II went to Moruleng to protect assets belonging to Bakgatla. Government has tortured our chief and Dr Masisi was part of that administration which went all the way out to frustrate Kgafela II. “It is unfortunate that the president in subjecting our Kgosi to political battle”, he said adding that the president knows the processes and procedures that have to be followed and must stop using political platforms to talk about Kgafela II. Mooketsi pointed out that the BDP wants to use Kgafela to win elections in Kgatleng. He however expressed hope that Kgafela II as a principled man would not buy into Dr Masisi’s public statements.

Masisi told the BDP National Congress that he would spare no efforts to ensure that Kgafela “is embraced in the warm bosom of his mother in Mochudi”. He said it is time Kgafela II returns to his house and country of birth.BDP Communications and International Relations Committee Chairman Kagelelo Kentse said what the president is trying to do has nothing to do with politics. He told this publication that what the UDC councillor said is ill-advised. “The president has been going around the country consulting Batswana, as he has said on the issue of Therisanyo.

“So, this issue emanates from that and it has nothing to do with politics. Bakgatla have expressed without doubt their wish to have their Kgosi back and the president is only lending them an ear. “He will do everything within the confines of the law to have him back”, said Kentse

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Independent Parliamentary candidate for Serowe North, Ramadeluka Seretse was among the influential voices that led to the postponement of the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) elective congress a fortnight ago in Kanye. BPF is currently engulfed in a bitter power struggle which political pundits attribute to disagreements over who should lead the party. 

Inside sources say so serious is the struggle that some members do not want MP for Tati West and interim president, Biggie Butale to lead the party. Others are suggesting that the party should pursue MP for Serowe West, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi to join them and take over the presidency. Seretse says he is not yet a BPF member but intends to join the party after elections. “I have gone a long way, we have already branded ourselves as ‘Abdul’ and the ‘MP Ndelu’ is a brand in Serowe North”. He fears it would cause confusion if he were to convince the electorate to switch from BDP logo to his slogan and then two months before elections introduce yet another thing.

“I chose to be independent because I have my own motions that I could table and get sympathy from other MPs instead of where they can be quashed at party caucus level”. Seretse denies wanting the BPF presidency because the circumstances are such that its Patron Dr Ian Khama is largely the driver behind the BPF. “If anyone of us related to him comes in, it will be perceived that Khama wants to return to power using relatives even though he left constitutionally. “So, I will not want to attract attention to my family, and be seen as somebody who is being used. It is not that I am not capable,” Seretse says, adding that he has the capability to lead any organisation even a political party.

But his view is that the BPF is seen largely as Khama’s party and to be seen in the leadership structures would just be to condemn it to most of the commentators and doubtful minds. “So the best is to stay away and help them where it is required once I am a member”. Seretse confirms that he stood up during the inaugural congress in Kanye and pointed out that BPF should not go for an elective congress because “it is going to split us.” “Most of us are still BDP at heart and in values; I know pretty well that we are going to split because of the powers struggles. I told them that I can smell factions; I can see them at play,” Seretse says. 

Though not part of the interim committee, he has always been bold to offer advise when the situation demands it.  “I told them that in this committee, there are people that actually went to register the party, and in my knowledge there must have been subscribers and the subscribers are the lawful committee to do anything under the constitution. If they have to form membership, they are the ones who should go out there to get members so that they could go to a congress.” Seretse says contrary to what has been said by the interim president Butale, it is not true that some people threatened to sue the party.

As for his personal preference for BPF president, Seretse lists these attributes: charisma, personality, ability to lead or be seen as a leader. “It must be someone that will be able to attract you first before other people. I am not saying the current one does not have that,” he said, adding that it is natural to desire leaders that are calm, collected and not angry, people that are focused on what it is they want to achieve.  “We cannot just think of removing Masisi but rather what is beyond him. We need leadership that has short, medium and long-term vision.” In his view Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi who could not contest elections at BDP, has a wealth of knowledge, experience and charisma. 

“Granted, age might not be on her side but she has a lot of expertise therefore we can use her to build and lead BPF in the formative stages to make it strong”.  Seretse hopes that when BPF meets in Palapye in two weeks’ time, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi will be a candidate for presidency. “I hope the committee, those men and women that matter, would have seen how impactful she would be. “There will be consensus that we should have only one list that we go with to avoid divisions. Whoever stands and wins is fine, but they must not cause factionalism, it is unfortunate that it is part and parcel of our politics, but you would hope that they would understand”. 

Seretse rubbished claims that Khama has issued an ultimatum to independent candidates to join his party.  Instead he says that Khama is sympathetic to independent candidates who took the first step without knowing where they are going to land.  “Only Nehemiah Modubule has won as an independent candidate in our history. Khama is saying, let us not antagonise them, we must work with them support them so that when they win they come to us. But, of course there is an element of trust, are they really going to come? As an independent my call is going to come from the people.”  Seretse believes that his chances are good as constituents have pledged support for Khama.

Published in News
Thursday, 18 July 2019 12:45

BDP national campaign manager speaks

Tebelelo Seretse, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) national campaign manager has hit the ground running campaigning for the ruling party to retain power in three months’ time. The seasoned politician, business woman-cum-attorney is bubbling with confidence that there are some low hanging fruits that she can use to sell her party.

Key among these is the declaration of assets Bill, which is touted as an instrument to fight corruption, Seretse believes this will appeal to every Motswana desirious of justice. “If people had huge tenders, assets they must pay tax and declare where they are getting the assets”, she said. She says she’d be naïve to disregard the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) or any other opposition party as she feels the burden of their weight. “I think we can work hard enough as BDP foot soldiers,” she said, adding they’ll tap into their youth cadre depository to appeal to the young voters.

She is happy that billboards for all BDP MPs are up, vehicles have been allocated, and t-shirts are coming, she said, promising also to encourage individuals to appeal to business people. One of her calls is to look at the BDP voters’ rolls which were used for Bulela- Ditswe and match them to the IEC to help the party during house to house campaigns to focus more on those who are registered.  In addition she said they are simplifying the manifesto and profiling the candidates so the campaign team can get to know who they are selling.

She said what makes this campaign easier is their chief campaigners - President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi and Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane - are easier people to sell. “Masisi has done quite a lot ever since he took power; he has embraced many organisations such as the media and unions. He has looked at things which people were worried about like EVMs, talking to the youth, and generally the country has a very positive vibe towards him”. For Seretse, the campaign involves physically visiting all the 57 and helping the strategy and communications team to ensure they are all in the same wavelength with the footsoldiers. She said they have also shifted from the complacency of yesteryear when certain areas were regarded as safe BDP constituencies.

Incumbency will also serve the party well, she said. As for opposition parties, they will treat all the same regardless of who heads which party. She is comforted by the fact that currently BPF has no face yet since they failed to elect a central committee during their recent congress in Kanye. She says this failure is indicative of an internal power struggle because as a new party they could simply announce their interim committee or their head. “Otherwise they have a hidden leader who does not want to be known to the nation”.

She is also intrigued that while all other parties have circulated their manifestos BPF has nothing to show with only four months before the national poll.As for BPF’s slogan ‘eseng mo go Kgosikgolo’, Seretse wonders which Kgosikgolo; of which tribe is being referred to.  She argues that it’d be tantamount to bringing tribalism if the Kgosikgolo referred to in this slogan is of a particular tribe. This is because Bakgatla, Barolong, Batawana, Bakwena have their own Kgosikgolo, she said. “I personally have not heard us referring to Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane as motshwarela kgosikgolo.  I have heard us calling him motshwarelela Bogosi jwa Kwa ga Bangwato, so maybe we have been wrong in our thinking”. 

But if this be so, Seretse is adamant you cannot have your cake and eat it. “You are either in chieftainship where there are certain laws and code of conduct such as being political because you are a chief for everybody or a politician”.  Seretse worries that politician speeches are not usually refined and that so far Khama has presented the picture of a politician.

She says he talks about himself; his benefits; how he is being ill-treated and not about any policy that will disadvantage Batswana. “I have not heard him cry about this is what the country is lacking,” she said citing the elephant numbers which is affecting many Batswana.Seretse says they need to unveil this issue to decide whether Khama is a politician, or a chief, although it seems from where he is standing now, he is not a chief because somebody is acting for him.  As for BDP’s position on EVM, Seretse says it was stopped because it was introduced without any consultation.“If you read former Secretary General Botsalo Nuane’s interviews, you will see a struggle on what the BDP position was regarding the EVMs,” she said.

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Cabinet is expected to receive and approve the final document of the National Employment Policy in Septembler. The NEP is meant to address the high rate of unemployment in the country. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo told parliament that his ministry is currently finalising the draft which they produced in conjunction with international consultants.

He said government is making final touches to the document after which it will be submitted to Cabinet for approval. “I am hoping by September this year”.  Member of Parliament for Nkange Edwin Batshu had asked Matambo to appraise parliament on the progress made regarding the drafting of a National Employment Policy for Botswana as announced in the last State of the Nation Address by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Matambo said it was true his ministry is developing an overarching National Employment Policy for Botswana in order to address the high rate of unemployment in the country.  The policy is expected to assist the country achieve productive, gainful and decent employment for all, as well as contribute to the reduction in income inequality and support government’s poverty eradication efforts.

Matambo said they are working on the NEP with the assistance of the World Bank.  “I am happy to say a draft policy has since been produced and consultations have been taking place with stakeholders through workshops, which were held at first on the 21st of March this year and the next on the 25th of June this year”.

Batshu then asked why the policy was not availed on the targeted date of March as per President Masisi’s promise in his SONA, and if as the ministry they have told the nation of their anticipated delay so that the nation does not remain hopeful. Matambo said he was not fully aware of the date of March.

“Had it been in the answer, I would have tried to find out information, as to precisely why we did not meet the target of March so that then I will be able to answer you fully”. The minister assured parliament that he had been discussing NEP with his staff to see whether it was not possible to deliver it before September.   “However as you would be aware from past experience, the consultations are very important. We do not want to bring something here which is half-cooked and then you all tear it to pieces”, he said.

Published in News
Thursday, 18 July 2019 12:02

Rollers, Chiefs share expenses

Contrary to public expectation, it seems Township Rollers does not need to dig deep into their coffers to host a South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) giant that is Kaizer Chiefs.

Rollers will play a friendly match against the SA based team at the newly built Jamali stadium in Tlokweng on Saturday afternoon.  Information reaching BG Sport suggests that it took strategic negotiations led by Rollers president Jagdish Shah to strike a deal with Amakhosi. Speculation has always been rife that Rollers might be coughing up significant amounts of money as a result of playing Chiefs regularly.

“Not a single thebe will be paid by Rollers for hosting Kaizer Chiefs in Botswana, all expenses will be paid for by the visiting team,” a source that preferred anonymity said.  However, Rollers Spokesperson Bafana Pheto, when reached said there was a ‘bill’ that comes with hosting Chiefs but refrained from sharing the figures and only hinted that it was not as steep, as one would imagine.

“We have a solid relationship with the team, so costs will be minimal because the two teams reached some agreements which will benefit both,” Pheto said. He would, however not go into detail what the agreement was. With that, it has now become regular since a few years ago, that Rollers and Chiefs meet up during pre -season preparations.

The Glamour boys as Chiefs is affectionately known is one of the most supported and successful teams in the PSL with more than 50 trophies to their name. The Amakhosi support base stretches across sub Saharan Africa with a following of more than 10 million. Botswana is no exception as there is a relatively large group that is very much faithful to the SA giant team. Playing in Botswana would surely come in handy, as Chiefs can be certain of a huge turn out coupled with Rollers’s equally colossal fan base. This publication understands that currently, not all is well at Amakhosi, having shockingly finished ninth last season, the worst performance in more than a decade.

TS Galaxy also added to their worries, stunning the Soweto team to win the Nedbank Cup Final, a loss to TS Galaxy left the Amakhosi family panicking wondering if the results were signs of dark days ahead.  While in Botswana, Chiefs will be looking to reassure its wide net of supporters that the giant is not dying as they will be unveiling season 2019/20 new signings. Perhaps a few supporters from SA will also travel to Botswana to witness the season icebreaker. A fresh and balanced squad is the only thing that supporters feel is the missing link to return to their glory days.

Rollers will also on the day officially announce the full squad for the next season. Rollers returned from South Africa this past Thursday after playing friendly games against Super Sport United, Orbit College and National First Division (NFD) side of Royal Eagles. They also played Tanzanian Champions Simba on Thursday morning.

On Friday afternoon, the Glamour boys are expected to arrive in Botswana ahead of their Saturday clash.Tickets to the game are going at P100 grandstand and P75 elsewhere with the stadium said to be accommodating only 8 000 spectators. Notwane and Extension Gunners are expected to kick start the Saturday programme in the morning.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 18 July 2019 11:59

Local Karatekas wane at UFAK

Botswana Karate Association President, Tshepo Bathai admits that Karatekas from Arab countries were once again a pain in the neck for local athletes during the just ended UFAK championships staged in Gaborone, Botswana.

After the competition, Botswana was ranked 8th with no gold medal, two silver and 11 bronze medals. Egypt came 1st garnering 11 gold, six silver and six bronze medals. Bathai explained that despite the rankings, local athletes did well and it is clear that there has been significant improvement on team performance since 2017. “We maintained our two silver medals and upped the tally in the bronze side, I would say the team is doing well,” he said.

On the other hand, Botswana’s Kata King Ofentse Bakwadi, who scooped a silver last year in Rwanda could only hang unto the bronze medal coming into 2019.  He did not hold back when speaking to this publication but pointed that less was done to prepare the local team for the event.  He explained that competitors from Morocco and Algeria are constantly in training camps and it helps the athletes greatly when competing.

He argued that they have to attend at least one training camp and two high level championships to prepare well for the competition. Having won gold in 2017, Bakwadi believes that there is nothing stopping him to repeat history but only if BOKA supports them. The sensational Bakwadi recalled that he only managed to win gold in 2017 after he single handedly funded his own training camp in Hong Kong that lasted for two and a half weeks.

“This proves that with more exposure we can be a dangerous team, I want to qualify for the Olympics next year and if I do not get support, the dream will be destroyed. I have high hopes though because the Minister of Sports, Tshekedi Khama has assured us of support,” he said. Bathai agreed with Bakwadi that preparations for the event might have affected performance. Funds were only availed in mid -June and nothing much could be done as the competition days were fast approaching. “We did the best we could under the circumstances, the team went to Bloemfontein, South Africa for a week and though it was not enough, we are impressed with the overall result,” Bathai said.

Another star athlete in Thato Malunga who also formed part of the senior female team Kumite told BG Sport that the 2019 edition was the saddest of her career. “I did not get a medal and it is my first time not placing any medal at an African karate championship, however, I believe that I can bounce back next time,” Malunga said briefly this week. Botswana ‘s only two silver medals came from Kumite in the junior team of Oratile Monametsi under 53kg and Dimpho Andy under 68kg.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 18 July 2019 11:55

Coaches on the move

The current transfer window has not been a hive of activities as expected.  By any means it has not been the so-called silly season as there have not been big player moves save for the trio that crossed over to TS Galaxy in South Africa.

What is even more surprising is that the transfer of coaches has been more interesting than that of the players. The coaching landscape in Botswana has gotten even more familiar as old BTC Premiership faces are being recycled and tossed around. Nevertheless, it makes for an interesting 2019/2020 season as it quickly approaches in a month or so. By the look of things, it might be interesting to see the teams clamouring for survival as the Botswana Premier League coffers continue to dry after loyal sponsor, BTC threatened to abandon ship.

Only the most resilient and loyal coaches are expected to stay with their teams through thick and thin. Perhaps, the biggest catch of the season might be the usual suspect and silverware grabbing specialist Madinda Ndlovu who has recently signed with Gaborone United. Given the return of their ‘sugar daddy,’ Nicholas Zakhem and the acquisition of Ndlovu, the Money Machines are set to become top 8 contenders. With the right players, Madinda who has left struggling Bulawayo Giants Highlanders in Zimbabwe will be a force to reckon with. A passionate coach who specialises in attacking football, Madinda is set to bring the good old days along with flair back to the Reds.

Ndlovu, a veteran who has won the BTC Premiership and Mascom Top 8, will be expected to return to his winning ways at Moyagoleele. Reigning champions and GU Gaborone rival Township Rollers have signed former Orapa United Tomas Trucha of the Czech Republic in what is believed to be a one-year contract. Trucha’s task will be simple as he will be expected to retain the league title as well as win the Mascom Top 8 and Orange FA Cup. Besides the domestic league, Trucha will stay busy as Rollers are set to campaign in the CAF Champions league. In a surprising turn of events Sharps Shooting stars have acquired the services of former Extension Gunners headcoach, Enos Mmesi.

With Sharps, Mmesi has a big challenge and no excuses. Unlike Gunners and a strange spell at the relegated Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Mmesi will have the pre-season to prepare his charges for it will be long and bumpy ride in the next season.  Furthermore, speculation has been rife this week that veteran league coach, Stanley Mwaanga has joined Extension Gunners for an undisclosed amount of time. In another surprise move, Notwane has plunged into the unknown and appointed Serbian coach Dragojlo Stanojlovic as headcoach. After a long spell in the BTC Premiership, the Serbian has never claimed silverware for any of the teams he has led.

Earlier this month 2018/19 title runners up Jwaneng Galaxy confirmed that their talented Portuguese headcoach Miguel Da Costa has decided to return to the team for some unfinished business.  This means Galaxy will likely become a threat to any of their rivals. Another Debswana Mining Company sponsored team Orapa United, are yet to confirm their headcoach Mogomotsi Mpote who has the dual role in coaching the national team. Another coach staying put at his team is the methodical Mike Dubula Sithole at Police XI. Meanwhile, Luis Setshwane who coaches BDF XI seems set to reprise his role as headcoach at Matebele.  Flying under the radar is the colourful Daniel ‘Chico’ Nare who seems to have pleased his employers at Security Systems this past season.

Published in Sports
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