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Chevening scholars celebrate IWD2020

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Chevening scholars celebrate IWD2020

#EachforEqual

Six months ago, these women were complete strangers brought together and bonded by their statuses as recipients of the prestigious Chevening scholarship award administered by the British High Commission in their respective countries and being scholars at Cardiff University.

In high spirits and animated conversation, the ladies took time out from the demanding school assignments to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD2020) under the theme #EachforEqual.

The day was an opportunity to take stock of their individual journeys and appreciate the role each plays in not just advancing their own interests but being a pillar to the next person to aid them in realizing their own goals.

The Ivy restaurant with its impressive botanical garden themed décor provided the perfect setting to indulge in the English old tradition of high tea.

Tucking into an array of savory and sweet treats including warm fruit scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, potted chocolate and caramel, cucumber sandwiches and tea selections the ladies were divided into the topic of support.

Agreeing that it takes giving and receiving support to accomplish one’s set goals; Patience Nyange – An International Public Relations and Global Communications Management scholar and celebrated media personnel from Kenya, reminded the group of the importance of extending oneself to others.

Tshepo Maphanyane with Dr P Wanjira
SELFIE PIC: Tshepo Maphanyane (Botswana) with Dr P Wanjira (Kenya)

“Support means recognizing that others can benefit from your time and skills hence my passion for mentorship. There is power in holding others by the hand and imparting whatever knowledge one has”.

Nyange is proud of a mentorship program she set up a few years ago that has had a solid record of producing and aiding highly driven young women to navigate both the social and professional areas of their lives. “One must always be cognizant of where they are in their life journey and who they are grooming into that position.

As we grow, we cannot expect to remain the same so it is vital to build one’s legacy and ensure the elevation of others into the positions we are graduating from.
They too will guide those coming after them. This is a cycle of support I subscribe to as I too have had amazing women guiding me,” she said.

The bestowed Cardiff Chevening resident medical doctor; Pamela Wanjira who is studying for an MSc Clinical Dermatology also reiterates the same sentiments as her housemate and country fellow and says, “One’s overall wellbeing is key as it affects every aspect of one’s life. Although no one is perfect, one must strive to be the best version of themselves”.

Wangari reinforces the need to take care of one’s mental health as well as one’s physical being.

SUPPORTING EACH OTHER: Chevening scholars enjoying some time off from the books

“These go a long way in ensuring one is able to be productive. Being supportive entails ensuring that as a caregiver, friend, sister, parent and in this case a fellow scholar, we strive to be mindful of others’ needs. Not just the physical but also the emotional. A school like all other responsibilities one may have, can be demanding and being away from home can compound the stress and cause added pressure to one’s overall wellbeing hence offering an ear or shoulder to lean on can be the best way to support and receive support from others,” notes Wanjira

Citing the perfect example, Computing, and IT Management scholar; Nino Gorgiashvilli from Georgia says although work and indeed learning environments can be particularly competitive, appreciating each other’s strengths and weaknesses can provide room to be more compassionate and supportive.

Another scholar, Anna Celac jumps in to add, “Not forgetting that when you look good and feel good, it is easier to ooze confidence. Confidence stimulates self-assurance and when one is self-assured, they are more likely to extend themselves to others”.

She beams widely. Celac has embraced her role in the group as a personal shopper and stylist due to her love for shopping and acquiring beautiful things.

Also an International Public Relations and Global Communications Management scholar, she is fiercely passionate about changing the narrative of the girl child.

“It is not just girls whose interests I take to heart, but I do feel an enormous responsibility to extend myself especially to young women. The world can be daunting and unforgiving to less assured individuals”.

Celac says as a young woman growing up in Moldova, it seemed opportunities were far in between and meant for other people and so there were not many role models to look up.

Hence as an assertive individual with a keen interest in people, Celac was humbled to discover that in what came naturally to her; engaging with others and offering encouragement many would go on to consider her an inspiration.

“This fueled me to work even harder at the plans I have for myself. Knowing that as I pursue them others will be encouraged to also go after that which they wish for. Now that is support. Doing it while looking one’s best is certainly the cherry on top”.

Like the rest of the group, I marveled at how a group of diverse individuals from different parts of the world and backgrounds can wish the same for the world we live in; where everybody does their part in elevating others through pure support of the human race no matter where one is from.

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DPP moves closer to recovering P60 million

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The Directorate of Public Prosecutions moved another step closer to recovering the government’s P60 million from Basis Points Capital LTD when it closed its final submissions on Tuesday.

The DPP has made an application for Civil Forfeiture Order against property belonging to persons implicated in criminal proceedings in the P250 million National Petroleum Fund scam that is before the courts.

Making his final submissions, Ernest Mosate responded to arguments raised by the lawyers for the defendants saying that they were wrong to think that the DPP has no right to raise the issue of a fraudulent contract between DIS and Basis Points Capital LTD in their Replying Affidavit.

He said they had no intention to make the issue part of their application for the order, but the respondents raised it in their answering affidavits.

“Our Replying Affidavit brought evidence to demonstrate that the contract does not exist, it is a fraudulent document and that is why it cannot be the basis for the eating of 60 million Pula and for the manner in which it was eaten,” Mosate argued.

Basis Points Capital is linked to Bakang Seretse who is implicated in the 250 million NPF case that is still pending before the courts of law.

Mosate said that the fraudulent contract came into being between March and July 2016 and a total of P60 million was transferred to Basis Points Capital bank accounts at Stanbic Bank and Bank Gaborone between July and December of the same year.

He added that fraudulent signatures, fraudulent correspondence, and ghost employees of DIS were used in the scam hence the urgent need to recover the funds.

This, he said, was confirmed by DIS and ministry officials who have disowned the signatures that appear in agreement documents.

Earlier, the defendants called for government officials to take to the witness stand and be subjected to cross examination in respect to the contents of their affidavits.

Mosate said that the rules of the High Court Act and Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act (PICA) prescribe how forfeiture proceedings should be conducted – “they should be conducted speedily and expeditiously”.

He said there was no need for a full trial but the judge had the discretion to call some witnesses to clarify their averments.

The DPP further said that the company did not procure oil as purported in the fraudulent contract but instead, the funds were used in acquisition of luxurious vehicles and acquisition of plots which are to be forfeited.

Some of the vehicles under the DPP’s radar are a couple of Ford Maceratti, Mercedes Benz luxury vehicles and developed plots.

Meanwhile, Justice OmphemetseMotumise has postponed the matter to end of July when he will pass judgment.

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Court dismisses application for case withdrawal

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Industrial Court Judge President, Tebogo Maruping, has turned down an application for a withdrawal in a marathon case between former Wildlife Ranger, Thatayaone Lexicon Mpatane and his former employer Department of Wildlife & National Parks.

In a brief letter dated 10th March, the Registrar of the Industrial Court, Anna Mphethe writes that: “I’m directed by by the Honourable Judge President who’s seized with this matter to inform you that this has been concluded and is currently awaiting judgement and therefore your application for withdrawal will not be entertained.”

A bemused Mpatane told The Voice that he was shocked that the Judge President has rejected his intention to withdraw the matter. “In our correspondences last year, whenever I inquired about the case, I was always given the impression that the Judge President had a backlog of cases from as far back as 2017 and mine was number 50 out of about 51 cases,” he said.

Mpatane referred The Voice to a correspondence from the Court written on 20th December 2019 in response to his inquiry written on 11th November 2019.

In the letter written by Bakang Tshipinare on behalf of the Registrar, the Judge President states that the principle of first in, last out is applied when cases are adjudicated before court. “Your matter will hence be dealt with, once the preceding cases are concluded. We’ll hence keep yourself updated on the estimated time frames during the year 2020,” reads part of the letter.

In court documents seen by this publication, Mpatane wrote his case withdrawal letter on 3rd February and requested a prompt meeting with the bench clerk to inspect the file.

However according to Mpatane while the court provided him with the documents the one he needed the most was conspicuously missing. “The court order confirming that I withdrew the matter was not among the documents and when I inquired further I was told the Judge President had refused to write the order asserting that he had already heard the case and would write judgement,” he said.

The former ranger told The Voice last week that he needed the material to register the matter with the High Court to seek for additional reliefs which the Industrial Court cannot grant.

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