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Covid-19 delays Maun educational park (MEP) hand over

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KGOTLA MEETING TO FORM A TRUST PUT ON HOLD

After waiting for what seems like an eternitity for government to hand back Maun Educational Park (MEP), Batawana community will have to wait some more following the cancellation of a Kgotla meeting to form a Trust that will see through the final transfer of ownership of this prime piece of land due to corona virus.

This week government released a statement banning gatherings of more than 100 people in one place as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a disease that has since been declared a world pandemic by World Health organisation (WHO) following the outbreak of corona virus in Wuhan, China.

“This means we cannot call a kgotla meeting for now. We have plans to call the meeting, but we cannot set a date because we have to wait until the status quo changes,” explained Batawana paramount chief, kgosi Tawana Moremi in a brief interview this week.

Last week the government announced that it has handed back ownership of MEP to Batawana community.

In a savinggram to Tawana Landboard, the ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism (MENCT) ordered Tawana landboard to facilitate the transfer and advised that, “The community is therefore advised to form a community Trust or submit the name of the established Trust in order to facilitate the transfer of the park.”

Matsaakgang regiment spokesperson Douglas Mokenane, said that a Trust couldn’t be appointed until the community has given a mandate, “This is an issue of morafe and therefore they are the ones to give direction and guidance on how it is to be handled,” said Mokenane.

Currently there isn’t much activity going on in this park, which sits on the banks of Thamalakane River, but before handing it over, the government had plans to make it more attractive to tourists.

This included building of holiday resorts and world-class restaurants in this park.

Former MENCT’s minister, Tshekedi Khama, who is also brother to Botswana’s former president, Ian Khama Seretse Khama, pushed the idea.

At the time government argued strongly that MEP did not belong to Batawana community. However, Khama’s successor, President Mokgweetsi Masisi distanced himself from the previous administration stance last year and announced publicly that he was going to hand over MEP back to Batawana as a gift to their paramount chief, Moremi, who had just retired from active politics.

Initially MEP was run by Batawana through Fauna Conservation Society of Ngamiland and was taken over by Department of Wildlife and National Parks in 1979 when government took over most of national parks around the country.

However Batawana had always maintained that MEP and Moremi Game Reserve were given to government on temporary basis for technical help in running of the two places.

“ Moremi Game Reserve was established, and then it was agreed in a kgotla meeting that instead of taking students or children deep into the Okavango Delta to see animals, it will be wise to bring the animals closer to the people; for educational purposes although there are no longer big animals in the park. That is how MEP was created,” Mokenane explained

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Block 8 nurse challenges Covid-19 test results

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A nurse who allegedly tested positive of Covid-19 during the emergency parliament session has given the Ministry of Health and Wellness up to next week Tuesday to respond to his legal demands as he believes that the test results were fake.

The victim, Morobi Dinao, a nurse at Block 8 Gaborone has made demands that the ministry give him signed results by the person who carried out the laboratory tests.

Dinao was diagnosed at a special parliament sitting in April, his supposed positive results leading to all MPs and those who attended the session to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

According to legal documents from Ndadi law firm, the 37-year-old nurse was admitted at Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital on the 9th of April after he was told he tested positive.

On the 13th he demanded to see his results but was sent from pillar to post and the hospital could not give him the results.

He kept on demanding his results and on the 19th of April he was shown the results through his glass door from outside by one Dr Feledi.

Dinao allegedly asked for a copy of the results but the Doctor said he would revert to him after consulting with his superiors.

He was given his results when he was discharged on the 24th of April.

There was no explanation of the results and the document was also not signed hence the suspicion that they were not authentic.

Some of the things that made him suspicious, he says, are that the specimen submission form that carries his results is markedly from the one he completed on the day of tests.

He says the form does not have the laboratory personnel signature portion yet the one he duly completed had it.

The demands are that MOH should give an account of the delay of initial results.

Dinao’s lawyer, Uyapo Ndadi, told The Voice Online that they are awaiting response to their client’s demands before they can take the next step.

“I do not understand how a doctor can seek for his superior’s permission to give a patient his own results. How do you get admitted without seeing your results and told we are following the instructions to admit you? A lot is questionable in the whole scenario,” said Ndadi.

Ndadi further said he’ll await his client’s instruction before considering any court action.

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No water supply in Maun this weekend

*Main water pipe raptured at Nxaraga

*70% water supply shut down for maintenance work

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Most parts of Maun and surrounding areas are expected to experience a dry spell this weekend as the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) cuts water supply for the next two days.

The department’s head of business, Thabo Ndadi, explained that seventy percent supply of water in and around Maun will be shut down to allow for maintenance of main water pipe to the area.

“This week we discovered that our main water pipe that brings in water from Kunyere boreholes has raptured and thus unable to adequately supply water,” explained Ndadi.

Ndadi further confirmed that they started noticing the leak last month but avoided tempering with it as it was during the lockdown and when the country had just reported first cases of the killer Covid-19 disease.

“Our hope and prayer was that the leak would not become so bad before the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, but the water pressure has gone down and therefore we have to fix the problem and we cannot do it without temporarily cutting the flow,” added Ndadi.

Seventy percent of water supply in Maun is from boreholes along Kunyere river in Nxaraga area, while the other two boreholes in Shashe and Sexaxa make up the remaining thirty percent.

“This effectively means Maun will be running with a seventy percent water shortage and we are pleading with members of the community to use water with extra care,” Ndadi added.

In fact some areas will go dry for over 24 hours and WUC has advised people to store water for weekend use today because from tomorrow, taps will be completely dry. “Many other homes will get water way beyond the 24 hours, because after maintenance the water has to make a long journey to reach the taps, for some it will take 48 hours or so. In fact the whole recovery process takes seven days so, it may be practically impossible to complete the recovery within 24 hours.”

Meanwhile Thamalakane river has started to fill up, but the WUC water treatment plant in Borolong is yet to start pumping water from the river as they have to wait for at least a month for the water “to be of better quality to be processed for consumption. Right now the water volume is still low for such an exercise but the plant is ready to start operations. Already we have begun testing the water for quality and it not yet where we want it to be,” Ndadi said.

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