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Sexaxa’s sigh of relief



Two-teacher school opens in settlement

Seven-year-old Innocent Monnawatsheko sighs with relief as he recalls the daily journey he and his schoolmates from Sexaxa settlement had to endure to get to school in 2019.

Now that Africa Foundation, a non-profit organisation from South Africa, has built them a school in their area, the little boy and his friends no longer have to walk the 10km round trip to Maun-based Matlapana Primary School.

That part of his life is over, at least for now.

“I am happy now that I can study without dozing off in class while the teacher is talking. The walking made me tired!” exclaims Monnawatsheko, shaking his head vigorously at the memory.

The youngster, who wants to be a police officer when he grows up, speaks with admirable maturity as he reflects on the hardships of last year.

“I did not enjoy waking up too early and walking in the sun. But I wanted to get educated so that I can help my parents build a nice house when I find a job after finishing school. So I had no choice but to go to school.”

Now doing Standard 2 at the newly opened satellite school, Monnawatsheko is enjoying lessons.

“I used to get very hungry on the way to and from school. But here it’s okay, it is closer to home.”

The two-classroom block was opened last week in Sexaxa for Standard 1 and 2 pupils, thanks to Africa Foundation’s donation of almost US$90,000 (P900, 000).

Founded in 1992, the foundation is an independent, tax-exempt organisation whose purpose is to uplift, up-skill and empower identified rural communities near core conservation areas

North West District Council chairman, Kebadiretse Ntsogotho, is hopeful the donor will construct more classrooms to absorb older students and make it a fully-fledged primary school in the near future.

“It is a good gesture and as the council we are grateful for the generous donation. It means a lot for the educational development of Sexaxa children as the long walk was strenuous on the pupils, especially the younger ones,” noted Ntsogotho.

For many years children from Sexaxa travelled to Maun for school. Ntsogotho is adamant this is the cause of the high rate of failure in the area.

A 34-year-old resident of the small settlement, Ikanyeng Abueng vividly remembers how her education suffered because of the long walk to school.


“I did all my primary, junior and senior secondary schooling in Maun. I walked from Sexaxa every day and only rested during school holidays. I did not enjoy it at all because most of the time I left home without breakfast.”

Abueng has welcomed the new school with open arms, especially as it has provided her with work as a cleaner.

“I was lucky to get a job here. After a long time I have a salary and count myself among the employed,” she declared proudly.

Abueng’s 12-year-old daughter is doing Standard 7 and stays in Chanoga with her father. Mother and daughter have had to be separated to save the young girl the gruelling walk to Matlapana Primary School.

“She started school in Chanoga because I did not want her to endure the same ordeal as me. I wanted her to enjoy school,” explained Abueng.

Yet another parent, Lesego Kebonyewetsho expresses delight at the opening of the school.

“The distance was hard for these children. Even a heart of a strongman went out to these children, especially in winter and rainy days.”

RELIEVED DAD: Kebonyewetsho

The area councillor, Kobamelo Baikgodisi believes the new school will help reduce the teacher/student ratio at Matlapana Primary, whose intake stands at 1, 000 pupils instead of the recommended 600.

“The classes are full and this means the teaching is compromised as well. With the construction of more classrooms, the current 1:43 teacher-to-student ratio is expected to drop,” Baikgodisi predicted hopefully.

GRATEFUL: Councillor Baikgodisi

However, with the Sexaxa school currently only going up to Standard 2, Monnawatsheko and his friends could be on the road again next year.

For now though, that is the last thing on their young minds.


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SADC Executive Secretary disturbed by obstacles in movement of goods



The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr Stegomena Lawrence Tax, has cautioned member states that any lack of cooperation among then during the COVID19 era has potential to reverse the gains made in the last decades.

Addressing a virtual SADC Council of Ministers meeting this week, Lawrence Tax said that the regional ministers approved Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of Movement of Essential Goods and Services across borders early April. 

She said that whilst the guidelines have played a critical role in facilitation of movement of essential goods, there are notable obstacles that have been noted by the Secretariat.

The obstacles include non-compliance/non recognition of regional legal frameworks; uncoordinated operations at the port of entry among border agencies; lack of harmonization and synchronization of policies and procedures among, and between member states; unilateral decisions outside agreed framework; as well as different approaches to deal with epidemiological challenges,” she said. 

She added that; “all these are resulting in increased cost of doing business, and negatively affecting the implementation of national and regional programmes”.

She advised that there is need to have measures, and coordinated approach in place since the region is in a post lockdown period since the transportation of non-essential goods and services will be resuming.

Lawrence Tax added that COVID19 is a global pandemic and that the SADC regional approach should expand to COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite and eventually to other continental blocs.

“The Secretariat is already working with COMESA and EAC, specifically, in terms of harmonizing and synchronizing regulations and procedures for movement of goods and services under the Tripartite arrangement. We need to move in unison and avoid unilateral decisions, specifically with regards to cross border movement of goods and services,” she said.

According to the Executive Secretary, the regional office has already conducted a socio-economic impact analysis of COVID19 on the region and the results have shown that the pandemic will impact negatively across many socio and economic sectors.

“The decline in the global economy is projected to lead to a decline in commodity prices, increase in debt and significant contraction of the SADC economies in 2020. This will reverse the gains on industrial development and trade that the region has made in the last couple of years,” Lawrence Tax said.

On the flip side,  the region’s International Cooperating Partners have made pledges to mitigate the impact of COVID19 pandemic on its economy. 

“To date, the Secretariat has secured Euro 7.3 million from the German Government; Euro3.6million from European Union, Euro 190,000.00 under the GIZ/Africa Union Commission, whereas the African Development Bank (AfDB)  has considered a support UA 7 million. Engagements with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) are also at an advanced stage,” the Executive Secretary said.

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Guma Moyo returns



*Controversial politician headed for BPF *BURS owes me P6 million and I am waiting for reimbursement- Moyo

Self-exiled former legislator, Guma Moyo, is reportedly headed back home from South Africa to rejoin local politics after applying for Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) membership.

The flamboyant businessman and former Member of Parliament for Tati-East has been missing in action after he left the country under a dark cloud of controversy claiming that he was fearing for his life.

It also turned out during his sojourn in South Africa that Moyo had also been under the taxman’s radar, with allegations of tax evasion further fueling the confusion over his decision to flee.

The outspoken politician fell off with his party, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in a factional war that saw him lead a campaign that endorsed Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi against President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the party presidency.

Although he was expected to support Venson Moitoi, Moyo did not attend the Kang Congress leading to his dismissal from the party.

In an interview with The Voice this week, Moyo confirmed having applied for the BPF membership.

“I have applied for BPF membership. They are my friends and I think that’s where I am welcome.”

He dismissed allegations that he was joining BPF to challenge Biggie Butale for the party presidency.

“They have a leader and I am not joining to lead but to be part of the collective of the party. I believe in them.”

When asked how he was going to work with the party patron, former President Ian Khama, who he didn’t have a good working relationship during his tenure as President, Moyo said, “My relationship with Khama is unquestionable, politics or no politics we are inseparable…Yes we had differences at some point but he apologised for having been misled by some government officials to take decisions that he took and I accepted the apology. That chapter is closed. ” he added.

In May 2015, Moyo says he had the shock of his life when he learnt from one of the banks that they had been instructed to freeze his accounts on graft allegations.

Investigators in the matter questioned the over P25 million which was paid into Moyo’s business account and they suspected that the invoices that Moyo produced had been fabricated.

Before that, the then President Khama hasd launched a scathing attack on Moyo, saying he did not have the interests of the electorates at heart after he was dropped from cabinet.

He said Moyo was only looking for power and self enrichment.

Moyo mentioned that despite having been fired by the BDP, he was grateful to the party for making him what he is today. “I have accepted the move and will not go back.”

BPF Secretary General, Roseline Panzirah Matshome confirmed having received Moyo’s application.

Meanwhile, Moyo has made shocking remarks that Botswana Unified Revenue Service owes him P6 million after he was initially alleged to be owing the tax collector.

The politician who is on self imposed exile in South Africa, says he is waiting for BURS to reimburse him.

“My accounts were frozen and after an audit was done it transpired that it was actually them that owed me, they must refund me,” he said and added: “Let’s not discuss it further because it is politics and it will catch up with them.”

However the BURS General Manager of Communications, Mable Bolele declined to comment on the allegations.

“We are unable to assist you since we do not discuss individual taxpayer issues with the third party as guided by Income Tax Act, Secrecy- under Section 5 Sub-section 1.”

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