This picture is the unacceptable face of poaching.
These elephants were among five killed in the NG32 concession area last week – and had their trunks and tusks cut off with what is thought to be a power saw.
The three pictured here were ambushed as they walked slowly through the bush near a supply track, leading to remote luxury lodges from the Boro gate in the buffalo fence close to Maun. About 9km into the bush the armed poachers lay in wait and shot dead the three elephants for their ivory.
Hunting safari personnel say the killings were brutally carried out with at least one power saw being used to cut off trunks, rip out the tusks, and mutilate the heads. The poachers, it is believed, had the use of a truck onto which they loaded the ivory and then carried on with their killing spree – and killed the 4 th elephant .
Later, in the Kopano Mokoro Community Trust area, the carcass of a 5 th elephant was also discovered. It is not known if the killers of the first four were also responsible for the 5 th .
This week, a massive operation was launched to flush out would-be poachers in the Okavango delta with helicopters and fixed wing aircraft assisting security personnel on the ground as they tracked the poachers.
The Wildlife coordinator for Maun, Bolt Otlhomile, confirmed the arrest of 6 poachers in NG32 near Xhuruxharaga, close to Maun. The six suspects, all local people, were taken into custody for possession of two elephant tusks. They are likely to face charges of unlawful hunting which carries a P100 000 fine or 5 years imprisonment.
There is no indication as yet whether the six were responsible for the poaching of the 5 th elephant.
Otlhomile urged all Batswana “to work hand-in-hand with wildlife scouts, police, tribal chiefs, members of the community and conservation bodies to combat poaching and problem animals which kill people in the region time and again.
“The Wildlife department is currently training special scouts to help the community because of the escalating poaching rate and problem animals in Ngamiland .”
The special scouts are to operate in remote areas.
The discovery of the dead elephants has horrified safari operators and the hunting fraternity and they say poaching can be prevented if hunting is allowed to continue after the year-end deadline announced by the government earlier this year.
“Hunters are the policemen of the bush. Poachers wouldn't dare try to kill animals if there are hunting parties nearby as they know they will be pursued and caught,” said one hunter.
Meanwhile, the Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS) says it is seriously concerned about escalating incidents of poaching.
Sophia Walters, the society's public relations consultant, said in an interview published in Gaborone recently that the “KCS views poaching as a serious threat to Botswana's wildlife. “
Resources are curse of Ngamiland
By Keto Segwai
The curse of having wildlife and fauna resources in abundance, coupled with a government that is obsessed with tourism over everything else in Ngamiland, will ensure the region is trapped in perpetual misery and poverty.
The failure to contain the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has left many families in debt and unable to even to pay for basics such as school fees. This was the unambiguous message of residents at public hearings of the Parlimentary Special Select Committee on the Botswana Meat Commission and the decline of the beef industry. Speakers at the Tuesday kgotla meeting in Maun were unanimous that the plethora of problems associated with the non-containment of FMD is due to a lack of political will on the part of government.
They cited the non-maintenance of the Buffalo Fence, the ineffective FMD vaccination campaigns and the dismal failure to find alternative export market for beef and live cattle as indicative of a government's “grand diabolical plan” to rid the region of livestock completely.
One of the speakers, Geoffrey Ketjimambo, argued that all these are symptomatic of a government that had shirked all its responsibilities to the citizenry, and Moaparankwe Mpho seemed to concur that “we could have long addressed FMD, but our main hinderance is without doubt tourism.”
Keoikantse Samboma said “our biggest crime as residents of Ngamiland has been to conserve our wildlife.” Little did they know that such a benovelent act would attract punitive measures in the future, he added.
Galebonwe Esaya also had suspicions that the government has a grand plan to kill the livestock industry in Ngamiland and promote tourism while Ritja Johannes added that “tourism has become our major problem. Our national leadership and the tourism sector have teamed up to disadvantage us. A grand plan to depopulate Ngamiland is underway.”
Mpho pointed out that studies have shown that slightly more than 75% of residents of Ngamiland are dependent on livestock and agriculture. Speakers wondered whether government is aware that the majority of indigenous residents have no skills or required capital to go into tourism ventures with one noting that “we cannot all be in the tourism sector.”
Some pointed to the Okavango Development Management Plan (ODMP) as having contributed to their woes as it recommended the delta and its environs as a Ramstar site.
Gaenakgosi Moheimang noted that the communities are disadvantaged when they deal with well-resourced donors who fund elaborative studies that are meant to validate their plans - “But our parents are poor to fund such studies” which places the communities at the mercy of machinations of dubious donors.
Gaetsiwe Bonang asked the parliamentary select committee to tell government that all the residents of Ngamiland are requesting for is “to be returned into a fold of Botswana so that we can be treated as other Batswana and enjoy the similar benefits that they enjoy.' Johannes pleaded: “A re boelwe morago gore le rona re tshele.”
Angry farmers tell of underhand BMC dealings
By Keto Segwai
Instances of insider underhand dealings in the livestock industry came to the fore this week at the Maun kgotla during public hearings of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) and the decline of the beef industry.' In the past weeks at its Gaborone sessions, the select committee has been inundated with revelations of shenanigans as Ministry of Agriculture top officials, the BMC management and board members-cum-farmers reportedly connived to bleed the parastatal of millions of Pula. The troika allegedly fixed cattle prices to their advantage, unfairly awarded themselves feed-lot tenders, set up secret off-shore bank accounts or directly dipped their hands into the commission's piggy-bank.
As the Ngamiland's BMC set-up is a regional one and does control the funds, it would appear the local troika's modus operandi had to be modified to accommodate the local peculiarities. A restless kgotla meeting on Tuesday heard of the vicious way local senior officers of the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), who tightly control livestock movement protocol, have been be in cahoots with some influential members of farmers associations and the BMC purchasing unit to manipulate the quota system to the disadvantage of the majority of the farming community.
It is said they have repeatedly been able to sell their cattle and those of their relatives through the intermittent purchasing windows for slaughter and live cattle exports, with the vast majority of the farmers watching from the sidelines. Most of them have been unable to sell since the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in 2007.
The DVS, in particular, was accused of inconsistency in deciding which zones to buy cattle from. Instances were cited where officers will declare an outbreak in a particular area only for them to purchase livestock from it the next day. The different speakers at the kgotla meeting pointed out that they have raised the issue of unfair quota system at various fora, but to no avail.
One, Lekonne Mosokwa, seemed to echo the community's desperation on the matter when he pleaded with the select committee to recommend the immediate transfer from Maun of some compromised officers from the veterinary department and the BMC unit. Another farmer, Julius Kamununu, urged the MPs to use their powers to redeem the livestock industry, while Keoikantse Samboma argued that the country has courts and prisons “so let the government deal with people who have stolen from and run-down the BMC.”
The meeting, in what was a clear motion of no confidence, called for the removal of the Minister of Agriculture, Christiaan de Graaff, assistant minister Oreeditse Molebatsi and permanent secretary Dr. Micus Chimbombi.
‘All is not well at BWTI' claim students
By Basadi Morokotso
Students at the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute (BTWI) in Maun have, in interviews with The Ngami Times, painted a gloomy picture of the operations of the institute that negatively affects their welfare.
Some of their complaints have been admitted by top officials, and the director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Oduetse Koboto, was due to meet students this week. At the top of student welfare concerns lies the issue of hygiene, especially at the Refectory where their food is prepared and served. The students, most of whom are employees of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and who spoke on condition of anonymity, questioned the role a senior member of the staff who allegedly rarely inspects “the filthy refectory and hostels.”
Personnel have also been accused of a lack of concern about student welfare, such as that whenever anyone falls sick, students take it upon themselves to take their colleagues to a clinic, even though the institute has transport.
“We also wonder why our school cannot engage the services of private catering companies like other institutions of high learning, so that we may be free to question any other irregularities including cleanliness.
“What we get here is below standard, and as we speak, the kitchen staff were employed casually and do not know anything about catering. That on its own shows the extent at which we are being undermined,” said some concerned students.
Their other concerns are that during orientation in January, they were told by their course coordinator Mpotsang Perfect that BWTI has been allocated P5-million to be spent on meals, although to date they are “being fed non-nutritious meals, which are at times served without relish.” An accusing finger has also been pointed at the principal, who they claim instead of addressing them, he would rather prefer to talk to the Student Representative Council.
“The worst of our worries is that our recession allowance has been put on hold since the commencement of our studies without any explanation from our employer, and was deducted from those who got it. We have had to wander about in the dark whenever we wanted to bath because the school has occasionally failed to do even the simplest things such as replacing light bulbs,” it was alleged.
They said maintenance work has not been carried out, and currently there are leaking seweage drains, one of which is a stone's throw from the refectory, thus posing a serious health hazard. The other drain has become a health hazard and an environmental threat as it flows into the Thamalakane River.
Responding to the queries, Koboto said he knows about some issues surrounding catering at the school, adding however that when he questioned his officers previously he was made to believe that the issue has been resolved.
“I came for a board meeting some weeks back, and that is when I confronted my officers on a few things concerning the school. I am now shocked to hear the same thing is still on-going. I will however make inquiries and will take it from there,” he said.
BWTI principal Moemi Batshabang said that as far as he knows, the school budget is less than P5 million per year, and that it could not be possible that meals alone might have been allocated more than the institute's budget. “I must admit however that we have a serious challenge with food suppliers as they are unable to supply all our requirements on time, which in turn affects our menus and the quality of meals we provide. That therefore means we have to improvise to maintain a decent meal for trainees within the given limitations,” he said.
They are supervised by a chief cook who has a National Craft Certificate in hotel management and has undergone in-service training in relevant fields, complemented by her extensive experience.
“The issue of engaging private companies is out because that has to be done in a systematic way and it does not provide a short term solution,” he said. On the issue of the absent matron, Batshabang said the matron spends most if not all her time at the kitchen, that is annexed to the dining hall, adding it is very unfair for students to imply that she does not know the situation there.
“As regards student welfare officer, it is also unfair on her side because she has always gone an extra mile to ensure that cases including those of illness are promptly attended to, and whenever she is unable to handle the matter, she would inform management to intervene. I am sure those who have genuinely been affected can give testimony to that.
“Our students also need to fully understand that we do not have facilities to cater for families. And as much as I know, spouses are not barred to visit, though the rules and regulations which state visiting hours should be obeyed.”The principal distanced himself from decisions made on the salaries and allowances, saying those are an administrative matters between employees and their employer, and that each case has own merits.
He also refuted allegations of darkness at the hostels, saying the power supply there has been intact, adding however that maintenance works have not been carried out, and that there is a process to compile an inventory of the maintenance needs of the institute and the materials that will be required for the exercise.
25 graduate at new Botho University
By Thuso Rammidi
Botho University has hosted its first graduation ceremony in Maun, after acquiring their new status as a fully fledged university. The institution previously traded under the name Botho College.
A total of 25 students graduated during the historic event.
Of the 25, seven graduated with Computing degrees while 18 received Professional Diplomas. The graduates started their programme during the then-NIIT era, as part-time certificates, before they continued to progress over the years to finally reach their destinies.
Ravi Srinivasan, the pro-vice chancellor and director-Administration and Stakeholder Relations of the new university, applauded the graduates for their hard and “the sleepless nights they put in achieving their academic work,” which he said came with commitment to be finally celebrating their achievements as they went through difficult assignments and countless and trying examination papers over the years.
“Your first graduation represents your ability to overcome the many challenges that came your way during the past few years.Your achievements endorses the belief in the natural aristocracy of talent. Continued, this ceremony marks a defining moment in each of your lives,” Srinivasan said. The vice chancellor highlighted that the graduates' academic success is what the country needs at this critical phase of its development, adding that their families, university and the country invested heavily in them.
Srinivasan noted that their transition of the college to a university is a major shift in terms of the institution's role and purpose in the society. He said his institution recognizes the change as a serious responsibility, adding that they have intrinsic strength and a strong sense of purpose to continuously improve as the institutions looks to invest in its custom made campus at its satellite locations.
Regional Manager, Rajan Khanna, of NIIT International, advised the graduates that the ceremony is just the beginning of the steps that lies ahead, as he encouraged them to seek more opportunities to upgrade themselves - “Graduation is not the end. It's just the beginning of the beautiful life that lies ahead of you,' he advised, stressing that that with successful graduation, come bigger challenges and obstacles in life.
“Tackle them out for your glory with the same zeal and vigour. Fortune favours the brave,” he added.
The centre manager, Charles Chava, expressed his delight to the graduates. He said that the graduating students started their journey as part-time students before enrolling for diplomas and degrees through partnership with Open University.
He congratulated two outstanding performers from their respective programmes - Elizabeth Peter and Boesi Shamukuni who received Merit Awards for Degree and Professional Diploma respectively.
He said they support students through career guidance department which has hosted numerous careers fairs across its campuses as a way of equipping their graduates with skills as well as opportunities available in the job market.
Creative exhibition at Nhabe Museum
Three creative impressions of Ngamiland is the theme of an excellent Colour, Shape and Light exhibition now on at Maun's Nhabe Museum.
Renowned wildlife artist Roger Brown, ceramic sculpturist Ompatile Sebuelo and award winning photographer Stuart James Arnold have joined forces to exhibit their works.
Brown has been living in Botswana for 13 years. His love of art was encouraged by his parents who are both artists. He spent much of his childhood in wilderness areas of Africa and began painting its wildlife and people. His first solo exhibition was in 2005 and since then has had many exhibitions in Botswana and South Africa.
Brown received the prize for the Best Upcoming Artist in Botswana in 2010 and 2011. Ompatile Sebuelo was born in Mmankgodi and completed his National Diploma and B.Tech in Fine Art degree at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is currently art teacher at the Okavango International School in Maun. His works have been extensively exhibited and has won many awards through his excellence in ceramic sculpture. Stuart James Arnold is well known in Maun and Botswana an award winning photographer in the United Kingdom and the United States. He is an Associate member of the Royal Photographic Society in Britain.
His recent second book, “Mothers and Children of Maun”, with Kalahari images, has been acclaimed by many. He said there are captivating imagers of everyday people going about their daily lives.The exhibition is at the museum until June 4 and then moves to Gaborone from June 11 to July 5.
A missing letter shows government attitude
The disdain with which the government regards the people of Ngamiland played itself out this week when the parliamentary Special Select Committee on the BMC and the decline of the beef industry was about to hear and take evidence from members of farmers' associations.
The select committee was surprised that the associations did not have a consolidated position paper to present. Instead, the three representatives of the North West Integrated Farmers Association; Nhabe Agricultural Management Association; and Haina Veld Farmers Association had tried to make individual presentations, when the select committee's chairman Mephato Reatile intervened.
He noted that entertaining individual presentations would be tantamount to encouraging them to become even more disorganised.
Reatile wondered why they could not present a position paper as they were supposed to have been notified of the Tuesday afternoon meeting in a letter of April 13. To everybody's shock, the hearing learnt that the invitation letter, which was routed through the office of the District Commissioner as is normal practice, had not been forwarded to the relevant associations.
The three representatives informed the select committee that they only got the letters, through a third party, that morning. The letter from the DC's office, dated April 22, was signed by one O S Modimoopelo, who was not present to explain why the associations were not informed in time. Neither could a representative from the DC's office in attendance offer an explaination.
While the whole episode was astonishing for the visiting MPs, locals were not surprised. This kind of shoddy service from the public service is something the residents of Ngamiland have to put up with on a daily basis.
The select committee, therefore, gave the associations until the end of the month to compile their joint position paper and send it to Gaborone. However, a representative of one association hinted he would prefer to submit an individual paper – a suggestion that even stunned members of the select committee.
Select committee member and MP for Selibi Phikwe East, Gilson Shaleshando, could not hide his disappointment at this turn of events and exorted the representatives to put aside their individual differences and consider the interests of the people. He emphasised the importance of unity, citing the case of Ghanzi where, despite the associations' volatile dynamics, they managed to submit a joint position paper.
Saleshando even suggested that the failure to effectively address the challenges associated with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) could be due to the associations' failure to provide the much-needed leadership to the people of Ngamiland.
This paper has previously harped on the dearth of a united leadership in this region and we reiterate that as long as this trend continues, Ngamiland will continue to be mired in poverty and underdevelopment.
With so much “load shedding” and maintenance work going on with our power system it is no wonder that local residents have taken to renaming the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).
The late Lionel Palmer started the trend when he said BPC stood for Botswana Powerless Corporation – and that was years before load shedding had become the dirty words they are these days.
Now other BPCs have come into play, such as Batteries Paraffin Candles, Buy Proper Candles , Buy Paraffin Continously or Buy Plenty Candles. No prizes to the reader who comes up with other new meanings for BPC.
Last week, and also so far this week, has been a nightmare for residents of Nata as every night there is load shedding affecting the village. Maun escaped much of it last week but already this week saw the town going powerless on Monday morning and afternoon and again early on Tuesday.
Is it any wonder that people are getting fed up with the government's attitude towards supplying power while we wait patiently (?) for the Chinese to pull their finger out and get the power station near Palapye on stream by the end of May – although those in the know believe this won't happen until at least July.
Botswana's power supply agreement, worth P300-million, with the South African utility Eskom is due to run out at the end of May, so now the question is: What is going to happen?
The so-called “Green Scorpions”, the North West District Council's keep the environment clean squad, are on the prowl once more, visiting properties that are not, in their eyes, clean and tidy. Have they by any chance taken a look at their own headquarters at the Rural Administration Centre?
Shuffle doesn't think they have because thigh-high weeds and grass are growing in profusion, there are tins and plastic bags in some areas and in general it is a classic case for a visit by the Green Scorpions. Of course, the question is: Would they dare issue a ticket to their masters?
Teens in the United State are able to drive to school two years before their Botswana counterparts, but, with great driving responsibility come great risks.
Take the case of a teenage girl in the United States' Maine State who narrowly escaped death when her car was struck by a flying toilet!
Fortunately, this potentially fatal accident didn't injure the shocked girl, who managed to make a clean getaway from the portable toilet. The incident occurred as she was pulling into the school parking lot at the same time that a portable toilet delivery company was pulling out, and the toilet, which was clean (!) got dumped (!) on her car.
Flying toilets are hardly what parents teach their kids about road safety, but it's always wise to be on the look out for potential dangers on the road – like our taxis and our drunken motorists, for instance!
One of this newspaper's staff members had a narrow escape from death or serious injury on Sunday when the car in which she was travelling from Gaborone to Maun had to take avoiding action as an oncoming vehicle was weaving all over the road.
Fortunately, the vehicles avoided colliding but both left the road and rolled. The occupants were taken to Orapa hospital where the female driving the oncoming car – a top of the range Discovery - was kept under observation for serious injuries. Our staff member fortunately escaped being hurt but was badly shocked.
Laugh awhile . . . · As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Maun, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!” · A flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.” · RULES OF THE AIRWAYS · Takeoff's are optional. Landings are mandatory. · Flying is not dangerous; crashing is dangerous. · Speed is life, altitude is life insurance. No one has ever collided with the sky. · The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire. · Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man. Landing is the first!
Botswana on tax blacklist
Botswana has been included in the list of countries that have been blacklisted for possible cross border tax cheating. The country is also among nation cited for a lack of cooperation on tax data.
Botswana was named among countries that were singled out in the latest report by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as one of the “laggards in making progress toward meeting new global standards for tax data exchange”.
Botswana was also named among the 14 countries as failing to meet the OECD's Phase 2 standard of international information exchange, according to the report by the OECD, which promotes cooperation among developed nations.
The other countries on the OECD's list were Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Panama, Brunei, Dominica, Guatemala, Lebanon, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.
The Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies issued communiqué at the semi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank urging Botswana and other 13 countries to comply.
The countries, though not members of the G-20 countries, according to the report, have not made the necessary legal and regulatory changes to be removed from the list, according to the OECD report.
Contacted for comment, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo, said he was not aware of the report.
Reports indicate that tax evasion has dominated European headlines in recent weeks, following the admission by disgraced and ousted French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac that he was “squirreling money away in a Swiss account and the recent leak of thousands of holders of secret bank accounts worldwide”.
Media reports also indicate that finance ministers and central bankers of the G-20, meeting in Washington, said in a communiqué that automatic exchange of tax-relevant bank information should be adopted as the global standard.
The officials also noted the problems of economic weakness and high unemployment in many countries, and called for more action “to make growth strong, sustainable and The automatic exchange of tax data, an approach the United States has pushed, would represent a major change from the current procedures, in which countries are expected to provide such information only on request — as when tax officials seek to track payments across national borders during an audit.
Under an automatic exchange, governments would routinely transfer all foreign taxpayers' data to their home governments, making it far more difficult to hide assets from the tax collector.
There's a book in each of us
By Nick Green
The art of writing is the art of discovering one's imagination. It is a journey that can be both exciting and rewarding as one passionately pursues it.
In Botswana we grow up writing comprehension, either in English or Setswana. Once we complete our basic education one seldom thinks of taking up writing as a profession. Why is that so? Is it because as Batswana we only become acquainted with writing when we are given an assignment or is it because as Batswana we are less concerned about our literary voice?
With the bleak global economic outlook, young graduates are finding it difficult to land good jobs that can sustain them. Some older employees are also finding it difficult as companies are forced to make retrenchments. There is however one profession that Batswana may have overlooked.
It is a profession that a the celebrated African author Chinua Achebe pursued and succeeded in. It is a profession that needs patience, passion and an imagination that is not afraid to explore wild possibilities. It is a profession that allows one to grow, and evolve over the years, yet it is a profession that can be challenging. Everyone has a book inside them waiting to be written, which is why a publishing company such as Black Crake Books has dedicated itself to encouraging .
For more information on the art of writing please contact Nick Green at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maun tourism company nominated for award
Maun's Dumela Botswana tourism company has been nominated for the 2013 World Travel Awards, it was revealed at the Tourism Indaba in Durban, South Africa, this week. The company entered the category “Botswana's Leading Inbound Tour Operator.” Voting for the winning company begins on May 27 when the full list of nominees for all categories will be released. The category is a new one this year, the 20 th year of the World Travel Awards.
Botswana lags behind in flight regulations
Rumours that Air Botswana had again lost the right to fly over the borders have been dismissed by aviation authorities who, however, have confirmed that charter aircraft are not allowed to do so Botswana complies with international air transport regulations.
The airline was given two years in which to comply but as far as is known nothing had been done. This occurred when South African aviation authorities refused permission for Air Botswana to use the Maun, Gaborone and Kasane routes to OR Tambo International airport, near Johannesbvurg.
A high-level delegation from Botswana reached a compromise with the South Africans on the understanding that Botswana would comply with international regulations, including the Open Skies policy which allows aircraft registered in other countries to also fly to Botswana. The Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB) has advised non-scheduled airlines (charter companies) about the situation and has also apparently placed a ban on speaking about the issue with the media.
Boxing Interclub tournament a success
By Thuso Rammidi
The 6 th interclub boxing tournament which was hosted by Maun Boxing club in collaboration with Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) recently at Maun Technical College has been hailed a success by the Chairman of the local club, Innocent Chombo, despite the no-show of some clubs, mostly from the southern part of the country.
The interclub contest attracted boxing clubs and schools with both male and female fighters present. A total of 80 boxers, contesting 40 bouts gathered in Maun for the historic event.
The local pugilist club fielded two pugilists in the senior category and at least 13 juniors of which five were females and eight boys. Retlhatloleng Lesetse (64 kg) and Modiri Sanyatsi (75kg) lost their bouts to Oakeditse Bobeilwe of Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (SSKB) and Rodgers Sianga of Francistown respectively. From the juniors, two females won, while out of eight boys who also compete under Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA), only five emerged victorious.
They still need to win gold medal from BISA to qualify for the Keone Mooka Mageu National Championships scheduled for August.
“Our boxers did well, though most of them lost. It was not disappointing since they lost on points. We registered five senior boxers but three were cut-off due to medical reasons. Most of the wins came from junior boxers. They are still to compete in BISA Tournaments and if they win medals, they will qualify for National Championships,” Chombo said in an interview.
The highlight of the tournament came from the lightweight (60 kg) division between sworn rivals and former national team boxers, Patrick Seoko of Glen Valley and Kebonyethebe Ramaboana of Thebephatsha. The two pugilist exchanged blows with no mercy showing exactly why they are highly rated.
Their contest kept the spectators on the edges of their seats, as the pugilist showed composure, high technique coupled with excellent footwork to keep balance as they throw punches at each other at an electrifying speed. It was a closely contested affair, which at the end saw Ramaboana winning by 15 points to Seoko's 10.
Meanwhile, Chombo said the tournament went well, despite some clubs not pitching up. He added that the tournament nearly failed, if SSKB had not intervened by flying BoBA officials to Maun.
He blamed the Association for not taking them seriously whenever they organise events.
“The association didn't assist us like they normally do with other clubs, especially in the South.” Chombo reasoned that, the non-appearance of some clubs maybe as a result of their participation in the recently hosted Best of the Best tournament, where they managed to accumulate 7 points which means they only need 5 points from the remaining 11 interclub tournaments to make it through to the Championships.
The next Interclub competition will be hosted at Glen Valley at a date still to be announced.
Terrors flag flying high
By Thuso Rammidi
With only two games remaining in the on-going Northern Region play-offs played in Serowe, Nhabe Regional Football champions, Maun Terrors, are flying the region's flag high as they are currently floating at the summit of the log standing from the last round of fixtures played over the previous weekend.
The final games will be played tomorrow which will determine whether Terrors emerge overall winners to join the Debswana National First Division.
The play-offs are contested by seven teams who have been crowned champions from their respective regions for one available spot. Terrors has played four games; wining two and drawing two to accumulate eight points which put them in the top positions followed by Mahalapye United Hotspurs on seven points from three outings. Terrors started well winning their first game with a comfortable 4-0 drubbing of Field Masters before their 1-1 stalemate with Hotspurs. The Nhabe Regional champions showed tenacity as they went on to win 2-1 against Real Movers before sharing the spoils 1-1 with Chobe United.
In an interview with Times Sport, Terrors coach Moses Kelatlhilwe said he is optimistic about their chances of making it through to the NFD. He noted that remaining games will not be easy, as their opponents will want to beat. He, however, said his charges are determined to make it through to the NFD, while acknowledging that chasing pack are equally on the mission to gain promotion, us his players are highly committed and working hard which was evident when they placed against the odds. “We played the last games with injuries but the players persevered to the last whistle. Against Hotspurs in the second game, we had our reliable defender sent off, which meant we played without him in the last two games.” With eight points in the bag, Terrors need to win their remaining two games to be home and dry in the lucrative NFD next season and hope that the chasing pack, notably from Mahalapye United Hotspurs drop points.
Hotspurs, the former premier league outfit, pose a bigger threat to Terrors' promotion aspirations due to their previous experience and pedigree in similar situations, though the Maun side makes it second successive appearance in the play-offs which they contested and fail to win last season, while Hotspurs is affectionately called, has, swinging from lower ranks to elite league during the past few seasons. Hotspurs are second with seven points from three games. Should both Terrors and Hotspurs win all their remaining games, Hotspurs will accumulate 16 points against Terrors 14.
Montsho ends Felix's winning streak
Spectators at the Hamad Bin Suhaim Stadium saw something new – Allyson Felix losing on this track. After 10 consecutive victories in Doha, the Olympic 200m champion, racing over her less fancied distance of 400m, was beaten at last by the strength of Botswana's World champion Montsho, who clocked 49.88 with Felix timed at 50.19. Britain's Olympic silver medalist from London 2012, Christine Ohuruogu, ran a characteristically solid race, finishing strongly to take third place in 50.53. the race took place last week Friday 10. “The fans helped me to run that fast,” said Montsho. “This season I trust I can run below 49 seconds and I aim to retain my World title in Moscow.” Before the meet, all odds were against the local girls despite her impressive record. The odds were surprisingly against Montsho as the US's Felix maintained that she will continue with her wining streak that spans at 10 wins. In terms of Diamond League consistency, however, Montsho can claim a better record than her US rival, having finished on the podium in 18 races, one more than Felix, from a total of 20 races. When it comes to overall Diamond League points gained, however, the rivals stand exactly equal with 58 points each, joint fourth in the women's list behind Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, who has 72, Valerie Adams of New Zealand (70) and Jeter (69).During their careers as a whole, Felix and Montsho have raced against each other 14 times. Montsho won their two most recent clashes, but Felix triumphed in their 12 meetings before then. They have met four times in Doha, and on three of those occasions they have finished 1-2, with Felix getting the advantage each time. “I am very proud of my ten-win streak in Doha,” said the reigning Olympic 200m champion. “It's an early season meet, and it has just worked out that way. Of course I would love to keep winning here but we will have to see how it goes against a pretty great field when we all race on Friday. It's going to be a great competition. “I think these Diamond League races are really important leading up to a World Championships. You get to face a lot of the same people that are going to be there and it is always a test when you get these types of races.” Felix added that the framework of the Diamond Race was a vital element in terms of the overall season for both herself and her closest rivals. “I think it is great,” she said. “I'm an athlete that really thrives on competition – I like to go up against the best runners, and the Diamond League is good in getting those races underway, so I think it's a benefit.” Montsho is also looking forward to gaining a good start to her season after a year in which her defence of the Diamond Race 400m title went some way to consoling her for missing out on an Olympic medal in London. “I always like to compete in Doha because it is a good meeting and the track also is good,” she said. “And I always compete with top athletes like Allyson Felix. “This year I want to do the same as I did in Daegu and win the World title. That means a lot to me. But at this time of the year you don't know how you are running and how the other runners are, so I don't really know what will happen on Friday.” That indeed remains to be seen – but whatever the outcome, given the quality of those taking part, it will be worth keeping a close eye on. Source: IAAF Diamond League, additional reporting by Times Sport
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