Dead Motswana student’s property stuck in Czech Republic

28th June 2018
Czech Republic Source:The Midweek Sun


By Dikarabo Ramadubu -

What started as an investment by a deceased medical student who bought gym equipment while studying at Chares University in Czech Republic  is currently a headache for government, the deceased’s parents and the university.

This is because it is just too expensive to ship the equipment to Botswana as it costs about 4,800.00 Euros (about P57, 000.00). At some stage, the equipment was reported missing; only to be found through a friend, locked inside the university’s storeroom.It all sounded as if it was a joke when MP for Francistown East , Buti Billy  asked the Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation if she is aware that gym equipment belonging to the medical student who was studying in Czech Republic went missing whilst in the custody of the Botswana Mission in London; and if so, what steps are being taken to trace and return the equipment to the parents of the deceased, and how her ministry intends to compensate the family should the equipment not be found.

Minister Unity Dow acknowledged that her ministry was aware of the issue of the student who was at the university from 2007 to 22 June 2013. She revealed that pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of Botswana and the student, his personal belongings were shipped to Botswana on the 2nd of August 2013 and that his belongings did not include the gym equipment set.

Apart from the prohibitive costs of shipping, the over 300kg gym equipment was not deemed a part of the student’s items included in government’s coverage for shipping. The student’s parents were informed of the matter, but the Department of Tertiary Education and Financing (DTEF) requested that the parents indicate their intentions.

In September 2013, the parents requested that the equipment be sold. However, this could not be done and the parents were duly informed and further guidance sought on how the ministry should proceed.

In the meantime, the equipment was reportedly stored in the University Hospital in Prague, whilst awaiting the parents' further decisions.
The ministry is aware that there was a period when the equipment was said to have been missing.

“My ministry has been advised that consultations between the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology and the parents of the deceased regarding the shipping of the equipment are on-going.”

Dow said her ministry and the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology are waiting for the decision of the family on how to proceed, taking into consideration that the Government can only provide logistical facilitation for the shipment of the equipment to Botswana.

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