The announced and election of his six Specially Elected Members of Parliament by President Mokgweetsi Masisi and National Assembly respectively, for the 12th Parliament has caused an uproar as favourites for the posts were left out.
Many had anticipated that the youthful Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, who was head-hunted from Ghana, Bogolo Kenewendo and former Sefhare-Ramokgonami Member of Parliament, Dorcas Makgato, will make the cut. The snubbing of Kenewendo has caused a stir in Boteti, a development which may cause unrest for Vice President Slumber Tsogwane.
Kenewendo was tipped to succeed Tsogwane as Boteti West MP in 2024. Kenewendo who is an internationally celebrated and acclaimed economist, had relocated to Ghana, but was recalled by then President Lt Gen Ian Khama, at the recommendation of Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi. It is alleged that the coming of the youthful Minister was a calculated move to replace Tsogwane who had indicated that he will not be contesting the 2019 general elections.
Masisi would later upon his ascendency to the highest office-in a strategic move- appoint Tsogwane his Vice President and convinced him to contest the 2019 elections for his last term before paving way for Kenewendo in 2014. Tsogwane had initially scheduled to retire from politics at the end his fourth term, but was coaxed to stay further while the apparent heiress to the throne, Kenewendo, was being groomed. It is reported that in his recent campaigns, Kenewendo was used as the face of Tsogwane’s campaign, a move that saw him win with a slim margin against Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Sam Digwa.
Last week Masisi announced his six Specially Elected Members of the 12th Parliament which compromised of; Philda Kereng, Kgotla Autlwetse, Unity Dow, Beauty Manake, Kefentse Mzwinila and Peggy Serame. On the eve of the nominations, Kenewendo wrote an emotional sending off message on her Facebook profile signalling the end of her three year political career.
It is alleged that, influential residents of Boteti have met and expressed their dissatisfaction to their Dikgosi on how they have been tricked by Tsogwane and Masisi, into believing that Kenewendo was the future MP of the area and the she will be retained in cabinet. A close source told WeekendPost that all Dikgosi met to map a way forward regarding the matter. A very close source also reported that Kenewendo’s father is not a happy man. The old man who came to bid her daughter farewell when she left for Ghana on Tuesday, felt that Botswana government ‘used’ her daughter and dumped her.
When contacted for comment, Kgosi Diane Jacob of Rakops told this publication that indeed they met with unhappy members of their community last week who want to petition Tsogwane. Kgosi Jacob however denied allegations that they met as Dikgosi and resolved to summon Tsogwane over the Kenewendo matter. “What I can confirm is that people are not happy. At the moment we are awaiting elders from Mopipi including Bogolo’s parents to lodge a complaint with us and we will take it from there,” he said.
Kgosi Jacob did not rule out the possibility of calling Tsogwane to come and account to Morafe on the decision that President Masisi took to not to include Kenewendo as SEMP as they have been made to believe. Efforts to contact Bogolo’s father proved futile as his mobile phones rang unanswered. Kenewendo was one the youngest Ministers in the world and she also served as the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, Security and Foreign Affairs.
She is a member of the UN Secretary- General’s High-Level Panel on digital cooperation Chaired by Jack Ma and Melinda Gates, founder of Molaya Kgosi Trust, a women’s empowerment initiative and one of Botswana’s first youth delegates to the United Nations General Assembly. Her decorated educational background boosts of MSc in International Economics from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Kenewendo received the prestigious Chevening Scholarship in 2012.
She is the beneficiary and Alumni of the US President’s Young African Leaders Initiative for young women. Bogolo is the 2012 recipient for Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) award by JCI Botswana; 2016, recipient, Botswana Change Makers Award in Business and leadership; 2016, recipient, Formidable Woman award; 2016, honoured through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office International Leaders Program; 2019, she was named one of Chevening’s 35 Global Change-makers. In Parliament, her voice was associated with inclusivity; inclusivity in development and ensuring services reach the people in a timely manner as their share of the national cake. Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal message of “Leave no one behind”.
Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms. “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.
“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.
“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.
“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”
Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner. He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.
Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.
Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.
The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).
“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.
“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”
Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.
From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.
“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.
“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”
In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.
TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.
“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.
“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”
Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.
“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.
“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”
Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.
Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.
According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.
“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.
According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).
“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.
“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”
The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.
“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”
Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.
The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.
This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.