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Big Guns Fall in 2019 elections

The 2019 general election has seen some big guns fall after they lost their seats in their respective constituencies.  The Opposition bloc, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and the Alliance for Progressives (AP) fell the heaviest after their leaders were defeated in this election.

UDC have lost some big guns in Gaborone in this election – among them Advocate Duma Boko, the party leader. He lost Gaborone Bonninton North to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s Annah Motlhagodi, who was trying her luck at legislating for the third time after two unsuccessful stints with her former party, Botswana Congress Party (BCP).  Motlhagodi garnered 6933 votes against Boko’s 4495 votes.

Boko was a casualty as a result of a red wave that had ravaged through the southern based constituencies where the victorious BDP white washed the opposition at both Local Government and Parliament level. Boko had hosted one of the biggest rally launches on the eve of election and the numbers had suggested he was on pole position to retain the constituency, but voters had other ideas.

Ndaba Gaolathe of the AP was another victim of the red wave. He fell to Christian Greef of the BDP who was also trying a shot at legislating for the second time after he was barred from contesting party primaries by his party in 2013. Greef defeated Ndaba with 4603 votes against 3460 votes. Ndaba, a likeable character because of his down to earth approach to issues and intellect was just collateral in the rage that came from voters in Gaborone Bonninton South.  

Two other Members of Parliament of the 11th seating from the opposition bench, Phenyo Butale of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) in Gaborone Central; and Haskins Nkaigwa of the UDC in Gaborone North lost their seats to the BDP’s Tumisang Healy and Mpho Balopi respectively. In its whitewash of the opposition in Gaborone, the BDP also managed to push in a new Member of Parliament in Gaborone South, Meshack Mthimkhulu, who won against UDC’s Nelson Ramaotwana.

The BDP also registered casualties as a result of former President Dr Ian Khama in the central district. The BDP lost all the Serowe constituencies hence Kgotla Autlwetse, a former cabinet member was a casualty. The most recognizable fall was that of former Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcas Makgato who lost to Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang of the UDC. Makgato was a marked target of Ian Khama after he accused her of “insulting his father”. Khama used his influence in the central district to dislodge Makgato. Gobotswana overpowered Makgato with 9341 votes compared to her 5562 votes.

The Khama factor also played out in the Palapye constituency where another former Minister, Moiseraela Master Goya (5252 votes) was defeated by Onneetse Ramogapi (5282 votes). Khama’s party had fielded Dr Kolaatamo Malefho (1806 votes) as MP candidate to ensure that the BDP does not get enough votes to cross the line.

Former Acting Minister of Youth Sport and Culture Development, Dikgang Phillip Makgalemele could not stand against the Khama effect in Shoshong. He ended up losing the constituency to Aubrey Lesaso who pulled 8475 votes against Makgalemele’s 3843 votes. Makgalemele is one of the BDP MPs who was rumoured to have rejected a last minute call from BPF to contest under their ticket. Former Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng lost the Tonota constituency to Moathodi who is making a return to the august house. Olopeng attracted 7125 votes while Moathodi romped further with 8364 votes.

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Opposition Will Never Achieve Anything- Nkaigwa

8th April 2021
Haskins Nkaigwa

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.

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Botswana benefits over P100 million in grants from Japan

7th April 2021
Ambassador HOSHIYAMA

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.”

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Magosi pushes for Cabinet reshuffle

6th April 2021
President Masisi

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.

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