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Batswana eating at higher cost towards polls

Batswana may have to adjust their cost of living few days before the 23 October polls after the cost of food increased by 2.50 percent in September, according to latest data from Statistics Botswana food prices rose slightly during the month under review.

The headline inflation for September 2019 increased to 3 percent from 2.9 percent in August 2019. This slight rise is due to the rise in the rate of annual change in prices for some categories of goods and services, led by ‘Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages’ which increased from 2 to 2.5 percent. Food which contributed to the spike on food inflation are: Bread & Cereals (0.6 percent), Fish (Fresh, Chilled & Frozen) (0.5 percent) and Meat (Fresh, Chilled & Frozen) (0.4 percent). Altogether, the Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages group index rose by 0.2 percent, from 102.1 to 102.4 during the period under review.

According to national data food Inflation in Botswana averaged 6.65 percent from 2002 until 2019. During the 2008 global recession food inflation reached an all-time high of 25.17 percent in October of 2008 and that was the time when the national inflation was at 12.6 percent. Last year August inflation hit an all-time low of -1.30 in August.
A trend seen towards next week polls is an increase in food prices since March 2019. In February Inflation was low at -0.2 before raising the bar slighter in March 2019. Observers believe food prices increase for the April inflation were reacting to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s announcement that public servants salaries will be increased before the Budget Speech. After this year’s Budget Speech food inflation has been going up ala uniformly it went from 1.3 in June to 1.6 in July. From July it went to 2 percent in August before hitting 2.5 in September.   

Inflation is also forecasted to continue increasing even after the elections, going up from 3.0 to 3.2 percent in November before going up another 2 percent in December 2019. On the other hand, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged nearly 170 points in September 2019, unchanged from August but 3.3 percent higher than in the corresponding period last year. The organization says while in September sugar prices fell sharply, the decline was almost entirely offset by higher prices of vegetable oils and meat. The Dairy index was down only marginally, whereas that of cereals remained steady, according to FAO data.

According to Statistics Botswana, the inflation rates for regions between August 2019 and September 2019 indicated that Rural Villages increased to 2.3 percent from 2.2 percent, Cities & Towns and Urban Villages remained constant at 3.2 and 3.1 percent respectively, over the two periods. The national Consumer Price Index was 101.8 in September 2019, registering an increase of 0.1 percent from 101.7 recorded in August 2019 Index. The Cities & Towns advanced from 101.8 in August to 101.9 in September recording a rise of 0.1 percent. The Urban Villages’ Index realised an increase of 0.1 percent, moving from 101.9 in August to 102.0 in September 2019. The Rural Villages index recorded an increase of 0.1 percent advancing from 101.3 to 101.4 during the period under review.

As for Group indices, there was generally a steady movement between August 2019 and September 2019, recording changes of less than 1.0 percent. For the Furnishing, Household Equipment & Routine Maintenance group Index moved by an increase of 0.4 percent which is from 101.8 in August 2019 to 102.1 in September and this was due to the general increase in the constituent section indices. According to Statistics Botswana, the Restaurants & Hotels group Index progressed from 101.8 to 102.1 over the two period, registering a growth of 0.3 percent. This was mainly attributed to an increase in the constituent section index of Restaurants, Cafes & the Like (0.3 percent).

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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