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I will not resign – PSP Morupisi

Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi has this week refused to resign amid strong criticism that he is growing and fuelling division between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and ex-President Ian Khama.

“Why? I will not resign. There is no reason for me to,” he told Weekend Post in an interview this week. The PSP insisted to this publication that he is just executing his role in government as the top civil servant getting orders from above. “I am simply doing my job. There is no wrong that I am doing or committing. Not at all,” he further emphasised. According to Morupisi, the role that he is playing especially in relation to handling ex-President Khama is just an issue of ensuring “good governance.” 

He highlighted that: “It’s all about proper governance.” Some observers believe that Morupisi has done more harm than good with regard to bringing peace between Khama and Masisi as a middle man. They say, instead he should have seized the opportunity to mend fences and relations between the two statesmen. The views come few days after Khama, who is an opposition Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Patron, could not take kindly to Morupisi’s letter which he wrote to him informing the latter that government has stricken him off from the position of Vision 2036 Champion. 

However, the PSP has this week told this publication that he will not entertain any response to ex-President Khama’s outrageous letter that attacked the credibility of both government and him personally.  “What he is saying in the letter is not related to the message we conveyed. We relayed a simple message which he took note of (O utlule. A utlwetse a re neng re a mo neela). That’s what matters,” the Office of the President top official said.

He added: “of course everyone (including Khama) has an opinion and they can express their views openly.  It was a bitter pill to swallow. That’s just a non-issue. I don’t want to debate issues that are not even related to our message. As government we will not respond to that.” 
The letter dated 30th July 2019 by Khama was in reply to Morupisi. The ex-president had stated in the letter: “I wish to point out that I publicly resigned from being Champion of Vision 2036 on the 25th May in Serowe. I therefore do not see the point of your letter coming so late on the 25th July and after I had already resigned.”

Of course, he took another shot to the government, “I am aware that late coming is another poor habit in your regime. I took the step at the time as a result of another vindictive decision to remove me as Tourism ambassador.” As you go about your childish antics of trying to relieve or relive me of all the positions I hold, he said, allow me to bring to your attention that I am still the Chancellor of the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN).

According to Khama, once that has also been taken away from him, he shall share with the government other positions he holds for similar actions for their kind consideration. He then took a parting shot: “I hope there are no spelling errors in this correspondence as I attempted to avoid any clumsy haste to frustrate.”

Morupisi had earlier stated in his letter to the former president dated 25th July 2019 captioned “immediate removal from role as champion of the Vision 2036 Council” that they have relieved him of the role with immediate effect. “I have been instructed by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, to duly inform you that he has taken the decision to relieve you of the position of Champion of the Vision 2036 Council,” the PSP wrote to Khama.

He further said that for the avoidance of any doubt he be advised that upon receipt of the communique, is immediately relieved as Champion of the Vision 2036 Council. “His Excellency extends his gratitude for the role you have played in the afore-mentioned position and wishes all the best in your future endeavours,” he concluded in the letter.

Meanwhile, the calls for Morupisi to throw in the towel comes following reports last week that he faces possible prosecution and arrest for his role in the Capital Management Botswana (CMB) ongoing corruption scandal. However, earlier this year (in February) the same DCEC in contradiction has confirmed to this publication that there is no endeavour to investigate PSP which could later lead to his prosecution.

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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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