Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama has assured members of Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) that he will use his powers and influence as Paramount Chief of Bangwato to cajole his younger brother Tshekedi Khama to join the new party.
Khama made this remarks during a political rally held on Thursday to welcome three councilors from Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) who joined BPF in Serowe South constituency yesterday. ‘’Next week I will visit Serowe west constituency to ask them whether they still want Tshekedi in Botswana Democratic Party and ask permission from them to bring Tshekedi to BPF. If they still want him in BDP it will be complicated. It is time for Tshekedi to leave BDP,’’ Khama said.
Tshekedi was among the MPs who were expected to join BPF soon after its formation but Tshekedi has preffered to keep his ministerial positon under Mokgweetsi Masisi’s government. He said councilors; Solomon Dikgang , Atamelang Thaga , Nametsagang Omphile from Serowe North , Serowe South , and Serowe West constituencies joined BPF last Friday because they are afraid of what is happening in the BDP, noting that there are more problems in it.
However, he said he is surprised by some BDP members who are being used by the party leadership promising them positions in return. Khama indicated Tebelelo Seretse who is from Serowe as one of them. “Seretse lost primary elections and she is being used by the party promising her nomination in return. The president is the only one entitled to nominate but after general elections they will be no president in BDP, he revealed.’’
Khama said as he was appointed the champion of Vision 2036 patron a title they have since revoked. “I don’t care whether they take all the titles from me, the fact remains that I am paramount chief of Bangwato, the title which is permanent and pensionable. It is not the presidency which is temporary,’’ he remarked. He implored Serowe South electorates to vote for honest people and promised them to visit them again before general elections to remind them again.
He cautioned members of BPF that fights should remain in BDP, noting that he dislikes people who are only interested in positions but not interested in improving lives of their citizens. He said the party will sought out Serowe South issue to decide who should contest for parliamentary seat. Khama said the party will be supporting only two independent parliamentary candidates and said that in other constituencies and wards, the party leadership had to sit down and select one candidate to contest for council and parliamentary seats.
He promised that in October he will correct his mistakes, working together with UDC to unseat the ruling party. Khama accused, Carter Morupisi, Permanent Secretary to the President for directing civil servants not to cover his events. Khama also travelled to Sefhare/Ramokgonami to give support to UDC’s Dr Kesetegile Gobotswang, who is contesting against cabinet minister Dorcas Makgato.
Government is currently sitting on 4 400 vacant posts that remain unfilled in the civil service. This is notwithstanding the high unemployment rate in Botswana which has been exacerbated by the recent outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Just before the burst of COVID-19, official data released by Statistics Botswana in January 2020, indicate that unemployment in Botswana has increased from 17.6 percent three years ago to 20.7 percent. “Unemployment rate went up by 3.1 percentage between the two periods, from 17.6 to 20.7 percent,” statistics point out.
Leading commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), expects the central bank to sharpen its monetary policy knife and cut the Bank Rate twice in the last quarter of 2020.
The bank expects a 25 basis point (bps) in the beginning of the last quarter, which is next month, and another shed by the same bps in December, making a total of 50 bps cut in the last quarter. According to the bank’s researchers, the central bank is now holding on to 4.25 percent for the time being pending for more informed data on the economic climate.
An audit of the accounts and records for the supply of food rations to the institutions in the Northern Region for the financial year-ended 31 March 2019 was carried out. According to Auditor General’s report and observations, there are weaknesses and shortcomings that were somehow addressed to the Accounting Officer for comments.
Auditor General, Pulane Letebele indicated on the report that, across all depots in the region that there had been instances where food items were short for periods ranging from 1 to 7 months in the institutions for a variety of reasons, including absence of regular contracts and supplier failures. The success of this programme is dependent on regular and reliable availability of the supplies to achieve its objective, the report said.
There would be instances where food items were returned from the feeding centers to the depots for reasons of spoilage or any other cause. In these cases, instances had been noted where these returns were not supported by any documentation, which could lead to these items being lost without trace.
The report further stressed that large quantities of various food items valued at over P772 thousand from different depots were damaged by rodents, and written off.Included in the write off were 13 538 (340ml) cartons of milk valued at P75 745. In this connection, the Auditor General says it is important that the warehouses be maintained to a standard where they would not be infested by rodents and other pests.
Still in the Northern region, the report noted that there is an outstanding matter relating to the supply of stewed steak (283×3.1kg cans) to the Maun depot which was allegedly defective. The steak had been supplied by Botswana Meat Commission to the depot in November 2016.
In March 2017 part of the consignment was reported to the supplier as defective, and was to be replaced. Even as there was no agreement reached between the parties regarding replacement, in 51 October 2018 the items in question were disposed of by destruction. This disposal represented a loss as the whole consignment had been paid for, according to the report.
“In my view, the loss resulted directly from failure by the depot managers to deal with the matter immediately upon receipt of the consignment and detection of the defects. Audit inspections during visits to Selibe Phikwe, Maun, Shakawe, Ghanzi and Francistown depots had raised a number of observations on points of detail related to the maintenance of records, reconciliations of stocks and related matters, which I drew to the attention of the Accounting Officer for comments,” Letebele said in her report.
In the Southern region, a scrutiny of the records for the control of stocks of food items in the Southern Region had indicated intermittent shortages of the various items, principally Tsabana, Malutu, Sunflower Oil and Milk which was mainly due to absence of subsisting contracts for the supply of these items.
“The contract for the supply of Tsabana to all depots expired in September 2018 and was not replaced by a substantive contract. The supplier contracts for these stocks should be so managed that the expiry of one contract is immediately followed by the commencement of the next.”
Suppliers who had been contracted to supply foodstuffs had failed to do so and no timely action had been taken to redress the situation to ensure continuity of supply of the food items, the report noted.
In one case, the report highlighted that the supplier was to manufacture and supply 1 136 metric tonnes of Malutu for a 4-months period from March 2019 to June 2019, but had been unable to honour the obligation. The situation was relieved by inter-depot transfers, at additional cost in transportation and subsistence expenses.
In another case, the contract was for the supply of Sunflower Oil to Mabutsane, where the supplier had also failed to deliver. Examination of the Molepolole depot Food Issues Register had indicated a number of instances where food items consigned to the various feeding centres had been returned for a variety of reasons, including food item available; no storage space; and in other cases the whole consignments were returned, and reasons not stated.
This is an indication of lack of proper management and monitoring of the affairs of the depot, which could result in losses from frequent movements of the food items concerned.The maintenance of accounting records in the region, typically in Letlhakeng, Tsabong, and Mabutsane was less than satisfactory, according to Auditor General’s report.
In these depots a number of instances had been noted where receipts and issues had not been recorded over long periods, resulting in incorrect balances reflected in the accounting records. This is a serious weakness which could lead to or result in losses without trace or detection, and is a contravention of Supplies Regulations and Procedures, Letebele said.
Similarly, consignments of a total of 892 bags of Malutu and 3 bags of beans from Tsabong depot to different feeding centres had not been received in those centres, and are considered lost. These are also not reflected in the Statement of Losses in the Annual Statements of Accounts for the same periods.