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No talks between Masisi, Kgafela yet

Despite President Mokgweetsi Masisi‘s consistent remarks that he will fight with every weapon available to ensure that Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela  Kgafela II returns back to Botswana, his Mangana regiment has dismissed these statements saying they are just political gimmicks.

In the run-up to 2014 general elections, Government was at loggerheads with Kgosi Kgafela II, resulting in the latter fleeing to South Africa on self-imposed exile. BDP had plethora of problems in 2014, among them a standoff with public service trade unions as well as acrimonious relationship with various chiefs in Botswana. The situation also saw Batawana paramount chief, Kgosi Tawana Moremi II ditching the ruling party in favour of opposition, with Barolong paramount chief, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II following suit in 2015.

In an audio leaked, Masisi who was addressing the BDP parliamentary candidates retreat workshop in May was heard saying a lot of tribal leaders were unhappy with the past administration, an anomaly that will be a priority on his agenda. “A lot of tribal leaders were also unhappy with us. The other even went to an extent of dumping Botswana for South Africa, Kgafela of Bakgatla. And we know very well that our country is not complete without our tribal leaders. We must accept this reality,” Masisi is heard saying in the clip to thunderous applause from his audience.

“I will not rest until Kgafela is back home. I will not, I will not,” he added. BDP is treading carefully this time around to avoid provocative issues to the tribes in the build-up to elections and acknowledges that the institution of Bogosi in Botswana, like in many countries still plays a major role in the political landscape. History has shown that chiefs are still very influential figures in their communities. In Botswana all the vocal chiefs’ constituencies are under opposition and an examination of previous developments show that all the tribes whose chiefs have expressed disgruntlement with the government have been voting for the opposition.

This past weekend when officially opening the 38th BDP congress in Mochudi, Masisi again reiterated the statement. "Mmusi Kgafela is from the royal family and it shows that as the BDP we respect the institution of Bogosi. And as BDP we will do everything to ensure that his brother is backing home. I mean his real home. I will do everything to ensure that he enjoys the warmness of his home. Home I mean here,” Masisi said

However, for their part Mangana regiment’s Matshwenyego Ramotswetla said as far as they know, they are no talks Kgosi Kgafela II and President Masisi relating to return of the Bakgatla chief. “I would not know if there is any but we would be aware if there were any negotiations. What we are aware is Kgabo [Kgosi Kgafela II] said he will only come here when the government has changed and during Khama’s era we once told that Tsogwane [Slumber] was in talks with Kgabo to come back but then nothing materialised,”
Another Mangana regiment member who preferred anonymity told this publication that what Masisi is doing is trying to score cheap political points.

“There has not been anything tangible. We are concerned that the President wants to get political mileage from this because he is not serious about it. If he was, he could have contacted Kgabo and talked to him, but for now there has not been anything to that effect. It is just talk,” a very concerned senior member of the regiment said in an interview on Thursday morning. UDC parliamentary hopeful for Mochudi West, Tona Mooketsi has also blasted President Masisi for using the name of Bakgatla Paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela II as a campaign tool for the upcoming elections.  

"There is no way Masisi’s remarks can be true. He was just campaigning," said Mooketsi, adding that Masisi is just looking for sympathy votes from the disgruntled Bakgatla who lost their chief due to the conflicts with the government.  Incidentally, Masisi formed part of government as he was a minister at the time. “We are very surprised about Masisi who is now pretending to be Messiah to Bakgatla. He was there when Kgosi Kgafela was being harassed and today he is pretending to be a good man. He won’t fool Bakgatla and he must stop using our Kgosi Kgolo as campaign weapon,” he warned.

Mooketsi believes Kgosi Kgafela II will not by any means be excited by Masisi’ empty promises; “He is a man of his word and I can assure you that he will not be tricked by the sympathy tactics of getting votes by BDP. He once made it clear that he doesn’t want the BDP government. Bakgatla will also not be tricked.”

Bakgatla, Batawana, Balete, Barolong who have been having quarrels with the government have been voting for the opposition and changes in circumstances herald a fluid and unpredictable upcoming election. Bakgatla have fielded Kgafela’s brother, Mmusi in a bid to change its fortunes.  Batawana and Barolong chiefs, Kgosi Tawana II and Kgosi Lotlaamoreng who are serving as Members of Parliament now will not be seeking re-election. The Balete land saga still persists and they have taken the government to court. There are other tribes with other issues like Batlokwa and many others that are fighting for recognition.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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