Alliance for Progressives (AP) leader Ndaba Gaolathe, has this week revealed that close to P30 billion has been lost due to corruption in Botswana in the last decade. Gaolathe made the scuttling revelations at the AP Policy statement on Declaration of Assets Law at Ave Maria in Gaborone on Thursday.
“We have lost billions in recent years and I have proffered an estimation of tens of billions (close to 30 billions) lost over the last ten years due to nepotism, bad workmanship, fraud and outright theft,” he stated. According to the Gaborone Bonnington South law maker, this quantum of money is adequate, if deployed wisely, to transform the economy of Botswana and uplift the lives of many that currently wallow in poverty.
A recent study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Gaolathe said it found that corruption can be especially brutal to the poor, since they are the weakest and the least able to pay bribes for government services and for access to market opportunities. “We must eradicate this affliction, for it is that — a disease, a symptom of something gone terribly wrong in the management of the state. No country is immune from corruption, and many are especially vulnerable because of their weak laws and institutions,” he pointed out. According to the AP leader, it is only fair to say we, in Botswana, are almost a lost generation; a generation that has squandered the opportunity to prosper.
“We have squandered the opportunity to become the paragon of prosperity and nation-building. We have lost the opportunity to create high paying jobs for the majority, we have lost the opportunity to care more for the elderly, people living with disabilities, we have lost the opportunity to give each citizen that piece of land for at least a home, and we have almost lost the opportunity to bring the best out of our young – precisely because of unethical leadership,” he stressed.
Gaolathe quoted the late Kofi Annan, the late former UN Secretary General, at an anti-corruption conference for the United Nations (UN) in Peru where he said: “corruption is a curse and an attack on the foundations of any civilised society. It undermines morality, democracy, good governance and the rule of law.”
On combating corruption the late former UN Secretary General stated that it includes measures aimed at not only the disclosure by public officials of assets and liabilities; but also steps to introduce or strengthen independent auditing institutions; and measures to ensure free competition, including anti-trust regulations.
He said, Anna, continued: “it swallows resources needed for development. And it is an affront to people who bring high ethical standards to their work and dealings with their fellow human beings and who expect the same in return, in the time-honoured tradition of "do unto others". Corruption is evil and insidious and must be opposed at every turn.”
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.