At least 52 percent of the population in Botswana is of the view that corruption in the country has increased alarmingly in the last 12 months although the country continues to be ranked among the least corrupt nations in Africa.
The latest research by Transparency International and Afrobarometer in 35 African countries shows that an estimated 52 percent of the people in Botswana are unhappy with the level of corruption in public institutions. However, in the same survey, Botswana was ranked as the third least corrupt country in Africa with the level of corruption at seven percent, which is an indication that the government was committed in its fight against corrupt actions.
“52 per cent think corruption increased in the previous 12 months – seven percent of public service users paid a bribe in the previous 12 months – 42 percent think their government is doing a bad job of tackling corruption – 62 percent think that ordinary citizens can make a difference in the fight against corruption,” the report noted. But in the survey Botswana went on to fare-well in dealing with corruption at the national compared with other African countries surveyed whose economies are in turmoil due to high level corrupt acts.
“By comparison, in Botswana, only 1 per cent of citizens who came into contact with health centres or clinics paid a bribe, followed by Mauritius (two percent) and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) (three percent),” the reports said. At least 62 percent of the respondents in Botswana said they were ready and willing to take action in fighting fraud and corruption despite fears of retaliation and inaction from those involved in graft.
“A majority of citizens in Lesotho, Mauritius, Cabo Verde, Botswana, Eswatini and Gambia think reporting corruption can lead to change (55 per cent or more). However, this falls to less than one-third in Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Togo, Gabon and Namibia, where people are far less confident that any action would be taken (less than 33 per cent),” the survey noted.
The reported added: “Reporting mechanisms can act as important deterrents for public officials who may otherwise decide to engage in corruption. However, if victims fear retaliation if they use such mechanisms or think they will be ineffective, the mechanisms will not be used.” The survey also suggested that whistle-blower reporting channels in all countries had to be safe and secure, providing confidentiality and anonymity to reporters while the complaints must be properly investigated, with perpetrators held to account.
In overall, the poll showed that the majority of the citizens surveyed in the 35 African countries are of the view that corruption is getting worse and their government is doing a poor job of fighting it. The tenth edition of the barometer is the largest and most detailed survey of citizens’ views on bribery and other forms of corruption in Africa. The report highlights how corruption disproportionately affects the poorest citizens, who have to pay bribes twice as much as the rich citizens to access essential public service such as health, education and public assistance.
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.