The expelled former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) legislator Guma Moyo together with the party’s suspended MP Prince Maele have decided against joining the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) pending finalisation of pre-election program as well as the party hierarchy, WeekendPost has established.
Not only has the duo had a problem with the current development, veteran politician Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has decided to remain with the BDP after her bid to become the party presidency failed. Reports coming from the party conveners in Serowe show the party in a precarious situation with this weekend congress expected to be a make or break the party going forward.
The main concern especially from the ‘elders’ in Serowe is the party presidency should be given to a more mature and experienced politician. The suggested name from Serowe was that of Venson-Moitoi. However, it is said Butale rejected the advice and remained as the face of the party. “Butale wants the presidency, but the people who formed the party want Venson-Moitoi. High profile cadres, at least 10, have met him cajoling him to leave that seat for her but he has rejected that proposal,” revealed a source on Thursday afternoon.
As of now with the dynamics playing out, Maele who has briefed his constituents on the matter has been told to remain independent until the dust settles. “He has been asked to remain as he is but could join after Venson-Moitoi assumes the presidency of which looks unlikely. But there is still possibility of him joining because again his advisers want him to join if the party has a solid structure nationally and regionally as well as elections program,” added a high placed informant.
This publication is further informed that this rumpus is the reason why there are no activities in the central region. The rallies and mobilisation, reports say have paused because the elders feel they were given a deaf ear, including Ramadeluka Seretse who is not happy with the current turn of events in the party. Furthermore the Serowe advisers want party to recruit more MPs but believe Butale’s ego could rather bring more harm than the good as MPs could only join if Venson-Moitoi is leading. “The argument is you can’t start a party with one MP, at least if they were four it could lay a convincing structure and show people the seriousness of it.”
Butale’s onslaught on president Mokgweetsi Masisi is another factor that irks the party. “The elders lament that he is shooting the wrong target in Masisi. The focus according to the veterans should be the BDP and how the party is going to run governance if they win, not Masisi, but he is busy focused on Masisi,” said the informant.
On the other side Guma-Moyo who has gone AWOL amid assassination claims, is reported to be a very much member of the party, but unhappy with Butale as the face of the party. This is said to be the reason why he will not grace today’s [Saturday] congress. For this weekend’s event, the party will launch slogans, colours as well as calling those who want to contest to raise hands, it will be just be a conference, source said.
BPF ELDERS GIVE CDC ULTIMATUM
With the events unfolding it is said the Serowe conveners want everyone who wants to join, to do so this weekend or leave. The plan is central district MPs who want to join in principle should do so or risk being de-campaigned. “The MPs are under pressure, because they have been told it is now or never. Remember the councilors set the bandwagon by resigning and ultimately moving with the structures. Now this has put the MPs on a tight corner since the structures are gone and they should follow.”
However it is said Butale has pleaded with the elders to be patient and not rush to press the MPs. “The party is targeting 12 central constituencies and Butale has asked the older generation to keep calm because he says he worked with them and knows that they won’t disappoint.”
KHAMA REJECTED BPF CHAIRPERSON
Former President Ian Khama is reported to have also decided against being the party chairperson. Reports say he was asked to but he only suggested he could take the patron post which he did. This however leaves a lot to be desired on his loyalty to the party he championed its formation. Khama is also said to be mum on the party presidency because the “project has gone beyond him and Butale but now it is managed by the elders.”
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.