The ‘self-exiled’ Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma is expected to return back to his seat and be part of the law making squad inside the August house when it resumes next month after a ‘successful three months outside the country,’ Weekendpost has learnt.
This publication is reliably informed by impeccable sources that Guma’s return ticket has already been bought and it is a matter of time before he touches down in his native country. For now, sources say, there is no hurry for him to return because there is no any pressing matter forcing him to come but he will wait for the parliamentary session in July to come with full-force and make his presence known. This will be a strategic move after-all, informants say.
Guma fled this country in March claiming to have received a tip-off about a plan to assassinate him. Guma then told this publication that he was tipped by security agents to go for safety and also revealed that he had informed the speaker of the National assembly about this development. The National assembly speaker Gladys Kokorwe confirmed that Moyo was one of the legislators who absconded from parliament and that he sent a notification saying that his life was in danger.
It later came out that Guma was fleeing his Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) flames where the taxman wanted to repossess some of his goods as it is said he was a tax dodger. It was also revealed that the Directorate of Intelligence services (DIS) wanted him to account for P30 million he got from different bank through his company United Refineries Botswana Holdings (URB).
Having gone for three months in which a lot of dynamics played out including his expulsion from his own Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Guma is said to have been watching events as they unfold with keen interest. In fact, reports say, Guma deep down his heart know what he fled from Botswana and has been working on it abroad.
“In short he has been negotiating with donors around the world to assist him to clear off his debts that the state could use to deter him from contesting elections in October and possibly close his business for good. But he has been working smart that side and as soon as July he will be in the country preparing for elections,” a highly placed source told this publication last week.
Sources however though privy to information could not share with this publication Guma’s donors but rather said; “they are good Samaritans from South Africa and Zimbabwe who would like to see him back in parliament.” When contacted to comment on these matters, Guma said: “I was saying I don’t give interviews. I will, when I am back which won’t be long.”
Guma according to those privy to information says he will use the same script used by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader Duma Boko. “You don’t have to carry the money because it will arouse a lot of questions which could make someone un-comfortable. So all the monies raised will remain outside and transaction will happen between two countries from central bank to another,” says a source.
This is taken as a hybrid masterstroke plan that would feed those who want to destroy Guma’s political career a humble pie. “You just ask them how much you owe then let the bank (outside) to make payment and that way I can assure you there will be no reason for you to be arrested. That’s what Boko did when BURS harassed him akere,” added the source.
Guma who is in constant talks with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama regarding the local political terrain should come to raise awareness about the new political party (Botswana Patriotic Front). “He (Khama) and Biggie [Butale] want him, he knows Guma’s potential and would like to carry out political rallies together especially in North eastern part where he commands a huge following,” says another source this week.
Ever since fleeing the country, Tati East constituents have lamented his absence and eventually BDP expelled him from the party and it is still struggling to find his replacement. This, observers believe still swings the pendulum in favour of Guma who first won the constituency in 2004. Guma was expelled for tarnishing Vice President Slumber Tsogwane’s name where he accused VP for conspiring with opposition figure to win Guma’s constituency. Secondly he was facing transgression of being the ring leader of dissenting members of the party who attended the infamous Serowe meeting which was not called by an ‘established organ of the party therefore in illegitimate as per Article 43.5 of the party constitution’.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lemogang Kwape says Botswana has not taken any position regarding the killing of a renowned human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, who was gunned down at his house in Mbabane, Eswatini.
In a brief interview with WeekendPost, Dr Kwape said Botswana has not yet taken any position regarding his death. He said the purported incident should be thoroughly probed before Botswana can form an opinion based on the findings of the inquiries.
“Botswana generally condemns any killing of human life by all means,” says Dr. Kwape. He wouldn’t want to be dragged on whether Botswana will support the suspension of Eswatini from SADC.
“We will be guided by SADC organ Troika if they can be an emergency meeting. I am not sure when the meeting will be called by Namibian president,“ he said.
However, the Namibian president Hage Geingob notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr. Maseko. In a statement, he called upon the “Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.”
Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.
“SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion,” the statement says.
Geingob reiterated the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country.
Meanwhile political activists are calling on SADC to suspend Eswatini from the block including the African Union as well.
State prosecutor, Seeletso Ookeditse revealed before the Broadhurst Magistrate Jobbie Moilatshimo that the third accused involved in the murder of Barulaganye Aston, has interfered with the State witnesses again.
The second and third accused (Lefty Kosie and Outlwile Aston) were previously accused of interference when they were caught in possession of cellphones in prison. They were further accused of planning to kill the deceased’s brother, who is currently the guardian to the children of the deceased.
Ookeditse indicated that Outlwile had earlier went to challenge the magistrate’s decision of denying him bail at the High Court before Judge Michael Motlhabi.
“The third accused approached the High Court and made a bail application, which was dismissed on the same day,” Ookeditse said.
However, even after the High Court verdict on their bail application, the duo (Kosie and Aston) has once again applied for bail this week.
Ookeditse plead with the court to stop the accused from abusing the court process.
“Yesterday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) received papers of his bail application filed before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court. However, the papers do not speak to changed circumstances, therefore this back and forth about bail must be put to a stop,” said the State prosecutor.
While giving evidence before court, the Investigations Officer, Detective Inspector Quite Zhalamonto, said his investigations have proved that there is interference continuing regarding the accused trio.
He told the court that on the 12th of January 2023, he received a report from Thato Aston, who is the son of the accused and the deceased. The son had alleged to the Investigation Officer that he received a call from one Phillip Molwantwa.
According to Zhalamonto, Thato revealed that Molwatwa indicated that he was from prison on a visit to the Outlwile Aston and went on to ask where he was staying and where his siblings (Aston’s children) are staying.
“Thato revealed that Phillip went on to ask if he or his siblings saw their father murdering their mother, and he was referring to the crime scene. Thato told me that he, however, refused to answer the questions as he was afraid especially because he was asked about where him and his siblings stay,” said Zhalamonto.
Zhalamonto alluded to the court that he then went to Orange to confirm the communication between Thato and Molwantwa where he found the case.
“I have arrested Philip yesterday and when I interviewed him, he did not deny that he knows Aston and that he has indeed called Thato and asked questions as to where him and his siblings resides even though he failed to give reasons for asking such questions,” Zhalamonto told the court.
He further revealed that Molwantwa indicated that he had received a call from an unknown man who refused to reveal himself.
“Phillip told me that the unknown man said he was sent by the accused (Aston), and that Aston had instructed him to tell me to check if there was still some money in his bank accounts, and he also wanted to know where the kids were residing, the unknown man even asked him to meet at Main Mall” the Investigation Officer told the court.
He further informed the court that he is working tirelessly to identify the “unknown caller” and the route of the cell number.
Furthermore, the fourth accused, Kebaleboge Ntsebe, has revealed to the court through a letter that she was abused and tortured by the Botswana Police Services. She wrote in her letter that she suffered miscarriage as a result of being beaten by the police.
Ntsebe is on bail, while a bail ruling for Aston and Kosie will be delivered on the 6th of next month
Cattle farmers from Eretsha and Habu in the Ngamiland district, supported by the Community Based Trade (CBT) project, recently generated over P300 000.00 for sales of 42 cattle to the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) in Maun. This milestone was achieved through support from various stakeholders in conservation, commodity-based trade and the government, in collaboration with farmers. Ordinarily, these farmers would not have made this direct sale since the area is a designated Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Red Zone.
Traditional livestock farming contributes toward livelihoods and formal employment in the North-West District (Ngamiland) of Botswana. However, primarily due to the increase in FMD outbreaks over the past two decades and predation by wildlife, the viability of livestock agriculture as a source of income has declined in the region. This has led to a greater risk of poverty and food insecurity. Access across the Okavango River (prior to the construction of a bridge) restricted access for farmers in Eretsha. This lack of access hampered sales of cattle beyond Shakawe, further discouraging farmers from investing in proper livestock management practices. This resulted in negative environmental impacts, poor livestock health and productivity.
To address this challenge, farmers are working with a consortium led by Conservation International (CI), with funding secured from the European Union (EU) to pilot a CBT beef project. The project focuses on supporting and enabling communal farmers to comply with standards and regulations that will improve their chances to access markets. An opportunity to earn higher income from cattle sales could incentivize the adoption of restorative rangelands management practices by farmers.
“We spend a lot of money getting our cattle to Makalamabedi quarantine site, the herder spends on average two months taking care of the cattle before they are taken into quarantine – that needs money. All these costs lead to us getting less money from BMC,” said one of the farmers in the programme, Mr Monnaleso Mosanga.
Farmers that participate in the project agree for their cattle to be herded and kraaled communally by fulltime professional herders (eco-rangers). At the core of this pilot is the use of predator-proof bomas (cattle kraals), planned grazing systems and mobile quarantine bomas (electrified enclosures) for the cattle, facilitated in support with the Department of Veterinary Services. The first successful exit from the mobile quarantine bomas in the Habu and Eretsha villages, in December 2022, saw cattle quarantined on-site and directly transported to BMC in Maun. Farmers received almost double the average sales within this region, as costs including transportation to quarantine sites, herder’s fees and other associated costs incurred before qualifying for BMC sales were no longer included.
“This pilot mobile quarantine is leveraging the techniques and protocols we are using at our current permanent quarantine sites, and we are still observing the results of the project. The outcome of this pilot will be presented to the World Organisation of Animal Health to assess its effectiveness and potentially be approved to be used elsewhere,” said Dr Odireleng Thololwane, the Principal Veterinary Officer (Maun).