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Bangwato rejected Masisi, Khama truce at 11th hour

Truce efforts between President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Lt Gen Ian Khama were last week dealt a last blow when Bangwato tribal leadership advised the former President against meeting his successor. A date had been set for the two to meet.

Weekendpost informants disclosed that after Masisi initially rejected a proposed reconciliatory meeting arranged and organized by Spy Chief Peter Magosi because he was not ready and had long asked for the meet, he had now decided it was high time he met the man who gave him the baton.  All logistics for the meeting were sorted, with Magosi still the main organizer until the Bangwato traditional leadership dismissed it.

When Magosi made a somehow unusual call to Khama asking if it would be possible for him to meet with Masisi, it is said he (Khama) gave it a thumbs up. But he had indicated that he was in Serowe preparing for his scheduled meeting that was to be held on Saturday.  The agreement now was the meeting (private) be held on Wednesday at around 9pm in Serowe, Masisi and Magosi did not mind time and venue anyway and it was set that the two warring leaders will meet in Serowe.

Sources say with Masisi and Magosi not disputing the venue; it was demonstration that they wanted to iron out their differences with Khama. It is understood that President Masisi concedes privately that this feud has the ability to dismantle the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) going to the elections. Khama, while on the one hand agreeing to meet Masisi via phone calls with Magosi, is reported to have been locked in another meeting with his ‘Uncles’ and advise-givers but did not share with them what the frequent calls were about. Few minutes later after finalizing the meeting with Magosi through another call, it is then that he decided to disclose to his ‘uncles’ what the calls were about.

Informants say his announcement was met by strong resistance from the uncles who were already preparing for a weekend meeting and made it clear that Khama should leave the BDP. “Khama returned a call to Magosi cancelling the agreed meet. He did not reveal more details of which Magosi did not question further too, but deep down Khama knew he wanted the meeting but could not disappoint his uncles who have been traversing the path of trials and tribulation with him,” narrates a source on Tuesday this week.

Khama was told after revealing that Masisi wants to meet him that, “What, ware who? We are not with you on that one you could go ahead with it but you will be on your own,” allegedly said one member of Khama’s regiment of Malwelakgosi. Further, another uncle added, “he can come but he won’t be accorded neither any protocol nor security that the president deserves and we will not give him any recognition, so you may go ahead. But still know that Saturday we are on because we cannot fool Bangwato. They want to know what you will present to them and if he sweet-talks you, you will see how to address the tribe at the weekend.”

This was the turning point that called off the meeting but Magosi was not aware of whatever was said by the tribal leaders. The meeting by Khama and his mentors held at an unknown place in his home village of Serowe was plotting an ambush of how Masisi and the BDP should be scattered in Serowe and the central region. Further it was influencing Khama to leave the BDP and seek a refuge where he will be free and not be accused of interfering with Masisi’s presidency. Masisi was left frustrated and left the peace pipe effort hanging by a thread with a meeting between the two looking more unlikely. Contacted for comment this week, regent Kgamane said; “I am not in a position to say anything,” he said briefly.

KHAMA’S UNCLES PRESSED HIM TO REVEAL POLITICAL FUTURE

After dismissing the meeting and agreeing on the weekend agenda, which was for Khama to dump his own party. Everything went according to the script which was to disclose intentions to leave the BDP and endorse those who are sympathetic to him as per the South African based research consultancy firm. “After Biggy (Butale) made that presentation and Khama followed, he was told thereafter to go back to podium to tell Bangwato where he is going as he leaves the BDP.

And that is where they lost it; they were over-excited especially after the arrival of Butale. Khama was asked to tell the tribesmen the next destiny, “ga o kake wa bitsa batho o bo o sa ba bolelele gore ba ya kae. Ba tshwanetse go itse gore tsela pedi ba tsaya efe phuthi,” one uncle allegedly told Khama inside that white tent on Saturday. It is from there that Khama went back to the podium and cleared the air: "I don't recognise this party anymore, ke kgaogana le party e mme ke tsile go thusa ba bangwe mo dipartying tse dingwe ba ba naleng boamaaruri. Ke tla tsamaya mo dikgaolong tsotlhe, mme ke taa nna patriot ke dirisana le Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).”

Reports say the mood in Serowe main Kgotla is so volatile to the extent that the traditional leadership has already hatched a grand plan to eradicate the party in the village. “BDP is no longer wanted in Serowe. Magosana are going to be mobilized to influence other tribesmen not to vote the BDP in the three Serowe constituencies because the party leadership has humiliated Kgosi Kgolo. It will be a demanding exercise but the traditionalists are upbeat that at the end of the day the plan will pass,” says a source very close to the dynamics.

A study compiled by a South African firm on the relationship between the two has also painted a muddy picture on the two Presidents reaching a point of reconciliation saying it is as good as impossible. However, it is said Khama was following the same script from the study which encouraged them to meet despite the circumstances. “Attempts to bring them together to reach a truce have failed and they seem to be heading to the cliff edge. With that, Khama should try by all means to meet Masisi personally or through emissaries. This is for a truce to be negotiated in the interest of both men and for the sake of the party,” highlighted the report.

In the past Khama had made it clear that he would like to meet Masisi privately. This was after many attempts by Masisi to engage his predecessor through the BDP elders committee which the former leader deliberately rejected. The SA firm research says with Masisi having registered a hollow victory at Kang congress last month, achieved through the price of manipulation, intimidation and abuse of state resource and assets, he may be amenable to a settlement in order to turn his attention to the general elections.

“A big question mark is would Masisi’s conciliatory stance be genuine or only meant to buy him peace for purpose of the election after which he will return to haunt Khama. Our analysis is that for Masisi’s project to become a success, Khama and his associates must continuously be vilified and portrayed in the eyes of the nation as the perennial enemies of the nation,” the study observed.

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Bangwato regent speaks ‘respect for Dikgosi’

23rd May 2022
Bangwato

Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Review of the Constitution held a meeting in Serowe this week. The meeting was to accord Bangwato, just like other tribes, a platform to give their opinions, contributions and what they think is the horse power and limitations of the current Constitution of Botswana.

Bangwato Regent, Kgosi Serogola Seretse said, he is of the understanding that the Commission has not come for anything apart from getting their opinions on how things could be made better. His contribution was that he solely knows of only two social positions in the world; Dikgosi and Pastors. He said other positions are just benedictions. He further urged that, Batswana should respect God’s ordained protocols such as Dikgosi and Pastors.

Seretse pointed out the importance of acknowledging and appreciating Dikgosi as nation builders. He cautioned and warned that, the Commission should ensure that their dealing with Dikgosi is harmonious. He called for an amendment to be made on the ‘National Order of Precedence’ noting that Dikgosi are put at number 11, but should at least be taken a little higher to number 7.

One resident, Tshepo Moloi while giving his contribution said there must be provisions of Social Justice that ensure equal distribution of resources to all citizens. He said this provision should entail an obligation that all citizen have equal opportunities to different Government Initiatives. Moloi substantiated that, all ‘Presidential Commissions’ be engraved on the Constitution

Alfred Thogolwane who is as well a resident of the biggest village in the Central District, pointed out the need for preservation of the country and resources thereof, saying “it must dawn onto all that, the calabash that fetches water for the family cannot fixed once its broken.”  Another resident, Keikantsemang Sebedi advocated for Polygamous marriage, saying that men should marry as many wives as they please. She said there is no need for any socioeconomic assessment done on men who wish to marry more than one wife.

She advised that, the country should benchmark from the Zezuru culture that does it, with no complexities. On the other hand, Sebedi said that, there must be considerations done on the Old Age Pension. She said people who earned P4000 should not receive the old Age Pension upon their fullness of age.  Forshia Koloi called for amendments on Section 77 and all the provisions that speaks to the subject of Bogosi and the powers infested in them. He said they should be made more detailed and avoid ambiguity in clauses.

Mr Tlhaodi said there must be Land Audits done in the country. Citing an example of the Tati Land as one that should be thoroughly audited. He further advised that, Election Day be put on the Calendar. He said, if it happens that the day be a Saturday, there should be some special dispensation for the 7th Day Adventist Church members to take part in voting without compromising on their day of worship. Tlhaodi added that there must be People’s Complaint Commission in the country.

Speakers emphasized the need for the country to review the exercise of ‘Political Party Funding’. They articulated that lack of funding political parties’ results in political parties resorting to finding funds for themselves. They reiterated that sometimes going to the extent of getting funds through illegal means. Bangwato agreed in one accord that they want the President be tried whilst in office if suspected of any criminal offences. This was revealed in their contributions. They pointed out that, the law should not to wait until the end of their tenure.

For his part, the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission Johnson Motshwarakgole expressed gratitude to the residents of Serowe. He applauded women for their kindness saying it is only them, who always take responsibility for doing things amicably in the society.

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Parliament unveils major shake-up plans & reforms

23rd May 2022
Parliament

Parliament has revealed that it plans to rollout a Community Score Card (CSC) exercise as part of sweeping reforms to its role and mandate among others.

The planed shakeup, along with the rollout of CSC will see creation of new Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Health, HIV&AIDS, Education and Skills Development, Trade and Economic Development, Agriculture, Lands and Housing and Local Governance and Social Welfare.
Parliament informed government ministries and departments that the CSC is a participatory, community based monitoring and evaluation tool that enables citizens to assess the quality of public services and interact with services providers to express their concerns.

According to Parliament, the CSC will assist to inform community members about available services and their entitlements and to solicit their opinions about the accessibility and quality of certain services related to the portfolio committees mentioned.  It said the main objective is for Parliament through identified oversight committees is to conduct a participatory monitoring and evaluating process that puts ownership and responsibility for delivery of services in the hands of both the Government and the service recipients.

“Through scorecards developed around identified sectors and services, communities and implementing departments remain in touch with progress made through the programme delivery cycle and are able to respond timely to bottlenecks,” the National Assembly said.  Some of the measurements and expected outcomes for the rolling out of the CSC include among others, improved monitoring and economic evaluation, to determine the impact of spending, so as to be able to direct resources from where they having the least benefit to those projects and programmes where they will have a larger positive impact.

The National Assembly explained further that this could result in a willingness to close down ineffective programmes and institutions and not to implement projects that do not deliver adequate returns, improved productivity in the public services, especially given the substantial pay increases.

The National Assembly believes that the rolling out of CSC is also expected to result in efficiency savings: many public services and programmes could be delivered more effectively at lower costs, by improving management and accountability, and making use of e-services. “This would yield financial savings that could be used for development programmes or reducing the deficit,” the National Assembly said.

The exercise is also expected to result in “Careful scrutiny of subsidy schemes and termination of those that do not address market failure or assist truly needy Batswana.”  The National Assembly revealed that proposed Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Wellness has been established in accordance with the Standing of National Assembly of Botswana.  It explained that the mandate of the Committee is mainly to exercise Parliamentary oversight and scrutiny over Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with portfolio responsibilities in respect of Health and HIV/AIDS.

“There is need to identify reasons for inefficiency and poor outcomes and ensure that health system reform improve productivity and value for money. Key areas of focus for scorecard, availability of drugs, staffing ratios, accessibility of health services, speciality care and services and sexual reproductively health,” the National Assembly said.

Another proposed Committee is on Local Governance and Social Welfare. The mandate of the Committee is mainly to exercise Parliamentary Oversight and Scrutiny over Government Ministries. Departments and Agencies with Portfolio responsibilities in respect of Local Governance and Social Welfare.

“Strategies under NDP 11 to improve outcomes of social uplifment include; diversification of rural economies, development and support of small businesses, provision of social safety nets, eradication of absolute poverty, provision of quality and equitable education and harmonisation of social protection programmes,” said the National Assembly.  It said social nets need to be improved so as to target these most in need (at present some social safety nets benefit many people who are not the most needy, but also miss out some of those who are needy).

“Some social development policies more broadly should also aim to reduce household vulnerability to shocks such as those arising from fluctuations in agriculture, climate change, incomes and employment and improve their ability to handle shocks, thereby building household resilience,” the National Assembly said.

Another Committee established is on Agriculture, Lands and Housing. The mandate of the Committee is mainly to exercise Parliamentary oversight and scrutiny over Government Institutions, Departments and Agencies with portfolio responsibilities in respect of Agriculture, Lands and Housing.

The National Assembly said the average growth rate of the agricultural sector since the beginning of National Development Plan 11 (NDP11) (i.e. during the 2017/2018 and 2018/19 financial years) was 2.5 percent, making it the slowest growing sector of the economy, in line with its historical performance.

“Over the same period, its share of GDP has been stagnant at around 2 percent. The sector also contributes job opportunities for about 80 000 adults. Food security has become paramount since the onset of the corona virus pandemic,” the National Assembly said.  The National Assembly said the Government realises the need to increase food production for products in which Botswana has a cooperative advantage such as beef, grains and other horticulture products.

The Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Development has also been established. One of the mandates of Committee would be to exercise Parliamentary oversight and scrutiny over government ministries, departments and agencies with portfolio responsibilities in respect of Finance, Development, Trade and Industry.

“The sector is at the core of industrialisation aspirations and strategies for economic development in Botswana. Manufacturing in particular can be the driver of economic growth through technological improvements and innovation,” the National Assembly said. Hence, it said, the development of the sector could also foster export diversification and export led-growth in Botswana while benefitting from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).

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Salbany, Bareetsi threaten to sue DIS

23rd May 2022
Salbany Bareetsi

Two senior members of Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have threatened legal action against Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), it has transpired. The threat is contained in an answering affidavit of Director General of DCEC, Tymon Katlholo in which he is seeking an interdiction from High Court to stop the DIS from accessing investigation files at his office.

After the DIS detained DCEC officials Joao Salbany and Tsholofelo Bareetsi on December 16, 2021, they filed an official complaint against DIS and some officials. They complained about abuse of office by DIS and five officers. Salbany and Bareetsi also complained about unlawful detention by DIS and unlawful dissemination of classified information contrary to Section 44 of Corruption and Economic Crime Act. “The DIS interviews were premised on information divulged during the course of official DCEC work product, that is the Monday media brief meeting,” they wrote.

They further requested leave to institute a civil suit against the DIS and its officers, and invariably the State for inhuman and degrading treatment they suffered and unlawful detention. They also pondered a declaratory seeking a sanction against the DIS and Botswana Police Service (BPS) and clarification of the role of BPS officers seconded to DIS.

“The envisaged suit against BPS and DIS officers and the DIS will inevitably centre on investigations done by the DCEC and the scope of the protection availed to DCEC officers for conduct done in the course and scope of DCEC official duties.” The duo said it was self-evident from the conduct of the DIS officers that there was nothing urgent about the information required by the DIS, justifying their detention at its Sebele facility from 08:30 hours on December 16, 2021 until 02:00 hours on December 17, 2021.

They reasoned that the information required by the DIS could have been obtained by a simple request to DCEC Director General. “What the DIS did was to seek to intimidate officers of the DCEC whom they knew were carrying out investigations against some of the DIS officers who were part of their investigation team. This turn of events has a chilling effect not only on the functioning of the DCEC but also on the official conduct of officers of the DCEC as to how they conduct their official duties.”

They concluded by stating that in the event the request is granted, they would further request to be advised as to the provision of legal representation as the unalwful detention and the degrading and inhuman treatment by the DIS was in relation to matters conducted by and on behalf of the DCEC.

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