President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have blatantly rebuffed a peace pipe effort by his advice-giver Peter Magosi between him (Masisi) and his predecessor Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama, two days before the Serowe Show-grounds meeting was held early this month.
A highly placed source shared with this publication this week that in his daily routine work, Director General (DG) of Directorate on Intelligence Security Services (DISS) Magosi requested a private meeting with Khama on behalf of President Masisi. This was a kind gesture by Magosi who is seemingly worried by the ongoing animosity between the two leaders, the informant says.
It is said, Khama who was once Magosi’s boss during their army days agreed to the request to meet Masisi privately. The agenda of the meeting was to discuss a number of issues, among others, ironing out political differences between the two leaders. However, it is said Magosi’s efforts were dealt a huge blow when President Masisi threw the idea out of the window.
“DG (Magosi) on Wednesday, that was two days before that Serowe meeting at show grounds, met and organized a meeting between Khama and Masisi. He did this without consulting Masisi and HE (Masisi) could not agree with the idea because he felt he was not ready and most importantly he argued that he has long asked for a meeting with the former President which never materialized.
Remember he even engaged BDP veterans to convene a meeting but Khama refused. Now this time after the efforts by Magosi, Masisi asked DG; “Why now, because I have long asked to meet with him but in vain?” This was how the livid Masisi closed that chapter with Magosi having to go back few minutes and cancel the meeting he set with Khama.
On the other hand, Khama despite having placed invitation placards for the Serowe meeting was willing to listen and possibly negotiate the differences with his successor. “But after being rejected and comprehending what Magosi told him, Khama went all out with his meeting in Serowe,” says a source. It is claimed that should the former President have met and cordially engaged Masisi, the Serowe gathering would have proceeded “but he would have not spewed venom like he did because the tribesmen were not aware of the agenda of that assembly. So after that rejection, he saw it as a perfect moment to fight bare knuckled revealing everything he said there.”
When asked about the ‘interference’ by Magosi in BDP internal wrangles, the source was of the view he (Magosi) knows the animal they are dealing with and he wants all these to be extinguished quickly. “He worked with Khama at the military and he is where he is because of him. He does not want to be seen by the Khama associates as an evil man because there are possibilities that they could win governance and even after that, he wants to be sure that he won’t be harassed because of his alliance with Masisi,” explained the source on Tuesday this week.
Further Magosi is said to be alive to the fact that when you have a fallout with Khama it is almost impossible to reconcile and was very much willing to broker peace while it was still conceivable. “He is doing this for his boss (Masisi) so that the feud is solved within a short time because he knows who Khama is and how he reacts to situations,” the source expounded.
In an interview with this publication on Thursday morning, Khama confirmed meeting with Magosi but said he could not reveal details. “True we met and agreed on the meeting that was around 7pm. The agreement was that the session could go on even on that night of which I did not have any problem. Magosi later came to me around 9pm saying the meeting will not go on as planned. He did not furnish me with the reasons, but then I said Okay, no problem,” Khama told WeekendPost.
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 President 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 President Masisi to engage his predecessor through the BDP elders committee which the former leader deliberately rejected. The report from 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 resources 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.
The two warring axis were pictured at the recent Khawa Dune Challenge smiling and shaking hands. This however, political observers have dismissed as a mere public relations stunts to fool Batswana and BDP members that the situation has normalized while in fact there is still a long way to go. “This is similar to the Palapye BDP retreat where party members were made to believe that the two men now can share a shadow, at the end it proved to be just a fallacy. Khawa stunt is no exception,” one commentator told WeekendPost.
Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.
According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reachingÂ WeekendPostÂ shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.
In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.
The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.
This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publicationâ€™s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, â€śas you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,â€ť she said.
She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.
Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.
Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.
Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.
â€śIt is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,â€ť he toldÂ WeekendPost, adding that â€śwhen a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolvedâ€ť.
Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.
The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.
Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa
A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.
COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”
According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.
“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”
Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”
Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.
Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.
“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.
For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.
“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.