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Serowe Council moves to frustrate Venson-Moitoi

Serowe Sub-Council this week moved swiftly to sabotage Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s much anticipated meeting which was scheduled to take place at Lady Khama Community hall on Wednesday. Venson-Moitoi’s planned meeting followed former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s meeting which was held in Serowe at the show grounds over the weekend.

Venson-Moitoi was scheduled to address Bangwato on the outcome of the Kang congress and to give them an update on her political future. On Tuesday night, Venson-Moitoi received information that the planned meeting at Lady Khama might not see the light of the day as the hall is fully booked until May 18th something that was never communicated to her before. However WeekendPost investigations can safely reveal that the said hall is not occupied at the moment and is heavily locked with chains.

On Wednesday afternoon it seems the message was not communicated to some democrats who thronged Lady Khama to attend Venson-Moitoi’s meeting but to their dismay the premises were locked and there was no activity going on. When contacted for comment on Tuesday night Venson- Moitoi said she might be forced to postpone the meeting because she was told the hall is not available at the eleventh hour. Venson-Moitoi confirmed to WeekendPost that she will be travelling to Serowe to look for another venue to host the meeting.

“At the moment I can only share with you what they told me. They said the hall is not available and I have to come up with an alternative or wait until after the 18th May otherwise I will have to call members of the media to address a press conference”, she said. Venson-Moitoi said she is a democrat and that if it means waiting she will have to wait because she is too patient. A source close to the developments said this is a move by Serowe sub-council who seems to be working on a directive to deny Venson-Moitoi a place to host her much anticipated meeting.

 “Last week former President Ian Khama almost suffered the same fate. Khama had initially wanted to use the Serowe Sports Complex but they refused until the organisers resorted to using the showgrounds,” said a source. A few weeks before the Kang Special Congress where Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi challenged President Masisi for the position of party president, Khama, Venson- Moitoi, Tati East legislator Samson Moyo Guma, Specially elected Councillor Roseline Panzirah-Matshome and other 30 councillors from central district convened at Lady Khama hall at a heated campaign that saw speakers one by one taking swipe at President Masisi and his administration.

The 30 councillors would later be called for disciplinary hearing but they were acquitted on the grounds that the complainant did not turn up. However, Guma was expelled from the party with Lerala- Maunatla Member of Parliament Prince Maele being suspended for 12 months and Tati West legislator Biggie Butale bing side-lined for six months. Venson-Moitoi and Khama have challenged President Masisi that if he wants unity he should desist from suspending people from the party and concentrate his energies on uniting the party towards the elections.

Over the weekend Khama held a consultative meeting in Serowe where he engaged Morafe to help him decide his future in politics. At the centre of controversy was whether he should quit the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) or not. Khama told the magnitudes who attended the meeting that he no longer agree with the BDP policies and how they have been treating him. Many people agreed with his decision to quit but he advised them to meet and give him feedback after three weeks.

Contacted for comment of the organisers who spoke on condition of anonymity said they booked the hall well on time but they were surprised to hear that it was booked last minute. “We are still working around the corner to have the hall but we have been told that it can only happen after the 18th May. My guess is as good as everyone else, I cannot say somebody denied us the hall but that is the message we are getting”, he said.     

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Opposition Will Never Achieve Anything- Nkaigwa

8th April 2021
Haskins Nkaigwa

Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms.  “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.

“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.

“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.

“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”

Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner.  He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.

Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.

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Botswana benefits over P100 million in grants from Japan

7th April 2021
Ambassador HOSHIYAMA

Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.

The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).

“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.

“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”

Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.

From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.

“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.

“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”

In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.

TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.

“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.

“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”

Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.

“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.

“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”

Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.

Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.

According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.

“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.

The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.

According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).

“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.

“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”

The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.

 

“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.

“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”

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Magosi pushes for Cabinet reshuffle

6th April 2021
President Masisi

Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.

The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.

This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.

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