Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Mpho Balopi has defended President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s heavy security detail at the Kang Congress two weeks ago, describing it as a “normal procedure” despite some startling occurrences.
In the highly anticipated historic event, attendees were stunned by the presence of strong security personnel that had been on sight approximately two weeks before the congress. A member of the BDF Commando Unit who spoke on condition of anonymity told WeekendPost that they were told to prepare for a trip on the eleventh hour but never told the destination until they arrived in Kang Botswana a few days before the congress.
In an unusual occurrence, the presidential security detail was beefed up with quite a considerable number of Special Support Group (SSG), Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Commando Unit as well as Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), all dispatched in one place, a scenery that raised suspicions.
The DIS chief Peter Magosi was the man running the show. At some point the ever energetic Magosi acted as Aide-De-Camp (ADC), offering personal security to President Mokgweetsi Masisi. The DIS chief was also pictured riding the Presidential convoy on an uncompromising position to send a clear message that indeed he is in control.
When briefing the media after the Kang Congress, Balopi told members of the media that the DIS could see things that an ordinary eye could not see. He said the reason they were on high alert means they detected some external forces that might be dangerous not only to the President but risky to everyone attending the congress in Kang. The build up to the historic special congress saw a fierce fight involving President Mokgweetsi Masisi, presidential hopeful Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and former President Lt Gen Ian Khama.
Reports on planned coup and assassination claims on Masisi made headlines both locally and internationally. On the eve of the congress, Venson-Moitoi took the BDP to court but lost the case when the High Court ruled that her case was not urgent and that in her submissions she failed to prove that she qualifies to run for president with regard to citizenship.
The feud would later see Tati East legislator Samson Moyo Guma fleeing the country amid assassination claims. Moitoi took the decision to withdraw from the presidential race in the morning of the congress citing her displeasure on how she was ill-treated and cheated by the Masisi camp. When questioned this week about the mass deployment of security organs at Kang, Balopi said the security report that was carried out by the party proved that there was no risk at Kang.
“The high presence of security on the ground was merely to protect the presidency as an institution, his deputy and the cabinet. It does not mean that somebody’s life was under threat”, said Balopi. Balopi is of the view that the high security also provided protection not only to democrats but every individual who was in Kang. He said this is not something new, but a practice that has always been there when a head of state travels the country in the past.
Meanwhile DIS Magosi said the current situation in the country is not like in the past. “What happened in Kang, even if there was something I would not share with you because that would be classified”, said Magosi. The spy chief said from time to time as the DIS they do change their daily routine just to beef up security citing example about the Palapye Congress where the President arrived in a totally different convoy. Magosi said it is a standard practice that they keep their eyes on the ground to ensure maximum security and that everyone is safe. “That question you can go to any country, they will not answer you because it talks to the threatening the life of a President”, he concluded.
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.
Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.
The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ, Patrick Thedi said, “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”
As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.
Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele, who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.
The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as well as bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.
TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050, has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.