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BDP leaves former Venson-Moitoi supporters in the lurch

The Botswana Democratic (BDP) disciplinary committee has indefinitely postponed the much anticipated disciplinary hearing involving over 30 members of the ruling party mostly comprising of councilors who are facing possible expulsion from the party after attending the infamous Serowe elders meeting held earlier this year.

Leading names in the list include the Tati East legislator Samson Moyo Guma and his acolyte Roseline Panzirah- Matshome. Panzirah-Matshome has confirmed that hearing, which was initially billed for the 15th of April in Gaborone did not materialized as anticipated. “I was told that the hearing has been postponed indefinitely by acting secretary Lesedi Dintwe. I had called him after waiting for about three hours for the hearing. I have no idea why it was postponed,” she said.

A close source to this publication has revealed that the concerned lot asked for the meeting to be moved from Gaborone to Serowe since most of the implicated members were based in Serowe. This was to prevent the distance of travelling to the capital. It is said that the disciplinary committee is yet to consider the request made by the New Jerusalem camp and the date for yet another hearing will be communicated.

The implicated members were expected to face the disciplinary committee led by Damian Thapa. When asked about this the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee Thapa could not confirm nor deny that the hearing had been postponed indicating that the hearing is an internal matter and therefore could not disclose any information. “I am constrained as the chairman, I cannot give out information now at this stage of the case therefore I cannot comment any further,” he added.

Meanwhile Tati East legislator and member of the Central Committee (CC) additional member have still not shown up after fleeing the country last month claiming that he had been tipped by security agents that his life was in danger. However his continued exile has brought uneasy within the party as failure to come back on time could frustrate efforts to haul him before the coals.

 Guma is also facing disciplinary action for 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 illegitimate as per Article 43.5 of the party constitution’.
The BDP leadership is said to have requested the Directorate of Intelligence Security (DIS) to try by all means to track down the outspoken MP so he can come and account for his actions.

“The thing is there is a believe that he is running away to buy time so that he is absolved from his actions and the party insists on him coming to explain his side of the story that is why they have pleaded with the intelligence to assist by locating him and possibly ensuring that he is in the country before the date set for hearing,” a BDP informant told WeekendPost.

Mpho Balopi, secretary general (SG) of the BDP had previously indicated that it was important for Guma to come and account lest the party will comply with the necessary processes against him, another reason why the hearing could have postponed.  “He should just come for the hearing and avail his side of the story. If he doesn’t it would indirectly means he is judging himself, remember you are innocent until proven guilty.”

The SG had also indicated that it was impossible for the hearing to go on until Guma was traceable since he needed to be there to tell his side of the story. Guma is not new to drama with the BDP — in May 2015 he threatened to resign from BDP and Parliament after his accounts were frozen on account of some investigations into his business operations.

Guma resigned as BDP chairman in 2013, having defeated Venson-Moitoi for the position at the Maun elective congress earlier. Ahead of the BDP primaries in 2013 his relationship with some cabinet ministers deteriorated as claims and counter claims over the handling of primary elections emerged.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

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.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

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.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

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.

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