Former Alliance for Progressives (AP) Member of Parliament, Haskins Nkaigwa has explained that his defection from the newly formed AP back to the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is due to the AP’s lack of interest in opposition unity.
Nkaigwa told Weekend Post this week that he is disheartened by AP’s un-visionary gesture. “From the actions of AP it is clear that there is no heart and desire to go to 2019 General Elections as a united opposition,” the Gaborone North legislator pointed out as his main reason for leaving the 3 year old party. The one time legislator reiterated that AP should “learn from our past to inform our future” particularly because “a divided opposition aide a continued rule by the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).”
In 2014 the then 16 year old opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) was shunned at the polls following their resolution to stand for the elections as a single entity – divorced from a conglomerate of all other opposition parties including Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP). The UDC performed better pocketing 17 constituencies while the best attained a paltry 3. This, Nkaigwa highlighted that therefore should be a chilling lesson to the AP.
There is already a school of thought that Batswana warm up to new political parties slowly and therefore that it will take time for the AP to really attain a fortune – making it more competitive – at the polls. Nkaigwa’s defection comes at a time when the two parties; UDC and AP have initiated the cooperation talks which are said to be bearing no fruits due to AP’s hard stance that UDC leaders have threw them under the bus politically and that the party (UDC) is tainted and that they no longer share the same values like honesty, integrity and the sanctity of life.
According to the former BMD of UDC lawmaker his defection, he said however that it is nothing personal but only a sign of respect for his constituents. “I am respecting the will and wishes of my constituents. The desire of my constituents is to have a united opposition. Nothing personal. I just re-joined the UDC that took me to parliament,” he stressed to this publication.
Nkaigwa emphasised they built the UDC and cannot just run away from it after laying the foundation while adding that pour personal differences and egos are denying Batswana a change of government as is happening with UDC and AP. “The BDP has been in power for so long and I can’t stomach another BDP governance. It really pains to see the opposition in war against itself,” the former city mayor of Gaborone under the UDC further pointed out.
The Christian inclined lawmaker furthermore explained that God has given him the wisdom leading to his defection while adding that the UDC project is from God and anything from God is bound to face trials and tribulations. “But we know at the end of it all victory shall be certain. Our God is a God of unity. Nothing is impossible with God. UDC needs our prayers to deliver Batswana from the BDP misrule,” Nkaigwa said.
According to the Gaborone North legislator, his decision seeks to unite his constituents in the area who were not happy with the lack of unity among opposition parties. He said: “I do apologise to all those who might have been aggrieved by my decision to re-join the UDC. I shall stand in the gap to ensure that we unite as the opposition towards this years’ elections. Rest assured I shall continue to serve my people diligently and continue to unite them towards a common goal of taking the BDP out of power.”
Meanwhile AP Secretary General Phenyo Butale confirmed Nkaigwa’s resignation from the party and wished him well. He stated in a press release: “this serves to inform the public and members of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) that we have received correspondence from Hon. Haskins Nkaigwa, the current Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, informing us of his decision to resign from our party.” Butale further highlighted on the communique dated 28 February 2019 that “on behalf of our party, I have accepted his resignation and take this opportunity to wish him well in all his future endeavours.”
Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC) has announced that its 3rd Francistown Marathon will be held on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown. The BTC Francistown Marathon is officially recognised by World Athletics and a Comrades Marathon Qualifier will offer race categories ranging from 42.2km, 21.1 km, 10km, 5km fun run, 5km peace run for children and has introduced a 5km and 10km categories for wheelchairs athletics.
BTC also used this opportunity to announce beneficiaries who received donations from proceeds made from the 2nd BTC Francistown Marathon that was held on April 23rd 203. BTC donated a play area, plastic chairs and wooden tables for pupils worth a total of thirty eight thousand, one hundred and three pula, fifty thebe each (P38, 103.50) to Monarch Primary School, Tatitown Primary School, Mahube Primary School and Gulubane Primary School. Ditladi and Boikhutso clinics each received a donation of benches, television sets and 10, 000 litre water tanks worth thirty seven thousan, eight hundred and ninety eight pula (P 37, 898.00). Additionally, BTC also donated seventy thousand pula (P70,000.00) to their marathon technical partner, Francistown Athletics Club (FAC) which will be used for daily operations as well as to purchase equipment for the club.
The BTC Francistown Marathon aligns seamlessly with BTC’s corporate social investment programme, administered through the BTC Foundation. This programme is a testament to BTC’s dedication to community development, focusing on key areas such as health promotion. The marathon, now in its third year, not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also channels all proceeds to carefully chosen charities as part of BTC’s commitment to impactful and sustainable projects.
Speaking at the launch, the BTC Managing Director Mr Anthony Masunga stated that the marathon underscores BTC’s commitment to community upliftment and corporate social investment. He stated that “the annual event which has been in existence since 2016, having taken a break due to the covid and other logistical issues, is instrumental to the economic upliftment of the city of Francistown”. He congratulated all the beneficiaries for having been nominated to receive the donations, adding that “the donation of proceeds from the 2023 marathon aims to highlight BTC’s commitment and heart for Batswana and our continued impact in the different industries”.
He further stated that through this marathon, “we demonstrate our steadfast commitment to having a good influence on our communities, this event is a manifestation of our dedication to promoting education and a healthier, more active society”. He concluded by stating that “BTC looks forward to another successful marathon that will leave a lasting positive influence on the greater Francistown community and the country at large” he said.
Giving welcome remarks, the Councillor for Donga, Honourable Morulaganyi Mothowabarwa stated that “he is ecstatic that BTC is collaborating with the City of Francistown on yet another installment of the Marathon”. He continued to offer his support to BTC to enable this marathon to continue over the coming years, stating that the “CSI element is a welcome development that helps empower our communities”, he said.
The 3rd BTC Francistown Marathon is officially open for registrations and athletes may use the following platforms to register and pay; through Smega by dialling *173# and choosing opton 5, then choose Option 3 for the Francistown marathon, at any BTC store or by visiting the BTC website and clicking on the BTC Francistown Marathon and choosing the relevant options.
Thapelo Letsholo, Member of Parliament for Kanye North, delivered a moving speech at the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, praising President Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption. Letsholo highlighted the importance of embracing digitalization in governance as a crucial step in curbing corrupt practices.
According to Letsholo, the implementation of digital systems in government services can significantly reduce direct interactions between citizens and officials, which often serve as fertile grounds for corruption. By minimizing these opportunities for illicit activities, the efficiency and transparency of public services can be enhanced. Letsholo pointed to Estonia’s success in digital governance as an example, where public services have become more transparent, accessible, and efficient.
The MP commended President Masisi’s commitment to digitalization and E-Governance, emphasizing that it aligns with global anti-corruption standards. He called for full support and active participation from all sectors to ensure the success of this initiative.
Letsholo also stressed the importance of improving detection methods and refining whistleblower laws to effectively combat corruption. He highlighted the unseen and unspoken facets of corruption as its lifelines, emphasizing the need for robust detection mechanisms and a system that encourages and protects whistleblowers.
Addressing the societal role in fighting corruption, Letsholo focused on the crucial role of everyday citizens and civil servants who often witness corrupt practices firsthand. He acknowledged the existing reluctance to report corruption due to the perceived risks of repercussions. To change this narrative, Letsholo advocated for creating an environment where staying silent is deemed more detrimental than speaking out. He called for a cultural shift where the potential benefits of exposing corruption outweigh the risks, ensuring that whistleblowers are protected and feel secure in coming forward.
Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a system that not only detects and reports corruption but also supports those who stand against it. He expressed hope that under President Masisi’s digitalization initiatives, the future of governance in Botswana will be characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability. Letsholo’s speech resonated with the sentiments of hope and determination that permeated the commemoration, emphasizing the need for unity in the fight against corruption.
In summary, Letsholo lauded President Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption, highlighting its potential to curb corrupt practices, enhance efficiency and transparency in public services, and align with global anti-corruption standards. He emphasized the importance of improving detection methods, refining whistleblower laws, and creating an environment where speaking out against corruption is encouraged and protected. Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a future characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability in governance.
FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.
FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.
One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.
The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.
Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.
In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.
FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.
The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.