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UDC will fail without BMD – Pilane

Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President, Sidney Pilane, has said that the opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is destined to fail without BMD within its ranks. Pilane said this remarks when addressing the media this week about recent developments since the expulsion of BMD from the UDC.

Pilane, a founding member of BMD said it is without doubt that BMD was a vital cog in the partnership which delivered a historic 17 seats in the last general elections. He pointed out that their only aim as the BMD was to help build the opposition and not destroyed as they had been accused of by other opposition parties. ‘‘We left Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to help build the opposition, it was unable to build itself. We gathered them and helped build them into something they had long struggled to build,’’ said Pilane.

He emphasised that had there been no BMD, UDC would never have won 17 parliamentary seats in 2014.  Pilane said the 2014 success were all BMD efforts, initiatives and time. ‘‘I want to assure you, UDC will not retain those seats in 2019 if we are not a part of it, and there is no UDC without BMD and AP [Alliance for Progressives]. They need us,’’ Pilane cited. The BMD president said the UDC is led by selfish people who are only concerned about their personal interests and not that of the people.

Moreover, he said UDC will never be the same again following speculations that they were disputes over constituencies. Pilane stated that the two old opposition parties in Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) failed to build a meaningful opposition cooperation until BMD appeared in the picture. ‘‘We are not fighting with them, we are not fighting with anyone. We just need the UDC to realise their mistakes and apologise,’’ he explained.

Pilane articulated that the court case was just a way of trying to clear their party’s name. ‘‘We were said to have intentions to destroy the opposition, which was very untrue. There is no how we would never have not taken this matter to court. UDC needs to tell Batswana what we did wrong, let them bring fourth tangible evidence,’’ Pilane emphasised. When publicising this, Pilane assured the BMD members gathered at the conference that they will indeed win the court case. He stressed that UDC has failed dismally to explain why they had been kicked from the UDC. 

He said that the UDC has never put to the table any sensible explanation.  When expelling the BMD in October, the UDC President, Duma Boko said that the BMD misbehaved following their suspension. He had said that they raised with them certain issues that in terms of the constitution were categorised as acting against the interest of the UDC. Boko, who is also the BNF leader had late last year said that the only doubt one might have is whether UDC has taken that political decision procedurally and ‘‘I believe we have.’’

Boko had stressed that when the collective takes the decision to say it is not in the interest of the UDC then ‘‘no court in the world can say this is in the interest of the UDC. It’s not a call for the court to make but it is for the UDC to make. Courts don’t run political parties. Courts have even said it many times that politicians must not run to courts when they cannot take political decisions.’’ Pilane is convinced that BCP, which participated in the decision to throw BMD out of the coalition is not a legitimate member of the UDC.

In challenging the UDC’s decision to expel them from the coalition, BMD wants the court to set aside the decision on the basis that BCP participated in such resolution. Pilane said, if the case will not be resolved before elections, no party will contest general elections under the UDC ticket. Speaking at the same conference, Gilbert Mangole, who this week resigned from the position of the Opposition Whip, indicated that the only correspondence they received from the UDC, was the expulsion letter authored by Boko. He said contrary to reports that they were given an earlier correspondence to show cause why they should not be expelled from the UDC.

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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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