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UDC unveils 2019 Elections manifesto in May

Opposition conglomerate, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) which encompasses affiliates Botswana National Front (BNF); Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) have stated that they will launch their much awaited 2019 General Elections manifesto in May which will be followed by a full swing campaign leading to October elections.

This was revealed this week by UDC Vice President and BCP President Dumelang Saleshando at a media briefing held at Oasis Motel in Tlokweng. Saleshando pointed out that they have assembled a UDC manifesto drafting team which will conduct public engagements and consultations across the country to allow for both its members, organisations and well-wishers to air their voices in terms of the issues that they want included in the manifesto.

“We are having a meeting over the weekend where UDC office bearers will be meeting in Gaborone and a presentation will be made on schedules of the public meetings on different parts of the country. We will also conduct monthly press briefings on updates of the manifesto drafting and we would like to put timeliness to this process with the intention to conclude in the next 100 days,” said Saleshando.  

He emphasised that therefore, “this means that by April we will have done with a final version of the 2019 Manifesto,” adding that, “then if our printers are fast as we expect, the manifesto should be launched in early May. So those are the timelines that we have set for ourselves.”
According to the BCP leader, already, all the different policy proposals in the manifesto are anchored on the Social Democratic values adding that the manifesto will be elaborate UDC plan on why they should be put into power.

“One of the key factors in the manifesto will be UDC plan on creating the jobs; and the manifesto will answer the how part; how will these jobs created and where will these jobs come from, and this is the UDC social contract with the public,” the two time Gaborone Central lawmaker highlighted.  

He said there will be also clear targets set by the manifesto and hopefully it will usher in the era for issue based political campaigns, therefore he added that those who would want to take on the UDC going into 2019 will have to challenge them on the bases of the idea that they have put forth; that is on employment, on health, on education, on housing and so forth.

On his part, when he took to the podium,  the UDC president Duma Gideon Boko also told the press briefing which was swamped by the party fanatics, activists and well-wishers that the UDC is the change that this country so desperately needs and that they will therefore step up to rescue the country. In so doing, the Harvard Law school graduate said there is need for thorough investigations on the institutions that have been established in the country especially to provide any oversight, accountability or checks of balances.   

“We demand a comprehensive forensic audit of all institutions in which government funds have been expended over the last few years, to determine what went on and how the controls and processes failed, the better to initiate extensive reviews of all these processes and practices. We call for a dispassionate and comprehensive investigation along these lines so we minimise the risk of any false accusations, and speculative finger pointing,” Boko said. The Gaborone Bonnington North legislator further said that the UDC reaffirms their abiding commitment to creating 100 000 decent jobs in their first 12 months in office.

 “We are supremely confident that we will be able to deliver this and we are, unlike the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) not just about promises and empty talk. We are about action and delivery,” he said. In addition to creating jobs, Boko continued to make promises that, as UDC, “we also reaffirm our enduring commitment to a decent wage of P3 000.” He said, on the constitution, “We demand a review of our constitution to correct the aberrations that have resulted in the current mess the country is in.”

The BNF leader asserted that they assure the nation that the UDC is ready and up to the task of liberating Botswana from the stranglehold of predatory and collusive dealings between the political elites of the BDP and their handlers in the business community. He added: “we know who they are and we will smoke them out. Their time to eat is up. We are in the process of dealing with all lingering internal matters especially ward allocations and the few constituencies affected by the BMD matter. All these will be resolved by the end of February.”

In another matter, he said the UDC still believes in all opposition unity and the country and has in that regard lured the AP to join the UDC fold. “I must also indicate that we had written to the AP to initiate talks toward further enhancing a united opposition. We have happily received a response from them and we will engage on it and act as necessary. We remain committed to a united opposition and continue to work tirelessly for it,” he concluded.

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Over 2 000 civil servants interdicted

6th December 2022

Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.

According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reaching WeekendPost shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.

In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.

This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publication’s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, “as you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,” she said.

She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.

Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.

Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.

Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.

“It is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,” he told WeekendPost, adding that “when a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolved”.

Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.

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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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