As the million Pula deals start to vanish from the Khama associated clique, those coming into the picture are already tussling in the courts over deals gone sour.
Stoic and fearless Monametsi Kalayamotho has dragged a giant Chinese company, Huawei Technologies Botswana and the Botswana Police Service and another local information technology company to court over failure to honour an agreement related to the P200 million valued Safer City Solutions project.Kalayamotho’s Moon Stone Capital is demanding close to P11 million (USD 1, 046, 640.00) as at the date of judgement from Huawei technologies and Dynamix Ltd, jointly and severally one paying the other to be adsolved, as damages for loss of profits suffered as a result of the two’s repudiation of the Agreements entered into.
The then Ministry of Transport and Communications had issued Expression of Interest (EOI) for the provision of Safer City Solution. Kalayamotho’s Moon Stone and Huwaei Technologies agreed to jointly respond to the Expression of Interest, the Huawei technologies being the lead partner, while Moon Stone was the main citizen owned subcontractor and Huawei International Pty Ltd being the plaintiff’s non-citizen subcontractor, with a view to further jointly respond to the tender and to jointly execute it in the event their Expression of Interest was successful and in the event that their tender offer will be successful (the first agreement).
Kalayamotho represented Moon Stone in his capacity as Director and Chief executive Officer, while Huawei Technologies was represented by Abel Dengfeng as its Managing Director, this was in December 2014. “The first agreement was oral, alternatively tacit and further alternatively contained implied terms.” In this Agreement, Huawei Technologies was to be awarded the tender and was to subcontract 30% of the work to Moon Stone.
To demonstrate the breach of the First Agreement and Alternatively the Second Agreement, Kalayamotho and Moon Stone allege that Huawei Technologies, subsequent to the award of the tender, had substantively allocated the work originally allocated to the Moon Stone in terms of the “Responsibility matrix to Dynamix thereby precluding Moon Stone from executing the tender as agreed and receiving the remuneration for the work which was carried out by the Moon Stone.”
Kalayamotho further states that by Dynamix by colluding with Huawei Technologies Botswana to exclude Moon Stone from execution of the tender, this demonstrates conduct which evinces an intention to repudiate the Agreement therefore he is seeking damages. Moon Stone is also demanding interest amounts at the rate of 10% per annum calculated from the date of full and final payment.
The provision of Safer City Solution tender, which Huawei Technologies Botswana through Kalayamotho’s company Moonstone won, is valued at approximately P200 million and had been put on hold since 2015 until early this year when President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi took over as the President of Botswana.
About 200 companies had applied for the tender and later shortlisted to 50. The companies were then cut to five local companies, partnering with international companies being Moonstone, Noroc, Defence Concepts, Botswana Telecommunications and Seleka Springs which is owned by Khama brothers, Tshekedi and Antony.
At one point Kalayamotho was one of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s trusted allies. As a renowned tenderpreneur Kalayamotho is one of those who help finance Camp Dubai in 2017 which pushed the election of Masisi as a party chairman. The controversial tender award has also attracted strong opposition from the United States Embassy owing to the involvement of Chinese Multinational, Huawei Technologies
Contacted for comment Monametsi Kalayamotho confirmed to WeekendPost that indeed he entered into a consortium with Huawei and another local company ICT Dynamix. He said the idea to bring on board ICT is because there was a requirement for IST, and they were awarded the tender together with Huawei as the main bidder and others as sub-contractors.
THE SAFER CITY PROJECT
The Commissioner of Police Mr Keabetswe Makgophe and the Managing Director of Huawei Botswana Mr Ren Fujun commissioned the project by signing a two year contract ON January 2018.â€¨â€¨Speaking after the contract signing ceremony then, Commissioner Makgope said the project was necessary for the police’s delivery of effective policing to Batswana through the use of advanced and world-class means like surveillance cameras.
â€¨â€¨The police boss added that through the project Batswana will realize crime free streets and improved security in general. Commissioner Makgope noted that as Botswana develops and advances economically and becomes part of the global world it also becomes vulnerable to high profile criminals and organized criminal undertakings therefore the Police as the custodians of every day security and safety must also up their standards of policing in order to keep the city safer.â€¨â€¨
Botswana Government took a deliberate decision to turn Gaborone into world-class premier city of investment and international trade and package it as a Diamond City following the relocation of De Beers Global sight holders centre to the Botswana. Makgophe also revealed that the safer city project will after implementation in Gaborone later proceed to Francistown in the 2018/19 financial year.
Both Gaborone and Francistown, being the country’s premier cities house two special economic zones being the diamond &investment enclave around the Sir Seretse Khama Airport area and also the Northern Transport & Logistic hub respectively.â€¨â€¨“These are multi Million pula projects and they intended to keep Gaborone and Francistown cities much safer and secure by virtue of being the major centres of development and economic drivers for the country,” said Makgope.
“We intend to roll out the project to other parts of the country in future if it proves to be sustainable and effective as well as if funds permit,” he added. The managing Director of Huawei Botswana, Mr Ren Fujun underscored that his company was more than delighted to be part of a national project that intends to keep Botswana safer and contribute to economic growth by ensuring security of investment & trade undertakings.â€¨â€¨
He said Huawei Botswana would deliver a world-class network, “We will honour the agreement and make sure the project is completed on time,” he said. International Police Science Association (IPSA) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) announced in their World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI) that Botswana Police is Africa’s best and the world‘s 47th. The index ranked the Rwandan police as Africa’s second best (with global position of 50th) followed by Algeria (58th), Senegal (68th) and Tunisia (72nd) in that order. Completing the top 10 for Africa were, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa and Mali respectively.
For so many years, Botswana has been trying to be a self-sufficient country that is able to provide its citizens with locally produced food products. Through appropriate collaborations with parastatals such as CEDA, ISPAAD and LEA, government introduced initiatives such as the Horticulture Impact Accelerator Subsidy-IAS and other funding facilities to facilitate horticultural farmers to increase production levels.
Now that COVID-19 took over and disrupted the food value chain across all economies, Botswana government introduced these initiatives to reduce the import bill by enhancing local market and relieve horticultural farmers from loses or impacts associated with the pandemic.
In more concerted efforts to curb these food crises in the country, government extended the ploughing period for the Southern part of Botswana. The extension was due to the late start of rains in the Southern part of the country.
Last week the Ministry of Agriculture extended the ploughing period for the Northern part of the country, mainly because of rains recently experienced in the country. With these decisions taken urgently, government optimizes food security and reliance on local food production.
When pigs fly, Botswana will be able to produce food to feed its people. This is evident by the numbers released by Statistics Botswana on imports recorded in November 2020, on their International Merchandise Trade Statistics for the month under review.
The numbers say Botswana continues to import most of its food from neighbouring South Africa. Not only that, Batswana relies on South Africa to have something to smoke, to drink and even use as machinery.
According to data from Statistics Botswana, the country’s total imports amounted to P6.881 Million. Diamonds contributed to the total imports at 33%, which is equivalent to P2.3 Million. This was followed by food, beverages and tobacco, machinery and electrical equipment which stood at P912 Million and P790 Million respectively.
Most of these commodities were imported from The Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The Union supplied Botswana with imports valued at over P4.8 Million of Botswana’s imports for the month under review (November 2020). The top most imported commodity group from SACU region was food, beverages and tobacco, with a contribution of P864 Million, which is likely to be around 18.1% of the total imports from the region.
Diamonds and fuel, according to these statistics, contributed 16.0%, or P766 Million and 13.5% or P645 Million respectively. Botswana also showed a strong and desperate reliance on neighbouring South Africa for important commodities. Even though the borders between the two countries in order to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, government took a decision to open border gates for essential services which included the transportation of commodities such as food.
Imports from South Africa recorded in November 2020 stood at P4.615 Million, which accounted for 67.1% of total imports during the month under review. Still from that country, Botswana bought food, beverages and tobacco worth P844 Million (18.3%), diamonds, machinery and fuel worth P758 Million, P601 Million and P562 Million respectively.
Botswana also imported chemicals and rubber products that made a contribution of 11.7% (P542.2 Million) to total imports from South Africa during the month under review, (November 2020).
The European Union also came to Botswana’s rescue in the previous year. Botswana received imports worth P698.3 Million from the EU, accounting for 10.1% of the total imports during the same month. The major group commodity imported from the EU was diamonds, accounting for 86.9% (P606.6 Million), of imports from the Union. Belgium was the major source of imports from the EU, at 8.9% (P609.1 Million) of total imports during the period under review.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Thapelo Matsheka says an improvement in exports and commodity prices will drive growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Growth in the region is anticipated to recover modestly to 3.2% in 2021. Matsheka said this when delivering the Annual Budget Speech virtually in Gaborone on the 1st of February 2021.
He said implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), which became operational in January 2021, could reduce the region’s vulnerability to global disruptions, as well as deepen trade and economic integration.
“This could also help boost competition and productivity. Successful implementation of AfCFTA will, of necessity, require Member States to eliminate both tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and generally make it easier to do business and invest across borders.”
Matsheka, who is also a Member of Parliament for Lobatse, an ailing town which houses the struggling biggest meat processing company in the country- Botswana Meat Commission, (BMC), said the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) recognizes the need to prioritize the key processes required for the implementation of the AfCFTA.
“The revised SACU Tariff Offer, which comprises 5,988 product lines with agreed Rules of Origin, representing 77% of the SACU Tariff Book, was submitted to the African Union Commission (AUC) in November 2020. The government is in the process of evaluating the tariff offers of other AfCFTA members prior to ratification, following which Botswana’s participation in AfCFTA will come to effect.”
Women continue to shadow men in politics – stereotypes such as ‘behind every successful man there is a woman’ cast the notion that women cannot lead. The 2019 general election recorded one of Botswana’s worst performances when it comes to women participation in parliamentary democracy with only three women elected to parliament.
Botswana’s former Minister of Health, Professor Sheila Tlou who is currently the Co-Chair, Global HIV Prevention Coalition & Nursing Now and an HIV, Gender & Human Rights Activist is not amused by the status quo. Tlou attributes this dilemma facing women to a number of factors, which she is convinced influence the voting patterns of Batswana when it comes to women politicians.
Professor Tlou plugs the party level voting systems as the first hindrance that blocks women from ascending to power. According to the former Minister of Health, there is inadequate amount of professionalism due to corrupt internal party structures affecting the voters roll and ultimately leading to voter apathy for those who end up struck off the voters rolls under dubious circumstances.
Tlou also stated that women’s campaigns are often clean; whilst men put to play the ‘politics is dirty metaphor using financial muscle to buy voters into voting for them without taking into consideration their abilities and credibility. The biggest hurdle according to Tlou is the fallacy that ‘Women cannot lead’, which is also perpetuated by other women who discourage people from voting for women.
There are numerous factors put on the table when scrutinizing a woman, she can be either too old, or too young, or her marital status can be used against her. An unmarried woman is labelled as a failure and questioned on how she intends on being a leader when she failed to have a home. The list is endless including slut shaming women who have either been through a divorce or on to their second marriages, Tlou observed.
The only way that voters can be emancipated from this mentality according to Tlou is through a robust voter education campaign tailor made to run continuously and not be left to the eve of elections as it is usually done. She further stated that the current crop of women in parliament must show case their abilities and magnify them – this will help make it clear that they too are worthy of votes.
And to women intending to run for office, Tlou encouraged them not to wait for the eleventh hour to show their interest and rather start in community mobilisation projects as early as possible so that the constituents can get to know them and their abilities prior to the election date.
Youthful Botswana National Front (BNF) leader and feminist, Resego Kgosidintsi blames women’s mentality towards one another which emanates from the fact that women have been socialised from a tender age that they cannot be leaders hence they find it difficult to vote for each other.
Kgosidintsi further states that, “Women do not have enough economic resources to stage effective campaigns. They are deemed as the natural care givers and would rather divert their funds towards raising children and building homes over buying campaign materials.”
Meanwhile, Vice President of the Alliance for Progressives (AP), Wynter Mmolotsi agrees that women’s participation in politics in Botswana remains a challenge. To address this Mmolotsi suggested that there should be constituencies reserved for women candidates only so that the outcome regardless of the party should deliver a woman Member of Parliament.
Mmolotsi further suggested that Botswana should ditch the First Past the Post system of election and opt for the proportional representation where contesting parties will dutifully list able women as their representatives in parliament.
On why women do not get elected, Mmolotsi explained that he had heard first hand from voters that they are reluctant to vote for women since they have limited access to them once they have won; unlike their male counterparts who have proven to be available night or day.
The pre-historic awarding of gender roles relegating women to be pregnant and barefoot at home and the man to be out there fending for the family has disadvantaged women in political and other professional careers.