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Mabaila suspended because he is my friend – Dr Khama

Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama has accused the leadership of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of having an agenda against his protégé Tshephang Mabaila, who has been suspended from the party for five years, effectively barring him from contesting the Mogoditshane constituency under the ruling party.  

Mabaila, who had won the party primaries for Mogoditshane constituency early this year, was suspended from the party in  July, after being accused of having participated in a motion of no confidence tabled in parliament against President Masisi. Khama told this publication that the reasons advanced by the BDP in Mabaila’s case are baseless, blaming the party for failing to resolve the matter amicably. “I hear they are doing that because they believe he is my friend but that is not how democracy works. Their decisions shows that they have an agenda,” said Khama.  

Last week the BDP resolved to uphold their judgement in a case where Mabaila, a parliamentary aspirant appealed his five year suspension from the party. On 5th October 2018, the BDP National Executive Committee slapped Mabaila with suspension for committing offences against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the party. In a move perceived as purging candidates supposedly linked with Khama by Masisi leadership, Mabaila found himself at the receiving end.

In a letter dated August 7th 2018, Masisi wrote that reference is made to the above subject matter and “your utterances to Hon Dr Alfred Madigele and Sethomo Lelatisitswe on 10th July 2018 and letters addressed to the secretary general from the branch secretary dated 3rd December 2017 and 2nd August 2018”.The BDP President wrote that, it is alleged that Mabaila who is Mogoditshane constituency candidate has committed offences against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the ruling party.

The letter further said some of the offences listed include behaving in a grossly disorderly and unruly manner that might bring the party name into disrepute contrary to General Code of Conduct number 11 and sowing seeds of discord in the party, using regionalism, tribalism or factionalism contrary to General Code of Conduct number 6. Another offence Mabaila faced was contemptuous behaviour towards BDP leadership and other members contrary to General Code of Conduct number 7.

“As a party member you were obliged to abide by the constitution, rules and regulations of the party, and expected to promote the philosophy, policies and programmes as stated particularly in Article 14 sub- section 1 and 2 thereof. After the suspension Tshepang Mabaila wrote to the party President Masisi appealing his suspension from the party.  In a letter dated 22nd November 2018, Masisi wrote to Mabaila that reference is made to your appeal against the decision of the National Disciplinary Committee handed down to you on the 5th October 2018.

“The Final Disciplinary Committee sat on the 22nd November 2018 to consider your appeal. After careful consideration of all the facts that were put before the committee, the committee has decided to uphold the judgement and sentence as handed out by the National Disciplinary Committee in its entirety”, reads the letter. After losing his appeal Mabaila has this week made it official that he will contest Mogoditshane as an independent candidate come 2019. Mabaila is busy working with his BDP campaign team in Mogoditshane to lobby more people to vote for Mabaila.

As it stands, the BDP has no candidate in Mogoditshane and elections are next year placing Mabaila as a threat to whoever is going to be picked. “I am a diehard BDP member, if I win and they invite me back to the party I will accept the invitation”, said Mabaila. In Mabaila’s suspension letter Masisi said he is determined that this is one of the exceptional circumstances in which he should exercise the powers conferred upon him as party president as contemplated by Article 34.1.6 of the BDP constitution and consequently suspend Mabaila with immediate effect as a member of the party.

“For the entire period of your suspension, you shall cease to enjoy your rights and privileges as a member of the party as outlined in Article 13 of the BDP constitution. Finally you are directed to handover to the party all property and assets belonging it the party in your possession with immediate effect.”

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Opposition Will Never Achieve Anything- Nkaigwa

8th April 2021
Haskins Nkaigwa

Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms.  “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.

“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.

“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.

“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”

Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner.  He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.

Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.

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Botswana benefits over P100 million in grants from Japan

7th April 2021
Ambassador HOSHIYAMA

Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.

The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).

“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.

“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”

Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.

From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.

“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.

“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”

In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.

TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.

“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.

“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”

Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.

“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.

“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”

Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.

Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.

According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.

“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.

The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.

According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).

“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.

“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”

The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.

 

“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.

“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”

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Magosi pushes for Cabinet reshuffle

6th April 2021
President Masisi

Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.

The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.

This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.

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