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Dikgosi make piercing demands

Chairman of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi (NYD) Kgosi Puso Gaborone has bluntly told Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kgotla Autlwetse that they want a ministry that would specifically address issues of Bogosi and culture. This was one of the pointed demands made by Dikgosi this week.

The request follows a trail of others the traditional leaders have asked for especially with respect to their powers. Dikgosi had serious introspection meeting that lasted for two days dubbed Bogosi Pitso under the theme, “Bogosi Re Ya Kae.”  The gathering apart from introspecting Bogosi institution also looked at adoption of a five-year strategy seeking to transform an ailing establishment. Making the deliberations, Kgosi Gaborone told Autlwetse that if the government is holding Bogosi at the highest regard, it should first create Ministry of Bogosi and Traditional Affairs.

“Merero [consultations] should be under one roof; culture should be taken to where Bogosi is. I am advocating for one thing; Ministry of Bogosi and Traditional Affairs,” Kgosi Gaborone said to the ululation of other Dikgosi who thronged the Pitso. He argued that as an institution they don’t have a budget to carry out a number of initiatives they should do, adding that even the national vision of 2016 did not recognise them.

“We can build things like Peace and democracy foundation. Bogosi should be more cosmopolitan that would be more inclusive. We want to protect and build this nation, we don’t destroy. Let’s package Bogosi properly,” he pleaded. Kgosi Maruje Masunga also agreed with Kgosi Gaborone: “There should be creation of Bogosi Ministry,” he said.  The same was echoed in an interview by both Kgosi Kgari of Bakwena and Oscar Mosielele of Bakgatla-ba-ga-Mmanaana.

Most of ‘Marara’ as Dikgosi are referred to, wholly endorsed the idea of having their own ministry saying they are compromised under the current set-up.  “We are confused as to whether we fall under Presidential Affairs ministry, Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture Development as well as Defence Justice and Security so all these should come under one roof. We are the only institution with an act but with no Ministry,” Kgosi Matlapeng from Tlokweng added.

While the plan has been discussed for a long time now, Dikgosi are confused as to who should lead them should they succeed. Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Deputy Permanent Secretary Col. Duke Masilo is earmarked to lead the ministry should it come to being. On the other side, others want Kgosi Gaborone or Kgosi Maruje Masunga to lead them should the ministry come to being. But one thing Dikgosi concur on is-the ministry should not be led by a politician.

“We should be led by a Kgosi, someone who understand tsamaiso ya jone not barutegi or politicians. It is better Kgosi reprimands the other than someone else reprimanding it. Remember what Minister Butale did to Kgosi Seepapitso when he suspended him from Bogosi, we don’t want that,” one Kgosi Maforaga of Palapye told this paper.

BOGOSI DEMANDS ‘BETTER’ CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

After making their case clear on their own ministry, the tribal CEO’s as Gaborone referred to them made more demands in relation to their conditions of service. At the top of their demands they want some clauses in the Bogosi Act to be discarded especially in relation to political interference. Section 13 and 15 provide for the removal and de-recognition of Kgosi and this rub Magosi the wrong way. “Bogosi is in trouble you want to destroy the institution while politicians stay in office forever, we should do away with the clause that removes Dikgosi from office,” Maruje said.

They also say Minister should not supervise them but the government should establish the Royal council. “Ministers should not interfere with Bogosi; this act is used to harass us. There should be council that would discipline Dikgosi not ministers,” said Masunga who his colleagues call firebrand.  He added; “abuse of power is rampant and corruption has escalated, this is so because of gaps left by Dikgosi. Again if a Kgosi does something he is reprimanded while nothing happens to politicians who does the same, this is double standards.”

In addition Dikgosi spoke in one voice – they want state of the art Kgotla offices and are also demanding same automobiles like the ones used by ministers. “How do you put Dikgosi in a quantum while ministers ride BMW 7 series? Who are the leaders of this country?” he rhetorically asked. For the five year strategy to materialise the traditional leaders say, they need security equivalent to those given to judges as they do the same toil of solving disputes.  Private and personal secretaries must also be availed to the leaders to do their job diligently.

 “We also need diplomatic passports, if you can avail to athletes and MPs why don’t you give Dikgosi the same,” he concluded his presentation on the Dikgosi condition of service. The ministry will look at the demands before determining whether it is feasible to implement them. This was the first time Pitso was called since 2015.

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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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