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BOFEPUSU weighs in on Khama/Masisi feud

A labour centre in the country, Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sectors Union (BOFEPUSU) has threatened the former President Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama and incumbent President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi to smoke a peace pipe before things turn ugly for the country.

Khama and Masisi are currently embroiled in a political dispute centered on rights and privileges of the former president and current president’s role as well as the selection of Vice president Slumber Tsogwane against Khama’s wish for his brother Tshekedi Khama to take over the role. Khama is an influential and powerful figure in Botswana as the son of founding president Sir Seretse Khama and a paramount chief of the most populous tribe or region in Bamangwato territory while Masisi is a son of former cabinet Minister Edison Masisi who served under Sir Seretse Khama administration.

The duo, Khama and Masisi’s fight has led to BOFEPUSU calling a press briefing this week to raise the red flag on the continue state of affairs in the country. When speaking to the media, BOFEPUSU President Johannes Tshukudu stated that the former president Khama is taking the attention of the head of state who must focus on the management of the country.

“As of now part of his attention is taken by the misunderstanding between him (Masisi) and Khama. There are many problems in bedeviling the country including lack of employment that the current president must be focused on than the fight between the two,” Tshukudu highlighted from the onset. He pointed out that it is important for BOFEPUSU to say the two gentlemen must find a better way to deal with their differences because at the end, if it is not managed properly it has the potential to escalate into a national crisis.

“We never had problems with the previous heads of states who were as a result given assignments both at regional and international levels in appreciating their wealth of experience in assisting giving peace in other countries,” he added. Tshukudu continued: “and as BOFEPUSU, we had thought that, by taking the backseat as former president, Khama, would resume all such assignments given to him by the current government and therefore when they are not relating well with the current president – it’s not going to function well so there is really a need of an urgent attention to this matter.”

According to the BOFEPUSU leader, the central issue to the fiasco is therefore that they feel strongly that both Khama and Masisi are not advised properly by those given with the responsibility of advising them because it is clear they are taking the issues beyond board.
“And therefore our request is that the advisors might get to task with the assignment to make sure that they give appropriate, relevant and objective advice to help the two gentlemen to see the need to work together and share responsibilities of running this state without noninterference by the other.”

He went on to point out that they believe the advice they get from those advisors maybe did not predict what the consequences may be in future and on the people. He said if there is a necessity that, as a federation they intervene, they will do exactly that but will do once they see that the two leaders’ advisors have literally failed as they seem to be. Tshukudu said it’s important to note that any sour relationship between the former and the current head of state has the potential to destabilize the peace, tranquility and stability that this country is known of.

“Therefore when things turn like that we need to be worried as citizens and wonder what future holds for us if the two highest people are in conflict. It’s an indication that we might very soon join other African countries that found themselves in turmoil because of the differences between leadership.” According the trade unionist the country never had problems with the previous heads of states as is the case with Khama as a former president.  

 “It is still fresh in our minds that previously under President Khama’s administration there was also a dispute between him (Khama) and former Presidents Sir Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae but Khama was too quick to remind them that their time to rule has elapsed and that he be given a chance as he never interfered in their presidencies. And that it was his time to rule.”

But since Mogae and Masire listened to him and obeyed, Khama should listen to Masisi as well, Tshukudu said adding that if Khama doesn’t listen this time around BOFEPUSU will remind him that Masisi is the one who is ruling at this point and “that time where we will tell him is slowly drawing nearer.”

Meanwhile the federation also emphasized that they will carry a thorough assessment of all political parties and candidates to see which ones to support for 2019 general Elections, similar to what they did in 2014, which they believe had a great impact in assisting UDC win the seats in Gaborone and by extension the south side of the country where their members are dispersed.

Tshukudu stressed: “we will peep into these political parties to see which ones suits our agenda in the protection of rights of workers and the spirit of trade unionism in Botswana. The assessment will then inform our next course of action. We will be mobilising people to vote against such parties and candidates. A vote is the only weapon at our disposal.”

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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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