Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi has ordered six employees who have been serving former President Ian Khama for several years to withdraw from the former President’s office and have since been redeployed to the State House effective 1st November 2018.
The affected parties worked at Khama’s official residence and his retirement office. As per the country’s constitution the former President is entitled to have two workers at his residence but before he left office, Morupisi and then Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi allowed Khama to choose amongst his staff whom he will be going with. PSP, using his authority had also seconded a third staff member to Khama’s residence so that if one goes on leave then they would still be two employees left at the post.
Just last week the three ladies, working at Khama’s residence received letters re-calling them and indicating that they have been re- deployed to State House. Khama was not informed of the Office of the President (PSP) decision, he told this publication this week. “Reference is made to our letter of Ref: OPC 4/201/546 600 I (27) dated 29th March 2018 in which you were re- deployed on secondment to Office of Former President III. Your re- deployment is hereby withdrawn with effect from 31st October 2018.
You are by this letter, re- deployed to State House, with effect from 1st November 2018. The re- deployment does not have any effect on your present salary scale and notch,” reads the letter. The other three employees include two supporting staff from Khama’s office and a gardener. The letters were signed by Chief Administration Officer, in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Thuso Ramodimoosi acting under instructions of the PSP, Morupisi.
Khama, who spoke to this publication this week regarding the recent development confirmed that he was never informed of the decision, and neither has he been assured that the staff will be replaced. “These people are just being nasty. We are understaffed at the moment yet they went on to take more people from my office including the Administration Officer,” said Khama.
“Even though that’s a government house where I am staying, I work with people I know. I wouldn’t agree seeing people I don’t know inside my house,” said Khama who is known to very cautious with security details. Khama said owing to recent events, things are getting out of hand, and has since referred the matter to his lawyers.
“It needs legal intervention because it is unreasonable what they are doing. This was an agreement so if they wat to break the agreement they have to come back to me even though they have the authority to do so. It is not procedural in government to do so, certainly not the government I left. People are consulted,” said Khama.
PROSPECTS OF RECONCILING WITH MASISI COLLAPSE
The stand- off between the Khama and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi was described last week as being irretrievable now. With all the events that have been unfolding between the two recently, the man in the middle is none other than Carter Morupisi. A reconciliation exercise that was engineered by a delegation of BDP elders seems to be hitting a hard rock with the battle continuing unabated.
Sources close to the development indicate that Masisi and Khama had reached a deal when the former was appointed Vice President. This deal was concerned mostly with the appointment of number two when Masisi ascends to power. But the moment Khama cleared his desk and walked out of the State House, Masisi emerged from the woods to become his own man.
Khama had understood that he will continue enjoying access to military aircrafts even after leaving the presidency, as provided for in the Green Book, which entails the benefits, that former president is entitled to. Part of these benefits, were amendments which Masisi was part of, as him and other ruling party MPs championed ‘Khama tailored’ retirement package.
Masisi however is having none of that. To aggravate Khama’s fury, Masisi fired Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS), Colonel Isaac Kgosi the once feared man and Khama’s trusted ally. Kgosi was a key man, whom according to insiders would have been used by Khama to continue exerting influence on Masisi’s administration.
If that was not enough, Masisi replaced Kgosi with Brigadier Peter Magosi, Khama’s dye-in-the-wool enemy. Magosi was fired by Khama from the military in 2016 under cloudy circumstances. Masisi was flexing his muscle on key government institutions. This has frustrated Khama. DIS has been a strategic institution for Khama. Since its inception, the spy organ has been marred by controversy — ranging from illegal activities to unaccountability. But Khama remain steadfast in protecting it and its director.
The former President Khama had tried to downplay his frustration with Masisi, but recently he has revealed it all. Khama has already given a lot of interviews to private media and every time he is more than willing to go at length about his relationship. Khama however revealed that his bond with Masisi is no more.
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.
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.”
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.