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BDP moves to defuse Presidents Men

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee has resorted to verifying the ongoing party’s primary election registrations following complaints from various constituencies that “some self-proclaimed” President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s blue eyed boys are given preferential treatment.

President Masisi’s vote of confidence in Young Turks found expression early this year when he appointed Bogolo Kenewendo, 31, to cabinet. She currently holds the important portfolio of Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry as full minister. Insiders reveal that a number of Young Turks vying for parliamentary seats in party primary elections have derived confidence to use his leaning towards youth to create the impression that they form part of Masisi’s envisaged 2019 cabinet.

The party central committee shared with some party members this week that it will now carry out massive registrations through the Political Education and Elections Committee (PEEC) in order to make the playing field level. “Ever since the complaints from constituencies, PEEC members have been travelling around verifying the voters roll with the names to avoid voter trafficking at the primary elections,” said a source close to the developments.

There have been complaints from incumbents particularly at parliamentary level that some candidates in the upcoming party’s primary elections who have planted the belief that they are President Masisi’s favoured candidates were given preferential treatment. The aggrieved lot believed that constituency secretaries, who are tasked with registering members, were biased and would swing things in favour of the so called president’s youth brigade side.

“There was vote trafficking across many constituencies and a number of clauses in the party’s code of conduct for candidates’ primary elections were trampled upon. This then forced the office to heed the call and go on a fact finding mission to verify if those registered are indeed party members and they correspond with voters roll,” the source said. This publication is informed that seven constituencies wrote to the party asking for redress. The said constituencies are; Nkange, Lobatse, Mahalapye West, Nata/Gweta, Francistown East, Francistown West, Molapowabojang/Mmathete and Tati West.

At the said constituencies, sources say, the officers were ‘convinced’ “to register only members believed to be sympathetic to Masisi’s preferred boys.” The party chief whip Liakat Kablay confirmed that indeed the party has decided to verify the registrations as there have been grievances from the party over favouritism.

“They were asked to write to the party offices over this of which they did. By far, the PEEC has been going around verifying and conducting massive registration for the party. The idea is to register all the BDP members in a particular area not to discriminate based on allegiance,” he said. Parliamentary hopefuls who are believed to be aligning themselves to President Masisi are alleged to be spinning money in the build up to the primary elections. Already the party has opened registration for the Bulela Ditswe with MPs popping up P5000 while councillors are required to part ways with P2500.

The registration will close on the 15th of this month. It is said thereafter the party will then enter another process of vetting candidates who will contest in the elections. The party which is aiming to ‘white-wash’ the opposition in next year’s general elections, has been advised by the committee of elders to ensure that they field sellable candidates to the nation come next year.

The BDP has also spoke against ministers who have the tendencies to schedule meetings during the parliamentary sessions. This, the party says, delays progress as there are over 16 bills that should be deliberated on before the end of this month. As the majority party in parliament, the members have been encouraged to regularly come to the parliament.

 “A lot of time is spent without progress made so the ministers were called on to stop holding meetings at the same time parliament is on. Even the backbenchers; have been advised to regularly come to parliament and to stop spending a lot of time on the floor if there is to be any progress,” said a source.

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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 DFIs have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and its 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 DFIs.

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 organizations 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 MVAs 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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