Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama has ruined his ministry and there is urgent need for reforms at the ministry and its parastatal before the situation worsens.
The Chairman of Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) Dr Thapelo Matsheka has lambasted Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism over unilateral decisions affecting the tourism sector and the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO.) Dr Matsheka when giving welcome remarks complained about minister Khama’s lack of consultation with the HATAB saying “we have seen in the past decisions taken without minimal consultation with HATAB. As partners, we view this situation as untenable.”
Dr Matsheka cited the introduction of Tourism Development Levy, increase for participation fees at travel fares, and discontinuation of participation by BTO at regional markets without consultation with the industry. Further Dr Matseka said BTO, does not consult with the industry in identifying new markets. He also slammed Khama’s ministry for the withdrawal from Regional Tourism Organisation Of Southern Africa, without consultation. Despite that Botswana is current sitting chairperson of RETOSA.
Further Dr Matseka blamed BTO for abandoning its core mandate of marketing Botswana as a tourism destination and instead becoming an events management company. His said the emphasis on hosting events instead of marketing Botswana has resulted in BTO overcrowding the private sector. “BTO mandate is to promote and facilitate the private operators not to compete with them like the case of Gaborone Air Show versus Matsieng Air Show.”
Dr Matsheka roasted Khama for taking forever to appoint a substantive Chief Executive Officer at Botswana Tourism Organisation since the ouster of Brian Dithebe. Dr Matseka also added that there is a need to develop a tourism development strategy to aid the development of the tourism sector in Botswana.
“It is not enough to create temporary jobs with a series of events across the country and celebrate those events as having been successful. In the absence of policy framework this leads to a situation where BTO and min9stry are now event management companies.” Dr Matseka said the tourism policy of 1990 is outdated and needs to be modernized, tourism materplan of 2000 also needs a review, wildlife and National Parks Act and Environmental Impact Assessment Act also need a review.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.