In an interesting turn of events in the highly publicized money laundering scandal implicating some top government officials, WeekendPost can reveal that Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) boss Isaac Kgosi does not dispute that his organisation used part of the money, but only challenges the alleged amount.
This publication is aware of several exchanges of letters between the offices and ministries involved in the scandal: Office of the President (OP); DISS office; Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology & Energy Security and Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Impeccable sources have indicated that the former Director of Minerals, Kenneth Kerekang who is now before the court with two other accused persons, has recently wrote a letter to OP indicating that the DISS budget for petroleum facilities was P656m. “Kerekang is of the view that the allocation to DIS had been preceded by a study which had shown that the petroleum facilities for DIS would cost P656m,” said the source. However, permanent secretary, Dr Obakeng has since written to Cater Morupisi, the Permanent Secretary to the President on March 1, 2018 rubbishing the claims.
Dr Obakeng stated in his letter that, “Following our conversation of 28 February Morupisi/Obakeng in which you indicated that you never wrote to Mr Kerekang contrary to what he claims in his letter dated 20th February, 2018 written to your good office, I wish to state for record that what the former Director has written in his letter to yourself is a misrepresentation of facts and reality. The truth of the matter is that the former Director chose to misdirect himself by not respecting official reporting channels,” stated Dr Obakeng.
The PS added that he was available at Morupisi’s convenience to take him through the misrepresentation of facts, and clarify what actually obtained. Kgosi also recently wrote to the Ministry of Minerals expressing his shock at the amount that the ministry is alleging he had requested from NPF. Kgosi’s argument is that, “We were made to understand that the sum of P250 million NOT P230 million from NPF was deposited into the account of some company called Khulaco on behalf of the DIS.”
Kgosi has as such demanded that he be furnished with documentary proof indicating total amount released and deposited as well as payments made from the deposited lump sum. “As for repayment of the money, consultation between the Ministry of Finance and Directorate is on-going,” he stated. The recent several communiqués are a result of the recent closed meeting in a bid to put a lid on the matter that is threatening to expose more people in high government positions.
When this publication contacted Senior Private Secretary to the President, George Tlhalerwa on the day of the meeting, he denied knowledge of the said meeting. He said him and President Lt. Seretse Khama were in Kasane on the day in question stating that there could not be a meeting at OP in the absence of the President. He also said that he was not even aware Kgosi had taken any money.
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.
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.
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.