Just two months after being side-lined by Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s faction, former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Jacob Nkate has joined forces with Nonofo Molefhi in a bid to win control of the party after the Tonota July Congress.
The deal between Nkate and Molefhi was reached this week following weeks of negotiation with the former Botswana Ambassador to Japan. This publication has established that on Wednesday night, the faction held a meeting in Mogoditshane where the final lobby list was announced.
The Molefhi faction had initially pinned their hopes on former Barataphathi stalwart and incumbent Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane, but the latter has since denounced participation in a lobby list ahead of the party congress. Ntuane belongs to neither the Molefhi nor Masisi camp, a strategy he used at the Mmadinare Congress in 2015.
Ntuane had earlier tried to convince Molefhi to back down from pursuing the chairmanship position and instead contest as secretary general. Ntuane’s compromise talk was rejected by both Molefhi and Masisi faction. Following Ntuane’s detachment from the Molefhi faction, the latter convinced Nkate to join their side.
Nkate had initially joined the secretary general position race on the side of Masisi, but the two fell out after Nkate declared his 2019 presidential ambitions. Nkate was persuaded to drop out of this year’s chairmanship and instead support Masisi. This was followed by a suspicion that Masisi and Nkate had reached an agreement that would see Nkate becoming Vice President in 2019. Nkate however denied that there was ever a deal between him and Vice President Masisi.
“The idea that I have a deal with Masisi and that he will make me vice president is not true. No deal like that exists,”he told this publication earlier this year. He had further added that: “Upon arriving in the country from Japan, I thought let me hear what the situation is on the ground and my conclusion was that maybe I should support him so that I do not cause too much disruptions in my party. And then we can take it from there. If between now and 2019, me and Masisi do not agree, my cards are on the table. All the options are on the table.”
Nkate’s words did not please Masisi, who soon after agreeing with his team, dumped the former Ngami legislator from their faction. Satar Dada, an influential member of BDP and Masisi faction had tried to intervene and reconcile the two but his efforts did not materialise. The Masisi faction has since opted for Mpho Balopi, who will contest as secretary general. Balopi has previously served as party secretary general from 2011-2015.
Nkate is believed to be bringing a new dimension to the Molefhi faction who will see it profiteering from his support in the North West region. Nkate, an unapologetic factionalist had earlier told this publication that one way or another BDP need to reforms in order to reconnect with the citizens. The Molefhi camp is generally believed to be reformist while the Masisi camp is believed to be yearning to keep the status quo.
“I think the BDP needs to reconnect with the people; to have a message that resonates with the people. I do not think people are hearing us, we need to re-message and recalibrate. We need to understand what the biggest concern of the people is. We need to hear the people and people should hear us,” he told this publication earlier this year.
In other battles, former Botswana Ambassador to United States (US) Tebelelo Seretse will battle long time party Treasurer Satar Dada for the position. Dada has been BDP party Treasurer for the past 22 years, something which has seen his name being associated with the BDP treasury.
Seretse contested the chairmanship two years ago in Mmadinare and lost to the current chairman, Masisi. The outspoken former cabinet minister remains of the key figures pulling the strings in the Molefhi camp as the faction mobilises for support.
Meanwhile Biggie Butale, the youthful Tati West legislator will lock horns with Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi for the position of Deputy Secretary General. Kgathi is the incumbent Deputy Secretary General, having ascended to the position in 2015, defeating former Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) Chairperson Metlha Mokwena with a slim margin.
Mokgweetsi Masisi Lobby list
Chairman: Mokgweetsi Masisi
Secretary General: Mpho Balopi
Deputy Secretary General: Shaw Kgathi
Treasurer: Satar Dada
Deputy Treasurer: Jagdish Shah
Molefi lobby list
Chairman: Nonofho Molefhi
Secretary General: Jacob Nkate
Deputy Secretary General: Biggie Butale
Treasurer: Tebelelo Seretse
Deputy Treasurer: Molebatsi Molebatsi
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.