The maverick former Ngami legislator and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidate for the Secretary General position at the upcoming party congress in Tonota Jacob Nkate has thrown out of the window suggestions by Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi for him to contest the 2019 general elections in one of the Gaborone constituencies.
Nkate who is currently traversing the breadth and width of the country canvassing votes from fellow democrats revealed to this publication that Masisi approached him with the idea of him relocating to Gaborone but the two failed to agree terms. The former A-Team faction ring leader revealed that Masisi wanted him to contest the 2019 general elections at Gaborone Bonnington North, a constituency currently held by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) President and Leader of Opposition (LOO) Duma Boko.
Masisi, just like other BDP influential members has been preaching compromise and believed Nkate should give the incumbent area legislator Thato Kwerepe a leeway to contest Ngami constituency for the sake of party stability. This however, proved to be an unacceptable suggestion as the former ambassador to Japan wants to retain the constituency he previously served for 15 years in parliament.
This suggestion, according to those close to Nkate was going to be political suicide for a man who is planning to resuscitate his career. Opposition has proved to be popular in Gaborone and in the southern part of the country. Gaborone Bonnington North remains one of the least winnable constituencies for BDP. After returning from Japan, Nkate found himself out of President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s inner circle and has been fighting alone to revive his once glittering political career.
“I didn’t agree with the idea of contesting here because I don’t know the dynamics of the constituency so I better contest where I am cognizant of the challenges and the political landscape. Furthermore people in Ngami want me here so why not heed to their call?” Nkate revealed this week.
It is not the first time the two political leaders break ranks, Masisi dismissed Nkate from his camp two months ago after the latter expressed his presidential ambitions ahead of crucial 2019 general elections. Nkate later joined closed ranks with the Nonofo Molefhi faction.
Masisi wanted his ally and fellow cabinet member Kwerepe to not be challenged in 2019 for the fear of losing the constituency to opposition in 2019. Nkate and Kwerepe are political rivals of long standing, with the latter profiteering from Nkate’s absence in 2014 to win general elections.
Nkate did not participate in the 2013 BDP primary elections and subsequent general elections because he was abroad on national assignment as Botswana Ambassador to Japan. BDP lost the constituency to opposition in an unexpected turn of events in 2009 and regained the constituency during the last general elections. It is believed that the duo’s rivalry will divide the party in the constituency as Nkate begins preparing for next year’s party primary elections.
It is not the first time Masis and Nkate have displayed varying beliefs in the public space. However Nkate has denied any bad blood between him and the party chairman. He affirmed that he will be willing to work with Masisi if they both win the impending central committee elections in Tonota. “I can only speak for my side; I will be more willing to work with him because the bigger picture here is the BDP and not individuals.” he said before adding, “I don’t think there is any bad blood between us.”
The two’s relations reached a low ebb after Nkate revealed 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.” This did not seat well with Masisi and he sent Mpho Balopi to deliver the news to Nkate about him being dropped from the camp. Nkate will now face incumbent secretary general Botsalo Ntuane and Balopi for the position in an highly anticpated battle next month.
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.