Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Treasurer Satar Dada has offered to reconcile former Cabinet Minister Jacob Nkate with party Chairman Mokgweetsi Masisi following a fallout which saw the two parting ways acrimoniously.
This publication has established the motor magnate; an influential member of Masisi’s camp is in a bid to soften the duo’s relations. Dada, who has been party Treasurer since 1995 has been orchestrating Masisi’s bid to retain the chairmanship together with another tycoon Samson Guma Moyo, the Tati East legislator and one time party chairman. Nkate confirmed to this publication this week that Dada has approached him and offered to have the two men on the same page again. “No need for reconciliation as we did not fight. But I am willing to meet,” he said.
Dada had initially planned to retire from the party after the July congress but reneged when dynamics in the succession plan took another twist. Dada is helping Masisi to ward-off challenges from Nonofho Molefhi who surprisingly enjoying support in the party structures. To win this battle, Dada will need Nkate on his side.
The two fell out following Nkate’s declaration that he would challenge Masisi for party presidency in 2019 if the need arises. Nkate and Masisi had reached a deal not to challenge each other for the chairmanship with Nkate settling for the secretary general position instead. Nkate had earlier told this publication that although he ceded the chairmanship race to allow Masisi to contest, there was no deal between him and Masisi. They were reports, however that the deal will see Nkate being offered the vice presidency in 2019 as reward for teaming up with 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 “had denied the claims further adding 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 rights are on the table. All the options are on the table.”
WeekendPost has been reliably informed that Dada is of the view that the Masisi camp needs Nkate in its fold in order to defeat the seemingly strong Molefhi camp. Dada has served with Nkate in the Central Committee for a number of years; from the days when the latter was the party Youth Wing chairman until 2009 when Nkate ceased to be party secretary general.
Although the Masisi camp had opted to have Mpho Balopi as their new man for the secretary general position, some were of the view that Balopi does not bring a superior advantage to the camp as opposed to having Nkate. Balopi, like Nkate has also served as party secretary general from 2011-2015. Balopi was instrumental in negotiating a deal which saw Nkate giving up chairmanship ambitions and contesting the secretary general position.
WeekendPost has also gathered from sources that Dada’s extension of the olive branch to former Minister of Education will be in the interest of both the Nkate and Masisi. Masisi is seeking to consolidate his power while Nkate is making a comeback after nearly a decade outside active party politics. “A lot of things have changed since then, the structures are now occupied by new people whom he may not have relations with,” said the source.
Nkate had decided on going alone after being ditched by the Masisi camp but the massive resources behind the two camps of Nonofho Molefhi and Masisi projected a situation in which he stood very little chance of emerging victorious. “In that way, it would be easier for him to revive his political career considering that he may contest parliamentary elections and get back to cabinet if he wins,” said the source. However it is believed that Dada, on planning to bring Nkate back to Masisi’s camp, may engineer a deal which will see Nkate giving Masisi unconditional backing, both for the chairmanship and for the presidency next year.
Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms. “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.
“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.
“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.
“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”
Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner. He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.
Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.
Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.
The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).
“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.
“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”
Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.
From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.
“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.
“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”
In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.
TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.
“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.
“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”
Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.
“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.
“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”
Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.
Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.
According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.
“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.
According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).
“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.
“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”
The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.
“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”
Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.
The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.
This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.