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Masisi, Molefhi camps clash

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is headed for a showdown ahead of its July elective congress. Tables are turning upside down in Palapye as party loyalists employ witchhunt tactics against each other on account of the ongoing tussle for the central committee positions which are up for grabs in July this year.


The Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, who doubles as the ruling party’s chairman is expected to defend his position, if all factors remain constant. But there are high chances that he will be challenged by high flying Minister, Nonofo Molefhi, and possibly former secretary general, Jacob Nkate. Indications are that party loyalists are already aligning themselves with various candidates of their choice and this is causing upheaval in some party structures across the country.


The party National Youth Executive Committee (NYEC) is said to be divided because of known declarations of some senior executives of the structure. Chairman, Andy Boatile is said to have broken ranks with the Masisi lobby group and is expected to challenge Minister Shaw Kgathi for the position of Deputy Secretary General. Boatile is also not expected to support his current secretary general, who has his sights on the chairmanship of NYEC. Apparently the secretary general is sympathetic to Masisi.


In Palapye though, there is a more pronounced battle, where the Palapye branch committee has suspended the chairman, Samuel Maeka who is said to be favouring the chairmanship of Vice President Masisi. It is reported that the committee suspended him because he was not honouring party invitations and had not shown up for the Boikago Madiba council bye-election campaign. But insiders dismiss the narration of suspending him as lies, “rather he is suspended because the committee, which is in support of Molefhi observed that he was using his position to advance the Masisi agenda,” said a BDP senior figure in Palapye.


A committee of nine members wrote Maeka a letter recently warning him about his absence from party activities and has since acted on the letter. However the chairman responded to the letter on the 2nd of January this year dismissing its content and is failure to appreciate procedure. He stated that he has not been given audience ton respond to the allegations or charges against him. He also questioned the constitutionality of the meeting that decided that such a charge be laid against him.


“I am very much concerned by the state of affairs in Palapye constituency more so that we are engaged in a by-election exercise which all of us here are very much interested in winning it for the BDP for the sake of the reputation of the party going forward to 2019 general elections,” wrote Maeka in his response to the undated and hand written letter by the committee.


GOYA DRAGGED INTO THE WAR ZONE


Meahwile the Member of Parliament for Palapye, Moiseraela Master Goya has not espcaped the political inferno. The troubled Palapye Branch committee chairman has penned a 500 words letter to Vice President Masisi complaining about the conduct of the Assistant Minister of Basic Education. “This serves as a formal complaint against Hon Moiseraela Goya on the demeaning words used against myself at a BDP political rally during a campaign in the Boikago/Madiba on the 29th December 2016,” reads the opening paragraph of the letter.


Maeka alleges that the Assistant Minister ridiculed him thus: “ga ke batle malope mo partying, o noga modulasetilo, Ga o a thamalala. A o a nkutlwa?” He states that this has created animosity within the region and has greatly affected “my comfort in trying to execute my mandate as branch chairperson.”

The branch chairperson says it has been difficult for him to attend to party activities ever since these words were used against him. He further draws the Vice President’s attention to the Boikago/Madiba by-election campaign and emphasises the need for unity and restraint if the opposition is to be easily defeated in the election.  


“I advise that the words used by the Honourable member have caused embarrassment and frustration among some members of the party and have also encouraged opposition to attack our party on the basis of disunity among us.” He urged Masisi to intervene as soon as possible before the animosity derails ongoing campaigns.  


Insiders in the constituency point to a serious warfare that will only end after the party’s elective congress in July. They point out that it is expected that when a party prepares for internal elections, members will take jabs at each other to protect their turf. In the Palapye area there are BDP members who are vigorously pushing for a Nonfo Molefhi candidacy in the chairmanship and those that want Masisi to continue as party chairman.

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Over 2 000 civil servants interdicted

6th December 2022

Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.

According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reaching WeekendPost shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.

In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.

This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publication’s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, “as you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,” she said.

She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.

Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.

Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.

Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.

“It is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,” he told WeekendPost, adding that “when a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolved”.

Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

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.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

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.

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