Notwithstanding the increase in the number of branches, Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) is faced with challenges of serving people from other parts of the country where they do not have branches. The challenge was compounded by the fact that government for the past two years has significantly reduced its subvention to CEDA due to economic hardships that the country has been experiencing.
This move by government meant that CEDA had to be innovative and come up with means and ways that would enable it to continue in the fulfilment of its mandate without compromising on the quality of service. It was then that the agency invested in two Mobile Offices that were launched in Mmathethe village on Thursday this week.
When launching the new offices, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse, said CEDA was established by the government of Botswana to provide financial and technical support for business development with a view to promote viable and sustainable citizen owned business enterprises.
He said the agency therefore has a responsibility to address the need for coherent and holistic support for the development of small, medium and large scale enterprises through various products and services. Seretse said since its inception, CEDA has funded over 5 600 enterprises valued at over P 4 billion, creating employment for over 56 000 people.
“For this I would like to applaud CEDA Board of Directors and Management and implore them to continue in their mandate of empowering Batswana,” he said. The agency has a new product named Mabogo- Dinku, which they intend to market. Mabogo- Dinku assists micro- entrepreneurs. Through this window, people with the aspiration of starting a business can group themselves in groups of 5- 15 and can receive loans from P 500 to P 150, 000 each with repayment frequency ranging from weekly.
For his part, CEDA CEO, Thabo Thamane, said since its inception the product has funded 243 individuals to the value of P 2.4 million. He said the agency has reserved P 20 million for the product during the 2017/ 18 financial year. According to Thamane CEDA remains firmly committed to achieving the Government’s role of diversifying the economy through Economic Diversification Drive. “CEDA has come a long way in helping Batswana achieve their goals through funding of economically viable and sustainable business,” he said.
In closing he urged residents of Mmathethe and all Batswana to make use of the offices as well as other CEDA products and services to improve their business and create wealth and jobs.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.