Veteran trade unionist and Botswana Manual Workers Union leader, Johnson Motshwarakgole this week invoked nationalistic arguments, warning President of Court of Appeal, Ian Kirby to move to the broadside while natives work to salvage their country.
Motshwarakgole further stated that since Kirby has amassed enough wealth for himself, he should excuse himself and stand down lest their paths collide, as unions labour to salvage the country. “And you know what; I think its high time…Kirby…those who saw him say he came from Zimbabwe with two trousers in a trunk. He has worked. He has Mokolodi. He has everything. He shouldn’t make it come to a point where we and he fight over protecting Botswana. We wish to fight to protect the judiciary with the likes of (Justice Monametsi) Gaongalelwe, (Justice Isaac) Lesetedi and others…”
“We don’t wish to fight to protect Botswana’s judiciary with Kirby, we are simply saying, he has worked and he can go and ‘eat’ in peace. He mustn’t bring us the trouble of making it seem like we are discriminating against him.” Motshwarakgole boomed. He further noted that it was needless of Kirby to halt the proceedings of the Court of Appeal as there are High Court Justices who by extension automatically function as Court of Appeal judges.
“Remember, when interpreting the law, it’s very clear that when you appoint a High Court judge they automatically become judge of the Court of Appeal and it’s unnecessary for him to have shut down the Court of Appeal because judges are there. These are Kirby’s things and that’s why we are saying we don’t know where the other gentleman is (Maruping Dibotelo.).And we won’t leave these things hanging.” he affirmed.
He further related an example of Basotho ejecting a Minister of Information who was of Xhosa extraction, when turmoil burst forth in that country. “In Lesotho when turmoil erupted there was a certain minister called Sixisi. He was a Minister of Information. A very powerful Xhosa Minister! Basotho got hold of him and took him to the Maluti Mountains and reminded him that we are having a division of opinion and differences as Basotho. Leave us alone. And saying to Kirby, I’m warning him. Leave us alone; we are having disagreements.” He further advised that Kirby and Jeff Ramsay should excuse themselves.
“Leave us alone so that we fix our country. Excuse yourself. When trouble brews, a country should be left to its natives to fix it. I’m warning the other white one at Office of the President…that even if you are an in-law, sons’ in-law do not get entangled in their parents’ in-law’s matters. Especially when they are fighting! Excuse yourselves! Leave us to fight our problems. It seems we are facing constitutional problems.”
Motshwarakgole stated that they are bothered by issues of localisation in the Court of Appeal while there are plenty of enlightened Batswana who can take up the jobs. “Note that it’s very true that the constitution of Botswana is very clear that judges retire at 70. At 70 it says that they will be extended with a 3 year term. There were whites here who had been extended with more than two 3 year terms. We say that they should go and make way for others. What as BOFEPUSU we are trying to do is fix the judiciary and put it in the hands of rightful people. We have paid tax and schooled our children and we should see them doing their jobs.”
“We are saying that white people who have retired at their countries and cannot be admitted to the bar cannot come here. They have retired and moved over for their children and they are brought here by Kirby to take our children’s positions. We are saying no!” Motshwarakgole also stated that Kirby has no right to bring proceedings of the Court of Appeal to a halt, because it is only the Chief Justice who has such powers. He further said that Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo is missing in action while the country descends deeper into chaos.
“Justice Kirby is not Chief Justice. Our argument is that no one can wake up and say I have closed Court. Not even the president can’t say that. You should be mindful that we are in trouble and that we are descending further. Chief Justice is the leader of the Judicature and we do not know where he is holed up. We also don’t know where Kirby emerged.”
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.