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UDC+ seen as credible coalition

A Botswana Country Risk report prepared by BMI Research, Fitch Group company is propping up the ongoing opposition cooperation talks between the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), boldly stating that the talks will deliver a “credible coalition”.


Opposition parties are almost at the conclusion of cooperation talks that see one political party challenge the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in 2019. The parties have already agreed to form the UDC+ (plus). The Country Risk Report which provides comprehensive data and in-depth analysis of political, financial and economic risk to help potential investors understand and measure the political, business environment and operational risks of countries posits that: “Social unrest will remain relatively limited in Botswana, even despite the significant economic headwinds facing the country due to faltering diamond production.”


The report notes that this comes as a history of legitimate electoral processes and “the likely formation of a credible opposition coalition will provide citizens with the means to voice their discontent with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in the 2019 elections and offer an outlet for discontent.” While the BDP leaders are attempting to undermine the integrity of the talks, think tanks and Research entities, like the BMI, do take the talks seriously.


On other matters, the Botswana Country Risk Report communicates that  Botswana will experience a slow economic recovery over 2017, largely driven by an uptick in tourism from Zimbabwe and South Africa and improving diamond production. The report further suggests that the government will also support growth by implementing its Economic Stimulus Programme in an effort to diversify the economy.


According to the report the Bank of Botswana has reached the end of its rate cutting cycle and will keep interest rates on hold through 2017, in line with the South African Reserve Bank. While inflationary pressures will remain low, price growth in Botswana will tick upwards slightly as the transport component of inflation picks up.


Botswana's fiscal deficit will begin narrowing over FY2016/17 and FY2017/18, albeit gradually. While revenues from the mining sector will recover, increased government capital expenditure will keep the fiscal position in deficit over the next several quarters, the BMI report indicates. “Botswana's sizable current account surplus will begin to narrow over the months ahead, driven by rising capital imports as infrastructure investment under the government's Economic Stimulus Programme picks up. Export growth and Southern African Customs Union receipts will remain subdued on the back of low global demand for diamonds and sluggish growth in the region.”


The Country Risk Report suggests that the pula's peg to the South African rand and the IMF's Special Drawing Rights will see the currency depreciate over 2017 and 2018. While weakness in the basket currencies will add downward pressure on the pula, the pace of depreciation will moderate significantly compared to recent years.


KEY RISKS


The Report states that ongoing revisions to Botswana's national accounts estimates will affect growth figures. Amid ongoing efforts by Statistics Botswana to more accurately portray the size and structure of the economy, GDP estimates remain subject to frequent and often notable adjustments.
Given Botswana's dependence on imported energy and food, any unexpected rise in global food or oil prices beyond, BMI forecasts indicate that this will affect the country's growth and inflation.


Furthermore, uncertain energy supplies pose a persistent risk to economic activity in Botswana. This has been exacerbated by the regional drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon. The BMI report gives Core Views, 10-year Forecasts, BMI's Economic Risk Index, Political Stability and Risk Index, Long-term Political Outlook, Operational Risk Index, SWOT Analysis and Structural Economic Sections.  The report also helps investors and other interested parties to gain insight on emerging trends that could support, strengthen or disrupt activities in a given market.


The Country Risks Reports provides a long-term political outlook and explore possible scenarios for change, while also providing the benefit of a 10-year macroeconomic forecasts and insight into the structural characteristics of the economy.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021
Morwaeng

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021
Bokamoso

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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