Swaziland and Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) secretariat’s invitation of former Tanzanian President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete to the SADC 36th Summit public lecture has birthed speculation of electoral prejudice.
Kikwete is reportedly one of the hopefuls for the position of Chair of African Union Commission.
On Tuesday Kikwete was guest speaker at a SADC public lecture in Mbabane, Swaziland in the presence of a Swazi Prince, SADC Executive Secretariat, Dr Stergomena Lawrence-Tax and Prime Minister, Sibusiso Dlamini, among other bigwigs.
The lecture was organized in collaboration between SADC, Swaziland and University of Swaziland (UNISWA).
Kikwete is also former Chairman of African Union and has been increasingly touted in east African media as a prime candidate for the AU chair when the continental body goes for the election in January 2017.
Elections for the AU Commission chair were postponed after a clear winner failed to emerge in June in Kigali, Rwanda. Botswana’s Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi collected 23 votes instead of the required 35 with 28 member states abstaining.
Venson-Moitoi was running against former Ugandan Vice President Dr. Specioza Kazibwe and the Equatorial Guinean Foreign Affairs Minister Agapito Mokuy and both of them were out rightly shunned as representatives from rogue states.
The high abstinence at Kigali was said to be a show of no confidence in the trio of aspirants. African states argued that voting in Venson-Moitoi will be tantamount to rewarding Botswana with AU topmost post while the country’s president has never made any attempts to attend its summits. Further, they argued that voting for Mokuy and Kazibwe will be the same as giving continental autocracies thumbs up.
Venson-Moitoi was recently endorsed by a meeting of the region’s foreign affairs ministers in Maputo, Mozambique and is currently only awaiting an endorsement by regional heads of state at the Swaziland summit.
Swaziland Prime Minister, Sibusiso Dlamini stated that King Mswati expresses appreciation to Kikwete for accepting the invitation to speak at the lecture. The lecture takes place in the build up to each SADC summit every year.
Dr Tax paid also homage to Kikwete stating, “he is a very distinguished person who is highly effective in many aspects including international diplomacy.”
Still in the merry-go-round of toadying, Kikwete also repaid the appreciation to Mswati for inviting him to speak at the lecture and extended the same to Lawrence-Tax and UNISWA Vice Chancellor, Professor Cisco Magagula.
Kikwete speech also interestingly hinged heavily on a Pan-Africanist topic of regional integration. He stated that the SADC region needs to give due attention to deepening economic integration as it will strengthen the overall initiatives of SADC.
He further stated that in his view, upscaling regional integration in SADC is about increasing the pace of implementing the stages of integration.
“Let me emphasize that regional integration is desirable and we cannot walk away from it,” stated Kikwete.
Meanwhile Venson-Moitoi is scheduled to leave for Swaziland where she will seek a heads of state endorsement as the region’s candidate for the January run off.She is expected back in Botswana on Wednesday nextweek.
If indeed he intends to run, Kikwete will be a tough candidate against other candidates as he has the necessary continental stature and less flak to impress cynical member states. The former president is also a former chairman of the SADC troika of peace, defense and security from 2012 and 2013.
Enquiries left with the Swazi and Tanzanian consulates were not immediately returned.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.