Connect with us
Advertisement
[spt-posts-ticker]
Friday, 19 April 2024

BDP old guards scramble for proposed posts

News

BDP Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) activists are said to be lining up to be counted as the search for two additional Specially Elected Members of Parliament (SEMP) who will lead two new-fangled ministries gains ground.  

The need to tally up SEMPs and ministries was a resolution taken by the BDP caucus towards the culmination of the last Parliamentary session in 2015.

The caucus was steered by Assistant Minister in the Office of the President Phillip Makgalemele whose bone of contention was premised on the need “to augment new expertise deficient in the current crop of national assembly elected legislators.”

Indications suggest that the government is currently working on the bill to be shared with the nation through government gazette in the sands of time.

“A committee met recently to amend the standing orders to cater for the imminent portfolios of Specially Elected legislators who it is understood will as well be Ministers for the surplus two ministries. There will also be fresh two Assistant ministers to be chosen from the current pool of MP’s,” an immaculate source close to the cloak and dagger developments said this week.

Prior to the publication of the bill, those who got the winds of the amendments in the rough and tumble of political free-for-all, Weekend Post has gathered that ex- legislators who plunged in the last 2014 General Elections are secretly lobbying the powerful Office of the President to reflect on their names for probable engagement. However other’s names are said to have been slyly put on the ring.  

Some of the former legislators whose names have been nosedived around for the looming positions include that of former Assistant Minister in the Office of the president and MP for Molepolole North, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri who lost to Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Muhammad Khan in the last general Elections.

In addition former Assistant Minister of Health and Specially Elected law maker Gloria Somolekae who was also tumbled in a BDP primary election last year by Kefentse Mzwinila is also said to be on the books, including ex-legislator for Gaborone West North (now Gaborone Bonnington North) Robert Masitara who was defeated by Duma Boko in the 2014 elections.

Past Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Ndelu Seretse who reigned as MP for Serowe North East before facing mortification from Kgotla Autlwetse in primary elections, as well as former Gaborone West South’s (now Bonnington South) Botsalo Ntuane who bit the dust at the hands of UDC’s Ndaba Gaotlathe are also at President Ian Khama’s beck and call. The president has the prerogative to cherry-pick his battalion subject to endorsement by Parliament with the ruling BDP in the middle-of-the-road.

However the BDP SG Botsalo Ntuane downplayed the developments insisting instead: “before I reply on record which other names are mentioned?” he asked Weekend Post rhetorically when reached for comment. He then continued: “ha ha! With all due respect I think you are just on a fishing expedition because January is a slow news month. I am afraid I can’t comment on such speculation. Compliments of the new year.”

It is understood that more old guards who have had their share of the cake before may have their fingers on the pie yet again in the impending government tasks. Ntuane who is believed to be the main contender in the circle together with the maverick Masitara – who is seen by some as vigorous in his corruption campaigns may be roped in together, sources have revealed this week.

Meanwhile efforts to solicit comment from Masitara, Matlhabaphiri and Somolekae were fruitless at the time of press while OP Assistant Minister Makgalemele has not responded to this publication’s inquiries on the matter.   

Ndelu Seretse, whose name was also mentioned in the prevailing state of affairs, told Weekend Post in an interview that he is not aware that he may be considered for the special election dispensation.

“I am not aware of it – I don’t know anything. Nowadays I am an ordinary person and enjoying myself here. So in case they consider me, I will see when I get to that stage,” he said in a low hushed relaxed voice.

The former Minister added that he “has spent 10 years in government and – that is a long time” while adding that “it will depend on how much the country needs me”. “I am in Serowe and indulging in farming, I am just relaxing for now and if there is any other opportunity I will grab it of course.”

According to Seretse, wherever the party and country wants him, he remains ready to serve. “I will serve my party and nation wherever am needed. If am required to serve I will serve but I won’t say am running for any position. God will reveal where he is placing me. I don’t want to be active in politics no more as I have been active for 10 whooping years. I now want to concentrate on my wife, family, and indeed on my own life. I think I have contributed enough,” he asserted.

However the former Serowe North East legislator pointed out that one mistake they often commit is to put themselves above other people’s interests as politicians while adding that God will lead his way. “I believe that if God wants me for any position, he will lead me into it,” he concluded.

Continue Reading

News

Nigerians, Zimbabweans apply for Chema Chema Fund

16th April 2024

Fronting activities, where locals are used as a front for foreign-owned businesses, have been a long-standing issue in Botswana. These activities not only undermine the government’s efforts to promote local businesses but also deprive Batswana of opportunities for economic empowerment, officials say. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has warned of heavy penalties for those involved in fronting activities especially in relation to the latest popular government initiative dubbed Chema Chema.

According to the Ministry, the Industrial Development Act of 2019 clearly outlines the consequences of engaging in fronting activities. The fines of up to P50,000 for first-time offenders and P20,000 plus a two-year jail term for repeat offenders send a strong message that the government is serious about cracking down on this illegal practice. These penalties are meant to deter individuals from participating in fronting activities and to protect the integrity of local industries.

“It is disheartening to hear reports of collaboration between foreigners and locals to exploit government initiatives such as the Chema Chema Fund. This fund, administered by CEDA and LEA, is meant to support informal traders and low-income earners in Botswana. However, when fronting activities come into play, the intended beneficiaries are sidelined, and the funds are misused for personal gain.” It has been discovered that foreign nationals predominantly of Zimbabwean and Nigerian origin use unsuspecting Batswana to attempt to access the Chema Chema Fund. It is understood that they approach these Batswana under the guise of drafting business plans for them or simply coming up with ‘bankable business ideas that qualify for Chema Chema.’

Observers say the Chema Chema Fund has the potential to uplift the lives of many Batswana who are struggling to make ends meet. They argue that it is crucial that these funds are used for their intended purpose and not siphoned off through illegal activities such as fronting. The Ministry says the warning it issued serves as a reminder to all stakeholders involved in the administration of these funds to ensure transparency and accountability in their disbursement.

One local commentator said it is important to highlight the impact of fronting activities on the local economy and the livelihoods of Batswana. He said by using locals as a front for foreign-owned businesses, opportunities for local entrepreneurs are stifled, and the economic empowerment of Batswana is hindered. The Ministry’s warning of heavy penalties is a call to action for all stakeholders to work together to eliminate fronting activities and promote a level playing field for local businesses.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s warning of heavy penalties for fronting activities is a necessary step to protect the integrity of local industries and promote economic empowerment for Batswana. “It is imperative that all stakeholders comply with regulations and work towards a transparent and accountable business environment. By upholding the law and cracking down on illegal activities, we can ensure a fair and prosperous future for all Batswana.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

News

Merck Foundation and African First Ladies mark World Health Day 2024

15th April 2024

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany marks “World Health Day” 2024 together with Africa’s First Ladies who are also Ambassadors of MerckFoundation “More Than a Mother” Campaign through their Scholarship and Capacity Building Program. Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation emphasized, “At Merck Foundation, we mark World Health Day every single day of the year over the past 12 years, by building healthcare capacity and transforming patient care across Africa, Asia and beyond.

I am proud to share that Merck Foundation has provided over 1740 scholarships to aspiring young doctors from 52 countries, in 44 critical and underserved medical specialties such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Embryology & Fertility specialty, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Psychiatry, Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine, Critical Care, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Neonatal Medicine, Advanced Surgical Practice, Pain Management, General Surgery, Clinical Microbiology and infectious diseases, Internal Medicine, Trauma & Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Cardiology, Stroke Medicine, Care of the Older Person, Family Medicine, Pediatrics and Child Health, Obesity & Weight Management, Women’s Health, Biotechnology in ART and many more”.

As per the available data, Africa has only 34.6% of the required doctors, nurses, and midwives. It is projected that by 2030, Africa would need additional 6.1 million doctors, nurses, and midwives*. “For Example, before the start of the Merck Foundation programs in 2012; there was not a single Oncologist, Fertility or Reproductive care specialists, Diabetologist, Respiratory or ICU specialist in many countries such as The Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Guinea, Burundi, Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, Namibia among others. We are certainly creating historic legacy in Africa, and also beyond. Together with our partners like Africa’s First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Gender, Education and Communication, we are impacting the lives of people in the most disadvantaged communities in Africa and beyond.”, added Senator Dr. Kelej. Merck Foundation works closely with their Ambassadors, the African First Ladies and local partners such as; Ministries of Health, Education, Information & Communication, Gender, Academia, Research Institutions, Media and Art in building healthcare capacity and addressing health, social & economic challenges in developing countries and under-served communities. “I strongly believe that training healthcare providers and building professional healthcare capacity is the right strategy to improve access to equitable and quality at health care in Africa.

Therefore, I am happy to announce the Call for Applications for 2024 Scholarships for young doctors with special focus on female doctors for our online one-year diploma and two year master degree in 44 critical and underserved medical specialties, which includes both Online Diploma programs and On-Site Fellowship and clinical training programs. The applications are invited through the Office of our Ambassadors and long-term partners, The First Ladies of Africa and Ministry of Health of each country.” shared Dr . Kelej. “Our aim is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people by building healthcare capacity across Africa, Asia and other developing countries. We are strongly committed to transforming patientcare landscape through our scholarships program”, concluded Senator Kelej.

Continue Reading

News

Interpol fugitive escapes from Botswana

15th April 2024

John Isaak Ndovi, a Tanzanian national embroiled in controversy and pursued under a red notice by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), has mysteriously vanished, bypassing a scheduled bail hearing at the Extension 2 Magistrate Court in Gaborone. Previously apprehended by Botswana law enforcement at the Tlokweng border post several months earlier, his escape has ignited serious concerns.

Accused of pilfering assets worth in excess of P1 million, an amount translating to roughly 30,000 Omani Riyals, Ndovi has become a figure of paramount interest, especially to the authorities in the Sultanate of Oman, nestled in the far reaches of Asia.

The unsettling news of his disappearance surfaced following his failure to present himself at the Extension 2 Magistrate Court the preceding week. Speculation abounds that Ndovi may have sought refuge in South Africa in a bid to elude capture, prompting a widespread mobilization of law enforcement agencies to ascertain his current location.

In an official communiqué, Detective Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Selebatso Mokgosi of Interpol Gaborone disclosed Ndovi’s apprehension last September at the Tlokweng border, a capture made possible through the vigilant issuance of the Interpol red notice.

At 36, Ndovi is implicated in a case of alleged home invasion in Oman. Despite the non-existence of an extradition treaty between Botswana and Oman, Nomsa Moatswi, the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), emphasized that the lack of formal extradition agreements does not hinder her office’s ability to entertain extradition requests. She highlighted the adoption of international cooperation norms, advocating for collaboration through the lenses of international comity and reciprocity.

Moatswi disclosed the intensified effort by law enforcement to locate Ndovi following his no-show in court, and pointed to Botswana’s track record of extraditing two international fugitives from France and Zimbabwe in the previous year as evidence of the country’s relentless pursuit of legal integrity.

When probed about the potential implications of Ndovi’s case on Botswana’s forthcoming evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Moatswi reserved her speculations. She acknowledged the criticality of steering clear of blacklisting, suggesting that this singular case is unlikely to feature prominently in the FATF’s assessment criteria.

 

Continue Reading