Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman and Vice President recently slammed rumours that former presidents, Quett Masire and Festus Mogae are on the verge of quitting the ruling party to join deputy speaker Dr Margaret Nasha in the opposition ranks.
There are fears the current stand-off between BDP old guards and the current administration will lead to the former leaving the party in favour of opposition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in particular.
Dr Nasha who served under President Masire and Mogae as Specially elected Member of Parliament on two occasions and as MP for Gaborone Central tendered her resignation on last week Friday.
She has since joined BDP splinter party Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) which is a member of UDC.
Masisi told journalists earlier this week that the party does not think the two former Presidents who have held divergent views from the current administration will quit.
He conceded though that the party was expecting Dr Nasha’s resignation following a tumultuous relationship with President Lt Gen Ian Khama towards the end of the10th Parliament while she was the speaker of the national assembly.
Nasha became the Speaker of Nationally Assembly after Khama endorsed her candidature, becoming the first woman to hold that position since independence. However, their relationship experienced a back flip when she strived for a wholly independent parliament to the pleasure of all MPs.
The 10th Parliament is probably the most effective Parliament as far as oversight role is concerned. Under the speakership of Dr Nasha, key investigations of maladministration in quasi-government institutions like Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) and Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) were put under probe by Parliamentary Committees.
The watershed moment was the release of Dr. Nasha’s book ‘Madam Speaker Sir!’ which criticised Khama’s leadership and labelled him as a ‘dictator.’
Khama went ahead to nominate former cabinet Minister Gladys Kokorwe following the 2014 general elections fiasco which led to a court case over the endorsement and election of the Vice President and Speaker of the National Assembly respectively.
Masisi revealed that the actions of Nasha prior to her resignation indicated that she was on her way out but ruled out the possibility of former Presidents following suit.
He said the role Masire and Mogae played in the BDP and government makes it impossible for them to join the opposition bandwagon.
The Vice President said that Masire is the only surviving man of those who met at the famous morula tree in 1962 where BDP was formed.
“At 90 years, we don’t think Rra-Gaone [Masire] will find any reason to defect to opposition,” he stated.
Masisi also mentioned Mogae’s illustrious career as a senior civil servant in a BDP led government. Masisi noted that Mogae had held post such as Economic Planning Officer, Director of Economic Affairs, Governor of Bank of Botswana, Permanent Secretary and Vice President of Botswana before becoming president which exudes his commitment to the ruling party.
Both Masire and Mogae are continual absentees from BDP activities in recent years. The duo did not attend any of the party’s two congresses last year.
Meanwhile Masire has attended at least one UDC event in Gaborone where, BMD hosted a memorial dinner for departed leader Gomolemo Motswaledi.
Mogae has openly criticised his successor’s policies both in international forums and on local media.
The frustrated former President was on record saying ‘Botswana has regressed and the current administrations does not respect the rule of law,’ a bitter pill to swallow for Khama’s government.
Ever since 2014, in the lead up to the crucial general elections the two former presidents have continued to criticise government and Khama’s leadership, Mogae being more vehement of the two.
Recently, Masire told the media that government was on a mission to sabotage him after refusing to buy his zebras despite promising to do so.
Masire announced recently that he had lost 89 Zebras to thirst and excessive heat.
Masire has defiantly ignored calls made to silence him rather contending that his name and those of his stalwarts is so easily, cheaply and wantonly dragged in the mud by fellows who were “either boys, toddlers or yet unborn, when fundamentals or principles that were to be corner stones of BDP policy or philosophy were crafted”.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.
The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.
Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa
A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.
COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”
According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.
“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”
Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”
Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.
Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.
“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.
For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.
“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.
Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.
The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ, Patrick Thedi said, “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”
As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.
Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele, who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.
The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as well as bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.
TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050, has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.