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Mo Ibrahim downgrades Botswana

Mo Ibrahim shows year on year on governance decline since 2008

The 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) report indicates that Botswana’s quality of governance is deteriorating under the leadership of President Lt Gen Ian Khama.

The report which was released at the beginning of this week indicates that although the country remains at the top ten of the overall ranking of the African continent, its scores have been going down since Khama took office in April 2008.

“Since 2008, when the current leader came to power, the country has changed from being one on a positive governance trajectory (route) to one on the negative trajectory with particular widespread deterioration in the last year,” the report revealed.

According to the report, Botswana has in recent years started to show some weakening of performance in a range of governance measures although it is still performing comparatively well.

“Although Botswana continues to achieve widespread high scores across much of the IIAG, resulting impressive rank placement in many levels of the data set, its overall score in recent years has declined with deterioration in broad range of governance measures,” the report revealed.

Botswana has continually achieved top ten status in overall governance since 2000. In 2014, the country scored 74.2 out of 100, ranking number three in the 54 countries of Africa. It displayed its best ever overall governance in 2012 and has shown year on year on deterioration ever since, with the most pronounced fall back seen in the most recent years.

The Ibrahim index that measures the quality of governance in every African country on an annual basis, indicates that since 2011, Botswana has shown an overall governance deterioration of about 1.8 points. This it states, places the country within the ten largest fallers of the continent over this time period.

“Apart from Cabo Verde, Botswana is the highest ranking country to show such a decline. This weakening performance is driven by widespread deterioration in three of the four categories, safety and rule of law, participation and human rights and sustainable economic opportunities,” the report further reads.

The country scored 82.7 in safety and rule of law and ranked second in the continent and therefore,  registered the country’s second largest decline of all the governance components.

“The broad nature of the deterioration across the sub categories is conspicuous as all components of the sub categories display the same trend. The country thus records the lowest score since 2000 in 2014, one of only nine countries in the continent to do so,” further reveals the report.

On matters of National security, the country is however ranked one of the Botswana’s best performers of safety and rule of law. The country scored 99.9 and showing a very slight deterioration of a small decimal place on 0.04.

“This is the most positive story for Botswana within this category with no change in four of the five indicators in which the country scores 100.0. The only driver of this slight deterioration is the indicator Political refugees with a slight decline of 0.2 points,” further reads the report.

The ten highest scoring countries in this category in 2014 included Botswana, 95.5, followed by South Africa (95.4), Mauritius (94. 6), Cabo Verde (87.9), Ghana (84.5), Namibia (82.8), Senegal (74.6), Seychelles (74.0), Zambia (71.7) and Malawi at 68.5.

Meanwhile, Botswana scored 68.7 in participation in human rights, making it the country’s second lowest performing category and achieving a continental rank of number 8 in the continent. The category shows Botswana’s largest category deterioration since 2011 of 4.4 points and thus making it one of the then biggest deterioration on the continent.

“All three component sub categories shoes deteriorating performance even though they still show relatively high scores in 2014. Botswana ranks 19th in gender and it is this sub category that shows the largest decline in this category due to a noticeable deterioration within the measures of women in senior public positions. Women in the judiciary, women in politics as well as to a lesser extent in legislation on violence against women,” the reports added.  

The human development category is the only one to show both improvement and overall performance in all the underlying sub categories. The country’s best categories are seen in health and Education measures. However a cause for concern was highlighted on the Education system quality which shows a deterioration of slightly above 10 points.

The country has also ranked in the top ten countries of Africa in terms of every underlying sub category of the sustainable Economic opportunity albeit with a less positive story.

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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

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