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NDB wants to cut losses by half in 2015

The National Development Bank will shrink the Bank’s 2013/14 comprehensive loss by at least 50 percent during the year 2014/15 to ensure that the NDB tracks back to profitability. This assertion was made by NDB chief executive, Lorato Morapedi, this week.

Having experienced a significantly high level of Non-performing loans the Bank at the beginning of financial year 2015/16 embarked on a vigorous collections campaign to reduce its NPL (non performing loans) by 80 percent in order to drive the Bank back to profitability.  

Morapedi said that while the Bank is targeting to cut its comprehensive loss by at least 50 percent, the auditors are still at work to ensure that the current audit is completed.

“But as we all know the 2013/14 external audit took a bit of time to complete thus having a sequential effect on the 2014/15 which then started late,” Morapedi lamented.

The NDB was hit by drought induced farming losses which resulted in a significant 86 percent rise in loan impairments. The losses are also attributed to the Bank’s focus on start up businesses, which commercial banks are averse to in terms of funding due to the associated risks.

However, NDB’s focus on SMME’s is said to be in support of Government’s agenda on food security, employment creation and empowering Batswana especially those with difficulty in accessing funding. Notwithstanding that, NDB faced increased, aggresive competition from the commercial banks in both the SME sector and agribusiness loans.

The low liquidity environment that banks operated in, in recent times, has also contributed to NDB’s

The Bank recorded a total loss of P86.4 million compared to a profit of P45.6 million in the previous year. During the same period gain on property plant and equipment amounted to P18.5 million and the overall comprehensive loss for the period was P67.9 million. The decline was largely due to the significant rise in impairments’ charge from P38.5 million to P163.7million.

This comes on the backdrop of the Bank’s adopted project to commercialise its operations. One of the major projects undertaken towards commercialisation readiness was the implementation, in 2013, of a new banking system (SAP) which necessitated a major data clean-up exercise, thereby delaying the completion of the 2013/14 statutory financial audit till February 2015 when the fieldwork was completed.

Going forward, NDB is still on the protracted move towards privatization, with a commercialization consultant appointed to come up with a new business model that will guide the process of listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange and acquire a commercial banking license from the central bank.

“We expect that when the new business model has been completed and approved at relevant governance structures this will deal with most of the Bank’s woes” said NDB CEO.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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