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FCC, British firm to install solar street lights

Francistown City Council (FCC) is reportedly on the verge of engaging a British company for a joint venture in the installation of solar Light-emitting diode (LED) street lights project to replace the current system.

The development is expected to help the country’s second largest city to save a substantial amount of money that could be then channeled towards funding developmental projects for the city.

Green Globe Architecture Limited, based in the city of Durban in England recently presented its proposal to the Sylvia Tabitha Muzila led municipality’s investment committee and managed to convince it.

Robert Hanna, an official with the British company said the City of Francistown is looking at ways and means of delivering existing and support based mechanisms in a smarter way of doing things.

Of recent, the FCC has been approaching and welcoming proposals from the local, regional and multinational companies through the government aided Private-Public Partnership (PPP) initiative.

In an interview with WeekendPost on the sidelines of a Botswana Local Government PPP workshop organized by Barclays Bank of Botswana recently, Hanna the initiative is about getting development off the grid.

“We are looking at getting all the existing street lights which were supported by the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) to convert to LED solar,” said Hanna, adding that the development has got huge benefits to the city council.

Hanna added: “It will reduce the cost (of providing lighting to the residents of Francistown) and infrastructure. Over and above that, it will reduce the cost of servicing and maintaining at the same time contributing to the country’s commitment to climate change reduction.”

He added that the development will help Botswana’s second largest with a wide range of opportunities when it comes to turn the economy of the municipality into a sustainable one for the future.  

“This is all about transforming Francistown into a city where the sun never stops shining,” revealed Hanna.   

For her part, the Corporate Director of Barclays Bank of Botswana Lesley Bradley said it is time for both the public and private sectors to make a mark by playing a significant role in the sustainable development growth in Botswana.

Bradley said: “There is now an infrastructure investment gap, which cannot be closed by the local government alone. Local government needs to create space and attract the private sector to actively participate in the delivery of SDGs including addressing infrastructure needs.”

Muzila said the council has got a lot of areas that need to be explored for the benefit of the city saying it is a matter of the private sector coming on board and springboard the economic status of Francistown.

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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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