On the 6th of August 2015, Debswana handed over a cattle judging ring called The Diamond Arena, to the Ministry of Agriculture. The event was graced by the President of Botswana Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama and the Minister of Agriculture Hon. Patrick Pule Ralotsia.
The newly built Diamond Arena is a state of the art structure that is expected to facilitate the showcasing and auctioning of livestock in a manner that is on par with international standards.
The arena will also be leased to the public as a venue for various activities in order to generate funds for its upkeep and maintenance. The facility was funded by Debswana Diamond Company through its Corporate Social Investment Programme to the tune of P2.7 million.
It has exceptional features such as large capacity and stadium-style seating, ablution blocks, storage and selling stalls for food and drinks. Over and above that, the Diamond Arena represents the dreams of many farmers in Botswana, a place where they can showcase their hard work during the year and be recognized in the fast growing agricultural sector.
Balisi Bonyongo, Managing Director of Debswana says, “Debswana’s commitment to the development of agriculture is unwavering. We have demonstrated this through our annual sponsorship of the National Agricultural Show to the tune of up to P700 000 annually over the past eight years.
This sponsorship has improved the quality of the agricultural shows thus encouraging Batswana from all District Shows to actively participate in agriculture in order to learn, share experiences and appreciate improved agricultural products ranging from livestock to crops.
Debswana recognises the need for Botswana to have a sustainable and diversified economy, as such we continue to support investments in the agricultural sector, which lead to improving its productivity, enhancing rural incomes and diversifying the economy. I encourage Batswana to take agriculture to the next stage, that is, beyond the subsistence level.”
Bonyongo also mentioned the importance of fully exploiting the structure and not to leave it under-utilized as this will not fulfill the primary objective it was meant for. The Diamond Arena was officially handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture on the same day.
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.
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.
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.