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BMC tax exemption to boost its cashflow

The proposed blanket exemption from income tax for the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) could boost the state processing body which currently faces cashflow and debt problems.

At present, BMC is taxable at 15% on its taxable income that is the net of its gross income and some deductible expenses. The commission owes farmers huge amounts due to a costly short term financing model which is worsened by delayed sales proceeds.

BMC’s debt currently stands at P769million as well as the P569 million that was accrued during the EU delisting. The meat commission made a loss of P302 million in 2012 and a profit of P30.11 million in 2013. Meanwhile parliament has approved a P300million supplementary fund to boost the meat commision.

The highly contested bill as soon as it becomes law, which could be anytime from now, it, will exempt BMC from tax retrospectively.

“Providing BMC with a blanket income tax exemption simply entails that it will be able to retain more of its net earnings than before. It could then use the amount that it would otherwise pay as tax to finance its investments or operational activities. This should come handy to the company at a time when it has been reported that it was facing serious cash flow challenges,” highlighted Fungai Gore a tax expert.

Gore highlighted that the 15% tax that’s being paid by BMC had increased its costs and ultimately affecting its bottom-line profits. “The bill is designed to cushion BMC as it breaks into profits. BMC can now keep the money for tax and plough it back,” he said.

The bill seeks to introduce a 4% withholding tax on payments made by any person in business to any farmer who sells livestock for slaughter or where such livestock will be fed before being slaughtered. Therefore BMC will deduct withholding tax from all those who supply it with livestock for slaughter.

“The deduction of the withholding tax on BMC would have otherwise worsened its cashflows, further compounding its challenges, noted Gore.

As per the proposed bill, BMC will be exempt from tax; it will not ideally suffer the withholding tax if it sells livestock for slaughter to third parties. “This simply means that whilst BMC will deduct 4% withholding tax from those who supply it with livestock, it should not suffer the tax when it sells to its clients,” he added.

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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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