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Another UDC Councillor quits

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Councillor for Boswelatlou ward in Lobatse constituency Kabelo Sebako this week called it quits at the Lobatse Town Council (LTC) chambers, albeit over enigmatic circumstances.

WeekendPost has established that the Councillor has for almost 8 months held two posts simultaneously, including that of Councillor for the LTC. Other than that, Sebako also worked as an accountant in the management of Blue Crystal sugar company, also known as TongaatHullet. Sebako abandoned his councillor post to focus on his job at the sugar packaging company.

The UDC Councillor confirmed to WeekendPost in an interview that: “It is true that I have resigned my position as a Councillor, and it is purely for personal reasons.” He said he chose his job as Accounts Assistant over the Council position because he did not want to make the Council suffer due to his dual responsibilities.

Sebako won the Boswelatlou ward for the UDC – and entire opposition – for first time since the first democratic election 1969. It has been a safe guarded stronghold of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) who lost it with a slim margin in the last election. The UDC Councillor had garnered 278 votes to 276 of Zubeida Raphael of BDP while Botswana Congress Party (BCP) represented by Shimane Thelo came last with 93 votes only.

UDC Spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa told this publication that he was aware of the developments pertaining to Sebako’s resignation. He however downplayed it to say it depended on how one viewed it. “You see I believe it was a good decision because it compromised him to diligently deliver on his Council responsibilities,” he said.

According to Mohwasa, some people enjoy clinging to their political positions even when they are challenged and hailed Sebako as a responsible political leader who, due to other pressures of life and commitments, moved to relinquish his position when he felt he could serve the people in accordance with his will.

“He had two jobs and so he felt continuing with both of them will affect his Council duties and his ability to serve his electorates at his ward,” he pointed out.

When this reporter asked if this development won’t tarnish the image of the party further, Mohwasa stated that although some would say that, he however does not buy into that school of thought, “I don’t think so,” he stressed out.

It is not the first time a UDC Councilor resigned from a Council seat after the 2014 General Elections; recently Bokone North Councillor Titus Kebuileng left the Council for another work commitment believed to be at the University of Botswana. Botswana Congress Party’s Molefhe Mosothwane then went on later to win the bye election.

In addition, not long ago, the main opposition party received a shocker when Member of Parliament for Goodhope/Mabule James Mathokgwane also dumped parliament for a lucrative job at Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU). The bye election for the constituency will take place on 15 August.

There has been strong speculations doing the rounds that link opposition party members and activists en-mass resignations to strategical prudence by the ruling party fat cats to lure unsuspecting opposition members into their fold. The party has however continued to refute such insinuations as baseless and unfounded.

The suggestions were also entertained by Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) which is a member of UDC, Lobatse branch Chairman Temba Stimela. According to Stimela, Sebako had pressure from BDP leadership in Lobatse especially by Town Mayor Malebogo Kruger. However efforts to reach Kruger on the matter proved futile at the time of going to print.

It is understood that Kruger has been frequently visiting Sebako’s employers on suspicious mandate to recruit him. Sebako, who was only a member of the Finance Committee at the Council was said to be not performing satisfactorily by the Council management.

There were also assumptions that Sebako had been invited to the State house, assertions he laughed off and brushed aside, labelling them as untrue and unfortunate. According to him, he remains a loyal of the UDC, he rubbished the claims that he may have been bought by the BDP top politburo.

Meanwhile, it has also become apparent that when the incumbent Councillors and MP’s resign from Council chambers or National Assembly, or more still from their current parties to others, rarely bid constituents and electorates farewell. The constituents often complain of such developments.Sebako indicated in the interview that he has “not consulted the constituents to the optimum level.”  

In the meantime, President Ian Khama is expected to issue a writ of elections to announce the date of the bye election.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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