Molale will resign, but only after winning primaries
The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale has got everyone talking. He is contesting the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary election whilst also holding the position of Specially Elected Member of Parliament.
President Lt Gen Ian Khama also holds the key because Molale’s all clear solely depends on the President’s discretion. It is clear that Molale has the President’s blessings to contest. He may keep as Minister until the legality of his stay as Minister expires! Reports from some BDP members indicate that Molale has made it clear that he will resign should he win the party primary elections…
Pundits are clear in their explanations that there is no law that Molale is breaking, and in fact he is not the first Specially Elected MP to contest primary elections whilst still in Parliament. There are those who feel Molale should not contest because he is already in Parliament, but indications are that this is not only about Molale, it is also about the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
The BDP stands to gain in the event Molale wins because they will have a chance to slot in a different Specially Elected MP to replace the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration. There is no doubt that the BDP or President Lt Gen Ian Khama had a lot of potential candidates lined to be made Specially Elected, and this is yet another opportunity. Molale has been given a chance to prove his worth as a politician, and the Goodhope-Mabule bye-election suits his ambitions.
In the event Eric Molale succeeds at primary elections the main question is whether he will resign both his positions so clears the way for his contestation in the bye-election. WeekendPost has looked at precedents and the law in part and made discoveries that Molale is covered in all angles.
He may choose not to resign until Election Day as MP, and may contest for the position of MP for Goodhope-Mabule while still holding the position of Minister. Section 42 (3) of the constitution of Botswana allows Molale to run while still holding the position of Minister.
Meanwhile Molale is also free to contest BDP primary elections while still holding the position of Specially Elected Member of Parliament. According to the constitution of the country it is also clear that President Khama is not under any pressure to Specially Elect a replacement for Molale when he resigns as MP (because he (Molale) will be compelled to resign from Parliament to contest the bye-election.
Therefore this means that President Khama can wait for the outcome of the bye-election and make an informed decision after. In the event Molale loses he has the discretion to reappoint him as Specially Elected MP. According to the constitution, Khama also has four months to watch the developments while Molale holds position of Minister while not being a Member of the National Assembly.
Insiders have pointed out that it is a risk worth taking for the Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Minister because he is “covered in all angles”.
PRECEDENTS OR LIKELY SIMILAR CASES
In 2007, after Boyce Sebetlela resigned from Parliament, the former Minister of Health Sheila Tlou was allowed to contest BDP primaries in Palapye constituency while still a Member of the National Assembly. She went on to lose the primaries to Moiseraela Master Goya and continued with her parliament and ministerial duties.
In 1994 the High Court nullified the Kgatleng constituency results because of irregularities and Ray Molomo could not be declared a Member of Parliament. The then President, Sir Ketumile Masire went on to appoint Molomo a minister without a constituency and waited for him to win the re-run.
On 1st April 1994 when Festus Mogae succeeded Masire as President, Lt Gen Ian Khama was made Vice President. But Khama did not hold a seat in the National Assembly hence he could not be immediately appointed Vice President. Former President, Mogae waited for Khama to win the Serowe North bye-election and later appointed him Vice President. Khama was ushered in through the resignation of Roy Blackbeard.
In a recent case though different, two serving Mahalapye Councillors, Moatshe Senai and Jackson Cebani, in 2012 were allowed to contest in BDP primary elections challenging Bernard Bolele for the vacant Mahalapye West Parliamentary office.
The vacant position at Parliament cannot stay for more than 90 days hence before then the bye-election should be conducted.
Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC) has announced that its 3rd Francistown Marathon will be held on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown. The BTC Francistown Marathon is officially recognised by World Athletics and a Comrades Marathon Qualifier will offer race categories ranging from 42.2km, 21.1 km, 10km, 5km fun run, 5km peace run for children and has introduced a 5km and 10km categories for wheelchairs athletics.
BTC also used this opportunity to announce beneficiaries who received donations from proceeds made from the 2nd BTC Francistown Marathon that was held on April 23rd 203.Â BTC donated a play area, plastic chairs and wooden tables for pupils worth a total of thirty eight thousand, one hundred and three pula, fifty thebe each (P38, 103.50) to Monarch Primary School, Tatitown Primary School, Mahube Primary School and Gulubane Primary School. Ditladi and Boikhutso clinics each received a donation of benches, television sets and 10, 000 litre water tanks worth thirty seven thousan, eight hundred and ninety eight pula (P 37, 898.00). Additionally, BTC also donated seventy thousand pula (P70,000.00) to their marathon technical partner, Francistown Athletics Club (FAC) which will be used for daily operations as well as to purchase equipment for the club.
The BTC Francistown Marathon aligns seamlessly with BTC’s corporate social investment programme, administered through the BTC Foundation. This programme is a testament to BTC’s dedication to community development, focusing on key areas such as health promotion. The marathon, now in its third year, not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also channels all proceeds to carefully chosen charities as part of BTC’s commitment to impactful and sustainable projects.
Speaking at the launch, the BTC Managing Director Mr Anthony Masunga stated that the marathon underscores BTCâs commitment to community upliftment and corporate social investment. He stated that âthe annual event which has been in existence since 2016, having taken a break due to the covid and other logistical issues, is instrumental to the economic upliftment of the city of Francistownâ. He congratulated all the beneficiaries for having been nominated to receive the donations, adding that âthe donation of proceeds from the 2023 marathon aims to highlight BTCâs commitment and heart for Batswana and our continued impact in the different industriesâ.
He further stated that through this marathon, âwe demonstrate our steadfast commitment to having a good influence on our communities, this event is a manifestation of our dedication to promoting education and a healthier, more active societyâ. Â He concluded by stating that âBTC looks forward to another successful marathon that will leave a lasting positive influence on the greater Francistown community and the country at largeâ he said.
Giving welcome remarks, the Councillor for Donga, Honourable Morulaganyi Mothowabarwa stated that âhe is ecstatic that BTC is collaborating with the City of Francistown on yet another installment of the Marathonâ. He continued to offer his support to BTC to enable this marathon to continue over the coming years, stating that the âCSI element is a welcome development that helps empower our communitiesâ, he said.
The 3rd BTC Francistown Marathon is officially open for registrations and athletes may use the following platforms to register and pay; through Smega by dialling *173# and choosing opton 5, then choose Option 3 for the Francistown marathon, at any BTC store or by visiting the BTC website and clicking on the BTC Francistown Marathon and choosing the relevant options.
Thapelo Letsholo, Member of Parliament for Kanye North, delivered a moving speech at the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, praising President Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption. Letsholo highlighted the importance of embracing digitalization in governance as a crucial step in curbing corrupt practices.
According to Letsholo, the implementation of digital systems in government services can significantly reduce direct interactions between citizens and officials, which often serve as fertile grounds for corruption. By minimizing these opportunities for illicit activities, the efficiency and transparency of public services can be enhanced. Letsholo pointed to Estonia’s success in digital governance as an example, where public services have become more transparent, accessible, and efficient.
The MP commended President Masisi’s commitment to digitalization and E-Governance, emphasizing that it aligns with global anti-corruption standards. He called for full support and active participation from all sectors to ensure the success of this initiative.
Letsholo also stressed the importance of improving detection methods and refining whistleblower laws to effectively combat corruption. He highlighted the unseen and unspoken facets of corruption as its lifelines, emphasizing the need for robust detection mechanisms and a system that encourages and protects whistleblowers.
Addressing the societal role in fighting corruption, Letsholo focused on the crucial role of everyday citizens and civil servants who often witness corrupt practices firsthand. He acknowledged the existing reluctance to report corruption due to the perceived risks of repercussions. To change this narrative, Letsholo advocated for creating an environment where staying silent is deemed more detrimental than speaking out. He called for a cultural shift where the potential benefits of exposing corruption outweigh the risks, ensuring that whistleblowers are protected and feel secure in coming forward.
Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a system that not only detects and reports corruption but also supports those who stand against it. He expressed hope that under President Masisi’s digitalization initiatives, the future of governance in Botswana will be characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability. Letsholo’s speech resonated with the sentiments of hope and determination that permeated the commemoration, emphasizing the need for unity in the fight against corruption.
In summary, Letsholo lauded President Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption, highlighting its potential to curb corrupt practices, enhance efficiency and transparency in public services, and align with global anti-corruption standards. He emphasized the importance of improving detection methods, refining whistleblower laws, and creating an environment where speaking out against corruption is encouraged and protected. Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a future characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability in governance.
FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.
FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.
One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.
The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.
Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.
In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.
FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.
The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.