Kgosi Kebinatshwene Mosielele of the Bahurutshe of Manyana’s call for polygamy to be legalized has raised eyebrows. According to him, with regard to the customary law, polygamy is legal in Botswana and dates back long back.
Mosielele described polygamy as a traditional system that solely exists to give a family some kind of backbone and protection. He added the system allowed for a man to marry up to four wives provided valid reasons are stated for the marriage to take place.
First the wife must willingly consent to the marriage, and thereafter the elders could carry an assessment to determine whether the man’s economic status allows him to provide for the family, he stated.
“This is one way of formalizing Bonyatsi,” Mosielele exclaimed. He pointed that extra marital relationships as addressed in the civil law have become worrisome. He explained that in often times women are caught on the wrong side of the law for being romantically involved with married men.
Mosielele further stated that he finds it disturbing that the women are the ones who face the vulnerability of being labeled home wreckers and being fined whereas no one tries to figure out what could have been the cause of the man seeking a concubine.
The adamant Mosielele said he believes more than 50% of men have concubines and because all of this is done in secrecy it is the cause of why modern marriages are faced with a lot of problems often leading to divorce.
Human Rights lawyer and Activist Tshiamo Rantao however opined that civil law disputes polygamy and guards it as a criminal offence. Rantao furthers highlighted that with regard to the customary law, marrying more than one wife is allowed provided there is consent from the first wife. “Such a system like polygamy in Botswana is unpopular and it is a very sensitive issue to the female counter parts,” Rantao said.
Nonetheless, Mosielele also admits that in the modern age it is a sensitive issue, more especially to women. But went on to caution women to face and accept the reality that there is no such thing as love. He remarked that women confuse love with security.
In his explanation, Mosielele indicated that it is normal for a woman to be fond of a man who provides for her, but it is also very important for women to be open minded and considerate on matters of polygamy as it is a system that dates back to our forefathers times, sighting that there are also Setswana proverbs with the likes of “Lelwapa le tiisiwa ke nyatsi” loosely translated as meaning a family is strengthened by a concubine.
“It is only a handful of men that have resources to securely provide for their women, and all the women fight for that 5%, that is why everything should be formalized to contain the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS and discourage divorce,” the controversial chief quipped.
Mogolo Ramalebana, a young woman pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Chinese Studies at the University of Botswana said she was intrigued by the mention of polygamy. She said the topic in itself was unexpected and sensitive. She however said it was a personal choice if anyone wanted to be in a polygamous marriage or not.
“If the first wife does not dispute the arrangement then, it simply says a man has a go-ahead of taking another wife,” Ramalebana points that legal or not infidelity in between partners is not an easy thing to curb therefore she believes that polygamy will help partners to avoid having affairs in secrecy and do it in the open. “I feel we should not lie to ourselves by trying to put some measures into place like campaigns which speaks against polygamy and just go with it,” she opined.
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.
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.
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.