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BDP electoral reforms a witch-hunt

Balopi says controversial statement targets candidates’ conduct

The ruling party’s Secretary General, Mpho Balopi and his close associates in the Central Committee have been accused of introducing and applying dirty electoral tricks for the forthcoming National Congress to unsettle, silence and disarm those who wish to stand against their preferred candidates.


But the BDP secretary general has rubbished such thoughts and misguided.


Balopi last week issued two controversial press releases whose authenticity was questioned after the sacked Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Executive Secretary, Sechele Sechele who was a signatory to the other distanced himself from the literature.


WeekendPost has gathered that the National Congress candidates lobby commitees together with their candidates are intending to take up the matter with the party following their assessment of the press releases and ‘hidden intentions’ therein.


The first press release distanced President Lt Gen Ian Khama from supporting any candidate while the other informed the party that members who wished to stand for an elected position in the party at the forthcoming National Congress should inform the Party Secretary General in writing about their intentions by 5PM on June 1,2015’ and that the party primary elections code of conduct will guide all party internal elections including the 2015 BDP national Congress.


The lobby commitees argue that it is the first time in the history of the BDP that the primary elections rules are used in Central Committee Elections. They have gone on to question where the decision, calling it a mockery to the party, was taken and by whom.

They have brought to the fore that the same rules were not used in the previous Women’s Wing and Youth Wing elections.This, they conclude, is a witch-hunt by Balopi and his associates to unsettle, silence and disarm the candidates and purge those they deem offensive.


In defence of his Central Commitee,Balopi said the decisions were taken considering the circumstances and perculiarity of the forthcoming National Congress elections.


“We considered the influx of the candidates in these elections, we considered a series of media interviews granted by candidates which attacked and discredited not only the party but some candidates to some extent, among others,” he said.


Balopi said they did not just wake up the following morning to come up with such reforms, “We also sought guidance on the interpretations of a few constitutional clauses to see how far we can go as the Central Commitee,” he asserted.


Balopi said those who wished to stand for the lections had to go through his office ‘for planning and understanding purposes’. He further highlighted, “we also want to vet those who are not in good standing to avoid unnecessary confusions and this is also to check whether some of those are not the same people who some mebers have compalined about.”


Balopi said he doesn’t know why people hate him so much as he is only doing his job and advancing the interests of the party he has been elected to lead together with others. “I dont own the BDP,no,what we are sayin is that there are various platforms where reforms are discussed and approved not through the media,” he said.


He rubbished reports that he was targeting some progressive politicians like Botsalo Ntuane who is vying for the position he (Balopi) is holding to set up and engineeer a committee of his croonies so that he may rule from the grave. “I am not standing for the elections, and if anyone has got a personal issue against me let them come and I will respond accordingly,” he charged.

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Over 2 000 civil servants interdicted

6th December 2022

Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.

According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reaching WeekendPost shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.

In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.

This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publication’s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, “as you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,” she said.

She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.

Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.

Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.

Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.

“It is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,” he told WeekendPost, adding that “when a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolved”.

Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.

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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 DFIs have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and its 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 DFIs.

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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