The race for Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairmanship has taken a new twist following Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s announcement that he is availing himself for the position of Chairman at the upcoming July congress.
Masisi told a party gathering this week that he will launch his campaign as the battle for the party’s soul thickens. It was expected that Masisis’s decision to run for chairmanship will see other candidates pulling out of the race to make way for him, but that is not the case as other contestants have vowed to continue with the campaign at least for now.
The Vice President’s decision is said to be informed by the development that Tshekedi Khama will not be contesting. It is understood that Masisi had indicated that he will not compete with Tshekedi.
Masisi’s decision comes barely a week after party veteran Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri declared his aspiration to run for the position of Secretary General against Botsalo Ntuane, who had for long time looked like unchallenged.
Matlhabaphiri was initially Ntuane’s campaign manager but tables have turned as he is challenging him and has aligned himself to Masisi’s camp.
This publication learns that some members of cabinet have told the Vice President that they will support his bid for chairman, but they are rooting for Ntuane in the secretary general race. Many BDP insiders say Masisi should fight to win because losing will negatively impact on his future ambitions.
One of the front runners for chairmanship, Tebelelo Seretse has dismissed any chances of her pulling out of the race as her campaign has long kicked-off and has gained momentum. “I cannot withdraw from the race because of those reasons because I have my own ambitions and intentions,” she said. “I am very far with my campaign.”
Youthful Dithapelo Tshotego has also remained resolute and insisted that his campaign will go ahead despite the new development. The same sentiments are shared by Seteng Motalaote who told this publication that the race for Chairmanship has never been about individuals but the cause which he is rooting for in the party.
Biggie Butale also shot down the possibility of him making way for the Vice President in the race for chairmanship. The MP for Tati West said his resolve to run for the chairmanship is based on introducing reforms in the party and that has never changed. “Mine is a principle and I am not campaigning for chairmanship because so and so is not contesting,” he said.
This publication was not able to solicit a comment from one of the front runners, former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse.
Should Masisi contest and lose the race, the aftermath would come back to haunt him and the party as many will view him as a weaker vice president. According to sources close the vice president, his decision to join the race was motivated by Tshekedi Khama’s decision not to run for the position. Initially Khama had expressed his desire to run for the party’s chairmanship, which is generally viewed as a position equivalent to Vice Presidency in the BDP.
The position of party chairmanship has been traditionally been associated with the vice presidency ever the since the days of Peter Mmusi, the late former vice president.
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 reachingÂ WeekendPostÂ 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 publicationâ€™s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, â€śas 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,â€ť 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.
â€śIt is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,â€ť he toldÂ WeekendPost, adding that â€śwhen a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolvedâ€ť.
Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.
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.