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Makgato’s Women’s Wing victory sparks contests

Matlhabaphiri takes on Ntuane in the BDP SG race; VP Masisi not off the hook yet, he is still being lobbied; Kabo Morwaeng joins race for deputy secretary general

Democracy is expected to be at full play at the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) July congress to be held in Mmadinare. With already a flurry of contestants for the position of chairman in the central committee, more candidates are expected to announce their candidature for various positions in the 2015 central committee.


Many observers within the party believe that the spirit of democracy and freewill that was experienced at the Women’s Wing congress in Lobatse pushed a few off the fences and they have now taken positions. Dorcas Makgato recorded a resounding victory against Tshepo Wareus in Lobatse earning 317 votes compared to 186 votes. Makgato’s camp chanted celebratory songs reminiscent of the BDP of old. Makgato’s victory has earned her a place in the BDP’s politburo.


A recent twist in the contest for BDP central committee positions is the reported interest of former cabinet minister, Gaotlhaetse ‘GUS’ Matlhabaphiri to stand for the position of secretary general of the ruling party in July.

Matlhabaphiri’s eminent declaration comes in the wake of earlier pronouncements that former Gaborone Bonninton South Member of Parliament, Botsalo Ntuane could be unopposed for the same position in July.


Matlhabaphiri is said to have finally agreed with those who have been lobbying him to challenge for the position so that he takes the baton from Mpho Balopi, the current secretary general. Those who lobbied Matlhabaphiri are of the view that Ntuane could serve better as a running to the former.

They want him to be more administrative and execute his writing prowess at the office while Matlhabaphiri does the dirty work of resuscitating party structures and other related grass roots work. They want to rather position Ntuane for 2017.


Days before Ntuane declared his intentions as far as the position of secretary general is concerned, Matlhabaphiri was approached by the same lobby group and he declined their invitation, but it appears they have convinced him this time around. Sources who spoke to WeekendPost indicate that Matlhabaphiri has been assured that he has the support of the party hierarchy.


Meanwhile, BDP’s on and off prodigal son, Kabo Morwaeng is said to have shown interest in the position of deputy secretary general. Should he make a declaration as expected, he will be inviting a challenge from former Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) chairman, Metlha Mokwena who has long declared his interest.

Those who are lobbying Morwaeng indicate that he is a hard worker and he knows how to mobilise. During his calm days, Moraweng was renowned for his easy links with the grassroots hence those who approached him believe that he still has it. His phone rang repeatedly without being answered when efforts were made to contact him.


BDP CHAIRMAN HOT POTATO

So far, there are five candidates who want to become BDP chairman. This week there was a meeting that attempted to push Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi to the fray. BDP lobbyists still believe that Masisi should become the next chairman of the BDP so that he prepares himself for presidency by acclimatising with party structures.

They believe that the Vice President should build into the hearts of party members and that exercise can start with party members actually casting a vote for him at the congress.


According to his supporters it will be too late for him to start endearing himself with the party faithful in 2017, the date of the next congress. Initially, the Vice President was not keen on contesting and it is not clear if he will change his mind before the end of this month.

Those who are against his candidature posit that there is too much blood on the floor and should he join he will come out tainted or could perform badly and hence dent his presidential bid. However, there are those who theorise that should he contest some candidates would pull out in his honour.


Already five candidates vying for BDP chairmanship have confirmed that the party needs renewal and the time is ripe for a serious makeup. Former Minister of Defence Dikgakgamatso Ramadeluka Seretse was in Lobatse to market his strategy of reviving BDP fortunes. He intends to become BDP chairman in July.


Biggie Butale made use of the BDP Women’s Wing congress to sell his reformist approach to the BDP ailments. He has promised fresh ideas and fresh leadership.


Dithapelo Tshotego did not want to be left out; he spent the entire weekend at the Women’s Wing congress to convince party members that he is the right man for the job. He is adamant that he has graduated from the days of the Youth Wing and he appreciates the party well.


Former diplomat, Tebelelo Seretse also made use of the Women’s Wing Congress to solidify her campaign. She was the first person to declare her candidature for chairman and she has covered a lot of ground in her campaign.  


Reports also indicate that businessman Moemedi Dijeng also has solutions for BDP problems and he wants party members to vote him chairman in July. There is also a new entrant to the race of chairman, a youth member from Serowe, Mr Motalaote was seen organising groups of people to lobby them in Lobatse at the BDP Women’s Wing congress.


It is very likely that there will be twists and turns in the race for BDP central committee positions until the day of elections in July.
 

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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 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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