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Churches welcome appeal against LEGABIBO


The Botswana Evangelist Fellowship of Botswana (EFB) has welcomed the decision by Government to appeal the decision of the High Court to allow the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) to legally register their organization with the Registrar of Societies.


The appeal follows EFB’s recent lobby to government to appeal the matter as they viewed the judgment “as injurious to godly norms, values, priceless principles, and indeed relegation of the Christian norms and Tswana customs to the peripheries.”


In addition, Member of Parliament for Tati West Pastor Biggie Butale had also urged the Minister to appeal the court decision. “I hope this is not the beginning of gay parades where grown men with hideous beards kiss in public and other un-wholesome demands,” Butale said last year when deliberating on the State of the Nation Address.  


Government through the Attorney General had already filed appeal papers. The move follows an earlier High Court decision that ruled that LEGABIBO should be allowed to lawfully register with the department of Civil and National Registration under the auspices of Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.


Consequently, the umbrella church organisation contended that ordering the registration of LEGABIBO whose objective is to advocate for recognition and protection of homosexuality is a hammer to the society’s moral conscience. They added that the judgment is likely to cause a spin in an acceleration of moral deterioration and moral bankruptcy which will add to the already burden of lawlessness and social ills bedeviling the society.


As a result EFB is relieved that government appealed the matter. When reacting to the appeal this week EFB President Pastor Master Obololetswe Matlhaope told this publication that they believe the Honourable Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu acted within his discretion and thoughtful judgment.


“First and foremost, we believe that the Minister as an independent man who is guided by the Executive arm of government acted within his discretion and thoughtful judgment,” Pastor Matlhaope pointed out.   


The EFB leader said that the government’s decision to appeal the judgment shows that the Minister was guided by strong convictions in refusing the registration. “He is within his right to pursue those convictions,” he lamented.
According to Matlhaope, the landmark High Court case was a review of the Minister’s administrative decision.  


“As the EFB we believe the Minister’s decision represents the aspirations of Batswana and as such we whole heartedly support the appeal. Our country is at a point of moral quagmire, Batswana and even our State President is concerned, and we thence uphold it in prayer before the Almighty.”


Meanwhile, LEGABIBO Coordinator Anna Mmolai-Chalmers confirmed that “indeed the Government of Botswana through the Attorney General’s Chamber has appealed a decision made by the courts to register LEGABIBO to grant the organisation freedom of expression and association.”


She asserted that: “Although we acknowledge that any party to court proceedings has the right to appeal a decision to the Court of Appeal, we wish to state that we are disappointed that the government has decided to lodge an appeal, especially after international bodies such as the UN special rapporteur on Freedom of Association, has lauded the High Court judgment.”


She said LEGABIBO has of course instructed its attorneys to oppose the appeal. LEGABIBO legal representation through Dow and Associates firm are handling the matter. The matter is in the court's hands, we therefore welcome the opportunity for the Court of Appeal to deliberate on this important issue, she highlighted.


The EFB supports the appeal as it tests the assertions of LEGABIBO with the highest court in the land, EFB leader said.


The controversial but outspoken EFB was founded in 1973 by nine Pentecostal and evangelical churches. Originally led by Rev. Makhaola, then General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Botswana, it has grown over the years and now has over 35 members. The EFB is a member of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, the World Evangelical Fellowship and the Botswana Council of NGOs.


Their mission is to impact the nation with the sound gospel of Jesus Christ and to unite and empower members to achieve this goal, being relevant to the socio-economic-political needs of the nation and they envision a whole Botswana holistically reached through combined and coordinated efforts of the evangelical church by 2016.

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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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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

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.

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