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Botswana ranked 46th on illicit money flows


Botswana has ranked 46th out of 151 countries on the Global Financial Integrity (GFI) illicit financial outflow estimates.


Illicit financial flows (IFFs) are illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another. GFI classifies this movement as an illicit flow when the funds are illegally earned, transferred or utilized.


In 2012, illicit outflows were estimated at US$1,48 million (about N$17 million) according to a report issued this week by the GFI.


Botswana is ranked 46th with illegal flows at US$1,92 million. South Africa ranks in the top 10 with illicit outflows amounting to US$29 million while Namibia ranked 56th. Nigeria is ranked 17th with outflows amounting to US$7,9 million while Zambia is ranked 28th with outflows amounting to US$4,2 million.


Lesotho is ranked 76th with outflows US$506 000 while the Democratic Republic of the Congo is 98th with outflows amounting to US$148 000.


GFI said nearly US$1 trillion was illicitly drained from developing countries in 2012, representing a record level of corruption, money laundering and false trade documentation.


Illicit financial flows around the world grew at 9,4 percent a year in the decade to 2012, around double the pace of economic growth, draining funds especially from impoverished countries.


The largest outflows came from giant, still poorly-regulated economies like Brazil, China, India and Russia, GFI's new report says.


Money illicitly streamed out of China at a rate of about US$125 billion annually over that period, for instance.


But also in the top 10 country sources of illegal capital outflows are a number of dynamic middle-sized economies: Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.


Mexico is third on the list of largest outflows at an average US$54 billion a year.


In total, the report put the total illegal capital movements from developing and emerging economies in 2012 at US$991,2 billion, greater than the combined sum of incoming foreign investment and foreign aid in those countries.


“Emerging and developing countries haemorrhaged a trillion US dollars from their economies in 2012 that could have been invested in local businesses, healthcare, education, or infrastructure,” said the study's co-author, economist Joseph Spanjers.
“This is a trillion dollars that could have contributed to inclusive economic growth, legitimate private-sector job creation and sound public budgets.”


Over a decade, the total was US$6,6 trillion, the equivalent of nearly 4 percent of the entire global economy. In terms of the relative size of the impact, the countries hurt most by the flows were in the Middle East and North Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The main way the money flows out of the countries is mis-invoicing in trade transactions, which can allow exporters and imports to keep money out of the country.


GFI said individual countries and the United Nations need to focus on cutting down such flows to fight poverty and boost growth.


“It is simply impossible to achieve sustainable global development unless world leaders agree to address this issue head-on,” said GFI president Raymond Baker.


“That's why it is essential for the United Nations to include a specific target next year to halve all trade-related illicit flows by 2030 as part of post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.”

Some examples of illicit financial flows might include:

•A drug cartel using trade-based money laundering techniques to mix legal money from the sale of used cars with illegal money from drug sales;

 •An importer using trade mis-invoicing to evade customs duties, VAT, or income taxes;

 •A corrupt public official using an anonymous shell company to transfer dirty money to a bank account in the United States;

 •An human trafficker carrying a briefcase of cash across the border and depositing it in a foreign bank; or

•A terrorist wiring money from the Middle East to an operative in Europe.


 GFI estimates that in 2011, US$946.7 billion left developing countries in illicit financial outflows. This methodology is regarded as highly conservative, as it does not pick up movements of bulk cash, the mispricing of services, or many types of money laundering.


What be done about illicit financial flows
GFI believes that the most effective way to limit illicit financial flows is to increase financial transparency. Their conviction is that the GFI believes that we should enact policies to detect and deter cross-border tax evasion, to eliminate anonymous shell companies, to strengthen anti-money laundering laws and practices, to work to curtail trade mis-invoicing; and improve transparency of multinational corporations.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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