Connect with us

8 ministers fingered in plot to down BDP

At least eight cabinet ministers’ names are expected to be forwarded to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman, Slumber Tsogwane for allegedly conniving with opposition candidates in certain constituencies to defeat their own party colleagues, Weekendpost has reliably been informed.

The ministers in question are predominantly those who lost the BDP primary elections last year. Reports coming from highly placed sources suggest that the cabinet ministers are unhappy with the manner in which they lost the primaries. They allege that the process was contaminated and dubious and as a result they are finding it difficult to accept fraudulent election outcomes hence they would not endorse beneficiaries of a “duplicitous fiasco dubbed Bulela Ditswe” instead they prefer to watch the game as spectators.

However the alleged conduct of these ministers is distressing the victorious candidates; and they intend to register their complaints with the party Chairman, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane. The Vice President is expected to reconcile the warring parties in due course. It is not clear when the aggrieved lot will submit the names and whether they will forward them as a bloc or individually.

WeekendPost is nonetheless reliably informed that, Kanye North, Lentsweletau/ Mmopane, Selibe Phikwe East, Mmadinare, Mahalapye East, Takatokwane and Thamaga and Bobonong constituencies are fingered in this guerrilla style ambush of the ruling BDP. All these constituencies are currently under the custody of various ministers all of whom lost the controversial party primary elections. 

The tradition within the ruling BDP has always been that whoever loses primary elections should support the winner. But this time around with a high number of protests all citing irregularities; and subsequent re-runs which favoured only a few, some of the party members who lost are determined to have the last laugh. This was evident when various ministers petitioned the party with some going to the extent of going to the courts of law to seek redress. The disgruntlement over the primaries also palyed out when about 28 sitting BDP Councillors defected to the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).

Reports from Phikwe East which is under Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Nonofo Molefhi suggest that the parliamentary candidate, Amogelang Mojuta is concerned by his relationship with the minister. Molefhi is said to have folded his arms and not helping in the campaigns despite having a better appreciation of the constituency.

“The relationship is not satisfactory and this is likely to put the party at a disadvantage as those that support Molefhi are very much likely not to vote for Mojuta but any other candidate and this could put the BDP in a back foot,” one BDP member told WeekendPost. Molefhi was unhappy with the handling and conduct of the primary elections. He had registered his displeasure with the party and was denied a re-run.

The finger pointing is not only is Selibe Phikwe, in Kanye North which is under the former Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Patrick Ralotsia could be gliding away from the BDP.  “It is project done covertly out there, and it might appear that they are together but at no point have we seen him and Letsholo (Thapelo) together and even endorsing him. As village leaders they do come to us and ask us to endorse opposition at the expense of the BDP candidate,” one Kanye headman told this publication in an interview.  

“I am not joining BPF like many people anticipate. I have been receiving calls from some of the residents enquiring about my intention of joining the party but I am focused on BDP. However, it is my choice to associate with Dr Ian Khama and nobody should question that; that’s filthy politics,” Ralotsia was quoted saying. The Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Ngaka Ngaka is also accused of conniving with opposition candidates in Takatokwane constituency. A senior party member in the region has confirmed to this publication that indeed the relationship between the minister and the BDP representative for the constituency has never been good.

“The tiff started when the party ordered a re-run after Friction Leuwe won the primaries. He (Leuwe) won again and the relationship reached the lowest ebb. On stage Ngaka may appear to be endorsing his mate but deep down as the constituents we know who is who in the zoo,” said the BDP member. The members have revealed that they are planning to seek audience with the party chairman just like they did when the party ordered a re-run.

Vincent Seretse, Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development and MP for Lentsweletau – Mmopane is also reported not to be interested in the game of politics. Nnaniki Makwinja is racing alone in a bitter war that could swing anywhere. While some had linked him with the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), Seretse has dismissed the allegations insisting, “Im still a BDP member,” he said when asked about endorsing Makwinja but could not dwell on their relationship.

The same accusations have been levelled against Kefentse Mzwinila who is Minister of Land Management Water and Sanitation Services and also Mmadinare legislator. Parliamentary hopeful Molebatsi Molebatsi is said to be also fighting the battle alone. However there is a twist here because this is one of the so called “safe BDP seats” because the opposition has not invested a lot in it.

Continue Reading


FaR property assets value clock P1.47 billion

6th December 2023

FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.

FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.

One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.

The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.

Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.

In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.

FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.

The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.









Continue Reading


BPC Signs PPA with Sekaname Energy

4th December 2023

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has taken a significant step towards diversifying its energy mix by signing a power purchase agreement with Sekaname Energy for the production of power from coal bed methane in Mmashoro village. This agreement marks a major milestone for the energy sector in Botswana as the country transitions from a coal-fired power generation system to a new energy mix comprising coal, gas, solar, and wind.

The CEO of BPC, David Kgoboko, explained that the Power Purchase Agreement is for a 6MW coal bed methane proof of concept project to be developed around Mmashoro village. This project aligns with BPC’s strategic initiatives to increase the proportion of low-carbon power generation sources and renewable energy in the energy mix. The use of coal bed methane for power generation is an exciting development as it provides a hybrid solution with non-dispatchable sources of generation like solar PV. Without flexible base-load generation, the deployment of non-dispatchable solar PV generation would be limited.

Kgoboko emphasized that BPC is committed to enabling the development of a gas supply industry in Botswana. Sekaname Energy, along with other players in the coal bed methane exploration business, is a key and strategic partner for BPC. The successful development of a gas supply industry will enable the realization of a secure and sustainable energy mix for the country.

The Minister of Minerals & Energy, Lefoko Moagi, expressed his support for the initiative by the private sector to develop a gas industry in Botswana. The country has abundant coal reserves, and the government fully supports the commercial extraction of coal bed methane gas for power generation. The government guarantees that BPC will purchase the generated electricity at reasonable tariffs, providing cash flow to the developers and enabling them to raise equity and debt funding for gas extraction development.

Moagi highlighted the benefits of developing a gas supply industry, including diversified primary energy sources, economic diversification, import substitution, and employment creation. He commended Sekaname Energy for undertaking a pilot project to prove the commercial viability of extracting coal bed methane for power generation. If successful, this initiative would unlock the potential of a gas production industry in Botswana.

Sekaname Energy CEO, Peter Mmusi, emphasized the multiple uses of natural gas and its potential to uplift Botswana’s economy. In addition to power generation, natural gas can be used for gas-to-liquids, compressed natural gas, and fertilizer production. Mmusi revealed that Sekaname has already invested $57 million in exploration and infrastructure throughout its resource area. The company plans to spend another $10-15 million for the initial 6MW project and aims to invest over $500 million in the future for a 90MW power plant. Sekaname’s goal is to assist BPC in becoming a net exporter of power within the region and to contribute to Botswana’s transition to cleaner energy production.

In conclusion, the power purchase agreement between BPC and Sekaname Energy for the production of power from coal bed methane in Mmashoro village is a significant step towards diversifying Botswana’s energy mix. This project aligns with BPC’s strategic initiatives to increase the proportion of low-carbon power generation sources and renewable energy. The government’s support for the development of a gas supply industry and the commercial extraction of coal bed methane will bring numerous benefits to the country, including economic diversification, import substitution, and employment creation. With the potential to become a net exporter of power and a cleaner energy producer, Botswana is poised to make significant strides in its energy sector.

Continue Reading


UDC deadlock: Boko, Ndaba, Reatile meet  

4th December 2023

It is not clear as to when, but before taking a festive break in few weeks’ time UDC leaders would have convened to address the ongoing deadlock surrounding constituency allocation in the negotiations for the 2024 elections. The leaders, Duma Boko of the UDC, Mephato Reggie Reatile of the BPF, and Ndaba Gaolathe of the AP, are expected to meet and discuss critical matters and engage in dialogue regarding the contested constituencies.

The negotiations hit a stalemate when it came to allocating constituencies, prompting the need for the leaders to intervene. Representatives from the UDC, AP, and BPF were tasked with negotiating the allocation, with Dr. Patrick Molotsi and Dr. Philip Bulawa representing the UDC, and Dr. Phenyo Butale and Wynter Mmolotsi representing the AP.

The leaders’ meeting is crucial in resolving the contentious issue of constituency allocation, which has caused tension among UDC members and potential candidates for the 2024 elections. After reaching an agreement, the leaders will engage with the members of each constituency to gauge their opinions and ensure that the decisions made are favored by the rank and file. This approach aims to avoid unnecessary costs and conflicts during the general elections.

One of the main points of contention is the allocation of Molepolole South, which the BNF is adamant about obtaining. In the 2019 elections, the UDC was the runner-up in Molepolole South, securing the second position in seven out of eight wards. Other contested constituencies include Metsimotlhabe, Kgatleng East and West, Mmadinare, Francistown East, Shashe West, Boteti East, and Lerala Maunatlala.

The criteria used for constituency allocation have also become a point of dispute among the UDC member parties. The issue of incumbency is particularly contentious, as the criterion for constituency allocation suggests that current holders of UDC’s council and parliamentary seats should be given priority for re-election without undergoing primary elections. Disadvantaged parties argue that this approach limits democratic competition and hinders the emergence of potentially more capable candidates.

Another disputed criterion is the allocation based on the strength and popularity of a party in specific areas. Parties argue that this is a subjective criterion that leads to disputes and favoritism, as clear metrics for strength and visibility cannot be defined. The BNF, in particular, questions the demands of the new entrants, the BPF and AP, as they lack a traceable track record to support their high expectations.

The unity and cohesion of the UDC are at stake, with the BPF and AP expressing dissatisfaction and considering withdrawing from the negotiations. Therefore, it is crucial for the leaders to expedite their meeting and find a resolution to these disputes.

In the midst of these negotiations, the BNF has already secured 15 constituencies within the UDC coalition. While the negotiations are still ongoing, BNF Chairman Dr. Molotsi revealed that they have traditionally held these constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally. The constituencies include Gantsi North, Gantsi South, Kgalagadi North, Kgalagadi South, Good Hope – Mmathethe, Kanye North, Kanye South, Lobatse, Molepolole North, Gaborone South, Gaborone North, Gaborone Bonnignton North, Takatokwane, Letlhakeng, and Tlokweng.

The resolution of the contested constituencies will test the ability of the UDC to present a united front in the 2024 National Elections will depend on the decisions made by the three leaders. It is essential for them to demonstrate maturity and astuteness in resolving the constituency allocation deadlock and ensuring the cohesion of the UDC.





Continue Reading