Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA)’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thabo Thamane has endorsed the idea of reviewing and merging some parastatals as proposed by Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, after Monday’s Budget Speech.
Thamane however cautioned that in merging the parastatals, government should avoid at all cost the possibility of creating ‘monster institutions’, with bureaucratic processes that would result in inefficient institutions. “It is very clear that there are too many parastatals for a population of 2.5 million people. There is no one who can say we still need all of them to exist. We need to look at those with duplicating or conflicting mandates, and see how we avoid these overlaps,” Thamane told WeekendPost when responding to the Budget Speech on Monday.
“The essence is not to merge them. The essence is to say, how, do I create efficiencies. At the end of the day, we must also be cognisant that we do not create a monster with bureaucratic processes that will create inefficiencies.” “We need to make sure that national interest go above personal interest or institutional interest. There will always be need for CEDA and there will always be need for funding, not only funding but development funding. Whether you call it CEDA or something else, there is always going to be need for development financing. You cannot run an economy without development finance.”
Thamane who has been CEDA’s CEO since 2011, said he is not worried much about whether CEDA will merge with any other entity or not, because his concern lies with creating efficiencies in parastatals. “Whether I am still there as a CEO or not it does not matter. The fact of the matter is that I do support the review of the mandates of parastatals. I do support it with the hope that it will improve delivery. But I guarantee you that there will always be need for development finance,” Thamane argued.
The merging of parastatals first came to the fore in 2018, when then Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo indicated that her ministry will consider merging of the public enterprises under the ministry because of the perceived duplicates of mandates as well as overlaps. Thamane was also impressed with the budget which was incidentally presented by his predecessor and mentor at CEDA. Dr Matsheka is the founding CEO of CEDA, while Thamane is his immediate and only successor at the institution.
“I was kind of expecting him to come up with a very precise budget and it was done with immaculate attention to detail,” Thamane said. “I think three key areas are the highlights for me; manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. These are key to us, and that is what the Minister said. I love the manufacturing aspect because we are a net importer of almost everything.
“What it means for me and my team is that, when we take money and put it in manufacturing, let us be patient with them [those funded] because it takes longer for product quality and for people to trust the product and others. Let us give them time to grow and this is what we are going to focus on.” Thamane said on Monday, CEDA management will meet at Big Valley Lodge on the outskirts of Lobatse, to study the budget and see where their institution fits in.
Thamane has presided over the institution’s ambition to transform CEDA into a self-sustaining agency. Thamane expects CEDA to be fully self-sustaining within the next 6 years, following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into with Malaysian based SME Bank, a state owned financial development institution. For the first time since formation, CEDA collected P515 million against the target of P440 million in 2019. CEDA receives about P250 million as subvention from Government, but today it raises about P600 million internally.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.