For the past three years the Ministry of Youth Employment, Sports and Culture Development has spent almost P150 million financing Agri-businesses through the Youth Development Fund (YDF) across the 12 districts in the country.
Minister of Youth Employment, Sports and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare told Parliament that his Ministry has funded 624 agricultural business during the 2016/17 financial year, while in 2017/2018 they funded 473 whereas in 2018/19 they assisted 413 projects.
Rakgare told the parliament Wednesday last week that during the financial year 2016/17, the government spent a total of 62 554,262.86 Pula, with Central District being the biggest beneficiary with two hundred and sixty-eight (268) number of businesses with more than P26 million spent on funding the youth, this was then followed by the Kgalagadi region, benefiting more than 8 million Pula, while Gaborone region and Chobe District did not fund any youth project.
The Mogoditshane lawmaker further pointed out that during the 2017/2018 financial year, 473 Agri-businesses were funded P46 861,351.52.
The Central District was again the biggest beneficiary, as P15 588, 525.65 was used to finance the startup of 160 projects in the region. Kweneng region was the second beneficiary with P7 837, 181.76, while Gaborone and Francistown did not provide assistance to any YDF Agricultural projects.
As for the 2018/2019 financial period, the government financed 413 YDF projects at a tune of P39 527, 872.00, while Central District and Kweneng District both benefitted P12 328, 311.54 and P10 528, 179.90 respectively.
Rakgare also told Parliament that there are a number of value chains that exists both within and outside the sector.
“These include but are not limited to production of livestock and subsequent sales to butchery owners who then bring meat into the market,” he shared.
“There are also transportation opportunities that exist as well as livestock feed and other animal products.”
Rakgare was responding to a question from MP for Jwaneng/Mabutsane, Mephato Reatile, who had wanted to know the number of youth agri-businesses funded by government for the past three years.
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.
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.
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.