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Masisi may become the shortest serving President

Ndulamo Anthony Morima

Recently, I wrote an article in which I argued that despite the automatic succession clause, i.e. section 35(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Botswana it is not a foregone conclusion that His Honour (HH) the Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, will be President.

I opined that the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) government may, at the instance of the anti-Masisi camp, amend the Constitution and repeal the automatic succession clause before 31st March 2018 ensuring that HH Masisi does not automatically succeed His Excellency (HE) the President, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama when he retires.

Also, the BDP, still at the instance of the anti-Masisi camp, may amend clauses 29.1 and 29.3.4 of its Constitution before 31st March 2018 to provide that elections for the President of the Party be held before the incumbent party President steps down as State President, thereby bring an end to automatic succession.

Further, HE Khama may, in terms of sections 34(1) and (3) of the Constitution, serve as President until the election of the President, who may not be HH Masisi, after the 2019 general elections.

After all, HE Khama is not, in my view, constitutionally obliged to step down earlier as former president Festus Mogae did to allow HE Khama to automatically succeed him. This was just a party arrangement which ensures that the Vice President assumes power earlier in order to stamp his authority before the general elections.   

Also, even if HH Masisi wins the BDP presidential elections, the BDP is likely to lose the 2019 general elections to the UDC, especially if the UDC enters into a coalition with the BCP and the Botswana Federation of Public Service Unions(BOFEPUSU) does not suffer further loses after Botswana Public Employees Union(BOPEU)’s disaffiliation.

There is a recent development which has made me to conclude that even if the BDP and the government do not repeal the automatic succession clauses in their respective constitutions, HH Masisi may automatically succeed HE Khama as president, but may go down in history as the shortest serving president.

This development is that, according to the Weekend Post newspaper, HE Khama’s brother and Minister of Environment, Wildlife & Tourism, Honourable Tshekedi Khama II, has, in an interview with them, confirmed that he will, if the BDP implores him to, contest the party presidential elections in 2019.

According to the report, Khama II confirms that some members of the party have requested him to contest the elections and he has accepted such request in the interest of not only the party, but also and most importantly the country. Khama II is quoted as saying his father taught him that the country comes first and the party comes second.     

Khama II’s name has been among such names as Honourable Nonofo Molefhi, His Excellency Botswana’s Ambassador to Japan, Jacob Nkate, Ramadeluka Seretse, Tebelelo Seretse and Robert Masitara who have been reported to be the likely contenders for the BDP presidency in 2019.

Hitherto, I have argued that there is no doubt that if Khama II decides to challenge HH Masisi he is likely to win the BDP presidency by mere fact of being HE Khama’s brother and/or a Khama.
Not only that. There are many in the BDP who believe that considering the performance of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the 2014 general elections, the BDP needs a personality as compelling as Khama II to win the 2019 general elections.  

This camp argues that the BDP would rather be accused of relying on the Khama cultism than running the risk of losing the elections. They argue that Khama II, like all other BDP members, has the democratic right to contest the party presidency and, if the BDP wins the general elections, to become State President.

They argue that denying Khama II his democratic right simply because his father, the late Sir Seretse Khama, and brother, HE Khama, have been State Presidents would be undemocratic. This camp is said to have prevailed over Khama II, imploring him to stand up for his own legacy and the name “Tshekedi”, whose owner, his uncle, did a lot for this country.

This camp is also reported to have asked Khama II to stand for the presidency lest his father’s country goes to the dogs under the governance of the inexperienced UDC. Reportedly, this, together with the warning that the UDC would bring Communism to this country, convinced Khama II to stand for the BDP presidency in 2019.  

There is also a camp which believes that HH Masisi is still a political novice and should not have been made Vice President ahead of such party stalwarts as Daniel Kwelagobe, HE Jacob Nkate, Honourable Nonofo Molefhi, Ramadeluka Seretse, and Tebelelo Seretse.

They support their point by stating that, unlike former presidents, HH Masisi had never held such influential positions as party Chairperson or Secretary General prior to ascending to the presidency. Also, they contend, he had been in cabinet as a full Minister for less than five years when he was appointed Vice President.

Reportedly, this camp brushes away the fact that HH Masisi recently won the party Chairpersonship with a huge margin despite a fierce contest involving about five candidates, two of whom are the so-called party stalwarts and heavy weights, Ramadeluka Seretse and Tebelelo Seretse.

According to them, it is reported, the reason HH Masisi won the party Chairpersonship is not because of his own political prowess, but because he had the backing of HE Khama. Not only that, they argue. It is also because Khama II did not contest the Chairpersonship elections.     

This camp seems to have been emboldened by the fact that, of late, HH Masisi has openly stated that his ascension to the presidency is guaranteed and stated that those opposed to him should give up since there is nothing they can do.

It is in this regard that if HH Masisi succeeds HE Khama without incident on 1st April 2018 his presidency may only last until the 2019 general elections for two reasons. Firstly, as stated earlier, he would likely lose against Khama II for the BDP presidency in 2019.

Secondly, the UDC, especially if it will have entered into a coalition with the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), and still has a working relationship with BOFEPUSU, is also likely to win the 2019 general elections.  

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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