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Masisi will be unopposed for the BDP chairpersonship and presidency!

Ndulamo Anthony Morima

So far we have discussed the possible battle for the presidency between His Honour (HH) the Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, and Honourable Nonofo Molefhi and Honourable Tshekedi Khama II.

We have also discussed the possible battle for the presidency between HH Masisi and the Khama legacy. We concluded that Boyce Sebetlela and Robert Masitara do not have a viable path to the presidency, at least for the 2019 general elections. The only candidates that we are yet to consider versus HH Masisi are, therefore, Tebelelo Seretse, Ramadeluka Seretse and Jacob Nkate. According to a story in the Weekend Post edition of 4th February 2017 Jacob Nkate is likely to drop from the chairpersonship race and partner with HH Masisi as his Secretary General.        

This will leave Khama II, Honourable Molefhi, Tebelelo Seretse and Ramadeluka Seretse in the race. But, will they really remain in the race? In my view, these too will drop from the race leaving HH Masisi unopposed for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairpersonship and presidency.

I am obliged to defend my theory aforesaid. Firstly, Khama II. I have reliable information to the effect that Khama II has informed some in the BDP that for as long as HH Masisi enjoys President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s support for the party chairpersonship and presidency he will not challenge him.

Apparently, Khama II would not want to be seen opposing his brother. This, if true, would be a complete change of heart compared to 2014 when it was reported that Khama II does not want to continue under his brother’s shadow and wants to determine his own destiny by challenging for the party chairpersonship and presidency.

Secondly, Tebelelo Seretse and Ramadeluka Seretse. These two may, especially after Nkate’s decision to partner with HH Masisi, finally realize that they cannot prevail against the Masisi-Nkate coalition. In any event, the duo was still likely to lose to HH Masisi considering their dismal performance during the 2015 Central Committee elections where HH Masisi trounced them heavily for the position of party chairperson.

Thirdly, Honourable Molefhi. Just like Tebelelo Seretse and Ramadeluka Seretse, he may drop from the race because he realizes that with Nkate and President Khama’s support HH Masisi is likely to prevail over him and any other candidate. The other reason why Honourable Molefhi may drop from the race is if he is promised the vice presidency, as some in the BDP claim he has, under HH Masisi’s presidency. But, is this possible? Can Nkate agree to drop from the race and partner with HH Masisi if he has not been promised the vice presidency?

This seems unlikely considering that Nkate has clearly expressed his ambitions of being state president. It is unlikely that he can only settle for the party Secretary Generalship. In all likelihood Nkate has been promised the vice presidency and he likely accepted the offer knowing that he will automatically ascend to the presidency when HH Masisi retires. After all, age is on his side.

But, what about the claim that HH Masisi, when asked by President Khama who his vice will be, disclosed that it will be the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Honourable Dr. Alfred Madigele? This is a discussion for another day.

What about the claim that HH Masisi is eying former party chairperson and Member of Parliament(MP) for Tati East, Honourable Samson Moyo Guma, for the vice presidency? This is also a discussion for another day. Can Nkate have given up an ambassadorial post only to have either Honourable Madigele or Honourable Guma be vice president ahead of him?

What about the claim that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Honourable Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi is also a candidate for the vice presidency? Honourable Madigele, Honourable Guma and Honourable Moitoi could all be safe choices considering that they have more chances of being elected MPs in 2019. Picking Honourable Moitoi would credit HH Masisi as the first president to appoint a female vice president.      

But, can Nkate really be vice president even if HH Masisi wants him to be? Unless the BDP orchestrates a constitutional amendment before the 2019 general elections, for him to be vice president he has to be an elected MP who has a constituency.

Can Nkate stand for his former constituency of Ngamiland which he lost to the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) in the 2009 general elections? The incumbent is a BDP heavyweight, former Secretary General and Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Honourable Thato Kwerepe. Can Nkate beat him in the primary elections?

There are allegations that there is a plot, sponsored by HH Masisi’s camp, to dislodge Honourable Kwerepe so that Nkate wins the party primary elections, paving away for him to be HH Masisi’s vice president if he wins the general elections. The same plan is also said to have been hatched to dislodge Honourable Molefhi who is a threat to HH Masisi’s bid to be party chairperson and president.  

If Nkate wins the primary elections, can he win the general elections in 2019?  Honourable Kwerepe won with a slim margin of only 48 votes against the BCP’s Goyamang Taolo Habano who garnered 7,015 votes. Honourable Kwerepe got 7,063 votes. Though electoral politics is not as easy as that, considering that the combined vote for the UDC and BCP during the 2014 general elections exceeded that for the BDP with 850 votes, the BDP may lose the constituency, especially in view of the BCP’s joining of the UDC.  

But, as argued in last week’s article, among the likely candidates for the BDP’s chairpersonship and presidency, it is not only Nkate who runs the risk of not being an elected MP and, therefore, being constitutionally ineligible from being the vice president in terms of section 39(1) of the Constitution. Honorable Molefhi too faces the same predicament.

Considering that in the 2014 general elections Kgoberego Nkawana of the BCP got 3,134 votes while Honourable Molefhi got 3,376 votes, winning with a margin of only 242 votes, Honourable Molefhi runs the risk of losing the Selibe Phikwe East constituency during the 2019 general elections.

Though it does not necessarily follow that the 3,134 and 979  people who, in 2014, voted for the BCP’s Kgoberego Nkawana and UDC’s Dimpho Mashaba respectively will vote for the UDC in 2019, this should be a cause for concern for Honourable Molefhi and the BDP.      
The other reason why HH Masisi is likely to be unopposed for the party chairpersonship and presidency is that the party and President Khama are likely to dissuade the other candidates from challenging HH Masisi, citing the risk of a divided BDP losing power to the UDC in 2019.

Reportedly, BCP’s recent joining of the UDC has made the BDP more fearful that the UDC may win the 2019 general elections. The BDP cannot, therefore, risk going to the elections divided by a chairpersonship and presidential contest. In the result, though the BDP Central Committee elections are still far, it is my conclusion that HH Masisi will not be opposed for the BDP chairpersonship and presidency. HH Masisi’s likely vice president, when he ascends to the presidency, is likely to be either Jacob Nkate or Honourable Molefhi or Honourable Madigele or Honourable Guma or Honourable Moitoi.

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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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