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Zero-based budgeting could help Botswana in expenditure wastage

According to Stanbic Bank Quarterly Economic Review 2020, introduction of Zero Budgeting in Botswana could help transform the country’s economy due to efficiencies that come with adopting the system.

 Zero-based budgeting is the system whereby the previous year’s budget is not the starting point of analysis of the current year’s budget. Under this system, all programs and projects are reviewed as if nothing ever existed before. That is, as if there is no base for funding- hence the term zero-based budgeting.

According to the Review, zero-based budgeting avoids incremental budgeting as it does not accept the previous year’s budget as the starting point of analysis of the current year’s budget. In other words, zero-based budgeting assumes that there are no balances to be carried forward or there are no expenses that are pre-committed.

The Stanbic Review says that zero-based budgeting makes every department re-look each and every item of the cash flow and compute their operational costs. “This is unlike other regular methods of budgeting that involves making arbitrary changes to the previous year’s budget. Hence, zero-based budgeting is more accurate and efficient than other methods,” said the report.

In this Review, it is shared that zero-based budgeting leads to the identification of opportunities and more cost effective ways of doing things by removing all the unproductive activities.

Stanbic Bank Review indicates that this could help avoid over-laps among government programs, saying since every line item is to be justified, zero-based budget overcome the weakness of incremental budgeting of budget inflation.

In other words, it helps in efficient allocation of resources as it does not look at the historical numbers but looks at the actual numbers. The group underlined that zero-based budgeting aims at reflecting a true expense to be incurred by a State.

Although it is time consuming, for now it is a more appropriate way of budgeting especially for Botswana as it will take care of expenditure wastage when some items are lumped under ‘other charges’, noted the report.

The report opine that the problem of implementation and unused funds that are returned every year could be minimized. “It is, therefore, a government’s call to invest time and manpower in the budgeting exercise to provide more accurate numbers and to further infuse the functions of budgeting,” the report indicated.

Government has been called to beef up zero-based budgeting by adopting it together with some elements of program budgeting which presents the broad goals of government expenditure. “In this way, the budget would relate ends to means in a more comprehensive manner,” the report noted.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

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.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

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.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

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.

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