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DCEC: No evidence in Maele’s dustbin P50K

Maele

Despite no evidence linking former Minister of Lands, Water and Sanitation, Prince Maele to the P50, 000 found in a dustbin at his Block 6 house in 2018, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is still seized with the money and scratching heads as to where to deposit the money.

The case which started at a time when Maele was Minister, was dismissed by Directorate on Public Prosecution (DPP) in 2019 unsatisfied with the evidence in the docket and therefore sought more incriminating evidence to pin Maele. The case then died a slow death with the former Minister walking away scot free.

This week, DCEC confirmed to this publication that the case was dead and the agency is still looking at how to bury everything once and for all.  “Regarding the P50, 000 investigation; while the money was found at one of the former minister’s unoccupied premises, investigations revealed no evidence connecting the former minister to the said money,” DCEC spokesperson, Lentswe Motshoganetsi said.

“However, the Directorate is still seized with the P50, 000 and is considering alternative means such as automatic forfeiture proceedings to dispose of the money.” Should the Tymon Katlholo headed agency opt to forfeit, it means the money might be sent to the Office of the Receiver which among its mandate is to preserve the value of property in its possession in respect of court orders.

With Maele now off the hook, the Directorate is still hovering around some big boys and will not rest until it has gathered incriminating evidence necessary to prosecute. “We do confirm that we have active investigations against the former Director General (DIS) Isaac Kgosi, some of which have been completed and are receiving prosecutorial considerations with further continuing engagements between agencies to tie loose ends,” Motshoganetsi said.

Some of the cases which Kgosi faced at DCEC include; Sentlhane farm acquisition, Debswana tender and the National Petroleum Fund (NPF). The link is in the P118m which was sent to Israel in 2017. He authorized a payment of P118m to an Israel company in 2017 claiming the amount was due for a payment of security equipment.

Kgosi purchased Sentlhane farm in the sum of P900 000 in 2009, and allegations were that the money was deposited by Vladacom. He is also alleged to have received an amount of P180 000 from Debswana under the pretext that there was the need to heighten security.

Former Minister Guma Moyo is also under intense investigation from the anti-corruption agency for fraud. It is alleged that through his company, United Refineries Botswana, entered into a contract with the government to supply schools with locally produced cooking oil. He had however imported the oil from South Africa through Sefalana Cash and Carry. The government refused the oil on the basis that they had agreed on a locally produced product.

“We confirm that there is an active investigation with respect to Unite Refineries Botswana and all processes necessary are being followed to bring the matter to its logical conclusion,” DCEC said when asked as to how the matter transpired/transpiring.

There are claims that a number of cases were buried under the impression that there was no sufficient evidence to take the alleged perpetrators to book whereas the evidence was concealed by officials in top positions in different segments of the directorate, a claim DCEC has dismissed.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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