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BDP rejects Keorapetse’s commission of enquiry on public institutions

PAC Chairperson Keorapetse

A handful of members of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) have vetoed opposition Member of Parliament for Selebi Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse’s motion for enactment of a Commission of Enquiry in public institutions to counter corruption. Only 16 voted ‘‘yes’’, 28 voted ‘‘No’’ while ‘‘13’’ abstained.

The motion moved that the President set up a commission of enquiry ‘‘chaired by a judge to sit in public and whose report shall be published, to investigate the nature and extent of corruption, economic crime, mismanagement, maladministration and unethical governance in public institutions with a view to recommend formulation of appropriate policies, programmes and enacting appropriate laws’’, was given the red light for supposed ‘‘competence’’ reflected by existent crime fighting entities.

Keorapetse postulated that it is deplorable how corruption rates in Botswana have jetted. He cited reports from Afro barometer which situated Botswana on a high scale of corruption. The analysis, he said, give an account of how more than 50% of Batswana are of the view that corruption is rampant; and that 70% of which fear reporting such cases, indicated that high profile leaders including Office of the President may have a hand in the country’s wreckage.

Keorapetse made reference to Instances of the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) and Capital Management Botswana (CMB) sagas, Botswana being grey listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Banyana farm being ‘‘self-allocated’’ by the President, President being gifted guns and tenders not allocated quicker due to corruption cases.

‘‘The president has registered many companies compared to the time at which he was not president. The President’s family continue to win multiple tenders. This does not reflect the purported transparency and approaches consistent with international standards’’, he said.

He further alluded to cases which has for over 10 years been referred to the DPP and yet unsettled, adding that the Commission   will exist to inform appropriate policies for proper regulation and conduct.

Member of parliament  for Maun East, Hon Goretetse Kekgonegile maintained it remains in the interest of the public for cabinet members to conduct themselves in a manner that which they can account for. He said currently, there exist no specific clause employed to give direction to the Constitutional Review Process and that there is no transparency in relation to declaration of individual assets, serving as an indicator of dereliction of duty. He said laws, judgments and institutions must be reviewed regularly while institutions such as DIS commit to their mandate being intelligence to refrain from meddling in the affairs of separate institutions.

As the BDP members banded together to set aside the motion, Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament for Tonota, Pono Moatlhodi said the DPP, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) remain key institutions in which’s entire existence have been ‘‘on the ground, doing their job’’. He said the government strives to be transparent and conform to international standards of governance.

For his part, Vice president and Member of Parliament for Boteti West, Slumber Tsogwane, brushed off the motion insinuating it was invalid and will not be effective for the purpose it is intended for. He posited that the government has been doing everything in its power to fight corruption.

Member of Parliament for Mogoditshane, Tumiso Rakgare alike acceded that the motion be rejected citing that the motion is rather politically motivated and ‘‘has nothing to do with corruption’’.  He rather proposed that the existing DCEC and DPP be capacitated to accelerate reform for both institutions.

In responding to BDP members of parliament, Member of Parliament for Bobonong, Taolo Lucas said Terms of Reference will be established within the commission to provide clarity and enable efficient investigation just as were the Kgabo commission and Lesetedi commission. The Commission, he said, will serve as a rallying, galvanizing point around which improvements of existing institutions will be made.


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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