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Masisi caught up in Debswana P110 million legal dispute

President Mokgweetsi Masisi was among top government officials who were lobbied to support the appointment of former Debswana Managing Director, Albert Milton by security consultancy and business intelligence company, Infotrac (Pty) Ltd, the court heard on Thursday.

Debswana is currently in court with its erstwhile preferred covert services partner, Infotrac (Pty) Ltd, after refusing to settle P110 million debt as demanded by the latter. The High Court was informed that as part of its scope, Infotrac was expected to reach out to key figures in echelons of power to lobby for the appointment of the late Albert Milton as the Managing Director of Debswana.

Though Milton was already earmarked for the post, it has been revealed that his ascendency faced sabotage from various quarters, including the then outgoing Debswana MD, Balisi Bonyongo, who did not see eye-to-eye with his would-be successor.
In the grand scheme of things, an outgoing Debswana MD is an influential figure who could have say on their successor. As part of lobbying for Milton, court heard on Thursday that Infotrac engaged Bonyongo on reports of bad blood between him and Milton. Bonyongo, according to evidence given in court, denied the allegations and ascertained that he supports Milton as the next MD of Debswana.

Initially, there were reports that Miltons personal life could be used against him in his bid to become MD. Infotrac, the court heard, was involved not only to ascertain his suitability for the MD post, but to also advise him on how to conduct his personal life, as well as lobbying key players to be favourably disposed towards him.

When giving chief evidence, Infotrac Managing Director, Mompoloki Motshidi indicated that among the people he lobbied by guiding Milton in his scope of work was then Vice President (and later President) Mokgweetsi Masisi. Masisi and Milton reportedly had existing good rapport, which made the lobbying easy. Infotrac capitalized on this relationship by guiding Milton on how to lobby Masisi. Then Chief of Intelligence; Isaac Kgosi, and former Governor of Bank of Botswana, the late Linah Mohohlo were also lobbied.

Later, after Masisi became President, Milton succeeded Bonyongo as Debswana MD in December 2018. Infotrac contends that, this transition, adds to the success of the work that was carried out by the company. Meanwhile, at the time Milton was appointed MD, Kgosi was no longer the intelligence chief. Nonetheless, he was DIS Director General when the lobbying started.

The former governor, Mohohlo, was neither Debswana board member nor BoB governor at the time, but the Infotrac MD, argue that her valued came from the influence she had through her network locally and internationally. Mohohlo, the countries longest governor was a regular feature in Debswana board by the virtue of her position.


Beleaguered former Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi appeared before Justice Abednico Tafa on Thursday to give evidence in the battle between Desbwana and Infotrac. As PSP, Morupisi served either as Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Board of Desbwana, interchangeably with De Beers Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bruce Cleaver.

Giving evidence in court, Morupisi said in August 2019, he was approached by Infotrac MD, who relayed to him news of Debswanas refusal to pay for services his company rendered. Morupisi, he told court, then picked a phone and reached out to the Debswana MD, Milton over the matter. According to Morupisi, at that time, Milton indicated that he was travelling, but promised to settle the matter once in office.

John Carr-Hartley, of Armstrongs, questioned Morupisi why as a Debswana board member he was not alarmed by payment of over P100 million. Carr-Hartley further said Morupisi was aware that any procurement of over P100 million can only be authorized by the board. In response, Morupisi said though acknowledging his fiduciary duty as Debswana board member, he never knew if the debt in question was lump sum services or debt that accrued over time.

Carr-Hartley also asked if Morupisi was aware of the transaction, and why he did not report it to Debswana board. Morupisi said he did not report it because it was a management issue, and he was not involved in what management was doing. Morupisi also indicated that if there was anything wrong, he would have expected Milton to raise it during their call.

Morupisi said, because of the nature of services Infotrac offered, its work would naturally be restricted to people who are responsible for it. Morupisi also testified that he has only met Motshidi once in relation to the matter in dispute. Meanwhile, Motshidi told the court that, as part of payment, Debswana had at some point offered P10 million, but only P2 million was readily available, but he rejected the payment terms.

Other payment options, as heard in court, proposed by Debswana was through giving future jobs to Infotrac. The Debswana lawyer has argued that there is an inconsistence with regard to the declaration and chief evidence given by Infotrac MD, with regard to among others, the people who were involved in commissioning the work.

According to evidence given in court, the project was mastermind by the three figures; Head of Security- Debswana, Head of Security Jwaneng Mine and Head of Human Resources. The case will return to court on the 3rd of June. Debswana is represented by John Carr-Hartley of Armstrongs, while Infotrac is represented by Kgosi Ngakaagae of Ngakaagae and Co.

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FaR property assets value clock P1.47 billion

6th December 2023

FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.

FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.

One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.

The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.

Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.

In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.

FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.

The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.









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BPC Signs PPA with Sekaname Energy

4th December 2023

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has taken a significant step towards diversifying its energy mix by signing a power purchase agreement with Sekaname Energy for the production of power from coal bed methane in Mmashoro village. This agreement marks a major milestone for the energy sector in Botswana as the country transitions from a coal-fired power generation system to a new energy mix comprising coal, gas, solar, and wind.

The CEO of BPC, David Kgoboko, explained that the Power Purchase Agreement is for a 6MW coal bed methane proof of concept project to be developed around Mmashoro village. This project aligns with BPC’s strategic initiatives to increase the proportion of low-carbon power generation sources and renewable energy in the energy mix. The use of coal bed methane for power generation is an exciting development as it provides a hybrid solution with non-dispatchable sources of generation like solar PV. Without flexible base-load generation, the deployment of non-dispatchable solar PV generation would be limited.

Kgoboko emphasized that BPC is committed to enabling the development of a gas supply industry in Botswana. Sekaname Energy, along with other players in the coal bed methane exploration business, is a key and strategic partner for BPC. The successful development of a gas supply industry will enable the realization of a secure and sustainable energy mix for the country.

The Minister of Minerals & Energy, Lefoko Moagi, expressed his support for the initiative by the private sector to develop a gas industry in Botswana. The country has abundant coal reserves, and the government fully supports the commercial extraction of coal bed methane gas for power generation. The government guarantees that BPC will purchase the generated electricity at reasonable tariffs, providing cash flow to the developers and enabling them to raise equity and debt funding for gas extraction development.

Moagi highlighted the benefits of developing a gas supply industry, including diversified primary energy sources, economic diversification, import substitution, and employment creation. He commended Sekaname Energy for undertaking a pilot project to prove the commercial viability of extracting coal bed methane for power generation. If successful, this initiative would unlock the potential of a gas production industry in Botswana.

Sekaname Energy CEO, Peter Mmusi, emphasized the multiple uses of natural gas and its potential to uplift Botswana’s economy. In addition to power generation, natural gas can be used for gas-to-liquids, compressed natural gas, and fertilizer production. Mmusi revealed that Sekaname has already invested $57 million in exploration and infrastructure throughout its resource area. The company plans to spend another $10-15 million for the initial 6MW project and aims to invest over $500 million in the future for a 90MW power plant. Sekaname’s goal is to assist BPC in becoming a net exporter of power within the region and to contribute to Botswana’s transition to cleaner energy production.

In conclusion, the power purchase agreement between BPC and Sekaname Energy for the production of power from coal bed methane in Mmashoro village is a significant step towards diversifying Botswana’s energy mix. This project aligns with BPC’s strategic initiatives to increase the proportion of low-carbon power generation sources and renewable energy. The government’s support for the development of a gas supply industry and the commercial extraction of coal bed methane will bring numerous benefits to the country, including economic diversification, import substitution, and employment creation. With the potential to become a net exporter of power and a cleaner energy producer, Botswana is poised to make significant strides in its energy sector.

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UDC deadlock: Boko, Ndaba, Reatile meet  

4th December 2023

It is not clear as to when, but before taking a festive break in few weeks’ time UDC leaders would have convened to address the ongoing deadlock surrounding constituency allocation in the negotiations for the 2024 elections. The leaders, Duma Boko of the UDC, Mephato Reggie Reatile of the BPF, and Ndaba Gaolathe of the AP, are expected to meet and discuss critical matters and engage in dialogue regarding the contested constituencies.

The negotiations hit a stalemate when it came to allocating constituencies, prompting the need for the leaders to intervene. Representatives from the UDC, AP, and BPF were tasked with negotiating the allocation, with Dr. Patrick Molotsi and Dr. Philip Bulawa representing the UDC, and Dr. Phenyo Butale and Wynter Mmolotsi representing the AP.

The leaders’ meeting is crucial in resolving the contentious issue of constituency allocation, which has caused tension among UDC members and potential candidates for the 2024 elections. After reaching an agreement, the leaders will engage with the members of each constituency to gauge their opinions and ensure that the decisions made are favored by the rank and file. This approach aims to avoid unnecessary costs and conflicts during the general elections.

One of the main points of contention is the allocation of Molepolole South, which the BNF is adamant about obtaining. In the 2019 elections, the UDC was the runner-up in Molepolole South, securing the second position in seven out of eight wards. Other contested constituencies include Metsimotlhabe, Kgatleng East and West, Mmadinare, Francistown East, Shashe West, Boteti East, and Lerala Maunatlala.

The criteria used for constituency allocation have also become a point of dispute among the UDC member parties. The issue of incumbency is particularly contentious, as the criterion for constituency allocation suggests that current holders of UDC’s council and parliamentary seats should be given priority for re-election without undergoing primary elections. Disadvantaged parties argue that this approach limits democratic competition and hinders the emergence of potentially more capable candidates.

Another disputed criterion is the allocation based on the strength and popularity of a party in specific areas. Parties argue that this is a subjective criterion that leads to disputes and favoritism, as clear metrics for strength and visibility cannot be defined. The BNF, in particular, questions the demands of the new entrants, the BPF and AP, as they lack a traceable track record to support their high expectations.

The unity and cohesion of the UDC are at stake, with the BPF and AP expressing dissatisfaction and considering withdrawing from the negotiations. Therefore, it is crucial for the leaders to expedite their meeting and find a resolution to these disputes.

In the midst of these negotiations, the BNF has already secured 15 constituencies within the UDC coalition. While the negotiations are still ongoing, BNF Chairman Dr. Molotsi revealed that they have traditionally held these constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally. The constituencies include Gantsi North, Gantsi South, Kgalagadi North, Kgalagadi South, Good Hope – Mmathethe, Kanye North, Kanye South, Lobatse, Molepolole North, Gaborone South, Gaborone North, Gaborone Bonnignton North, Takatokwane, Letlhakeng, and Tlokweng.

The resolution of the contested constituencies will test the ability of the UDC to present a united front in the 2024 National Elections will depend on the decisions made by the three leaders. It is essential for them to demonstrate maturity and astuteness in resolving the constituency allocation deadlock and ensuring the cohesion of the UDC.





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