New projections of households poverty in Botswana by the World Bank shows that more Batswana have been pushed further into extreme poverty. According to the international bank’s brief titled “Macro Poverty Outlook for Botswana: April 2022,” the Bank warned that the outlook for Botswana is not without substantial downside risks.
“Poverty levels are projected to reach 56.2 percent in 2022 (measured using the upper-middle-income country poverty line)” the Bank warned. The Bank indicated that inflationary were on an upward trajectory by adjustments to regulated prices, notably utilities, VAT, Botswana Housing Corporation rental and increases in domestic fuel prices. It says muted mineral receipts against envisaged lower Southern Customs Union (SACU) receipts would dampen the fiscal position.
The Bank says the emergence of new COVID-19 variants continues to pose a threat to the recovery. It says prolonged higher inflation will lead to monetary tightening around the world and this could also slow the recovery exacerbated by the Ukraine-Russia conflict through high food and fuel prices. It says with the government channelling fiscal resources towards healthcare and supporting the economy, the 2020 projected deficit increased to 9.4 percent of GDP hence further Government.
The Bank says COVID-19 exacerbated existing economic and social challenges, setting back some gains made in alleviating poverty, underscoring the urgent need for a significant shift towards a more diversified and export-led economy, with the private sector playing a leading role. The Bank warned that public debt is estimated to reach 27.8 percent by 2023, driven by external borrowing.
The World Bank suggested that improving public sector spending efficiency, rationalizing the SOE sector and addressing constrains that hinder private sector engagement in trade and investment are central to the recovery. It says growth is expected to moderate in 2022 but still maintain a robust recovery at 4.1 percent as the base effects from the pandemic shock fade. Expressing optimism about the country’s economic situation, the Bank said “Progress in vaccination will support economic activity, especially non mining sectors that have continued to be affected by the pandemic in 2021.”
It also notes that diamond recovery is poised to remain robust, supported by external demand adding that investment in renewable energy will support growth and contributes to removing supply constraint to higher private sector activity. Noting that Botswana’s economic recovery rebounded strongly in 202, led by the mining sector, the Bank says diamond mining increased 35.4 percent over first to third quarter of 2021, contributing 6.1 percent to overall GDP growth.
“Non mining sectors showed more mixed recovery trajectories. The hospitality sector remained affected by intermittent restrictions,” says the World Bank. It further expressed optimism saying implementation of structural reforms will support growth over the medium terms as Government pursues fiscal consolidation. Growth is expected to average over 4 percent over 2023-24. “The current account deficit is expected to narrow to 0.6 percent of GDP in 2022as the rebound in diamond production and favourable terms of trade owing to subdued diamond supply in Russia anchor the projected drop in SAUC revenues,” the Bank says.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.