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Tebelelo worried by Tsogwane’s many powers

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s 2019 General Elections National Campaigns Manager Tebelelo Seretse says a lot should be done by the party at the upcoming elective congress to protect its Chairman Slumber Tsogwane by relieving him some of the responsibilities lest he loses his constituency in 2024.

Seretse who is contesting the position of Deputy Treasurer under team Nonofho Molefhi (Tsogwane’s challenger) is worried about the Chairman’s demanding roles. “What I like about President Masisi is that he has never pronounced who he supports because he is a father to all of us. But then the VP who is also the chairman wants to defend his position in the party, but if you look carefully his popularity or numbers decline after every elections. We should ask ourselves why, maybe it is because he is always busy because of multiple responsibilities.”

To drive her point home, Seretse says if at all Tsogwane was that popular the BDP was not supposed to lose the Khwee ward (Boteti East) in last year’s by elections. BDP got 258 votes against UDC’s 425. “That’s his neighboring constituency and we expect him by being the second in command to use his influence, but then the margin even increased from 2019. I think the VP shouldn’t be a party chairman and also an MP because it is too demanding.”

From her submission it would appear that Seretse is tilting the scales to her team leader, Molefhi to take the position because he is available and not busy like Tsogwane. In fact, Seretse, a former minister says while doubling as an executive member and MP is tiring, how about the many hats Tsogwane is wearing.

In 2009 the party’s Central Committee decided that party members should choose serving on either Central Committee positions or Cabinet posts. The decision saw the then Minister of Presidential Affairs and party SG, Daniel Kwelagobe dropped from the executive as he chose party over cabinet. Seretse wants this resuscitated more especially that there are some past party Chairpersons who were not Vice Presidents.

Seretse, a two time MP from 1999 to 2004 told this publication the reasons why she decided to contest under team Molefhi. “Chairman’s (Tsogwane) lobby came very early and ultimately closed doors for some of us who had intentions because if you are told that the chairman has his lobby, it becomes difficult, but contesting under a different team is not an issue since we are all democrats with the same ideology but maybe different executions.”

She added, “What I like about Molefhi’s team is a good representation of women compared to the VP’s lobby and also geographical representation. It appears Molefhi has faith and believes women have capacity to lead.”

Molefhi and Seretse’s lobby has four women (Unity Dow, Seretse and Bridget Mavuma) vying for executive positions while Tsogwane has only two who are eyeing more junior ones as additional members.

SERETSE CONCERNED BY BDP BI-ELECTION RESULTS

Seretse who has served at three Cabinet level positions, is concerned by the way her party is losing by-elections. “The way we lose by elections shows that something has changed from the original BDP. Back then we engaged various constituencies to assist during by-elections to assist with campaigns because we have diverse members with varying skills, but now we just appoint people, which is not right, we should be more inclusive and cast our net wide and also use statistics to prepare well.”

As a former campaigns manager, she says she always looks at the numbers and when elected into the central committee she would make suggestions and proposals on how to win. So far the BDP has won three out of 10 wards in the recent by-elections.

NO NEED TO ASK FOR PERMISSION FROM MASISI, TSOGWANE

A former Ambassador to the United States, Seretse who was part of President Masisi’s team in 2015 and 2017 congresses, says she has never asked for blessings from the party leadership. “There is nothing to ask a permission for if you are contesting. But I only called Dada (Satar- Treasurer) informing him that I am interested in the treasurer position and after he consulted, he came back to me and said that President Masisi wants him to continue since elections are closer and there would be need for fundraising, that is when I decided to drop to the deputy treasurer positions, so indirectly consulted.”

She is nonetheless disappointed by the way robust debates are dying within the party because members seem to be afraid to exercise freedoms they have. She said this when asked if she had interacted and canvassed for votes. Nowadays it is like we don’t engage with the democrats like we used to. People seem afraid to honestly tell candidates what they think and we need to bring that back for the better of the party. However this time there was a little time and resources because normally we have three months to mobilize and it was better compared to this time around.”

Seretse will square off with Jag Dish Shah for the deputy treasure position at Tsabong next weekend.  She is confident that her name is synonymous with the BDP members as she has served in various capacities within the party.

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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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