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Khama, Guma battle for BPF soul

As the battle for the soul of the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) heats up, the recruitment and membership of one of the key game changers, Samson Moyo Guma is slowly but surely becoming top of interest in the party, with the party’s God father and patron, Ian Khama stating that he does not know who recruited Guma to the party.

Since his coming into the party, the hard-nosed former Tati East Legislator has shaken the party to its roots, with his influence provoking mixed reactions across the party structures. Currently the National Executive Committee is divided between Guma and the party Patron-who also enjoys the backing of the party members of Parliament and structures.

Sources say the duo have not had the best of relationships and have been exchanging unpleasant text messages in efforts to explore options for cease fire and mutual benefit. In fact Guma has made strong public statements against Khama’s perceived control of the party in some instances targeting the perceived Serowe grip of the party.

In an interview with this publication this week, Khama revealed that he does not know who recruited Guma into the BPF, further distancing him from such a recruitment, “I definitely had nothing to do with recruiting him and I don’t know who did,” Khama responded when asked to share about Guma’s recruitment into the BPF.

He added that he doesn’t even know if Guma was recruited or joined the party on his own volition.  But Guma has told this publication that in fact, he is one of the founding members of the BPF, adding that “I have always been around and played part at the party’s formative stage meetings”.

Guma’s statement is however rubbished by the BPF suspended President, Biggie Butale: “I don’t remember seeing Guma during the formation of the BPF. Even during our initial rallies he was nowhere to be seen. As far as I can remember, he expressed a desire to join the BPF when he came from South Africa and forthwith declared his intention to become the President of the Party. So I can safely say he is not a founding member of the party and has never been.”

In this interview, Khama also associated himself to a letter written by party MPs, calling the party to suspend the congress, reinstate suspended party president Biggie Butale and uplift al party suspensions. “Yes I support the MPs letter and its contents,” he said. Asked to share his opinion of Guma, Khama said he does not think that will be right, for now.

Guma officially joined the BPF in 2020 and was co-opted into the National Executive Committee through the February 7th 2022 resolution which also brought in former Minister, Moiseraele Goya. The duo are currently at each other’s throats fighting for the party’s Presidency-and the upcoming congress will be the decider. Goya has revealed that the Khama prefers him over Guma.

Guma chose the BPF following his expulsion from the BDP by President Mokgweetsi Masisi while in South Africa in 2019.

Prior to his expulsion, he was first recalled as BDP Parliamentary candidate for Tati East Constituency. His fall out with the BDP leadership was linked to his support for former cabinet member Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s bid for the party’s presidency. Moyo was a chief campaigner for Dr. Venson-Moitoi’s presidential bid against sitting president, Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi – in a war that nearly turned bloody.

Venson-Moitoi then MP for Serowe South later pulled out of the race at the eleventh hour in Kang where the Extra Ordinary Congress was held, describing the electoral process as rigged. Guma then had also expressed his interest for the position of Secretary General then held by Mpho Balopi. Despite the fallout with BDP, Moyo is largely credited for the rise of Masisi whom he fiercely campaigned for to become party chairman during the Mmadinare and Tonota congresses.

In 2010, Guma quit the BDP following the party’s 2009 infamous Kanye Congress to cofound the BMD where he was appointed party interim treasurer. He dumped the party a year later and remained an independent MP for a few months before rejoining the BDP in 2012 and being voted BDP Chairman during the party’s Maun elective congress in 2013.


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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