President Lieutenant General Ian Khama who continues to receive a shot in the arm as Batswana increase his cattle herd will certainly pursue his long time passion of farming on full time basis when he retires from office on April 1, BG News has established.
Khama’s parents the late Sir Seretse and Lady Ruth Khama were cattle barons and farmers of repute in different places around the country.
Seretse had farms in Boteti, Ngwato, Kweneng, Tswapong where he kept livestock and ploughed. The farms were inherited by his children who have since leased, sold or kept some.
BG News has reliably learnt that, Ian Khama has continued his multipurpose farming up to this stage, but decided to give priority to the civil service.
Khama has personal farms in Taukome near Serowe where he has high breed cattle, goats and sheep. He currently has a horticultural farm as well as ploughing field in the Tswapong area and has won many prices in profit making activities like bee-hiving. Some have been asking questions on what will Khama who has been turned into one of the biggest cattle barons in the country do with his large cattle herd and small livestock presents that he continues to receive as he bids the nation farewell given that he does not have land or farm to rear them.
Some said that he is likely to apply for land to make a farm and rear his livestock. Speaking to BG News, Senior Private Secretary, Brigadier George Tlhalerwa stated that Khama has many options which include buying, leasing or applying for land where he can do his farming business.
Tlhalerwa said that Khama’s parents had farming land and farms in some of the areas such as Boteti- Kweneng and Tswapong. As a family they are still doing farming in some of these places. “He has farms in areas such as Taukome where he has livestock. It must also be remembered that he has horticultural and bee keeping farms that enable him to win many prices in competition”.
Brigadier Tlhalerwa said so far President Khama has not yet indicated where he is going to apply for the land and has since requested his many friends who have the means to host his livestock.
“He has not yet decided on his master plan. But, knowing him, he is going to rear them. But he may get rid of some purely for management purposes as well as for environmental purposes.
“As I speak to you, the President has not indicated where he would like to have his farm, but he is considering many options including buying private farms, leasing and applying for land,” said Tlhalerwa.
It is expected Khama will get more cattle of high breed from the three Serowe constituencies and Gantsi which he is expected to visit. The arrangement is that Khama who doubles as President and Kgosikgolo of Bamangwato will visit the three Serowe constituencies before concluding at the man Kgotla at a later stage.
So far, all the constituencies that he visited have contributed cattle and small lives stock, save for the Lerala constituency who gave him a tractor, trailer and farming implements worth over P400.000.00. The Lerala constituents opted for the route after consultation in a Kgotla meeting where it was agreed that since they do not have many cattle unlike in other constituencies, then they must contribute money to buy him farming machinery.
Primary school dropouts figures are slowly moving up, as the primary school beginners’ intakes increase too, Statistics Botswana has revealed.
The country’s data authority’s latest Primary School Statistics Brief released this week indicate significant rates of drop out and non-completion of primary school is attributed mainly to ill-health, inability to pay school fees and truancy - a problem or situation of children being absent from school regularly without permission.
Anna Majelantle, Statistician General has bemoaned that many children are leaving primary school without acquiring the most basic skills. The data collected from schools through the 2015 annual school census, which forms SB’s latest report indicate that pupils abandon school at different standards before they could complete the full course of primary education.
According to the report there was 2,567 drop-outs in 2015 across the country.
“The total dropout rate was 0.6 percent in 2013, 0.7 percent in 2014 and increased to 0.8 percent in 2015,” said Majelantle in the report.
Johannes Tshukudu the President of the Botswana Teachers’ Union (BTU) said government, teachers and parents should work together to address the alarming growth of dropouts.
Tshukudu said primary school drop-outs challenge has both short-term and long-term bearing on both socio and economic situation of the country.
He pointed out that the syndrome is attributed to poor socio and economic status of families and homes breaking down, leading to limited economic and social support which then force children to look for alternative means of survival and abandon school.
BTU is concerned that though government makes efforts to address this situation through social relief nets, gaps still exist.
“Government interventions are not adequate and constant. They cannot sustain these children (dropouts) to stay in schools. As a result learners are becoming rebellious and bully and eventually leave school,” Tshukudu said.
Tshukudu said school drop outs later haunt communities’ social setting and even economic activities. “We cannot talk of FDI when we have increase of youth dropouts. The after effects is scarce FDI, no investors will invest where there is high rate of crime.
“We need to assist each other, majority of criminals are school drop outs that abandoned school at various levels and satisfy their needs through stealing,” he said. Tshukudu also said politicians must also reassess their political stance in terms of public education to deal with issues of dropouts.
According to SB statistics, Gantsi continues to lead the districts on the number of primary school drop outs, though the trend shows a drop compared to previous years.
“Gantsi had been slightly decreasing but it still had the highest dropout rates across all regions since 2012 being; 6.7 percent in 2012, 3.5 percent in 2013, 3.8 percent in 2014 and 4.4 percent in 2015,” reads part of the report indicating that in the South East region dropouts had been decreasing since 2012 from 0.4 percent to 0.1 percent in 2015.
“Out of the 2567 dropouts recorded in 2015, 1805 or 70.3 percent were due to truancy,” reads part of the report adding that the prevalence of truancy by sex shows that 74.3 percent of males dropped due to truancy compared to 62.6 percent for females.
Majelantle notes that a significant number of both sexes also dropped due to ill-health and inability to pay school fees. Citing Basarwa as the most affected community by dropouts, Tshukudu said introduction of education to this minority community has divorced them from their type of lifestyle.
“Government should introduce temporary structures within Basarwa communities, so that they do not completely divorce the students from their traditional lifestyle but gradually expose them to learning,” Tshukudu said.
Majelantle implored that policies to improve school progression and reduce the numbers of children dropping out of school are critical if Universal Primary Education (UPE) is to be achieved.
“Children are starting primary school in greater numbers than ever before but dropout rates are significant and lead to low levels of primary school completion in many countries,” said Majelantle.
Meanwhile Tshukudu highlighted that several countries in the southern Africa bloc are facing the same challenge citing that Mozambique school dropout can be attributed to political instability, Malawi economic issues, same with Zimbabwe and Namibia dealing with minority groups with cultures yet to accept education as a way of life.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is adamant that the director of DISS, Isaac Kgosi should be prosecuted over the P250m that they say he has “corruptly withdrawn” from the National Petroleum Fund (NPF).
BCP president, Dumelang Saleshando said this when addressing a press conference adding the money was withdrawn corruptly and unlawfully. He highlighted that NPF has regulations set by National Assembly therefore there is no how DISS Director could simply do a memo demanding for the money.
“Any official who purpose to bend the law of parliament or rewrite the laws should be punished for trying to do that,” said Saleshando reiterating that Kgosi committed a criminal offence by acting corruptly when he transferred the funds.
He said that they even propose that the fraud be escalated but the funds be rather used for military or surveillance equipment. He labelled Kgosi as a “criminal minded officer of government” and emphasised that some of this corruption has received maximum protection under President Ian Khama.
Saleshando further said that in order to fix this issue, they are going to approach UDC and propose that they must be a player, and specifically get an order directing that the funds be transferred back to the Petroleum Fund.
He said that it is important to assure Batswana that the funds that were expropriated illegally will go back to where they should be. On the other hand, he stated that UDC has to also find out why Kgosi has not been prosecuted to date while investigations on his corruption allegations have been completed more than a year ago.
He explained that DCEC has long done its part and sent back the file to DPP. Saleshando said that it is about time they get answers because they do not want situations whereby DPP end up deciding that they no longer want to pursue the case and they be blamed for having also been relaxed without asking about it.
He also said that if they cannot get the answer as to why Kgosi has not been prosecuted, and otherwise it is time to do something for the nation.
He said it would be better to have to ask willing partners to consider taking the private prosecution route and make sure that fairness and justice prevail in this matter.
Nonetheless, Saleshando has applauded DCEC on this issue, saying that most of them have condemned it for many years, as they believed that it only focuses on small fish.
“They need applause because in this particular instance they have moved swiftly although there are some missing names which also need to come out to also answer for their deeds,” he said.
Samson Moyo Guma’s former ally and former Tsamaya Councillor Reginald Mudongo has accused his former friend of intent to buy votes following the latter’s utterances that the government must repossess land owned by Tati Company.
Modongo who was introduced to politics by Guma went on to become a surprise winner for Tsamaya ward during the 2009 general elections when he hammered the then incumbent Councillor Tod Maligeni before he was floored by the seating councillor Isaac Pelaelo in the 2014 general elections.
When the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) was formed, Guma and Modongo defected to the new party only for Guma to make a U-turn and return to BDP whilst his councillor remained at BMD until his recent defection to the Alliance for Progressives (AP).
Producing some evidence in the form of past Council motions, Modongo disclosed that he once tabled a motion between the 22nd and 31st of January 2013 to have a record of all the land held under Tati company as well as requesting the responsible minister of lands by then to have a reconciliation of Tati Land concession of 1970 and the local Mines and Minerals Act of 1999 which he said were not compatible.
“When the said motion was adopted and passed on to the ministry, Guma never supported us despite that we were still members of the ruling BDP and it boggles my mind as to why all of a sudden he is clutching at straws and calling for the repossession of Tati company land,” the former councillor said.
Modongo continued that Moyo who was born in a village forming part of Tati company land should have known better when he assumed his position as MP that people in his village including his mother have no grazing lands since all the adjacent land is under the ownership of Tati Company.
He continued that calls by Guma to have Tati Company land repossessed by the state is a vote-buying gimmick by the MP who he accused of brainwashing people’s minds.
When contacted for comment, a defiant Guma pointed out that as MP he does not have close contact with councils and councillors and as such he is not in any position to know of motions tabled and adopted by various councils save for parliamentary issues.
“When I talk about land repossession, I am not referring to the illegal grabbing of land but an acquisition which is in line with the laid down laws on land acquisition. As far as I know, people of North East are desperately in need of land and in the event the state repossesses some land belonging to Tati- company, the same former councillor is also going to join in the celebrations and there is no act or intention on my part to buy votes, ” Guma said.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), Keletsositse Olebile comes in at a time when the institution is formulating a fresh strategic plan.
This is one of the key assignments that the board has placed on him as the current strategic plan for the investment promotion agency expires on March 31, 2018.
Olebile, who assumed the position roughly two weeks ago on February 1, 2018 on acting basis, says his plans to take the institution forward will be directed, formulated and solidified through the strategic planning process.
One of the areas that he is keen on especially within the institution is the restoration of capacity so as to enable delivery on their mandate. The institution has experienced hiccups following internal processes that led to a realignment of the organisational structure.
This process took longer than anticipated and in the long run the institution lost key people in core departments. “One critical thing now is to rebuild these skills because the public out there is still expecting the institution to perform, and not excuses,” Olebile said in an interview, adding that they will be restoring capacity in the near future.
Another area of focus for the new BITC chief is a strong engagement with critical stakeholders. As much as BITC is a brand management entity, Olebile acknowledges that they can only achieve their mandate through the support and team spirit from various stakeholders.
“I can promote out there, but if someone lands in Botswana and the various supporting frameworks are not living up to the promises that I have made, it will amount to nothing,” he says, adding, “it is in our interest to really make sure that our various departments; immigration, labour, lands and others are well aligned in delivering on this promotion mandate.”
In addition, the business development strategist also believes that he has highly capable people in the institution’s three outreach offices in London, India and South Africa. “It is important to know that investment promotion at its best will not happen within the investment promotion agency alone, it is about the support you get from various sector champions that you have out there.”
His view is that with every targeted mission, there has to be a capacity back stock within the sector to relay the message. He strongly believes that it involves constituted and ready projects that sector champions can put forward to potential investors.
According to Olebile, the current challenge in the approach to investment promotion is the tendency to take the generic approach of talking about the country’s key attributes. His view is that over and above key attributes of a country, investors are interested in ready projects, even for tenders that they can get involved in.
“Where capacity is concerned we can always do better, but I derive confidence in the people we have,” he says. The business development strategist takes keen interest on facilitating an even distribution of investments across the country. According to him, this is a difficult challenge given the level of development and servicing in the different localities.
That is why the institution has been working with officials at local government to run projects like the Local Economic Development (LED).
This project is aimed at identifying potential opportunities in different localities of Botswana. “For example; an area like Tsabong has been identified as ideal for small stock, and our interest is in the key enablers,” Olebile says.
This has given birth to ideas like the establishment of small stock abattoirs. An area like Bobonong in the Selibe-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) region has abundant semi-precious stones. BITC’s interest in such an area would be on enablers that would need to be put in place to allow the region to benefit from the already established diamond space because they are in the same value chain.
One of the critical focus areas for the former Executive Director of Strategy and Competitiveness at BITC and his team is to see how investment can be taken to these outlaying areas. “We can already see a sense of expectation through parliamentary questions that members are asking, like what we have done to facilitate investors to the different localities within the country,” he says.
Olebile is also happy that they have achieved some progress in some areas. The revamped one-stop-shop, Botswana One Stop Service Centre (BOSSC) is one such achievement. “We now have officers from Immigration sitting here (BITC premises) at senior level, from Lands, and liaison officers from various facilitating institutions. It’s a good start, and we will suggest improvements going forward.”
He also acknowledges that the establishment of such a centre is an evolving area with further developments in the pipeline. One of the key legal instruments that BITC has motivated for and has been approved by cabinet is the Business facilitation law – a piece of law that will define how various institutions that are responsible for investor facilitation are linked.
“We can refer to current structures of BOSSC as interim because it is an ever evolving arrangement. The ultimate will be when we reach and are able to offer services online. When our e-government interventions are in place and people do not need to come to the centre physically but we can deal with them on a visual approach.”
He wishes for a time when Botswana will ultimately position herself well in terms of the type of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that she is most likely to attract. “For us it has to be a balance of efficiency seeking FDI and resource seeking because we have natural resources in abundance. If we target well in that regard we can achieve something,” Olebile says.
Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, His Excellency Kozo Takeda has taken the baton from a predecessor, Masahiro Onishi, whose work ethic truly embodied the Japanese principle of ‘Kaizen’ or continuous improvement. Whereas Ambassador Onishi concentrated on foundational education and sport, Ambassador Takeda promises to support Botswana in the fields of transport and tourism. He fields questions from Botswana Guardian.
Botswana Guardian: Is this your first assignment to Africa?
Kozo Takeda: I have worked in Indonesia and Australia for several years in the past. Since this is my first time to work in Africa, I’m very excited and looking forward to working here in Botswana. More than fifty years have passed since Japan established its diplomatic relations with Botswana and 2018 is the 10th anniversary of the opening of our Embassy in Botswana. On the basis of our solid relationship, I would like to continue to promote and strengthen our bilateral friendly relationship for the next ten years.
BG: Can you give us your background: personal and professional (are you married, how many children; where do you come from; your educational background; and what you think you bring to Botswana?)
KT: I have three children and I came to Botswana with my wife this time. Prior to my appointment as the Ambassador, I have worked in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for more than twenty years. Since I worked at the Ministry for a long time, I’m familiar with the areas of transport and tourism. I’d like to contribute to the development in Botswana with my experience and knowledge regarding those sectors.
BG: Which areas do you think Botswana has comparative advantage to develop her economy/ diversify it and create the much-needed employment?
KT: It is generally accepted that the stable political situation, good security, good labour-management relations and various incentives in order to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in Botswana can contribute to develop her economy. I’d say all industries can be developed. The mining industry seems to be mature in Botswana and it is probable that other sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture have potential for further growth. We understand that the Botswana Government aims the diversification of industries through Vision 2036 and NDP 11. I will consider how the Japanese Government is able to support the Botswana Government at this point.
BG: And how will Japan help Botswana in this given that the country no longer receives any financial assistance (ODA) from Japan because of her Middle Income Country status?
KT: As you said, it is not easy for the Japanese Government to implement large-scale grant aid projects in Botswana and to provide Japanese ODA Loans for the Botswana Government since Botswana is an upper-middle income country. Meanwhile, it is possible for us to support entities such as NGOs or district councils through Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Project scheme. We are going to continue to contribute to the economic and social development, and the promotion of culture and the advanced education through the scheme. In addition to it, we will make effort to help the Government to enhance the capacity of the civil servants through technical cooperation.
BG:What is the current trade ratio between Botswana and Japan? How do you propose to increase this level of trade between the two countries?
KT: The amount of both import and export between Japan and Botswana in 2016 was approximately 2.7 billion yen, equivalent to 270 million pula. (The amount of import from Japan was 2.68 billion yen, equivalent to 268 million pula, The amount of export from Botswana was 2.7 billion yen, equivalent to 270 million pula, Trade Statistics by Ministry of Finance in Japan) The main import commodity from Japan was vehicle and the main export commodity to Japan was minerals such as diamond. The Japanese Government will support establishing environment which promotes international trading in the international framework.
Furthermore, we are going to explain the advantage of investment in Botswana to the Japanese companies, in order to attract them to come here and to promote the investment in Botswana, working with the relevant Botswana Governmental institution.
BG: What is the status of Marubeni Corporation in Morupule Expansion project?
KT: Since it is an operation by the private company, we are not in a position to comment on this issue. Generally speaking, the Japanese Government is trying to promote investment in Africa by the Japanese companies as part of TICAD initiative and this project is one of those projects promoted through the initiative. Once the project is completed, the project will contribute to your effort to tackle urgent challenges in Botswana such as the diversification of industries and the creation of employment. It will also have a positive effect on the future investment and the motivation of the other Japanese companies. It is my hope that it will promote and strengthen our bilateral relationship more and more as a result.
BG: How many Japanese nationals (tourists) visited Botswana last year (2017) and how do you propose to increase this level of people to people interaction between the two countries?
KT: According to the Tourism Statistics Annual Report 2015, which is published by Botswana Statistics, approximately five thousand Japanese nationals visited Botswana in 2015. (4,916 visitors in precise) As Botswana has abundant tourism resources such as Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, Kalahari Desert and Moremi Game Reserve, more and more Japanese are getting interested in Botswana. Some high school students and university students visited Botswana in a school trip or training last year.
As the Embassy, we’d like to increase Botswana’s fans by supporting this kind of steady activities. As you may know, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held in 2020. If a lot of Batswana athletes participate in it, I presume that both our countries’ awareness will be raised.
BG: How can Botswana NGOs and civil society organisations take advantage of the financial commitment made by Japan to Africa under TICAD VI?
KT: We are requested to support the development in Botswana through not only initiatives in TICAD process including TICAD VI but also various schemes which can help NGOs and the Government. The Nairobi Declaration is not a transient bonus and it describes the Japanese Government’s constant efforts to contribute to the development in Africa. In this sense, there is no special process to secure the financial commitment.
As we have continued for several years, we are going to support Botswana through the Grant Assistance for Grass-roots projects. Meanwhile, we will sincerely consider what we can do to support Botswana as the Japanese Government, dealing with each support request which we receive from the Botswana Government.
BG: Kindly tell us the projects that Japan Embassy is engaged in to help SADC integrate its economies and perhaps realise its Industrialisation Strategy?
KT: The Japanese Government is currently implementing the technical cooperation project regarding forest resource management with the SADC secretariat. We expect that capacity of the officers who are involved in the forest resource management in the SADC region will be improved though the project. We are also considering in Japan how we can support SADC secretariat for the sake of the industrialisation in the SADC region.
Whether at the state luncheon, Parliament or meeting with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa emerged as a man all out to reconcile his country and rebuild the economy.
He confidently told his audience that with the assistance of Botswana, SADC, African Union and the entire world, Zimbabwe will go back to normalcy. He believes that there is no place better than home and is looking forward to receiving back home many of his country men and women- together with their spouses- who live in Botswana.
When addressing parliament on Monday during his first state visit, Mnangagwa expressed his appreciation for the hospitality and opportunities that Botswana has extended to Zimbabweans over the years. It was also his first address to a full session of parliament in a foreign land since he became president last November.
“ I know that in your various constituencies, you host many Zimbabweans. I wish to express my appreciation for the hospitality, opportunities you have extended to my country men and women. It is in this spirit of togetherness and Ubuntu that you have opened your doors to my countrymen and women during the time of their need. These noble deeds will be forever etched in our hearts and minds”.
Extending an invitation to his fellow country men and women to return home, he said that as their economy prospects improve, “We shall be expecting and receiving them back home, many of them in the company of their Tswana spouses”.
“My government will continue to work tirelessly to create a peaceful and stable political and social economic environment which will enable us to move forward as a prosperous nation that will afford each and every one of us an opportunity to realise our full potential. As we pursue objectives I shall count on your solidarity and goodwill”.
Mnangagwa said he came to Botswana to reaffirm an old enduring special friendship that Zimbabwe and Botswana share. “Of course all relationships have their ups and downs, however, we have worked together to overcome some of these challenges. I am here to herald the present and gaze with optimism into the future. Needless to say Parliamentarians are a pivotal part of democracy. Each nation gives life to democracy in its own way and in line with its constitution.
“More often than not, governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, stable and successful. Parliaments now represent informed societies especially with advent of internet riding on social media platforms which are opening new doors for improved dialogue between citizens and their elected representatives.”
Mnangagwa told parliament that preparations for the elections have been going on smoothly with more than 5 million eligible voters already registered by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. “Our elections will be guided by the SADC and AU principles and guidelines. SADC and AU member states are always welcome to observe our elections,” he said.
“My government thrust is the economic growth engagement with countries and international organisations we had misunderstandings with before as well as consolidating long standing friendships like with Botswana. My administration is working hard to attract foreign direct investment in order to revive and grow our economy.
“In that regard we have been working on improving the investment climate in Zimbabwe. We have amended the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act which now limits the 51- 49 percent shareholding structure to only two minerals that is platinum and diamonds because we are still crafting our policy around those two minerals”.
Former Botswana high court judge, Oagile Key Dingake - the first African to be appointed judge of Papua New Guinea – took his oath of office last week Wednesday.
Desceiing the feeling to Botswana Guardian in a telephone interview Dingake said he felt the enormity, gravity and importance of the task ahead of him weigh heavily on his shoulder as he walked down the aisle to take his oath.
Dingake said it has been a phenomenal journey to the land of the unexpected and mystery. Some call it the Jewel of the Pacific. Papua New Guinea, PNG for short is a traveller’s delight in many respects. It has breathtaking and pristine beaches outside Port Mosby, the capital city. It lies on the eastern half of the second largest island in the world, and shares a border with Indonesia.
As a former colony of Britain, PNG and Botswana share a common legal heritage, but Dingake says the country does things a little more differently than Botswana. For instance, during the opening of the legal year Judges Parade March commences a kilometre or so away from the court house or venue for the community to have a sense of involvement.
The swearing in of a judge is a big thing. The Chief Justice (CJ), under a police escort, leads a convoy of Judges to the offices of the head of state called Governor General where an oath is administered. In Botswana it is taken before the CJ and is often a very low key affair involving CJ, the Judge and CJ’s assistant!
“As I walked towards the Governor General to take my oath of office, I felt the enormity; gravity and importance of the task ahead of me weigh heavily on my shoulder. The idea that ngwana wa Dingake le Ngwakwana ko Mosalakwane, in Bobonong, Botswana, in Africa, could be called to the Pacific to come dispense justice made me wish my parents were here with me.
“My dad used to think Robben Island in South Africa where his son, Michael Kitso Dingake, was incarcerated by the Boers for political activities in the fight for freedom, was the farthest his son could go. As I recall he blamed education for all this and for his son believing to be even “clever” than” makgoa” and at times having the neck to scold them. To imagine that his last born was in this island far away from anything would have knocked him unconscious.
“I was accompanied by my wife when I took the oath of office. I was flanked by the CJ on my right as required by the traditions here, as Judges looked on. After my swearing in the CJ and I sat down with the press to take questions about the occasion
“The CJ announced that because of my experience I have been assigned to deal specifically with all claims by and against the state only. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice in a statement said my recruitment was timely as the PNG is in the process of establishing the Human Rights Commission.”
Dingake says he went through orientation training the next day on how they run their courts and what immediately blew his mind is that PNG judges on the main operate paperless Court proceedings. There is no need to walk into Court with a file with papers flying in all directions as files are electronic and the judges have to run with it as such. The electronic case management system also monitors the performance of Judges.
“A whole new world just unfolded in front of my eyes that I hope I will one day plough back to my native country”.
“My greatest regret as I stood up there in the office of the Governor General, to take oath to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution of PNG, with cameras and smart phones clicking away to record this historic and glorious moment, was that I was not wearing a Botswana tie and badge.
“But it is not all lost. Another ceremony is on its way. It’s scheduled for the 2nd of March 2018. On this day the CJ and other Judges will hold an open Court hearing to welcome me and other new judges. He will deliver a speech and the new judges will also commit publicly. On this day I will make good my default. Otherwise history will not forgive me.
“The press has been running headlines on my appointment and swearing. One of the leading newspapers called “Nation” ran a headline saying “African Judge to handle cases involving State”. It has been a roller coaster of a pilgrimage to mine law in the belly of the Pacific. It has been a phenomenal journey to the land of the unexpected and mystery. Some call it the jewel of the Pacific”.
The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has roped in former teacher and BOSETU active member Carter Hikuama to represent them in Ngami constituency.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will be looking to former Member of Parliament for the area Jacob Nkate or the incumbent MP Thato Kwerepe.
Speaking to Botswana Guardian Hikuama said he was approached by a good number of people in the constituency to stand for political office after realising that he is a good leader as shown by various leadership positions he held whilst at the teaching fraternity.
Hikuama finally kissed chalk and the blackboard goodbye on the 31 of January 2018 to concentrate on his new career. In 2009 Taolo Habano of BCP won the constituency only to be floored by Kwerepe in 2014 who won by a difference of 48 votes. Kwerepe managed 7063 votes whilst Habano secured 7015 votes and Kebinang Cosmos Moenga of Umbrella for Democratic Change trailed with only 802 votes.
Hikuama strongly believes that he poses qualities of a good leader based on the numerous positions he held before.
These were obtained since joining the teaching fraternity in 1996 - Regional Chairperson in various regions including Maun, Francistown, Tutume and in 2008 he contested for the vice presidency of BOSETU only to be defeated by Tebogo Sebogodi.
Following his loss, he became a labour relations committee member of BOSETU until he resigned recently. Asked whether he will run unopposed, Hikuama said that whatever system is adopted, he is fully prepared to face any opponent since his people highly regard him, hence their decision to plead with him to represent them.
Efforts to solicit a comment from the BCP spokesperson Dithapelo Keorapetse on whether Hikuama will stand unopposed hit a snag at press time as his mobile phone was unavailable.
The Secretary General for the Botswana People’s Party (BPP) has revealed that the party’s executive committee failed to form a quorum last week Saturday during a disciplinary hearing of the party’s former chairman Richard Gudu and additional committee member Peter Kuchwe. Venper Geletshabiwe told Botswana Guardian that according to the party constitution, the executive can only form a quorum when there are more than five members present.
“In the last executive board meeting, only four members were present therefore the board could not form a quorum hence the party’s decision to postpone the board meeting to another time with the hope that we will form a quorum,” Geletshabiwe explained. When contacted for comment Gudu said that he is in the dark as to what transpired during the past weekend board meeting since he was not invited. He informed this publication that he is still surprised at the way the hearing was handled. He does not know why the disciplinary committee does not want to make its resolutions known.
“I wonder as to whether the disciplinary committee was sent to make their findings and deal with the matter at hand on the spot or they were simply sent to make their findings and send them to the party’s executive committee?” asked Gudu.
Gudu and Kuchwe were suspended from BPP last year after they were accused of attending an Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) press conference under the pretext that they were representing BPP.