Wednesday, 13 March 2019 15:55

VP Tsogwane unamused

Vice President Slumber Tsogwane says Members of Parliament would live to regret tabling and passing a motion calling for direct election of the president. The motion was tabled by MP for Nata-Gweta Polson Majaga and passed by Parliament last week. Tsogwane told Parliament that it was wrong to have the motion during election year.

According to the vice president political reform is a very critical subject. He pointed out that it is not an easy topic that one can just subject to one while ignoring others.“We have to go and consult the people who have voted us to this Parliament. We cannot leave them behind, come and pass this motion without engaging them, because it is a very critical motion, as I have said, it will bring a lot of changes. We are in an election year, it will create a lot of perceptions,” said Tsogwane who is also MP for Boteti West.

The vice president indicated that when a subject is discussed during such a time, it has the potential of misdirecting some people or changing their focus to something else. “And this is where you experience voter apathy.” He explained that government has just engaged Batswana on another subject related to an election, being the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

“We just dropped it, and now we are coming with another subject in an election year. A person who does not have the same understanding or same level of understanding as you MPs, you have to go and explain this to that person, and tell him or her why you are bringing such a subject during such a time, and what is the intention. “It is not a question of when it is going to be implemented, it is the historical context that we will be creating, and that is what people are going to refer to and start engaging their minds in, and some people are asking themselves a lot of questions,” said Tsogwane when debating the motion.

Tsogwane said it is not a bad motion, but the timing is also very critical, as well as culture and what underpins the country’s democracy. He revealed that he had tried, to engage Majaga regarding the motion, “but conveniently he has avoided me.”
He does not have any qualms with that as it is Majaga’s choice. “I do not have any problem, he should not think that I will think otherwise about him. I am very liberal, so there was no need for him to avoid me because I was going to engage him and consult with him further.”

Tsogwane said the country has just withstood the EVM storm and cannt afford to be distracted by another potentially divisive electoral reform in an elelction year. “We have a system which is serving us well and we want to change it in the election year. What is the urgency of trying to bring this motion now?”

Published in News
Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:39

Who could be Venson-Moitoi’s choice?

There are 10 Cabinet Ministers in the southern part of the country, but who amongst them would dare to challenge the vice president, Slumber Tsogwane for the position of BDP chairmanship? Below Botswana Guardian hazards an opinion
Vincent Seretse: Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development and MP for Lentsweletau - Mmopane.

Although bruised by the manner in which he lost the primary elections to Wilhelmina Makwinja, Seretse has not approached the court to seek redress. It is said he was approached to be chairman under the Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi led team which is challenging President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the presidency. Seretse would not confirm or deny. “I heard people are talking about it. But the fact is I will never stop people from thinking what they are thinking about, and what they want to say. For now, I have not made any decision. One only makes a decision when you feel comfortable that indeed the people are gravitating to the point of you being comfortable that you are indeed needed then as cadre, then I will consider my position.

“I am listening very attentively to all what I hear as well, when I feel the movement has come people want me to serve them in any capacity and are ready to send me, then I will be ready to answer the call because I am a cadre in good standing and ready to serve the party,” said Seretse. Kitso Mokaila - Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism. A retired captain of Botswana Defence Force and an engineer- he is a good instruction taker and follows to the letter as well as being loyal to the leader of the day. He has gone on record as saying he supports Masisi. But the man is intrinsically unpredictable.

Eric Molale – The specially-elected MP and Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security through specially elected ticket lost the by-elections for Goodhope - Mabule constituency to Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II. He remains hopeful that he will rescue the constituency from the hands of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). Inside party sources say, he will not like to rock the boat by entertaining and, or aligning himself with a group that opposes Masisi. Dr Unity Dow - Minister of International affairs and Cooperation is a woman of substance renowned for speaking her mind freely. She has expressed support for Masisi through many forums including social media. Dow has openly criticised BDP presidential aspirant, Dr Pelonomi Venson –Moitoi including wondering how Moitoi can expect support from women, when she has never supported women herself.

Patrick Ralotsia-  A  great farmer, Member of Parliament for Kanye North and Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security was appointed by former president Ian Khama following the resignation of Christian De Graaf due to ill health. Ralotsia is one of the stable ministers and was re-appointed into cabinet by Masisi subsequent to taking over in April 1, 2018. He is seen as a level-headed and loyal servant of the system of the day and a staunch Masisi supporter who will not do anything to ruin the relationship.
Dr. Alfred Madigele –Minister of Health and Wellness and MP for Mmathethe - Molapowabojang – although he lost the party primary elections, is a loyal intelligent man of integrity and a good listener. He is service oriented and always wants to operate within the context of the law in order to assist the public. His return to the ministry of health after a short stint at education is a vote of confidence by Masisi that he is able to deliver.

Ngaka Ngaka- The MP for Letlhakeng- Takatokwane and Minister of Nationality Immigration and Gender Affairs. Although he comes from south those close to him say he is not ambitious to lead the party as chairman but is comfortable as both minister and legislator as the workload is demanding. Tshenolo Mabeo - Despite having been in cabinet for some time and an actor of repute, those close to him say he is a relatively quiet and honest person who enjoys doing his assignment to the end.

They rule out the possibility of him entertaining ideas of becoming chairman as he is not charismatic. He is the legislator and Minister for Employment Labour Productivity and skills development Frans Van Der Westhuizen - The gentleman of cabinet. He has always been a junior minister but had a great Christmas present from President Masisi who elevated him to lead the Ministry of Local Government after dropping Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi.

Itumeleng Moipisi – MP for Kgalagadi North and assistant minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services lost the primary election to Talitha Monnakgotla. Although this might be a motivating factor for him to accept the offer from the Moitoi team, inside sources say he is relatively new in politics and would like to show his loyalty since Masisi has shown his confidence in him by keeping him in his cabinet.

Published in News

Acting President Slumber Tsogwane says government highly recognises Bogosi as a unifying force in forging and maintaining national identity.To this end a five-year Strategic Plan 2018-2023 has been prepared for the Department of Tribal Administration with a view to heighten its value proposition and elevate the powers of Dikgosi to be commensurate with their responsibilities and relevance in the governance structures of the country.

Slumber indicated that in 2017/18, government took the decision to review the Bogosi Act, and progress has been satisfactory as the Draft Bill is under discussion by key stakeholders. “The Bogosi institution is enshrined in the Constitution, and is one of the key achievements of our multicultural society and democracy.

“In this regard, the democratic Botswana recognises the important place of our Dikgosi in the lives of many of our society. As Dikgosi, you know that the economic wellbeing of people is important. “The challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality continue to afflict Batswana. The global economy remains stagnant and our own country faces the problem of slow growth,” said Tsogwane when addressing a capacity building workshop for members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi in Gaborone this week. The Acting President expressed hope that the workshop will enhance the understanding of the functions of Ntlo ya Dikgosi.

It will also make clear distinction between the Constitutional requirements and the Bogosi Act with regard to Bogosi and Kgosi operatives, Tsogwane explained.He added that members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi would be empowered to approach critical issues affecting people and the country from different dimensions.  He said that at a highly successful consultative meeting with the members in Maun last year President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi urged them to continue to help in instilling unity, social cohesion and nation building.

“The president also urged you to emphasise your value systems which are informed by your rich customs and traditions. Part of our value systems are Botho, Tlotlo ya molao and kagiso among others. “He also cautioned you against being partisan as this can erode the peace and stability which we are accustomed with,” he said.  Tsogwane told the workshop that the country recently has been engulfed by horrific violence against women and children which goes against the country’s custom and the respect of human rights.

According to Tsogwane the government has declared all crimes against women and children as priority crimes to be dealt with. He appealed to Dikgosi to pioritise the fight against Gender Based Violence and crime in general. The acting president pledged his support to Bogosi as government is aware that the Bogosi institution will not be able to successfully perform its roles without proper support.

Published in News
Friday, 21 December 2018 11:57

Mrs Botswana scoops Mrs Universe personality

The 2018 Mrs Botswana, Keletso Lenchwe has made Botswana proud at the universal platform as she was crowned Mrs Universe Personality last week in Philippines. Lenchwe says that walking the international ramp meant a lot to her and she is set to change lives as a reigning queen.  “This is an honour to me and I also count it as a blessing, therefore I am aware that it comes with a huge responsibility of serving the community,” she says.

She also acknowledges the fact that there is a vast difference between local and international pageants. “I have realized that Botswana is still lagging behind, after I have walked on the universe ramp. Our local pageantry projects need to be improved,” she said, emphasizing that she has learnt a lot and she understands that it should not end at the universal stage but go a long way to reach out to the entire country. “

Being a beauty queen doesn’t mean winning and going to compete internationally only. It has always been my dream to serve the community therefore going out there to be Mrs Universe has actually sealed and reaffirmed my dream that I should go on and continue to serve as Mrs Botswana,” she says. The beauty queen says she aspires to visit across the country and reach out to places like Okavango, Kgalagadi and Kalanga land. Her major task, she says is to inspire young women and women in marriages, to help them recognize the power that they posses as women.

“We are naturally beautiful as women but I want us to take pride in that just like peacocks. However, let us not allow our beauty to be just physical, let our beauty be seen in our works too,” she said, reiterating that it is within her aims to see that married women don’t just sit, doing nothing but do something valuable in the community.

For this, she asked the corporate companies to come on board and help her accomplish her mission. Upon her arrival from Philippines, Mrs Botswana was hosted by the Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane who applauded her for not coming back home empty handed. He further applauded the fact that Mrs Botswana brand mentors families, which is something that the country needs.

He added that the pageant should also include issues like Gender Based Violence and work together with the government towards building happy healthy marriages and families of Botswana. The reception that the queen received upon her arrival was classic as she was escorted to the office of the president in that special classic car, which really set her apart as the queen of the nation.

Lenchwe further said that she hopes to motivate women to be proud of who they are, have confidence and also work harder in securing leadership roles. “It is my dream to see women standing out to be the best just like what the national anthem says, women should stand. It would actually be an honor for me to see every Motswana becoming the best version of themselves,” said Lenchwe.

Published in Style
Friday, 21 April 2017 09:07

PPADB turns down Sefalana payment

Company supplied gov’t with Tsabana,Malutu
We remain govt’ supplier-Osman

Sefalana, the diversified group has suffered a setback as government  public procurement and awarding body, PPADB has not approved request by the local government to pay the listed its  dues after a successful delivery, BG Business understands.

The company’s subsidiary which has a milling plant in Serowe, Foods Botswana, was chosen to supply 4020 metric tons of Malutu and 4920 metric tons of Tsabana to the Local Government ministry, which is ministered by Slumber Tsogwane.

At its sitting on the 31st of March 2017, Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) did not approve the retroactive payment to the company, which its financial year ends next week. PPADB which is headed by Bridget John has not stated reasons for the rejection.  The non-payment is likely to affect the BSE listed company’s financial results.  Foods Botswana manufactures Malutu and Tsabana which government issues out to local clinics and health facilities across the country.

Meanwhile, Sefalana Group Finance Director, Mohammed Osman told BG Business that they have completed their 2015/16 government tender in April 2016 which was extended by six months to October 2016.  “We are proud to have delivered all allocated volumes on time to the government. We now await the award of the 2016/17 tender, which is currently under consideration,” he said.

Although he could not disclose how much is the payment BG Business understands that the government had allocated P15.6 million for the supply of 1640 metric tons of Tsabana. “At this moment we can not share with you how much we are supposed to get from government.

We have, since the PPADB decision was made public in the newspaper, made enquiries with the respective department and are still engaging with them to find out what needs to be done to move forward,” said Osman. The Sefalana finance chief said he believes that the matter will be amicably sorted out in due course. Foods Botswana. “We remain a supplier to government and continue to supply the respective department,” he said. Announcing the 2015 results last year Sefalana Managing Director, Chandra Chauhan said they experience a net loss of P2, 5 to P3 million if they don’t produce for government. The group’s revenue is largely hinged on its contract/tender business than it is on its core segment of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).

According to the group’s financials, the group recorded a turnover of P2.005 billion for the six months ended October 31, 2016 up from P1.8 billion in the prior period. The group’s overall profit before tax for the six month period increased marginally to P81.1 million from P80.4 million recorded in the previous year.

Sefalana Cash and Carry Limited Botswana operations contributed 60 percent and 48 percent of the group’s revenue and profit before tax for the reporting period.

Published in Business

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