President Ian Khama pulled a surprise again this week when he took a backseat and didn’t bid former President Sir Ketumile Masire farewell during the Memorial Service at the University of Botswana.
This conduct fuelled suspicion that Khama has not got over what he considered criticism of his government by Masire when he gave a eulogy at the funeral of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President Gomolemo Motswaledi in Serowe in 2014.
Indicators that there was no love lost between the two men were clearly visible when as head of state Khama did not announce Masire’s passing last week but instead delegated the assignment to his Senior Private Secretary Brigadier George Tlhalerwa. The development was this week slammed by former Ambassador to USA, Tebelelo Seretse as un-cultural. It is said that at the time of the death announcement Khama was attending the ground breaking for the construction of Mohembo Bridge. His silence sparked debate among Batswana who began tracing the sour relationship back to the funeral of Motswaledi. During the memorial service at the University of Botswana this Wednesday, Khama who attended did not take to the podium to console the nation and the multitudes that thronged the memorial service.
Expectation was that Khama would either address the nation as head of state or leader of Botswana Democratic Party or both. On behalf of the party Khama delegated former BDP chairman Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe while Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi spoke on behalf of government. It was not stated as to why the president would not speak to the nation about the father of the nation. At press time it was not clear if Khama would speak at the funeral, which took place in Kanye village yesterday (Thursday). It was expected that Masire as one of the longest serving President and being one of the founding fathers of BDP, Khama would have taken the opportunity to speak about his illustrious work for both the party and the country.Early this week there were media reports that Khama cornered the Masire family to bury him on Thursday as opposed to the weekend. In fact Botswana Guardian sister publication The Midweek Sun reports that Masire’s blood brothers revealed that the Thursday burial was agreed at the request of President Khama.
A delegation led by Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Eric Molale and family spokesperson Tebogo Masire held a media briefing on Monday this week where they dismissed the claims saying the date was amicably agreed. Khama was reported to have indicated that he would not be able to make it to the funeral if it is on Saturday because he has other engagements.
Family spokesperson and former Commander of Botswana Defence Force Tebogo Masire said the dates were discussed among family members and they settled for Thursday. He stated that they did not want to disrupt other people’s programmes but was quick to dismiss that such programme is for a particular person and not Batswana at large who would have wanted to pay their last respect to the father of the nation.
Bank of Botswana (BoB), the regulator of commercial banks this week allayed fears that the multibillion Pula sector is headed for a second liquidity squeeze in a period of less than two years.
Botswana Guardian understands that between December and January this year, there has been a notable increased activity within the interbank lending market, a clear sign that some commercial banks were short of liquidity to keep their respective operations running. Two years ago, the central bank was forced to devise a rescue plan to bailout the then embattled banking industry which was experiencing liquidity challenges, which limited their ability to generate fresh loans.
At the time, BoB injected P2, 3billion in the industry, after relaxation of Primary Reserve Requirement (PRR) to keep the industry alive. However, there are signs that the sector, which accounts for half the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) might fall into a similar crisis. However, BoB said there is no need to press panic buttons, as the industry is sound.
At a Press conference to announce the Monetary Policy Committee decision on lending rate this week, central bank executives admitted that there have been increased lending activities among banks in the past months. “We are not denying it (liquidity squeeze). This is coming from temporary factors such as reduced government spending and increased demand for funds during the said months (January and December),” newly promoted Head of Financial Markets department, Matthew Wright told Botswana Guardian.
“Some banks might have been short of funds, but they never came to us,” he said. Wright told the Press that, some temporary factors that could have resulted in limited funds in the market include increased demand for foreign currencies, especially during the holiday period when most locals were travelling to foreign countries. “This explains why some banks borrowed funds from each other,” he stressed. During the 2014/15 liquidity squeeze that was experienced within the local banking market, some banks turned away clients under the pretext that they did not meet their lending criteria. However, this time around, there have not been instances where clients are turned down purely because of limited funding.
“We have not come across an instance where a productive project is turned down because of limited funds within the banking industry,” disclosed BoB Governor, Moses Pelaelo. Pelaelo, who succeeded Linah Mohohlo last year, said they are keeping a close eye on developments related to a possible liquidity squeeze before they can act. Despite fresh information suggesting that the local bank might be teetering on the brink of a credit squeeze, some commercial banks’ profits are picking.
Listed commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana has reported a 9 percent increase in profits.
Barclays Bank Botswana, is also expecting improved results in the year that ended December 2016. Meanwhile, BoB’s Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) released this week shows that, banks extended less money to clients in the past year. Annual growth in commercial banks’ credit decreased from 7.1 percent in December 2015 to 6, 2 percent in December 2016.
“The slowdown in annual credit expansion was mostly associated with the decrease in growth in lending to households,” said the report. The bank attributed the fall in households to restrained growth in personal incomes. Property loans declined in the past year. Bank executives attributed the decline to a ‘weak property market’.
Annual growth in mortgages declined from 7, 2 percent to 6, 3 percent. Meanwhile, the central bank reported in the same MPS that credit to the mining sector declined mainly because of BCL loan repayment in December 2016. BCL which has been placed on voluntary liquidation received a loan of about P1billion from Barclays Bank Botswana early last year. The loan, which was guaranteed by government, has since been repaid in full.
Botswana Guardian can safely reveal that the unnamed preferred bidder identified by Botswana Government to develop an additional 300MW power supply by extending Morupule B, is the Japanese multinational diversified trading and investment conglomerate, Marubeni Corporation.
Advocate Sadique Kebonang, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security recently told Parliament that government was in the process of procuring Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for the development of an additional 300 MW by extending Morupule B with units 5 & 6, each with capacity of 150 Megawatts (MW).However, he did not name the preferred bidder save to say that the procurement process was at the stage of “financial closure,” which he said was expected to be concluded before the end of this year. In fact, Botswana Guardian can this week confirm that Cabinet signed the contract for Units 5 & 6 this week Tuesday amidst opposition from certain ministers that have vested interests as well as opposition from environmentalists.
Marubeni Corporation was founded in 1858 and its focus in Africa include power and other infrastructure projects, as well as projects aligned to industrial diversification imperatives of the region as well as initiatives catering to domestic demand in the commodity field. Marubeni’s association with Morupule B came to light late last month during a joint investment mission undertaken by Embassy of Japan in Botswana and Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) to South Africa.
The mission engaged the 62-member Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industries at the offices of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) on the 4th Floor, West Tower along Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg.It was here that Chairman of the Chamber, who also doubles as Marubeni Corporation’s Regional Chief Operations Officer (COO) for Africa and General Manager of the Johannesburg Branch, Takashi Yao, confirmed his corporation’s engagement in Botswana.
He said it was true they were preparing to come to Morupule B as Independent Power Producers engaged by Botswana government. He expressed sincere hope that the deal would mark the beginning of a long partnership between Japanese companies and Botswana, a country, he said was unique for its high economic growth trajectory and political stability. Addressing the Japanese investors earlier on, BITC Chief Executive Letsebe Sejoe had said that the commissioning of the two electrical power generation stations was “quite advanced” with discussions ongoing between the two parties. “Just one or two final details need to be agreed and as I understand, it’s just the conclusion of the IPP and we will be able to commission that plant.”It’s expected that commissioning will come on line within 42 months.
Asked by Kaentaro Yoshikawa, an Earth Observation Adviser at South African National Space Agency (SANSA) Earth Observation why Botswana does not rely more on Japan’s expertise for power generation, Sejoe responded;“This is why we are here; we want to talk about that,” he said, adding that lessons learnt in the past have compelled them for the first time ever in their relationship, to gravitate closer to Japan. “Botswana is reaching out more and more to Japan and we will continue to do that because the relationship has to be a strong win-win for both parties, and we think maybe with Japan we will win.”Marubeni Corporation has 132 offices in the world including 12 in Africa.
Its activities include power projects, plants, infrastructure, logistics, finance, industrial machinery to real estate development and construction. The corporation has always been on BITC’s radar. Reitumetse Aphiri, BITC Executive Director for Investment Promotion has been courting this multinational since her days at the defunct Botswana Export Development and Investment Agency (BEDIA).She told Botswana Guardian during the investment mission to Joburg - in which she had accompanied Sejoe along with SA-based Moshie Ratse, the Executive Director for International Business - that Marubeni Corporation was currently doing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Morupule B expansion as well as looking for office space in Gaborone.
Further investigations by this publication turned up information that the signing of the deal was delayed by farm owners in the Morupule area and others that have bought fields and are now demanding prodigious sums in compensation from government.
One interested party who is said to have asked for P25 million in compensation this week declined to comment on the issue because he was conflicted by reason of his employment to Debswana, the company that owns Morupule. The joint investment mission to South Africa was hosted by JETRO Africa Region Executive Director Hiroyuki Nemoto and led by Japan’s Ambassador to Botswana, H.E. Masahiro Onishi and Letsebe Sejoe, BITC’s chief executive. Earlier this year, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marubeni Corporation Fumiya Kokubu attended the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 6) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The state of the art Mahupu Unified Secondary School built at a cost of P45 million and boasting the latest teaching technology equipment and sporting fields is ready for its full student enrolment.
Botswana Guardian has learnt that decision to construct the iconic school that completely changes the landscapes of Takatokowane constituency caught some of the stakeholders amongst them Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) napping as they struggled to cope with the demand within a short period. This publication has it on good authority that amongst others the challenges that caused the delay of the project to be completed and handed over in time is power and water connection. BPC’s work was delayed due to shortage of material and the upgrading of Takatokowane switch yard which took long. This allegedly delayed the completion of electrical works by sub contractor.
Speaking to Botswana Guardian, Assistant Minister of Basic Education, Moeseraele Master Goya confirmed that commencement date of construction was 8th August 2014 and was supposed to be completed for handover on the 7th August 2016. But the process experienced challenges that led to the contractor handing over the project this week Wednesday (23rd November 2016). Goya revealed that the initial contract sum for Mahupu was P414,171,603.02 but ,the revised contract sum which is what government has paid is P446,931,293.50 with additional work carried including toilets, data, reticulation, modification to home economics lab and multipurpose hall.
He said the good news concerning the financing of the school is that there are no claims and notices as an advanced P55, 469,411.10 was given to the main contractor with the same amount having been fully recovered with no remaining balance. Having unified schools is government latest idea intended to improve the quality of education. It started as a pilot project until government decided to upgrade certain junior schools in order to have both junior and senior secondary school in one yard served by one administration.
The project coined in 2014 started by upgrading both Mahupu junior secondary school in the outskirts of Takatokowane village and Tsabong junior secondary school in Tsabong. The building structure of Mahupu built adjacent to the Letlhakane- Morwamusu highway is a marvel to watch as it is an icon that changes the landscape of the highway. It will surely become a tourist attraction centre as it is strategically built in the middle of the bush in a place where travellers usually encounter domestic and wild animals.
Mahupu unified is 36 streams. Currently the school has an enrolment of 1115 of which 605 are girls and 470 boys. The school enrolment will increase to 1300 students in 2017 when the new intake of Form 4s start. Currently the school has 85 teachers of which 27 are temporary. The teaching staff will be increased to 150 in 2017. It has staff housing accommodation of 67 houses including houses from the new project.
The ministry is brain storming and in consultation with other stakeholders advocating for the school head to have two deputies. Goya said, “As the Ministry we realised that there is need for the school head to have two deputies being responsible for lower and higher level in order to smoothen the running of the school”.
The National Petroleum Fund (NPF) is currently hovering at around P600million, Botswana Guardian has learnt. The NPF is used by government to pay petroleum retailers the difference between the administered and prevailing fuel prices. The Fund collects 13,5thebe per litre every time motorists fill up at pump stations.
Responding to an inquiry at a media brief this Tuesday, Principal Energy Officer in the Department of Energy, Merapelo Tautona said the fund is audited every year. “We have approximately P600million. Last year we used about P100million. With this amount we believe it is enough to sustain us into the next couple of months. We have never really run out and we see its balance indicating that the regulation can take us to the next months,” he says. Principal Energy Engineer, Baruti Regoeng concurred, adding that the cumulative state is also balanced. The only challenge he said is the Tshele Hill project, a large storage facility which consumes more of the funds. “However, we try to make sure that the project expenditure doesn’t overshadow the funds objectives,” he said.
Meanwhile, Regoeng hinted that reviewing of the current price structure is under consideration. Currently the pricing structure is based on South Africa’s Durban route where the Durban facilities serve as storage facilities. The costs structure covers the transportation fees from Durban to Gaborone, laboratory, letters of credit, surveyors, and 25 days of stockholding amongst other components. Regoeng indicated that, “the review of the pricing will take into consideration other alternative routes, such as the Maputo in Mozambique.” Consumers have always wondered why fuel prices cannot be subsidised as in other countries. In addition, prices take long to be adjusted in Botswana immediately they are reduced numerously in other countries like South Africa when fuel prices plunge.
Botswana is a net importer of oil which constitutes over 60 percent of the total imports. Surely the falling prices are a plus for the country as it reduces the import bill thereby improving the country’s current account. In Botswana’s case, petroleum prices are not subsidised but rather the Fund is used to cushion the prices. In this case, Tautona explains that in South Africa prices are administered through an autonomous body unlike in Botswana where there are a lot of approval processes. This takes a longer time than would happen in SA. Also, because the Fund helps cushion such situations, the price adjustment is likely to delay when the cumulative is healthy.
A shooting incident at Botswana Defence Force training in Ntwetwe Firing Range near Maun resulted in one death, two serious injuries, 3 minor injuries and the army official statement insists it was an accident. “As part of the Botswana Defence Force’s continuous arm specific training, one member of the BDF lost his life and two others are critical after an accident during a basic gunnery course at Ntwetwe Firing Range today 6th July 2016,” reads the statement from the Director of Protocol and Public Affairs, Colonel Tebo Dikole.
For now details are scanty, but sources that spoke to Botswana Guardian report that there was an argument between the deceased and his colleagues. “It looks like there was an argument and exchange of words which ended up leading to this unfortunate incident”. Botswana Guardian was unable to validate this version of the incident with sources immediate to the incident.
Another source, a former military officer revealed that safety at Ntwetwe Firing Ranges is of top priority. He expressed doubt that this could have been a human error because all units and their leaders who use the range know the importance of safety when handling these machines. He suspects it could have been a mechanical fault with the machine adding that continuous inspection of the machines is key especially during training to avert any unforeseen incident.The source further suspects that a mortar from the SK 105 light tanks went off prematurely. The Austrian tanks are said to be old and in the past calls were made for them to be decommissioned. “The tanks are very old,” maintained a source.
He informed the paper that of late the tanks have been misfiring and therefore have mechanical faults and indications are that the shell from the tank went off prematurely. When further contacted, Dikole rubbished the speculations that were imputing some altercation or defective machines. “What you are telling me is pure speculation; I would not like to speculate because we have expertise that is capable of thoroughly investigating and will ascertain the cause of the accident. It must be noted that in BDF we have different arms and equipment and our troops are put through military occupational arms specific training.”
Dikole further denied that army tanks were used and revealed that the incident was caused by fixed 120 mm artillery Mortar that has a detachment of six operators. It exploded killing one, leaving two seriously injured and three escaping with minor injuries.
“This was just Artillery Unit training, there were no tanks involved as tanks belong to a different unit called
Armour Unit’’, he said.
He further said they are currently investigating to find out what exactly happened. “I wish to underscore the fact that as much as we put safety first and we regret the death and, or incident, but in our scope of work we cannot completely 100 percent insulate ourselves against injury. However all the necessary precaution is taken in every stage of our work.’’
Thousands of refugees at Dukwi Refugee Camp in northern Botswana would be left in the lurch as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) scaled down its operations in the country effective last week Thursday (June 30th 2016). Botswana Guardian has established that even though Botswana government has demonstrated its ability to ensure the legal and social protection of refugees nothing on the ground is showing.
The 2 123 refugees in the country are said to be restless due to no communication regarding their future. Refugees in Botswana are from Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia Uganda and Zimbabwe among other countries. UNHCR is expected to maintain a reduced presence in the country but will continue to provide support in Botswana for various programmes until December this year. Sources at the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security have however revealed that government is still discussing this matter with UNHCR.
Information gathered indicates that the refugees have since approached Ditshwanelo- The Centre for Human Rights for intervention. The refugees complain that ever since the refugee profiling and assessment exercise was conducted in March 2015, it is not clear what the outcomes of the exercise were in relation to some of the refugees in the Dukwi Camp.
This publication has it on good authority that a new delegation from the UNHCR Southern Africa regional office in Pretoria- South Africa, expected to assist the refugees, arrived in Dukwi early this week after the Head of field officer and Associate protection officer left the camp last week and only the Database Manager remained. A letter from Ditshwanelo Director, Alice Mogwe written to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Justice and Security seen by this publication, calls for urgent attention to the situation at Dukwi. Mogwe points out that the most affected are the Congolese refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ditshwanelo requested information on durable solution for the refugees since the profiling exercise was done last year.
“It appears that there are a number of refugees whose applications for refugee status have been rejected, without providing the applicants with reasons for these. We are aware that during the years of conflict, which the DRC has experienced, there have been several armed groups and armies from neighbouring countries. Could those who have been rejected and are either at Dukwi Refugee Camp or are currently detained at the Centre for Illegal Immigrants, be informed about their future options. We are informed that the majority of those whose cases have been rejected and are at the centre for illegal immigrants; comprise women, children and the sick”, Mogwe wrote in the letter received by the ministry on the 14th of last month.
Ditshwanelo also wanted to know what was happening to the children detained at the Centre for illegal Immigrants in Francistown following the death of their father the late Bawili Kashindi. Kashindi was allegedly buried at the Dukwi Camp. Ditshwanelo asked if there were any alternative options for orphaned children, other than indefinite detention, “without resolution to the above matters, there is a possibility that the issue of statelessness may arise”. UNHCR Protection Officer Madipa Machacha could not be reached as she was said to be out of the country.
Micro lender Blue Employee Benefits Botswana (BEBB) finds itself on the wrong side with the tax agency, Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and the industry regulator, Non-Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), it has been established.
BEBB is a micro lender with government employees as its clientele. This publication has seen strong worded documents from the two compliance organisations to BEBB. Information gathered by Botswana Guardian suggests that poor working relations between the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Financial Manager and some of the senior managers have contributed to the company failing to pay tax between 2012 and 2015 and not submitting audited financial results with NBFIRA.
The company is now paying about P500 000.00 each month to clear the debt after its request for a payment model was approved. Some industry players are dissatisfied with the ‘soft’ treatment BEBB got from both BURS and NBFIRA.“It seems the two organisations are lenient with BEBB. The micro lender is having its own internal problems. We are told the finance manager is not working well with his other junior who assists him to prepare the financial reports and be able to submit to NBFIRA and to update with tax payment. It has been the case even with the past finance managers,” said an industry player who did not want to be mentioned.
An employee at BEBB also revealed that things are not run properly at the company hence its failure to abide. The employee who cannot be named for fear of victimization told this publication that staff morale is low at the company as the finance manager and the CEO are not taking the whole team on board in running the company.However, Botswana Guardian can reveal that the company has been subjected to forensic auditing for the past two weeks. In one of the letters dated November 9th 2015 from NBFIRA in which BEBB was fined P35 000.00, the authority explained that the mitigation by the micro lender regarding failure to comply were not satisfactory. The letter from NBFIRA Acting Compliance Director Motsisi Sebonape further states that the micro lender has failed to submit audited financial statements timeously in previous years “and is thus not a first time offender”.
She further warned that the notice of fine does not limit the authority’s right to take further regulatory action.When contacted, BEBB CEO, Favour Marebole dismissed claims of low staff morale and poor working relation between his office, finance manager and other senior staff members. He said the audited financials for the year ending 2014 were signed and sent to NBFIRA on the 15th January 2016. Regarding withholding of tax, the CEO explained, “indeed the company has an outstanding Tax liability which was communicated to BURS as part of a voluntary tax disclosure process in 2014 and was facilitated by one of the major tax audit companies. The total Principal Tax owing as per the latest statements is just over P1m (P1, 025,873.93 to be exact) as at May 2016,” he said, adding that the company has an existing payment plan with BURS that it has been honouring throughout this period since the disclosure. “It is important to note that the efforts shown by the company towards settling its tax liability were at some point commended by BURS to the extent that a waiver of penalty interest was also secured.”
A letter from BURS seen by this publication dated 29th January 2016 informed the company that its tax returns for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 have been selected for audit. Marebole confirmed the ongoing forensic review but rubbished claims that there is mismanagement of funds. “It is company policy that all issues be investigated and until the report is out, we are not able to comment,” he said. He said the company is currently up-to date with its compliance for the Audited Financials of December 2014 and currently working through the Financials of up-to December 2015.
“The current audit for the year ending 31st December 2015 is still on-going. The delay was caused by the fact that the company has recently changed its Loan Management System in August 2015, and there is a process which is on-going to confirm the core asset, being the loan book. The whole of the Finance team is new, having recently joined the department during the last quarter of 2015,” he stated. Said Marebole, “As a result, it is expected that since they joined the company at the end of the financial year and they have to deal with auditors for the financial year they were not there, certain delays will be experienced. An audit process is not an easy and straight forward process and it requires preparation.”
Matshediso Pule of BURS said they are constrained to make any comments on “your questionnaire because we cannot divulge taxpayers information to third parties on consideration of our taxpayer confidentiality policies and laws.”Communications and Public Affairs Manager at NBFIRA, Tapologo Kwapa said as part of their regulatory process they are at liberty to afford entities audit or any form of extension given prevailing circumstances as long as there are no regulatory contraventions. “On the point of charges we are compelled by the Act and our internal policies to make a final determination on penalties by ensuring compliance with the Financial Services Laws,” explained Kwapa.
Attorney representing Sunday Standard Editor, Outsa Mokone, Dick Bayford has argued that the arrest and detention of his client by Security Agents in 2014 was unlawful. He said this week before Acting Judge for Lobatse High Court, Jennifer Dube.
Mokone has approached the court to challenge the lawfulness of his arrest, detention and refusal to legal representation in his 2014 controversial sedition case. Bayford argued before Justice Dube that at the time of arresting Mokone there was no evidence of oath on the warrant of arrest and search. “The warrant sought was unlawful and we submit that it be set aside. My client was also not given legal representation within a reasonable time,” said Bayford who further accused the police to have sat on the warrant of arrest and only to execute it six days later.
Nchunga Nchunga who was representing the state said the arrest was lawful. He also refuted what was carried in the then newspaper article. “This incident has not been investigated. Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) has not examined whether there is anything to determine in the case. The President was not involved in the car accident and it is not true that he was alone in a black Range Rover SUV,” said Nchunga adding that everything in the affidavits of Mokone was distorted.
“The Attorney General wrote to the applicants and there was a meeting at Police Commissioner’s office to set the record straight. That meeting and the letter could have ended the case,” said Nchunga. In his affidavits Mokone argues that sedition in terms of the sections 50 and 51 in the penal code, is in itself a violation of freedom of expression.
“I aver that outrageousness, untruthfulness and the defamatory or demeaning character of a story does not render it seditious. It is difficult to see how an allegation that the President was involved in an accident in which no fault is attributed to him can be perceived to be seditious, even if same turns out to be false.”
Mokone was arrested after the publication published a story in August 2014 headlined ‘President hit in car accident while driving alone at night’. The author of the story, Edgar Tsimane has since fled the country allegedly fearing for his life after a tip-off. The judgment will be delivered on the 26th August 2016.
Local news media company Mmegi Investment Holdings (MIH) has recently invested in a P25 million printing press.
MIH, the publishers of some of the country’s oldest newspapers including Botswana Guardian and Mmegi, this week announced that the new state of the art press will become operational by September this year. “The company has been strategically positioning itself for growth by diversifying its products as well as venturing into other sectors of the economy over the last three years,” said MIH Chairman Methaetsile Leepile this week.
“The new state of the art equipment will transform the MIH’s current printing facility situated at Tlokweng to be a fully fledged world-class commercial printer.” Moreover, Leepile described the heat-set web off set press as the only one of its kind in Botswana, adding that the equipment is able to print newspapers, glossy magazines flyers and books.
“Two of the principal shareholders in MIH, Leepile and Titus Mbuya, together holding a majority of the company’s shareholding offered a combined 30 percent of their shares for sale to raise funds.” According to Leepile, the sale was done through the Office of the Group’s Company secretary in compliance with statutory requirements. Moreover, Leepile said the company’s existing shareholders were given the opportunity to exercise their pre-emptive rights to buy the shares before the offer could be opened to third parties in a special window.
“This was in accordance with the requirements of the Shareholders agreement. During the pre-emptive purchase window one existing shareholder bought some shares. Shares offered were still remaining so they were offered to the general public after the expiry of the pre-emptive window.”
Leepile explained that three Botswana companies applied to purchase the shares and of the three, one successfully completed the process namely Universal House (Pty) Limited. Meanwhile the changes in the company shareholding structure will necessitate changes in the directorship. Mbuya is now expected to takeover as Group Manager Director, while Leepile continues to serve as Chairman of the Board. Moreover, the shareholders still maintain the majority shareholding.