Items filtered by date: Monday, 05 February 2018 - Botswana Guardian
Monday, 05 February 2018 11:58

No hope for a people’s budget

Finance minister, Kenneth Matambo will on Monday present the 2018/19 budget speech in Parliament.

Matambo will be mindful of citizenry high expectation on incoming President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, a looming budget deficit on the backdrop of fragile recovery in the mining sector and lack of proper conditions for private sector to meet government halfway. 

Two economic commentators who spoke to Botswana Guardian this week concur that expectations are high especially from a political point of view, but the current economic climate is not in a position to support such demands. President Ian Khama is expected to hand over power to Mokgweetsi Masisi early April. 

The economists say that the key drivers of revenue such as minerals, Southern African Customs Union (SACU) receipts and taxes are not in any better position to enable the government of the day to meet its obligations, even at a time when there is an expected leadership transition which is normally characterised by high hopes from electorate and high promises from the political leadership. 

Speaking to Botswana Guardian on Tuesday, an analyst at Motswedi Securities, Moemedi Mosele, said it be interesting to see whether the upcoming budget will be a paradigm shift (as a result of the expected political leadership) or not since problems facing the country remain the same. 

Botswana, a developing country, is besieged by relatively high unemployment, HIV/AIDS scourge, poor education system, poor ease of doing business, a poor education sector as well as an agricultural sector which despite being pampered with millions of Pula is still struggling.  

According to Mosele, these are some of the challenges that  many Batswana want addressed, and the budget is the first point of reference to see if such problems will be addressed or not.  This basically piles all the pressure on Matambo, a former Botswana Development Corporation boss. Over the years, the education sector has received the biggest budget allocation-development-but some commentators have argued that government is yet to reap investment made in the sector.  In the previous budget, the basic education ministry received P6, 8 billion of the recurrent budget. According to Mosele, it is a bit tricky to state if the education sector will receive more funding or not. This is because, in recent years, the sector has not performed satisfactorily against the amount of money invested in the sector.  

What Mosele is expecting, is a budget which will give more emphasis on how the investment in the education sector can bring the much-needed return on investment, and the only way out is to inculcate entrepreneurial skills within the sector. 

Another analyst, Economic Researcher at First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), Moatlhodi Sebabole, said the education sector is expected to top recurrent budget. “Education and human capital remains among the key focus areas for government –therefore my expectation is that we will continue to see the ministerial allocations of the operating expenditure focusing on education and health,” he said in response. 

Botswana, a mineral rich country has over the years put more resources towards ensuring that ordinary citizens improve their lives without necessarily contributing to the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. Under the current President more resources have been channeled towards such initiatives. The most notable has been Ipelegeng;-a labour intensive programme, which hires unskilled Batswana to perform national works which do not in any way add value to the economy’s output.  Both Mosele and Sebabole agree that government will continue to add more funding to social programmes such as Ipelegeng, old age pensions and destitute programmes. “We also expect government to continue to subsidise farming,” said Mosele. Government has over the years provided funding for poverty programmes such as LIMID and ISPAAD.

 Even when government is expected to deal with a lot of problems, there are challenges which will come to the fore. Last year, government projected a budget deficit of P2, 35 billion. This year, there defict is expected to be even more.  “Yes – the expectation is for an overall budget deficit of around 4% of GDP. The overall deficit will come about as a result of rising expenditure in line with ESP and NDP 11 implementation. Although revenues are also anticipated to improve as diamond sales continue on a positive trajectory – the pressure on base metals remains and revenue streams have not been fully diversified thus impacting the revenue side,” said Sebabole.

Last year, government announced plans to undertake a holistic simplification of both the Income Tax Act and the Value Added Tax Act with a view to developing a Tax Administration Act. “This is intended to improve tax administration efficiency, resulting in optimal revenue collection. This project is envisaged to be completed in the next financial year,” promised Matambo at the time.   This has led to the Ministry considering proposals from the Taxation Review Committee which include: introduction of Transfer Pricing rules in the Income Tax Act that would curb any undesirable tax avoidance as well as underscoring the alignment of the country’s tax system to international best practice; amending the Income Tax Act, among others, to impose a penalty for non-filers irrespective of whether there is any tax to pay or not; and amending the Value Added Tax Act to include sale of property by a Deputy Sheriff as a taxable transaction.  

“Once the tax regime has been overhauled to introduce strict collection measures around capital transfer tax as well as duties and customs, this will have a positive impact on tax revenue growth as currently some filtrations exist even for payment of withholding tax,” said Sebabole.

Matambo will also be forced to deal with the little he has on the plate. The economy is not performing any better. “As FNBB, we forecast a growth rate of 1.7% for 2017 and 3.2% for 2018 – way below the forecasts by the finance ministry.  

“We are cautiously optimistic in our growth estimates due to the structural make-up of the economy which remains mineral-led and has limited multiplier effect on employment creation and enhanced productivity. We note that modest increase in mineral prices will support growth; whereas continued stability of water and electricity will also boost business confidence and contain rising operational costs,” said Sebabole. There will also be pressure for more funding especially that the government’s National Development Plan 11 is reaching its second year. “Yes, essentially pressures remain on government to spend more on projects in line with NDP 11. Our concern is usually on the effective implementation of the fiscal plans,” said Sebabole. 

Published in News
Monday, 05 February 2018 11:52

Mokaila in mean mood

Minister of Transport and Communications, Kitso Mokaila will not stop at anything or be intimidated in his quest to uproot corruption at his ministry.

According to Mokaila he has no political career to protect as many might think he will be reluctant to take action to protect his job. The minister revealed this week that when he was transferred to the ministry in October 2016, President Ian Khama made it clear to him,to restore dignity of the ministry. 

“The president told me this ministry is the most corrupt, do not deliver but is always given a lot of money. He said I must come to this ministry to do something and I am going to do something and ensure that things are done accordingly. I would not have friends here. I am going to do my work without fear or favour because I am fearless,” said the minister. 

Mokaila said he prides himself in being in the company of his Permanent Secretary Kabelo Ebineng. He said they have agreed that they would work side by side in the best interest of Batswana. Mokaila who was addressing a stakeholders’ consultative meeting for road sector contractors revealed that the Department of Roads has proven to be number one culprit in corruption within the ministry. 

He indicated that some employees are colluding with consultants. According to Mokaila consultants and engineers are dictating to the ministry through the department while they in fact should be taking instructions from the ministry. He pointed out that there is a high turnover of minister, Permanent Secretaries and directors at the transport ministry due to failure to do things accordingly.

“As we speak I am minister number seven (7) since 2008 and my PS is number thirteen (13) same period. There is need for stability but I am not saying I have to be retained post 1st April this year. All I am saying is there is need for stability whether I’m staying or would be leaving the ministry in April or not as we know there would be changes beginning April,” he posited. 

The minister told the stakeholders that there would be many causalities as they fix things in the ministry. He indicated that people will lose their jobs as the ministry search for capable personnel who will do their work diligently to serve Batswana. He explained that the ministry especially the roads department has allowed a lot of collusion with engineers and consultants. “That has to come to an end,” he said adding that most of the consultants used to work for the department as directors and managers.  The minister revealed that together with his PS they would be ruthless when fixing the mess at the department. “I know some of the citizen contractors who do not finish the work awarded to them. We are failing to take corrective measures because there are no End of Activity Reports. We are going through transformation and you would see new faces.  “Some of these consultants will be shown the door. I know some of you would come to me saying elders are involved in some of the projects but know that I do not care. I am not scared of my political life even if I am fired tomorrow I do not have a problem at least it would have been for the good cause.  “There is too much in this ministry that needs to be sorted. When I was at the ministry of Wildlife and Tourism I thought there was too much work, when I joined that of Minerals I thought it was worse until I joined this ministry,” Mokaila indicated.

Published in News

Richard Rooney, associate professor and former Head of the Department of Media Studies at the University of Botswana says most journalists are hindered by restrictive laws and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service to do their job.

Rooney made these findings in his new book titled ‘News in Botswana: themes in contemporary journalism’. Rooney says some journalists fear the DISS, which started operating in 2010 because its mandate in defending state security is unclear. 

He states in the book that people fear DISS spies on ordinary citizens. Private media in Botswana have reported that employees of government media live in fear that the DISS is monitoring their activities, reads the book in part.

In a survey of how media houses support good governance in Botswana, Rooney finds that although freedom of expression is guaranteed in the constitution there are 15 laws in Botswana that can restrict the work of journalists. 

“The worst of these is the Media Practitioners Act of 2008 that allows the government to decide who can and cannot work as a journalist. The Act continues to receive great opposition from media freedom advocates and has yet to be put into operation. Journalists on privately-owned newspapers in Botswana are doing a pretty good job, but those who work for government-owned media are seen by many 

people as propagandists.”The book reveals that people widely recognise that the Daily News and the state-owned broadcasting outlets have mandates to promote government policy and they favour the coverage of the ruling party - Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) - over opposition parties. This happens all the time but is especially worrisome at election times when people rely on news media for information about the policies of political parties, according to Rooney.Rooney says the government has put considerable resources into the Daily News so it competes unfairly with the independent press. “The biggest competitive advantage that the Daily News has is that it does not have normal production overheads, since all these are taken care of from government funds. It also receives hidden government subsidies because it is delivered on government land and air transport as a matter of policy. Unlike private newspapers, the Daily News is delivered free-of-charge to most areas of Botswana and in rural areas it is often the only print media available.”

Published in News
Monday, 05 February 2018 11:47

Tshekedi dumps BITC

Acting Chief Executive of Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) Meshack Tshekedi has resigned. 

Tshekedi steered the BITC ship after the departure of founding Chief Executive, Letsebe Sejoe early last year when the latter’s contract was not renewed despite the Board recommending that it be renewed.

Doubling as Chief Operations Officer, Tshekedi is credited with delivering a bigger and successful Global Expo last year as well as launching the Botswana One Stop Service Centre. 

Last year’s Global Expo also attracted big names like Virgin Group’s founder and chief executive Richard Branson, who not only hosted a talk with businesspeople and would-be investors, but also met the country’s leadership with a view to investing some of his fortune in  Botswana’s pristine Okavango Delta. Announcing Tshekedi’s resignation this week, a deflated BITC Board Chairman, Victor Senye said while the organisation was “sorry” to see Tshekedi go, they were equally “fortunate to have benefitted from his leadership.”  Senye described Tshekedi as an “invaluable, motivated leader” for the organisation, whose ability to advocate for business and build partnerships as well as drive the organisation forward will serve as “a model” for his successors.

Three years with the organisation Tshekedi finally quit this week Wednesday January 31st to seek “greener pastures” according to those he worked with at BITC. They say there was no animosity or bad blood between Tshekedi, the Board and the parent Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry but that his decision to resign was purely personal.  But there is a growing school of thought that the salary structure for chief executives of non-financial or non-income generating state enterprises is unattractive for high calibre executives.  BITC is a case in point and is compounded by the fact that the organisation is the product of a merger of two defunct entities – Botswana Enterprises Development and Investment Agency (BEDIA) and International Financial Service Centre (IFSC).  

Sadly, when the two amalgamated the Chief Executive Officer’s salary was pecked at F1 Scale, thereby making it difficult for the Board to recruit high calibre CEOs as per the shareholder’s expectation. There is also an unwritten policy that Chief Executives should not earn the same salary as permanent secretaries, which serves as a stumbling block for the board since it has no direct access to the ministry of finance to argue its case.  The chief executive of BITC must be someone well-grounded in targeted investment promotion to sell Botswana’s competitive edge in the international arena, as well as well-versed in complex issue of taxation; benefits and avoidance of making Botswana a tax haven or haven for illicit money.  Tshekedi confirmed to Botswana Guardian that his decision to leave BITC was for “personal preferences,” but declined to say where he was headed. In the meantime, the Board has appointed Kelotsositse Olebile as acting chief executive whilst the search for substantive chief executive continues.

 

Published in News

Botswana, a mining-rich country, has become the latest country to sign the COMESA-EAC-SADC  tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement, which once in full swing will give the country access to a market of well over 700 million people and counting. 

The country’s minister of trade, investment and industries, Vincent Seretse signed the agreement on behalf of government on Tuesday in Gaborone, telling attendants that the agreement, which has been under negotiations for the past 17 years, will help to improve intra-African trade since it seeks to eliminate and reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers. 

“The tripartite FTA is also expected to serve as one of the building blocks of an African Economic Community, thus facilitating deeper regional and continental integration in Africa,” said Seretse in a prepared speech. The trade minister made it clear; the road that has culminated into the signing of the FTA agreement by the country and others has been long and potholed.  

Back in 2001, Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC) agreed to formalise negotiations that could enable a free trade area. However, there have been back and forth discussions, which ultimately delayed the process, but Seretse is optimistic that, the negotiations are now coming to finality. 

The minister said, the FTA agreement will allow Botswana to get preferential treatment when selling its goods and services to the 26 member countries. “This agreement resonates well with the Botswana National Development Plan (NDP11) aspirations of becoming an export-led economy,” said Seretse.  On the ground, some commentators have urged Botswana to improve its ease of doing business if it is to become an export-led economy. Diamonds are the country’s best exports by far. Local products which have been identified under the agreement include veterinary vaccines, pharmaceutical products, carpets, plastic, salt and salt products, carpets and textile floor covering.  

Government-owned Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) already supplies some African countries with agricultural vaccines. Botswana Ash has also found markets beyond the borders. Even before the agreement was signed, Botswana had already started doing more trade with other countries in the respective regions. In 2016, goods worth P997 million were exported outside Botswana. During the same period goods totaling P1, 9 billion were imported from countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe into Botswana.    

The FTA agreement offers Botswana companies more increased access to outside markets, but capacity looks set to hinder them, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Peggy Serame said when giving opening remarks. “More work is only starting as competitive and quality goods will be needed from Botswana companies,” she said. 

Seretse has urged the Secretariat to help improve production capacity of member states. “To build these capacities, we can take advantage of Phase II negotiations that will look into trade in services and the industrial development pillar, which aims at developing the productive capacity in the Tripartite,” stated Seretse. 

The COMESA, SADC, EAC has an estimated Gross Domestic Product of $1, 4 trillion. COMESA Secretary General, who is also Chairman of the tripartite task force, Sindiso Ngwenya said opportunities are there within the FTA.

 At the end of the day, the private sector, not government will play a central role in the FTA. This explains why they were part and continue to be part of the negotiations. “Economies of scale (by the private sector) is key to success,” he said.

SADC Deputy Secretary for regional integration-Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo heaped praises on Botswana for having found it fitting to sign the FTA agreement.  “It is an important step for the country to take,” he said. What is only left now is for Botswana to fastrack the ratification processes, which will kickstart the implementation process of the FTA.  Out of the 26 members in the FTA agreement, only 14 countries are needed to ratify the agreement before it can be fully implemented.  Uganda and Egypt have ratified the agreement. Botswana’s Seretse said the ratification process will be done in the near future. Meanwhile, Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA) praised Botswana for signing the FTA, saying it guarantees the country an opportunity o foster free trade flows and strengthen ties with trading partners. 

“Botswana will explore other markets and tap into continental value chains through enhanced trade facilitation that will improve the flow of goods and services,” said BEMA CEO, Mmantlha Sankoloba. BEMA members are ready for the opportunity since some of them are already exporting to these markets.  

“Implementation of the TFTA will have a positive impact on the economies of scale, cost of production, transportation costs will be lowered, quality will improve and enhanced competitiveness,” said the BEMA Chief. There are even more opportunities such as e-commerce which will be offered by the new agreement. 

“Implementation of this agreement will enable BEMA members to share skills and knowledge with their counterparts, explore new business networks through trade fairs, exhibitions and any other opportune platform that may present itself,” stated Sankoloba.

Published in News

The swelling tourist numbers into the resort town of Maun every year have pushed up the country’s aircraft movements.

Latest data from the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) for the 2nd quarter of financial year 2017-18 indicates a significant rise, a total of 23, 605 aircraft movements were recorded, marking an 8.8 percent increase compared to the previous quarter. 

  “The main contributing factor to Botswana air traffic is Maun Airport which normally accounts for over 50 percent of the total aircraft movements per year. This airport serves as a major link between the international traffic and the tourist destinations around Okavango Delta,” said Modipe Nkwe, CAAB Head of Public Relations and Communications.

On the quarter under review, Maun airport recorded an increase of over nine percent aircraft movements, attributed to a continual increase in tourist numbers into Maun. CAAB also indicated that the country has improved its rating by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) from 53.78 percent to 71.32 percent for effective implementation of the aviation safety Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) from 2015.

“This marked positive improvement rate puts Botswana above both the Africa average of 48.24 percent, and the world average of 63.44 percent,” Nkwe said. Further, he said the growth of aviation in Maun also means a positive growth in tourism, which can be an option to the country’s economic diversification.

“It must however also be noted that this can have a negative effect on the environment should the flow of tourists surpass what our environment can take,” he said. Apart from spinoffs in the tourism industry, the increase in aircraft movement has also had a significant positive impact on employment, as new entrants into the aviation market are applying for operating licenses, Nkwe noted.

“Existing operators are also increasing their aircraft fleet in order to meet the demand.” Nkwe cited that major airlines are slowly showing interest of operating in the country; some of the operators include Ethiopian Airlines, Air Namibia, SA Airlink, and South African Airways that have set up operations.

“Consequently, a good number of Batswana are employed by these airlines as sales agents, ground handlers and other ancillary duties,” Nkwe said. Meanwhile CAAB anticipate continued growth in air traffic and the Authority has forecast aircraft movements for the financial year 2017/18 at 77 564.

Published in News
Monday, 05 February 2018 11:42

BOFEUSU postpones elective congress

Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has postponed its elective congress to a yet to be announced date.

BOFEPUSU President Johannes Tshukudu revealed that the decision was arrived at due to the delay in completion of audited Financial Statements and the Executive Report. The current federation leadership got into office on the 14th of February 2015 and was expected to leave office this month. Tshukudu stated that they are busy working on these two key issues so that preparations for the congress could be underway. “Once the audited statements and executive reports are ready then the executive would decide on the date of the elective congress.  “The process is still ongoing and we had to postpone from February to a date to be communicated with members. The power is in the executive to decide the dates,” said the federation leader.  He said it has been accordingly communicated to the members regarding this development. The last elective congress of the federation was marred by controversy which resulted in one of the affiliates Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) withdrawing its membership. BOPEU took a decision in 2015 during its congress in Palapye to ditch the federation.

The meeting noted that BOPEU joined the mother body through a congress resolution; therefore it should also move out of BOFEPUSU through the same route.  It was then agreed that an election be held, of which the withdrawal vote won with 226 against 36, and 11 abstaining from voting. BOPEU mentions the issue of audited financial statements in its 2016 booklet titled ‘Why BOPEU left BOFEPUSU’ as one of the contributing factors.  The federation is also accused of delaying the congress which was to be held in August 2014 without any valid reasons. BOPEU indicates in the booklet that BOFEPUSU Executive and Secretariat failed to present to Congress Audited Financial Report which is in violation of its own constitution.

Published in News

Alliance for Progressives (AP) is yet to decide whether to participate in the pending parliamentary bye-election in Mochudi East Constituency and the Council bye-election in Ralekgetho Ward at Moshupa- Manyana Constituency.

The bye-election in Ralekgetho ward is as a result of the passing on of the youthful councillor Gofentseone Rakala early last month while in Mochudi East it follows the murder of area Member of Parliament Isaac Davids. They were both members of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). AP Vice President Wynter Mmolotsi told this publication that as the party leadership they have not taken a decision on the matter. He revealed that the party is still working on its calendar of events for this year.

“We met this past weekend as the leadership in our first meeting of 2018 where we discussed various issues. We could not conclude our programme and we are going to meet again on the night of Wednesday this week to finalise our calendar,” said Mmolotsi who is also MP for Francistown South. 

Mmolotsi said after finalising their calendar the party will be in a position to reveal if it will contest the bye-election. He explained that one of their biggest coming events is the Annual Policy Statement delivered by party leader Ndaba Gaolathe. According to Mmolotsi the event which was scheduled for yesterday (Thursday) in Mogoditshane is expected to answer all the commonly asked questions about AP. “This is where all the questions that the public have been having about our party will be answered. It is also at the forum where we would discuss all policy matters and how we see the future,” said Mmolotsi.The party which was formed last year mostly by former members of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has been on a massive recruitment drive targeting 100 000 members. However, indications are that the party may not contest as it is still building its structures and its numbers in these constituencies are still low.

Those close to the party have alluded to the possibility of the AP informally pledging its support for UDC during the election even though the two political movement have their differences. 

This would not be the first time an opposition party informally supports one of its rival as this was once adopted by the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) in the past when it called on its supporters to rally behind a UDC candidate Rakala won the 2014 general election with 291 votes against BCP’s Johnson Mmare who managed 270 votes and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Gaokgakala Mosope getting 218 votes. 

In the 2014 general election the late Mochudi East MP Davids garnered 6 824 votes to defeat three opponents being Isaac Mabiletsa of BCP 4 528, BDP Mpho Moruakgomo’s 5 941 and an independent candidate Japhta Radibe who got 159. 

Published in News
Monday, 05 February 2018 11:36

Mosugate’ is fake, says Ombudsman

The Ombudsman, Augustine Makgonatsotlhe has cleared President Ian Khama of any wrong doing in a matter in which Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has alleged maladministration and abuse of Office of the President.

The BCP had complained that Khama is abusing his office by using public resources to build his Mosu home. Makgonatsotlhe said in his findings that he has observed that all complaints lodged by BCP precede general elections. 

“BCP launched the aircraft case against Khama at the time he was Vice President on the 15th of September 1999, about a month before the 1999 elections; lodged allegations of abuse of state media on or just before the 2009 general elections; and brought allegations about abuse of public office and resources by the president on the 15th of September 2014- a little over a month before the 2014 general elections,” observed Ombudsman. 

In the current case Makgonatsotlhe revealed that when he got into office in June 2016 given the high profile nature of the case and the fact that, two years and nine months had elapsed since receipt of the complaint, it became imperative for him to assess the preliminary action and proceed with the matter. 

He said he focused on three main allegations - that Botswana Defence Force (BDF) resources were employed to build houses at Khama’s Mosu home; public resources (BDF personnel and equipment) were employed to build an airstrip on the president’s private property, with cost to the public and finally the continued abuse of BDF resources by the president. 

Makgonatsotlhe stated in the report that he interviewed BCP Vice President Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang and BCP Women’s League President Daisy Bathusi and government officials. He said evidence was gathered from various sources within government and a visit to Mosu was undertaken.

“All in all, the Ombudsman found no evidence of maladministration on the part of the President. It is my determination that the complaints lack merit and are not supported by any evidence, either provided by the complainants or discovered through the investigation hereof. They therefore stand to be dismissed. 

“The airstrip still belongs to the president but was fenced and is maintained by Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) at a cost to the nation. This is consistent with the past practice of providing safe landing facilities to the sitting Head of State and cannot amount to inequitable action nor maladministration,” ruled Makgonatsotlhe. 

BCP President Dumelang Saleshando said he could not comment on the report because as the complainant they have not been furnished with it. He expressed shock that the report is now in the public domain before the complainant could receive it, stating this is an anomaly. He said they would have to first get the copy before they could comment on the findings. The BCP leader stated that even in their past complaints with the Ombudsman before Makgonatsotlhe, they got the reports before they were made public.

Published in News

Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) suspended Chairperson Richard Gudu and additional member Peter Kuchwe will place their hopes on the party constitution in tomorrow’s disciplinary hearing.

The two men were suspended for attending an Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) press conference claiming to represent the party. The section of the party constitution states that a member should be brought before a disciplinary hearing within 45 days. 

A source said Gudu who is a long serving member of the party will argue that the disciplinary board violated the constitution by delaying the hearing whose 45 days elapsed on the 8th of January 2018. BPP secretary general Venper Galetshabiwe accused some party members for fuelling seeds of discord ahead of the disciplinary hearing. “The suspension letters issued to the two should not be misinterpreted as it clearly states that the two were suspended from the party pending a disciplinary hearing which did not stipulate the number of days”. He said those who misinterpret it to favour themselves will have themselves to blame.  Quizzed as to whether the offence committed by the two can constitute to an expulsion, Galetshabiwe said their aim is not to expel any member from the party but to maintain order in the party.He continued that the resolutions to be taken against the two accused will be based on the allegations they are charged with including some past events they might have engaged in which can be construed as discrediting the good name of the party. “When someone is charged with an offence and they quickly admit such and ask for forgiveness, then the party can be prepared to forge a way forward with such a member. 

“On the other hand, if a member is charged but refuses to accept any blame for his or her actions, then it will be difficult for the party to work with such an individual as he would have shown that he or she does not have the interest of the movement at heart,” he said.  Gudu refused to comment saying he is a loyal member of the BPP who knows the constitution very well, and will only comment after the hearing. Kuchwe revealed that he will never plead guilty when he knows that he is not in the wrong irrespective of whether he will be expelled from the party or not.

Published in News
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