Friday, August 12, 2022

Analyst implores gov’t to explore alternative sources of energy

In yet another breakthrough, a South African police officer is in South African cells after being arrested and linked to the P2 million Trojan Security company heist.

The money was being transported to Gantsi and belonged to Bank Gaborone.

Two days after five suspects were arraigned before the Molepolole magistrate court, last Thursday, a South African police officer was also arrested in South Africa after it emerged that he was allegedly also involved in the armed robbery. It is not clear whether the suspect was found in possession of the stolen money.

So far, one Motswana suspect implicated in the heist is still at large. In a brief interview with Telegraph on Monday, police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Christopher Mbulawa, said, “A South African national has been arrested in South Africa and he is linked to the Trojan armed robbery.” He said though he is not in a position to divulge more information, police are making progress in their investigations. Last Tuesday, five suspects who allegedly robbed Trojan Security Company (Motlatlhobi Bogapi, 33; Onkabetse Malope, 23; Brutas Mokgalo, 37; Gerald Zikhale, 32; and Meshack Kangangwane, 28) were charged with two counts of armed robbery and motor vehicle theft.

Last Wednesday, police retrieved about P200 000 from a pit latrine in Gabane; the money was said to be part of the loot.

To date, police have recovered about P1 million while the other part of the money is still missing.

The suspects were remanded in custody and they will appear before the court next week Tuesday.

The tourism industry also stands to be affected by increases in transport costs.

Secretary for Economic and Financial Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Dr Taufila Nyamadzabo, shares similar sentiments, explaining that oil products are essential inputs into daily production of goods and services as well as in facilitating their transportation from the production units to retailing and consumption units.

He observed that Botswana is a landlocked country and depends heavily on transportation of goods and services through rail, air and road, which in turn depend on oil products.

The rail and road mode of transport is generally found to be more expensive than transportation through water (sea and oceans). On the other hand, Botswana does not have oil fields hence it imports all oil products from external countries.

“If international oil prices continue rising, Botswana, which is a price taker, will continue to experience increases in commodity prices. This means high oil prices will be transmitted to higher prices of goods and services produced locally as well as those imported from other countries. This may lead to a general rise in prices of goods and services in the economy,” said Nyamadzabo.

He concurred with Jean-Harward that a rise in inflation may lead to the Bank of Botswana responding through monetary policy interventions such as by increasing the bank rate. Consequently, commercial banks would have to increase the prime lending rate. High interest rates would act as a disincentive to investment and production as it discourages borrowing for both production and consumption in the economy.

“With low aggregate demand for goods and services and low production of goods and services for exports, Botswana economy is likely to be constrained in terms of low revenue to government. Low revenue would mean the government has to continue to finance some of the development programmes through drawing down Government’s cash balances and borrowing. This would deplete Government cash balances and push the debt levels up. In short, high oil prices and high inflation in the economy are likely to have a negative impact on the growth of the economy which would affect the overall development of the country,” said Nyamadzabo.

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