Wednesday, April 21, 2021

BMD parliamentary caucus wants delay in beer regulations

The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Parliamentary Caucus has requested Parliament to put in abeyance the implementation of traditional beer regulations scheduled for July 1 this year.

BMD vice president and MP for Gaborone West South, Botsalo Ntuane, says there is a pending convention of dipitso (consultations) involving all stakeholders at which mechanism can be proposed to protect against the loss of trade and ensure fair business practices. He said the caucus wants to endorse the motion as an urgent matter and added that the consequences will impact negatively on Batswana.

“There is need to sort out the issue of land allocation for traders as the time period is very short to implement the regulation,” said Ntuane.

He added that consultation needs to be done to get the views of Batswana in order for the regulation to be accommodative to traditional beer traders.

Meanwhile, Ntuane also said the motion of proceeds of alcohol levy to fund entrepreneurs has also been noticed by Parliament. He requested the government to use proceeds of the alcohol levy to fund, through grants and loans, business ventures for entrepreneurs who wish to exit the industry.

He stated that the implementation should be paused and ways found of assisting the affected traders. Ntuane added that alcohol levy should instead assist to facilitate to venture into other sectors of the economy.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Lobatse MP Nehemiah Modubule said he is to table a motion in parliament, asking government to set up a commission of inquiry on the closure of Lobatse Tile Company, which was wholly owned by state firm, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC). Modubule said that BDC decided to liquidate the tile producing company in 2009 as it could not meet its operating costs. In his other motion, the BMD MP wants government to carry out a forensic audit on the Lobatse Clay Works, Can Manufacturing and Malutu Enterprises to determine whether these entities were managed properly and funds spent according to laid down procedures.

“BDC has a lot to answer for on many of its collapsed subsidiaries and I have observed that mostly the business partners end up getting a lump sum of money and disappear,” said Modubule.

He also said a lot of the subsidiaries are closed and were bought for peanuts, adding that the question is who the current new buyer of such companies is.

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