Masisi Vows to Stop Chain Stores from Selling Fatcakes

Masisi Vows to Stop Chain Stores from Selling Fatcakes
Masisi Vows to Stop Chain Stores from Selling Fatcakes

Africa-Press – Botswana. President Mokgweetsi Masisi has vowed to stop chain stores from selling certain cooked food like fatcakes and chicken pieces.

Addressing a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) rally in Mookane over the weekend, the President said the move is aimed at empowering beneficiaries of the Chema-Chema programme.

“As the government, we are going to stop chain stores from selling fatcakes, menoto and mokwetjepe because we want the informal sector, especially Chema-Chema beneficiaries, to sell these,” he said to much applause. “I hope there won’t be any reason for these products to be unavailable in the informal sector because Chema-Chema is there. We want to empower the informal sector.

Sore point

The Chema-Chema fund is a government initiative aimed at providing affordable short-term loans and support services to informal businesses run by citizens. The fund was introduced early this year by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Peggy Serame, in her budget speech.

Such fast food being sold in chain stores has been such sore point for people in the informal sectors that some Members of Parliament have raised it as an issue, calling for a policy that to bar and reserve it for informal sector businesses.

One of the most vocal MPs on the issue was Ignatius Moswaane of Francistown West. “The informal sector is facing serious challenge in improving their lives because chain stores and wholesalers have been allowed to compete with them,” he said when debating the budget speech in 2015.

Parliamentary question

“They are taking opportunities away from Batswana, forcing general dealers and informal sector businesses to collapse. The Ministry of Trade should stop issuing trade licences to foreigners to sell things that could be sold by the ordinary Motswana.”

The MP for Gaborone Central, Tumisang Healy, raised the issue as a parliamentary question for the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mmusi Kgafela, in 2022. Healy wanted to know why fatcakes, beans and meat were considered for licensing in chain stores.

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