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Report proposes 20% salary hike

Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) which is Malaysian, meaning “guide,” has in their confidential report to government of Botswana proposed widespread changes with far reaching implications in the public service.

Among the sweeping changes, the secretive report which was prepared for the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) has recommended 20% increment for public servants on grade A and B; 10% for grade C and D; and 15% for grade E and F. It further states that in the absence of increments to civil servants on higher notches, of grades E and F, “we recommend the following: 15% for grades A and B; 10% for grades C and D.”

The classified report dated 20 December 2018, points out that the additional cost to the government however will be P1.23 billion per annum.  According to the report, the recommendation is based on among others the affordability to the government; that it is fair to all; and sustainable to the government; and will act as a motivation to government employees.

In line with the Botswana Public Service Remuneration Policy 2018, the report further recommends a formal new salary structure review process be established and undertaken regularly to ensure the salary structure is still relevant and parity with the private sector. Best practices as in USA, South Korea and Japan was cited as having adopted a band salary structure that gets broader at the higher grades (fan-shaped) with a high degree of overlap between one range and another.

The overlap allows an employee to progress and enjoy higher salaries within the same grade without having to be promoted to the next grade, reports highlights adding that the system removes the constraint of an employee reaching the ceiling sooner, having to wait for available vacancies in the higher grade and to be promoted in order to progress along the salary scale. “It gives recognition to experience – an employee in lower grade (D4) can earn more than a new recruit in a higher grade (D3),” the Pemandu report emphasizes.


In terms of the salary review, report maintains, should be done at least once in 5 years or specifically when triggered by any one of the following factors; cost of living (inflation) – when it rises beyond 6%; government revenue – when the revenue (% of GDP) increases beyond 40%; GDP growth – when it increases beyond 6%. Currently, there is no process to review the salary, reports highlights that adding that the historical reviews were based on directives from the presidents.

First, in 2002, the then President Festus Mogae set up a salary review commission to recommend an appropriate pay structure for the public service and this was triggered by a court action by the teachers union. In 2007, the presidential public service salaries review commission was appointed to review the conditions of service (including salary scales, allowances and fringe benefits) of the public service. 
The outcome of the review was to award a 15% salary increase across the board and a 10% increase in the public service salaries resulting from the implementation of the 2008 Public Service Act.

In addition, report also suggests the establishment of a permanent remuneration review commission tasked with regulating the remuneration policy and process as practiced in countries such as Kenya, South Africa and Australia. “The initiative above will put the remuneration system on a competitive basis and in line with best practices in other countries. It will enable the public sector to attract, recruit and retain the skills and competencies it need to transform the public sector into a high performing organisation that is ready and capable to further the transformation programmes to achieve Vision 2036,”the report states. 

To sustain the parity with the private sector, it also states that what’s need to be done is right sizing the public service; productivity improvement – increasing government effectiveness and efficiency; and job evaluation (internal equity) which is urgent. Many countries such as Germany, Austria and Korea are redesigning the public-sector salary to be competitive with the market. Belgium and Hungary have narrowed the gap between the public sector and the private sector pay. In the US, many of the States are adjusting the government salaries to be more competitive with the private sector, providing flexibility in starting salaries and offering bonuses.

It is understood that, Pemandu, is shaped by the belief that methods and approaches used in the private sector can be applied successfully to the public sector. As such new employees in the public service will be offered market pay to attract and retain them as is the case with some sections of private sector.  With regard to the allowances, the report also recommends that the allowances should be streamlined: and scarce skills to be terminated and converted to salary based on the threshold. The additional cost to the government, it states is 32 million pula per year.

In terms of allowances, the report explains that they are created to act as a supplement and over time – distort the salary structure. Today, there are 80 allowances in the data base; 39 pertain to the defense, police, prison departments and others (MP’s, village chiefs and so on) and the balance of 41 pertain to the public service.

Even with just 41 types of allowances in Botswana civil service, the report highlights that it is deemed excessive when compared to other countries like Japan which has only 6 types of allowances, Korea 30 and the Gambia 8. It further recommends that there is need to check on their applicability and relevance today and consolidate them to a more manageable level.

In the research leading to the compilation of the report, Pemandu conducted 20 meetings with stakeholders ranging from Ministries to DPSM; Government Implementation Coordination Office (GICO); National Strategy Office (NSO); and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED). 

In addition, Unions were also cited as having been contacted being Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU), Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatals Sectors Union (BOFEPUSU), Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) and Trainers & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) among others.

The Malaysian government, in 2009, set up PEMANDU to lead change in the country and to ensure that its national transformation programmes were successfully delivered. It has focused on the key areas where public services and the economy were most in need of reform and has made a positive impact on such issues as crime prevention, reducing levels of corruption, and improving rural infrastructure. Botswana government is therefore recommended to heed the changes and implement them in the country for massive progress in their public service.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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