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Khama summons the old guard

The Office of the President has announced that President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has appointed an eight member Presidential Inspectorate Task Team to undertake periodic inspections of Government programmes.

Observers are of the view that President Khama, whose term ends in just less than two years intends to shape his legacy which he believes is dependent on sound implementation.  

The mandate amongst others is to, undertake periodic inspections of Government programmes and projects as shall be directed by the President; Advise the President on matters relating to the successful implementation of Government programmes and projects; Undertake risk assessment and propose mitigation strategies for programmes and projects that have been inspected; Present written summaries of inspection reports to the President; Undertake any other tasks as shall be directed by the President in line with the monitoring of Government projects.

The Presidential Inspectorate Team is chaired by the Former Vice President Dr. Ponatshego H.K. Kedikilwe. Additional members of the team are: Mr. Peter L. Siele; Mr. Gaotlhaetse U.S. Matlhabaphiri; Mr. Newman Kahiya; Mr. Mathias Chakalisa; Ms. Mapula Modise; Mr. Gabolekwe L. Tlogelang; and Mr. Jonnie K. Swartz. President Khama has recalled his trusted lieutenants’ especially former cabinet members in Siele, Matlhabaphiri, and Swartz.  Khama has also enlisted former permanent secretaries; some had unceremoniously left the civil service after serving for decades.

The team is led by former Vice President Dr Kedikilwe, who will be expected to work with the current Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi who is also supervising ESP projects.

Khama wants to ensure that work gets done; he has a bad experience of failed projects and those that do not meet deadlines. Some in government celebrate Kedikilwe’s new role since he may finally be close to the National Strategy Office (NSO), which some see as a ceremonial office with little value. They opine Kedikilwe’s supervision could drive creative thinking at the office and dunk the over obsession with Vision 2036, which already has a team to drive it.

The NSO is mandated to lead national strategy development by promoting strategic thinking in the country and catalyze effective policy making and implementation. Many are of the view that the Uttum Corea lead organisation has failed in this regard and is almost anonymous in the development agenda. The NSO is to launch various diagnostic and detailed studies such as visioning scenario development, desk reviews of relevant socio-political and economic reports, and implementation prioritization of the Botswana Excellence Strategy all aimed at identifying Botswana's key social, political and economic challenges and opportunities, this was just a dream they say, almost all hubs envisioned under the Excellence Strategy are dead. Kedikilwe’s Inspectorate is expected to come in handy in reviving the ideals of the Excellence Strategy, which cost government millions of Pula.

A statement from the Office of the President says the appointment of this high level team is in line with the Government's unwavering commitment to strengthening oversight on implementation, effective service delivery and improved project delivery country wide. But it is clear that the success of the Inspectorate Team will be highly dependent on the line Cabinet Ministers and Permanent Secretaries. The two are powerful and continue to call the shots on what needs to be done and what needs not be done.

The Government Implementation and Coordination Office (GICO) faced a similar predicament during its formative years. There was no cooperation from line ministries and its efforts were frustrated, observers are of the view that there should be a thorough orientation of government executives on how they are going to work with this Inspectorate Team which has a resemblance of the old GICO.  

Weekend Post has sampled eight ministers who are likely to shape or shatter President Khama’s legacy as he concludes his term, see our peek on page 2.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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