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Molale refuses to shame ministers

Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing ministries and to disclose to Parliament the best performing Ministries for the last two years including the main reasons for underperformance.

Sensing that Member of Parliament for Gabane-Mmankgodi, Major Gen Pius Mokgware, was trying to ensnare him into a move that will shame his failing colleagues, Molale told Parliament that the purpose of Performance Monitoring is not to identify the best or worst performers in public service, but rather to help President Lt Gen Ian Khama to closely monitor performance of Ministries and Departments.

He asserted that performance monitoring is common approach in any setting where leadership has to ensure delivery as per the agreed terms.

“This performance monitoring is based mainly on the Committee of Supply deliverables which culminate with His Excellency [President Khama] giving the State of the Nation on what Government has achieved,” he said.

Molale also, could not reveal how many scores each ministry had gotten in the last two years.

Despite opposition MPs harping on the matter and coercing Molale to reveal how the ministries are doing, Molale said ministries could not be compared since they are different in what they do.

Mokgware had posed to Molale to appraise Parliament on the best and worst performing Ministries for the last two years, main reasons for under-performance and what action had been taken by government to improve the performance.

The issue of minister score cards and performance appraisal came into light in 2011 when Khama unceremoniously sacked then Minister of Transport and Communications and former MP for Maun East, Frank Ramsden. Ramsden had scored 52 percent in the appraisal, while the trio of Nonofho Molefi (Lands and Housing), Lebonaamang Mokalake (Local Government) and Peter Siele (Labour and Home Affairs) who had scored 72, 74 and 77 respectively were ranked as best performing Ministers.  

In 2014, ahead of the general elections, Khama reshuffled his cabinet which resulted with then Minister of Education and Skills Development, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, being given a special task amid reports that she was fired.

Venson-Moitoi never returned to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development after being deployed to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation following the 2014 general election. Dr Unity Dow has since been appointed substantive Minister of Education, taking over from Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi who served in the Ministry for a short spell.

Opposition legislators were not impressed by Molale’s answer as they suspected that he was covering up for those who are failing their ministerial duties.

Major Gen Mokgware said by not answering a question asked in Parliament, Molale was undermining the role of Parliament which is to provide oversight over the executive to fulfil the duty of checks and balances.

MP for Gaborone Central, Phenyo Butale said, by deliberately withholding information which they had on good authority that it is available, Molale was making mockery of the country’s Parliamentary process.

Butale also expressed his concern that the Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe, was allowing the Minister to get away with it which he said has a negative impact on the purpose of MPs asking questions in Parliament.

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Free at last: Ian Kirby Speaks Out

6th December 2021
Justice Ian Kirby

The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.

WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?

Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.

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Civil society could rescue Botswana’s flawed democracy’ 

6th December 2021
Parliament

Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed.  This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.

In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’  The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.

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Bangwato at loggerheads over Moshupa trip

6th December 2021

Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama). 

Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.

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