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DCEC must account to Parley, not minister – NGOs


Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO) has recommended that the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) be removed from Office of the president and be directly accountable to parliament.

Currently DCEC is directly accountable to the Office of the President.

A pronouncement by President Lt. Gen. Ian Khama in 2012 led to the transfer of both DCEC and Directorate of Intelligence Security Services (DISS) from the ambit of Minister of Defence, Justice and Security to the auspices of Office of the President under blurred circumstances.  

“We should continue to debate that independence of directorates of corruption should be accountable to Parliament and not Ministries of Justice,” BOCONGO Executive Director Bagaisi Mabilo pointed out this week during a corruption workshop on “Civil Society’s role in combating corruption across commonwealth Africa.”  

According to the umbrella body of NGO’s when the DCEC reports directly to parliament, they would provide for an environment of vigorous monitoring through independent reviews.

Meanwhile, BOCONGO stated that the reality that we must also acknowledge is that given all of the institutional, operational/administrative and governance issues, Botswana continues to experience levels of corruption big and small.

“While recognizing the significant efforts of the Government of Botswana to diversify Corruption Prevention through DCEC, reporting administrative inefficiencies through Ombudsman, and project monitoring through NSO, we must acknowledge and embrace our situation where we have increasing number of corruption reports, and a general lack of understanding and organized community role and action against corruption.”

Furthermore the BOCONGO Executive Secretary highlighted that even though the world wide ranking of the government’s ability to provide sound policies and regulations and Botswana is commended for having an exemplary policy framework and good policies, they are concerned as civil society that implementation of these policies falls short of their expectations as Batswana.


She added that: “and to site these without pin pointing the actual case studies we have delays in implementing law changes, we have on paper good policies that look like they could work and in practice are implemented in counterproductive manner.”


She said Botswana has a project oriented Monitoring & Evaluation approach to development projects adding that there was limited periodic documented ministerial monitoring information published and placed in the public domain, and this in turn led to challenges with updated data availability to enable them to populate performance indicators and inform policy.

In addition she pointed out that there was no Freedom of Information Act that allows for ease of access to information leading to a limited access to public sector, Civil Society Organisations and private sector institutional strategies to mainstream corruption prevention.

Mabilo also noted that, most critically they have a civil society in Botswana that does not have adequate resources and expertise to play its primary role in Corruption Prevention.

“We have a CSO that does not have the capacity to review and contribute to the UNCAC National Reports due to lack of capacity in this area; and we do not have a CSO that is producing shadow reports on the UNCAC,” she decried.

She further bemoaned that that the country lacked a civil society that has fully appreciated the SADC Protocol Against Corruption (SPAC) nor tracking government performance on implementation of SPAC.

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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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