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Masisi tightens grip on international travel ban

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has moved to tighten his grip on external travel as his office recently informed government ministries and departments that public servants who intend to travel outside the country should seek permission from the Office of the President.

This is according to a savingram from the Office of the President seen by this publication signed by deputy Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, Matshidiso Bokole sent out to ministries, departments and agencies.  She reminded ministries and government departments that Presidential Directive CAB 6/2020 placed a moratorium on external mainly due to the pandemic.

“The lifting of the State of Emergency has not rescinded the Presidential Directive in question. This mean that external travel is still restricted save for travel that holds strategic benefit and is aligned to national, sectoral, ministerial high impact priorities,” said Bokole.  In that regard, Bokole said all written motivation for external travel should indicate how the travel is aligned to any of the aforementioned, particularly the strategic benefit to be derived.

“Please note that in view of the Presidential Directive CAB 6/2020, a waiver for external travel must be sought from his Excellency the President. Permanent Secretaries are therefore not empowered to authorise external travel for any officer irrespective of grade,” she said. Bokole said this means that even the officers on salary D1 and below, requests for a waiver of the external travel moratorium should always be sought from the PSP’s Office adding that approval of the request should always be awaited before air tickets and related travel arrangement are proceeded with.

“To avoid submitting multiple requests, please always indicate names and designation of officers accompanying Honourable Ministers in the same request for permission for the Minister’s external travel,” said Bokole adding that  She added that, “We are all urged to comply with this guidance and continue to prioritiserecommendations for external travel also bearing in mind cost efficiency. Therefore, the size of the delegation should always be kept to the minimum.”

According to Bokole, “By this savingram, addresses are requested to submit reports on all external travels undertaken during 2021/2022. The information should include officers who have undertaken international travel across all salary grades in the Ministry, department or agency.” She said these reports would continue to be submitted on a quarterly basis on the last day of the month.

“Furthermore we are requested to include information on all officers currently attending or those who have previously attended the Expo 2020 Dubai including those from State Owned Enterprises. Information on the Expo 2020 Dubai should be included in the same attached template for other external travel. Submissions are to reach Office of the President by Friday 5th November, 2021,’ said Bokole.

According to the travel moratorium that Bokole made reference to, “A High-Level COVID-19 National Response Committee was established with immediate effect to heighten the response for the pandemic, a moratorium be imposed on external travel by the political and judicial leadership as well as the rest of the public service with immediate effect until further notice and the hosting of international meetings and conferences by Botswana be suspended with immediate effect until further notice.”  The moratorium also stated that, “All citizens and residents of Botswana are advised to postpone travel to affected countries to minimize the risk of coronavirus.”

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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