The recent appointment of former cabinet ministers and retired civil servants by President Ian Khama to the newly formed Presidential Inspectorate Task Team has sent shock waves to many people. The purpose of the Task Team is to undertake periodic inspections of government programmes and projects among others Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP). The MP for Gaborone Bonnington South Ndaba Gaolathe said the appointment of the inspectorate team confirms their worry over government approach in doing things. “There are no comprehensive measures for a monitoring system and doing things in piece meal approach will not bring any desired results,” warned Gaolathe.
He reasoned that the approach by government is not doing justice to project implementation. When giving the State of the Nation address, President Khama said that project implementation will be under the office of the Vice President and that there will be a monitoring and evaluation team. The MP for Selibe Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse, said that it was obvious that Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) distributes public offices as patronage. “They reward loyalty and party affiliation and in the process waste public money by hiring its members who have lost elections,” hit out the youthful Botswana Congress Party (BCP) legislator.
He said that they are of the view that qualified and competent people should be appointed to public positions and not party operatives who are compensated for their activism and economically cushioned because they lost elections. “We are now in a neo-patrimonial system where affiliation, kingship and sycophancy matter over merit,” he said. The inspectorate team will advise President Khama on matters relating to implementation of government programmes and projects and undertake risk assessment as well as propose mitigation strategies for programmes and projects that have been inspected. Others are even reading more to this since part of the work done by the Inspectorate had previously been reserved for the Vice President of the country. Some believe that Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi should instead of rejoicing at the developments be more worried about them as they whittle down his power.
He is the past immediate Vice president of Botswana and announced his resignations from active politics ahead of the 2014 general elections. Kedikilwe has had one of the mixed fortunes in his political career. After losing to Khama at the Gantsi Congress his political fortunes took a dive. It took time for him to recover. His political life when he was appointed the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources. Kedikilwe avoided party factions which he used to be active in.
In 2012 Khama came to his rescue again when he appointed him Vice president after the resignation of Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe due to ill health. His political career would again be reignited when he was appointed chairman of the BDP after the resignation of Samson Moyo Guma. PHK, as he is affectionally called, holds Master’s Degree in Development Economics and Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University in New York. He will chair the Inspectorate team and his experience as one of the longest serving cabinet ministers is expected to help the team to execute its mandate diligently.
Johnnie Kenanao Swartz
He is a former cabinet minister who lost the 2014 general elections to Noah Salakae of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). A political gentleman as he is regarded by politicians across divide, he is a social worker by profession having joined politics and contested parliamentary elections in 1987 after the death of the then MP for Ghanzi Henry Jankie. After the 1989 general elections, he was appointed Minister of Agriculture by former president Festus Mogae. He was later transferred to the ministry of Works, Transport and Communications (now works and transport).
One of the longest serving cabinet ministers, Siele who lost to a political novice Dr Alfred Madigele in the BDP primaries is one of the most respected politicians within the ruling party. Some of the cabinet positions that he held was that of Labour and Home Affairs and Local Government and Rural development. An orator of repute, Siele thought soft spoken is regarded as one of the strict leaders who want work done diligently.
A political survivor of repute who has seen the ruling party saving his political career on several occasions, Matlhabaphiri is currently chairman of the BDP political Education Committee is now back again at the mercy of President Khama. Like Kedikilwe, Matlhabaphiri has spent most of political career as one of the kingmaker in the BDP factional wars. In 1987 Matlhabaphiri stepped down as specially elected MP to pave way for Peter Mmusi who had lost in the by-elections to Dr Kenneth Koma in Gaborone South. He was given an ambassadorial post. He lost the general elections to Mohammad Khan of UDC in the last elections. Other members of the task force are retired senior government officials Newman Kahiya, Mathias Chakalisa, Mapula Modise and Gabolekwe Tlogelang.