President Ian Khama is preparing a generous and mouthwatering exit package when he leaves office in 24 months (April 2018) from now by causing amendments to the existing packages for retiring Presidents. A peep into the demands proposed by Khama for his exit package gives a glimpse into the excesses and comfort akin to a lap of luxury he wishes to enjoy as a former Head of State. To this end, Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale, will present a Bill – published in Botswana Government Gazette of March 24, 2016 - of proposing to Parliament to approve a raft of additions, alterations and removals to the perks Khama will enjoy upon retirement. The object of the Bill is to re-enact the Presidents (Pensions and Retirement Benefits) Act to introduce the payment of gratuity to a person who ceases to be President. The Bill also seeks to review other retirement benefits to allow flexibility in choosing between an official residence and office or an allowance in lieu of the office or official residence.
Furthermore Khama wants the introduction of a 30 per cent gratuity to the President at the end of every Parliamentary term or immediately upon ceasing to hold office. “The President shall upon the dissolution of Parliament, or immediately upon ceasing to hold office as such, be entitled to receive a gratuity equal to 30 percent of his or her current monthly salary multiplied by the number of months completed by him or her as President,” says the Bill on Section 3 (1). It continues at 3 (2) to declare that any person who has been President shall, immediately upon ceasing to hold office be entitled to “a tax free monthly pension equivalent to the monthly basic salary attached to the office of President the time that she ceases to hold office or 80 percent of the incumbent President’s salary, whichever is greater.” Clause 6 (2) of the Act has been deleted to do away with the suspension of the pension and benefits of a person who had ceased to hold office as President but was subsequently in the service of the state or in the employment of any person.
The Schedule is re-enacted with the following amendments;
• A retired President is given the option to choose between having an office, where he or she prefers, of the standard and size specified by the President or receiving office accommodation allowance using the prevailing Gaborone market rental rates.
• A retired President is given the option to choose between having a residential house of the standard and size specified by the President or receiving a housing allowance in lieu of the house. A restriction to having the official residence in Gaborone has been removed.