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Former BDP MP heads GICO

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 09 December 2014   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Former BDP MP heads GICO

President Ian Khama is continuing to reward those who have shown loyalty to the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the last general elections or party’s primary elections especially losers.

One of those who have managed to land a lucrative job is the former MP for Gabane/Mmankgodi, Mmoloki Raletobana who has been appointed a coordinator of Government Implementation Coordination Office (GICO) effective December 1, 2014. GICO is under the Office of the President.

The Patriot on Sunday has on good authority that Raletobana has been appointed on E1 scale, a very senior scale in Government. Raletobana together with Colonel Duke Masilo lost in the BDP primaries to Lesedi Mmusi last year and the former was absorbed back into the government civil service as Coordinator of the Presidential Housing Appeal.

After his loss in the primaries, Raletobana rallied behind the winner, Mmusi, calling for unity among the BDP members in the constituency who were disgruntled by the results. Many political pundits thought that he will defect from the BDP after the loss.

Raletobana was one of the BDP MPs who allegedly wanted to leave BDP and join the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) at its formation in 2010 but did not following claims he was promised lucrative offers. Prior to joining politics, Raletobana worked under President Khama whilst he was still the Vice President.

At GICO he is taking over from Lewis Malikongwa who has since been appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Other recent political appointments are: 

Lebonamang Mokalake

The former Minister of lands and Housing Lebonamang Mokalake, who lost in the BDP primaries, has been appointed Botswana’s Ambassador to Zambia. He was one of the loyal BDP members who supported President Khama and never protested his loss but supported the party.

Bernard Bolele

Bernard Bolele - a lawyer by profession - mysteriously lost the BDP primaries for Mahalapye West to the former army officer Joseph Molefhe and has now been appointed chairman of Botswana University of Science and Technology (BIUST) which is currently riddled by controversy taking over from former MP for Palapye Boyce Sebetlela.

Oreeditse Molebatsi

The former assistant Minister of Agriculture Molebatsi has been one of the most effective assistant ministers in president Khama’s administration. He lost the hotly contested BDP primaries to the Minister of Health Dorcas Makgato for Tswapong South which is now called Ramokgonami/Sefhare. He has now been earmarked for the ambassadorial post to Zimbabwe and currently he is in the commission that is trying to solve the chieftainship crisis in Kgatleng.

Botsalo Ntuane

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They has been speculation that the former Member of Parliament for Bonnington South might take over as senior government spokesperson - a position currently held by Jeff Ramsay who is said to be on his way out. Ntuane is a communication specialist and one of the most successful former BDP executive secretaries. Currently he is the chairman of BDP Gaborone region and inside sources within the party feel that he can do better job compared to Ramsay.

Why government want to revive GICO  

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Since its closure in 2009, GICO has been dysfunctional and the former legislator will have to rebuild it from scratch and recruit staff. One of the cardinal issues that he has been tasked to do is to draft scheme of service and corporate structure for GICO which will be its driving engine.

Currently GICO scheme of service is being designed by Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) as it does not have any corporate structure.

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When Malikongwa was appointed to resuscitate it early this year, GICO had no staff with only him, his secretary and three interns on secondment. Malikongwa like Raletobana lost in the BDP primaries in 2010 to Fidelis Molao. He was previously President Khama’s private secretary and coordinator of Transport Hub.

GICO was founded by Moses Lekaukau in 2007 but was mysteriously pushed out of the job in 2009. Thereafter GICO became ineffective and closed shop only to resurface early this year under the leadership of Malikongwa.

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What is GICO and its purpose?

The aim of GICO was to help government implement its policies through driving and coordinating all Government policies, programmes, and projects.

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This was to be done through effective project monitoring and evaluation system that informs the coordination office about the status of any major project in the country at any given time.

It was conceptualised after government struggled in implementing some of their projects due to lack of monitoring systems. GICO serves as the technical advisor to Cabinet Committee on Economy and Employment, which is chaired by the Vice President.

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It also acted as the interface between Botswana Chamber of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) and the Private Sector with Government and serves as Secretariat to the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC). Since its closure government has failed dismally to implement its projects and policies due to lack of monitoring.

Some of the mega major projects include the infamous Morupule B power project, Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, Botswana University of Science and Technology (BIUST) and Francistown and Gaborone stadiums.

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This led to public backlash and opposition used them as political fodder ahead of the 2014 general elections in which the ruling party performed badly scoring below 50% in popular vote.

We are going to work hard

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Addressing members of HLCC after the general elections, President Khama said that since it is his last term in power he is going to work hard and ensure that his government delivers on its promises. He revealed that he has told his cabinet that they must be prepared to work even during weekend to ensure that Batswana receive better services. Raletobana is expected to ensure that projects are delivered on time and with budget.

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He is expected to work with Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi who will be relieved from his ministerial post and be an overseer of all ministries. Government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay confirmed Raletobana’s appointment but was quick to add that a formal announcement will be made in due course.