Government is considering setting up an office for the First Lady, which currently does not exist, following a suggestion by Selibe Phikwe West MP Dithapelo Keorapetse in Parliament on Thursday.
Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration minister Nonofho Molefhi revealed that the country’s First Lady receives no consideration in the form of a salary or allowance. “The First Lady is, by virtue of her tittle, involved in charity work and sometimes performs ceremonial activities. This scenario obtains in some, if not most countries of the world,” he said, adding that most of the activities are sponsored by private companies.
Keorapetse motivated Parliament to appreciate the sacrifices they make to support their spouses and urged them to consider creating the office of the First Lady. Driving the point home, Keorapetse said spouses of Botswana envoys are given allowances and wondered how the same cannot be extended to the First Lady who performs more duties especially charity projects. He said when one’s partner becomes head of state, s/he is compelled to step down from their employment and assume the position of first lady/husband and is provided with official car and security.