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MPs speak out on govt shake up

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The government is scratching where it is not itching- mmolotsi

Last week, President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced a major shake up in cabinet by merging some ministries and government entities as well as changing names of certain ministries and creating new ones.

The notable one was the creation of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship. There was also establishment of the Ministry of State President, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology.

There was also the merging of CEDA and LEA enterprises. The Voice staffer, DANIEL CHIDA asked Members of Parliament for their views on the new development.

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Dithapelo Keorapetse- MP for Selibe Phikwe West

First, it’s a burden on the fiscus as some positions will be created. Second, it won’t result in any significant efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. Third, bloating the Office of the President further than it already is, is ill-advised.

The office is already huge in a way that centralizes power in the President. Fourth, the President should have initiated the process of reducing his cabinet, which is another burden on the public purse. We can’t have a Cabinet that makes 62% of the ruling party and 44% of Parliament.

We have a big Cabinet compared to our economy and population. Germany has a population of 83 million, a GDP of US$4.1 trillion and has only 14 ministers.

The US has 327 million people, US$ 20.1 trillion GDP and 15 ministers called Secretaries.

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Our Ministers are too many and add little if any value to the economy; their main job is to move around officiating at public events.

That is why they all go to the airport to see-off or receive the President. Fifth, The President should swiftly kill some parastatals and remain with at least 30 from 60.

The cosmetic shakeup serves a propaganda purpose, for things to appear like the President is busy doing something when he’s actually doing nothing.

Baratiwa Mathoothe- MP for Serowe North

Shake up of ministries does not bring anything worthwhile to the economy.

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BARATIWA MATHOOTHE

The only major challenge in government that needs to be done is to improve implementation of projects as well as monitoring and evaluation.

When projects are done on time with quality, it will save lot of funds for government.

Changing of names of ministries have got no effect as things will always remain the same.

Wynter Wynter- MP for Francistown South

I am not sure what motivated the change of names and establishment of new ministries because that is not where the problem is.

WYNTER MMOLOTSI

The government is scratching where it is not itching. What is important is the mandate given to ministries not the name, changes are brought by mandates and not names.

The government should learn that names will never bring changes to the lives of citizens, it is what the ministries understand to be their roles and responsibilities that matters and how they implement that which will change lives.

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Oneetse Ramogapi- MP for Palapye

Ministry of Education is too big and there was no need to combine Basic and Tertiary Education at a time when the parents and stake holders are worried of the poor performance of students caused by poor quality education.

Secondly, coming up with a Ministry of Entrepreneurship is lack of vision and direction.

ONNETSE RAMOGAPI

That is not a Ministry but a unit. There is no logic at all in that. It was best suited at Ministry of Trade.

In my view there is sense in separating Ministry of Justice and Security to show that there is separation of powers.

There should be clear separation of powers in action, facilities and ministries.

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All other ministries is just an old wine in a new bottle, the taste is the same the wine is the same.

Lucas Taolo- MP for Bobonong

From my vantage point, there is no shake up of note but an inconsequential renaming of Ministries and primarily installing the same persons to the renamed ministries.

TAOLO LUCAS

The net effect of such a move is the same stagnation and incompetence that continue to bedevil the operations of Government.

I am curious though on the role that the Ministries of Entrepreneurship and that of Trade and Industry would do to transform Botswana from a supermarket economy to an industrialised economy because this country needs jobs.

I remain sceptical as to their ability to create jobs for Batswana. Without fundamental policy shift renaming of Ministries will not accrue the jobs that this country needs

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Adam Mfundisi- Political Analyst

Is it a radical or incremental change motivated by self interests? The President is on a mission to thrash former President Ian Khama’s legacy by all means available.

There is no transformational strategy to usher Botswana into the 21st century beset by globalization, information revolution, and unprecedented socioeconomic and political changes.

Most ministries created were a reincarnation of the old order. Some of them had been regarded as poorly structured to inject life into government business.

Ministry of Finance had to be integrated with Development Planning to synergistic proposes. Otherwise, if they are separated they may work at cross purposes.

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Some of the designated ministries do not make sense in their configurations.

Only Ministry of Entrepreneurship on face value may be a progressive move but may not make any difference if government is governed on political trajectory we are witnessing.

More political rhetoric but defective execution of policies. The Minister appointed has no demonstrable business acumen hence the purported strategy may not be realised. All in all, the designation of ministries doesn’t change substantially the socioeconomic and political arithmetics.

Politics as usual as most ministers are mediocre performers appointed based on patronage criteria.

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