Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mr. Gabaake remains at his post

source: Republic of Botswana (26/11/08): TAUTONA TIMES no 39 of 2008
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President "Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"

C2) 26/11/08: Mr. Gabaake remains at his post

This Office notes with serious concern a report entitled "Permanent Secretary Fired?" which appeared in today's (26/11/08) edition of the Botswana Gazette newspaper. In the said article it is carelessly insinuated that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr. Gaabake Gabaake has been "fired", "asked to retire" or otherwise dismissed from his post.

We therefore wish to inform the public that Mr. Gabaake remains in his position as Permanent Secretary. Any rumours to the contrary are false and without any foundation.

We also wish to place on record our disappointment that a major local newspaper could publish on its front page such a damaging and misleading article based on what it claims to be "unconfirmed reports".

We take no joy in reminding the publication concerned of the professional obligation incumbent upon all media practitioners to check their facts properly, and the further obligation for editors and publishers of newspapers and other media to take proper care not to publish inaccurate material.

In this respect we note that the before any media institution publishes a report, both the reporter and editor must ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken to check its accuracy, while special care must always be taken to check stories that may cause harm.

It is clear to us that that the Botswana Gazette report in question is in severe breach of the above standards. We look forward to this being corrected.

We also take this opportunity to express our further dismay at another article on page two of the same newspaper entitled "More Top Civil Servants Move on", which also substitutes unsubstantiated innuendo over verified substance in, among other things, suggesting that "a powerful lobby within government want to ensure that trusted people are appointed to key positions" and that the Government Implementation and Coordination Office is somehow involved in making appointments to the senior civil service.

We are surprised that such sweeping statements can be made in the absence of any evidence. We can further confirm the Director General of GICO's own observation that he is not involved in the process of either
appointing or disciplining of Permanent Secretaries.

We further note that that it is no secret that, having reached the age of mandatory retirement, a number of distinguished senior civil servants will be leaving the civil service at the end of the year. In each case they will obviously be replaced. In this respect it is unfortunate that public officers who have earned their rest are having their names besmirched by false suggestions that they are somehow being forced out.

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