Sunday, November 16, 2008

Response by Ministry of Local Government to Editor, Botswana Gazette

source: Republic of Botswana (16/11/08): TAUTONA TIMES no 37 of 2008
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President "Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"


C7) 14/11/08: Response by Ministry of Local Government to Editor, Botswana Gazette

Dear Sir,

The Ministry of Local Government notes with concern the sustained negative coverage on it by The Botswana Gazette. The Ministry respects freedom of the press which underpins our bustling democracy as it does critical appraisal of Government and the public service. However, the Ministry will speak out against, and defend itself from mischievous and malicious claims that misrepresent facts and tarnish its good name.

The Ministry notes with regret that, of all the substantive issues in its profile, The Botswana Gazette remains resolute in its search for specks of morsel to besmirch the Ministry's image and reputation. Sadly, in its relentless pursuit of sensationalizing issues and misrepresenting the truth, the paper has completely missed the plot. It misses the golden opportunity to share with Batswana, the immense developmental issues that emerge from the Ministry of Local Government.

In its latest onslaught, 'Nasha Blocks Mfa? Cancels All His 80 Kgotla Meeting', (12th - 18th November 2008) the Botswana Gazette purports that Honourable Minister Dr Margaret Nasha, 'restrained his (sic) subordinate from conducting over twenty Kgotla meetings at areas surrounding Gaborone.' This statement is categorically false and misleading. At no time has Minister Nasha interfered with Assistant Minister Oliphant Mfa's itinerary. To suggest that the Minister cancelled her colleague's trips arbitrarily is not only devoid of truth but also disrespectful to both the Honourable Minister and her assistant.

Honourable Dr Nasha is a distinguished Cabinet Minister and recent recipient of the Presidential Order of Honour in recognition of her integrity and selfless service to the people of Botswana. Her record speaks for itself; she is a dynamic and consultative leader who has a cordial and professional working relationship with not just her Assistant Ministers but with the entire workforce at the Ministry of Local Government.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Local Government has a clear mandate and a detailed road map that outlines how it implements its programmes and policies. To suggest that, 'It is understood that the Minister reasoned that there ought to be agreement on what the Assistant Minister would say at Kgotla meetings,' is presumptuous and casts aspersions on the confidence of His Excellency the President of Botswana in his Ministers. Such statements are also injurious to the intelligence and character of the Assistant Minister.

Minister Dr Nasha is the political head of the Ministry of Local Government and it is well within her rights to ask any officer at the Ministry to account for any of the resources at the Ministry's disposal including time. There is absolutely nothing amiss with the Minister requesting reports and feedback from colleagues. This is done in the normal course of work at the Ministry.

While it is not for us to say where and how editors should pitch articles for their papers, we will certainly voice our concerns where we feel the principle of fair and balanced objective reporting have been compromised. We hope that The Botswana Gazette will take note of these concerns.

Yours faithfully, Tigele Mokobi, Ministry of Local Government

1 comment:

Rosie Deus-von Homeyer said...

WHAT A NONSENSE!

Well,I am NOT a Batswana and I do NOT need to kiss the bum of HIS EXELLENCY THE PARAMOUNT CHIEF OF BAMANGWATO,who started talking abou himself as HE is HENRY IV of ENGLAND!

Every person with a little intelligence knows that the Assistant Ministers ALWAYS act according to the itinerary des Minisers.

Why shovel the fault to the "poor" subordinate,the Assistant Minster,who can not defend her/himself as he /she is afraid that her/his employement contract will be terminated.

WHAT A HYPOCRACY!

Did you inherit this from the British because we,Germans do NOT behave in such a way?

The MORE I read about Botswana,the MORE am I thinking to contact the EU in Brussel and tell them to take the FAKE Botswana democracy under the lupe!