Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This week in Parliament

source: Republic of Botswana (17/3/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 7 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"


Reproduced below for your further information are the full texts of the Minister's responses in Parliament this morning:

10/3/09: QUESTION NO: 460 ASKED BY Mr. M. N. Modubule, MP (Lobatse):

To ask the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security whether the Leader of the Opposition was consulted on the appointment of the Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security and the setting of the tribunal, if so, where and how did the consultation process take place and what was the response of the Leader of the Opposition

ANSWER

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition was consulted on the appointments to the Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security and the Tribunal. I must also state that the Speaker of the National Assembly was also consulted.

Mr. Speaker, the President called the Leader of the Opposition to his office where the President indicated to him that in accordance with the powers conferred on him (the President) under Sections 31 (3) and 39 (2) of the Intelligence and Security Service Act, 2007, he had names of people that he considered suitable for appointment to these structures. The President confirmed that he was presenting these names to him the Leader of the Opposition for his comments or views.

Upon being presented with these names the Leader of the Opposition told the President that he had no problems with the names and the appointments. It is at this stage Mr. Speaker, that one would have reasonably expected the Leader of the Opposition if he had contrary views or preferences with the appointments or manner of consultation to have expressed the same to the President.

The Honourable House will however, recall that the Leader of the Opposition in his comments on the Committee of Supply debates on the budget for departments under Defence, Justice and Security confirmed that he did not express his views/preferences but rather he concurred reluctantly though, with the President on the appointments. This confirms that there was consultation.

Mr. Speaker, I have also confirmed with the Speaker of the National Assembly on the same matter and the Speaker of the National Assembly confirms that the names were presented to him in the same manner and he also had no problems with the names or the appointments.

Mr. Speaker, finally, it is my considered view that the Leader of the Opposition was consulted on the subject matter at hand but he failed to use the opportunity to engage with the President if he had contrary views. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

QUESTION NO. 457 asked by Mr. N. M. Modubule, MP (Lobatse)

To ask the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security why the construction of the Offices of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions has not been provided for in the financial year 2009/2010 as was promised by the Minister in response to Question Number 811 on the 17th August 2007.

ANSWER

Mr. Speaker, although the construction of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) offices in Lobatse was not mentioned in the Committee of Supply Speech, the project has been provided for under the Directorate's development budget for 2009/2010. The DPP budget presented amounted to Sixty Six Million and Twenty Six Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Nine Pula (P66 026 539). Of this amount, Five Million Pula (P5 000 000) is earmarked for the completion of designs and the commissioning of a contractor for the office. This budget allocation is contained in the Estimates Book which was presented before and approved by this Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, since my response in August 2007, we have been able to do a site suitability report, preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (for exemption from full EIA), Topographic Survey, Geo-Technical Survey, preliminary design and a detailed design, which is currently at 85%. The designs are expected to be completed by end of April, 2009. I therefore expect the commissioning of a contractor to start work in the third quarter of 2009.

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform this Honourable House that further to the progress mentioned above, other activities were undertaken such as procurement of vehicles, computers and securing of rented office space to ensure that the DPP office becomes operational whilst awaiting construction of permanent office accommodation. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

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