Monday, March 22, 2010

OP Response by to Communication from News Editor Sunday Standard/Telegraph - Re: Rumours with Respect to the Offices of the former Presidents

source: Republic of Botswana (14/3/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 4 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"


Dear Sir,

I have noted your communication (copied below), which was misdirected to H.E. the President's Private Office.

It is clear from the substance of your inquiry that you have misread the Hon. Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration's remarks before Parliament when she recently presented the OP budget.

In her Committee of Supply Speech the Hon. Minister in fact noted the invaluable contributions that are being made by the two former Presidents to Government and the nation as a whole, observing that:

"Our former Presidents - His Excellency Sir Ketumile Quett Masire and His Excellency Festus Gontebanye Mogae continue to be engaged by Government to participate in regional and international fora to promote Good Governance, Democracy, fight against HIV/AIDS, Climate Change and Promotion of Peace and Conflict Resolution. For example, His Excellency Festus Mogae continues to chair the National AIDS Council meetings and is the Convener of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa. Their continued participation in these fora has impact on the limited budget allocated to their offices."

The Honourable Minister went on to report that over the past year Government's allocations to the two offices were indeed reduced, which is consistent with the cutbacks that have occurred across Government. Thus their 2010-11 allocations have been reduced by 13% and 14% from their already revised downward 2009-10 allocations as reflected in the figure below, which were presented by the Minister to Parliament.

Office of Former President Masire

2009-10 0riginal 3,339,070
2009-10 Revised 3,105,340
2010-11 2,682,430

2010-11 Reduction from 2009-10 revised -14%

Office of the Former President Mogae

2009-10 0riginal 4,513,020
2009-10 Revised 4,197,110
2010-11 3,670,420

2010-11 Reduction from 2009-10 revised -13%

In the above context it is misleading for you to state that the Hon. Minister stated that the former President's budgets are "overboard". Clearly they have in fact been reduced. It is equally clear from the above, that measures are already in place to keep them in check.

Your so-called "rumour" that government intends to cut off the former presidents from the national budget is without substance.

Original Communication From: News Editor Sunday Standard/Telegraph:

When presenting her budget proposals recently, minister Lesego Motsumi expressed concern that the former presidents' budget s are on the rise, and said that measures should be put in place to put them in check.

We have recently heard rumours that government intends to cut off the former presidents from the national budget.

What is your take on Minister Motsumi's concern that the former presidents budgets are over board? Are the rumours that government intends to cut off the former presidents from the national budget true?

Please add any other information that you might find pertinent to this issue. Thank you

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