Friday, August 27, 2010

Opening Speech by the Minister for Presidential Affairs & Public Administration Hon.Lesego E. Motsumi at the Judicial Conference

source: Republic of Botswana TAUTONA TIMES of 8/8/2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery”


[Salutations] Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

1. It is indeed a great pleasure and privilege to address you today on the occasion of this year’s Judicial Conference. Today marks yet another milestone in Botswana’s strive to achieve democratic excellence. I have been informed that this is an annual event where the Judiciary comes together to discuss various pertinent issues relating to their profession. I derive this pleasure mainly from the fact that the Judiciary and the other two arms of government in Botswana have always co-existed and have worked in collaboration with each other since independence in 1966. The Judiciary has maintained its independence as well as it’s impartiality and has unequivocally interpreted all laws which are passed by the Legislature as and when need arise.

2. On the other hand, the Executive has complied with court orders whenever government was dragged to court, while Parliament (the legislature) has also independently maintained its legislative role. This state of affairs has made Botswana an envy of many nations around the globe and a shining star of democracy in Africa. This notion makes me proud to be associated with this august occasion, hence my unreserved agreement to come and officiate at this conference.

3. Let me hasten, Honourable Chief Justice, to point out that, as government we are committed to supporting the Judiciary in its endeavour to promote democracy through dispensation of justice which is arrived at through well thought out judgments which help in settling dispute of an intractable nature. I have no doubt that an independent and accountable Judiciary is vital for any country to adhere to democratic values and principles of justice. It is a well known fact that any shadow of doubt on the independence of the Judiciary will seriously compromise the rule of law and will give way to anarchy. It is on this account therefore, that the government of Botswana will continue to ensure that the Judiciary operates in a favourable and conducive environment. This commitment has already been demonstrated by continued allocation of financial and human resources to the Administration of Justice despite the global economic recession which has adversely affected Botswana like the rest of the globe.

4. Government has allowed the Administration of Justice to acquire new positions into its establishment despite the freeze in the creation of new positions owing to global economic recession. This was done with the sole spirit of capacitating the Administration of Justice to step up its efforts to fight new challenges that bedevil the country such as increased crime and litigation.

5. Honourable Chief Justice, I have been informed that the theme for this year’s conference is “Strategic excellence, a milestone towards the rule of law and a just nation by 2016”. I personally believe that there could have not been any better theme than this one. It is gratifying to realize that like other ministries and departments, the Judiciary is also upbeat with strides towards the realization of the National Vision and its aspirations as indicated by this year’s theme.

6. Like other modern day organizations, The Administration of Justice is facing a challenge of customers who are enlightened and are assertive about their rights. Today’s customers are clear about their expectations and the kind of service they want from service providers. Customers are no longer asking whether they will get a service but when such a service will be provided. Services must be of acceptable quality, relevant, timely and also less costly for customers. Hence, the need for strategic excellence cannot be over emphasized.

7. We have just witnessed the end of the world cup in the neighbouring South Africa. Many soccer fans enjoyed the flair of the games either by physically attending or by watching through electronic media. I am bringing up this subject not because I want to do a post mortem of the event, I will leave that to professionals in the area, but I want to bring a point home that those who succeeded in the cup were those with superior strategies which were well executed on the pitch. The cup was not won by those who worked hard because everyone worked hard including those who did not qualify to participate in the prestigious cup. It is the strategies that one puts in place that will ensure efficiency as well as effectiveness and endear to the customers.

8. In conclusion Director of Ceremony, I want to point out that as the government of the day, we seriously view the Judiciary as a strategic partner towards effectively carrying our mandate of running this country.

9. When His Excellency, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama ascended to the Presidency, he came up with a road map comprising five principles of the “Five Ds”. These five Ds are Democracy, Discipline, Delivery, Development and Dignity. I have deliberately put them in this sequence in order to score a point that with a strong democracy and highly disciplined citizens with a strong inclination to excellent service delivery to customers as well as up to scratch pace of development Botswana will achieve dignity for herself and her citizens. For this envisaged state of affairs to obtain, there is need for a well functioning Judiciary. Such a Judiciary needs strong leadership that is bold enough to break the rules and colour outside the lines, a leadership that is prepared to go outside established conventions and pursue innovation and creativity.

10. Director of Ceremony, I am tempted to go on and on because your theme for this conference is very exciting to generate very interesting and fruitful discussions, but for fear of monopoly, I will pause here and declare this conference officially opened. PULA!

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