Last Updated
Thursday 18 December 2014, 14:58 pm.
Does finance business suffer in parley with minister not attending?

The acting Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo does not sit in parliament. This means that the acting minister cannot address parliamentary questions or issues addressed to his ministry in parliament.
By Staff Writer Sat 20 Dec 2014, 07:49 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Does finance business suffer in parley with minister not attending?








Matambo was appointed by President  Ian Khama to act  on behalf of Baledzi Gaolatlhe who is on sick leave.

Matambo, who was appointed with effect from this month, will be acting for four months.  But the acting minister does not attend parliamentary sessions as the law does not allow him.   His assistant  minister, Keletso Rakhudu is the one who acts for him in parliament.

Normally, the assistant  minister  would be appointed to act on behalf of the minister.
In other instances, the assistant  minister  would be appointed on a full time basis.  This happened at the Ministry Local Government.   After the former minister Margaret  Nasha was deployed to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration this year,  her then assistant,  Ambrose Masalila was elevated to take over.

As for the Ministry of Finance and Development  Planning,  President  Khama even took a long time to fill the vacant post of an assistant minister.  Khama dropped the former assistant  Minister of Finance and Development  Planning,  Sam Guma-Moyo last  year  but only filled his post with Rakhudu this year.

Matambo is likely to be appointed as a specially  elected MP after the general  elections.  An economist, Matambo has worked for the World Bank and as the Permanent Secretary in this same ministry.  His last job was as the chief executive officer of the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC).  In the past, there were reports that Matambo was going to challenge the MP for Tonota South, Pono Moatlhodi in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primaries.  But he never contested the primary elections.

This is not the first time that a president has roped in a non MP into the cabinet.  Khama himself is a beneficiary of the same dispensation.   In 1998, then president Festus Mogae appointed him to cabinet when he was not an MP.

Khama only became an MP after the former MP for Serowe North West, Collin Blackbeard retired and handed over the constituency  to him.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Margaret Nasha has told parliament the that constitution of the country and other laws do not permit the President to appoint more than one person to a ministerial post.

Nasha said the constitution provides that if a holder of an office is unable to perform the functions of an office, the President may appoint a person to act in or peform the functions of that office.

Nasha said the substantive minister, Gaolatlhe is indisposed and has been granted sick leave while Matambo has been appointed to act in that office.  She said the issue of dropping Gaolatlhe has not risen.  Nasha was answering a question from the MP for Kgatleng East, Isaac Mabiletsa.  Mabiletsa wanted to know whether the constitution or other laws permit the president to appoint more than one person to a ministerial post as it is the case with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

He also asked whether it would not have been more prudent and cost effective to drop one minister and keep the other.

This week MPs opposed a proposal to increase the number of specially elected MPs from four to eight.  The MP for Kweneng South East,  Edward Raletobane said he wants the specially elected MPs dispensation to be done away  with.

Raletobane said the specially elected dispensation was relevant when the country took independence because then there was shortage of skilled manpower.

He said there was need for people with special skills to compliment parliament.

"But in this age and era, you cannot say there is shortage of skills.  We should be asking whether after 42 years we still have parliament which lacks certain skills.

I don't believe we are lacking certain skills in parliament as this age and era," he argued.
He said it may only be the conditions of service of parliamentarians which fails to attract people of certain caliber. 

He insisted that parliament cannot attract specialised manpower because it is not well paying. 

He said Botswana has abundant specialised manpower but they could not come to parliament because it is not attractive.

Raletobane said if you pay peanuts you only get monkeys.  This irked the MP for Mogoditshane, Patrick Masimolole who asked; "are you implying that we are monkeys".



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