Mmegi Online :: Cabinet reshuffle looms as two new ministers arrive
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Thursday 25 April 2019, 09:27 am.
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Cabinet reshuffle looms as two new ministers arrive

Cabinet reshuffle looms as President Ian Khama last Wednesday signed into law two Bills that will expand the executive arm of government as well as extra specially elected Members of Parliament (SEMPs).
By Bame Piet Baboki Kayawe Tue 20 Sep 2016, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Cabinet reshuffle looms as two new ministers arrive








Effective from yesterday President Khama may any time appoint two more ministers.

According to Government Gazette dated September 16, 2016, the Ministerial Offices Bill enacted by Parliament on August 12, (now law), will see an increase in the number of ministries and assistant ministers with two additional offices for each category. Prior to the amendment, the President could appoint only 16 ministers.

Moreover, the number of Parliamentarians will grow from 61 to 63 with Khama’s signing into law the Constitution (Amendment) Act, which increased the number of specially elected MPs from four to six. 

The commencement date is yet to be communicated as the two members are to be elected at the start of the November Parliamentary sitting.

When tabling the Ministerial Offices (Amendment) Bill, which was published on February 5, 2016, minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale explained that the intention was to increase the number of ministers from 16 to 18. The same Bill says that the number of assistant ministers will increase from eight to 10.

Without going into details, the proposed increase in the offices of ministers and assistant ministers is expected to enable Khama to assign responsibility for the business of government by reviewing ministries whose portfolios are too wide with the view to reducing the mandate, whilst at the same time presenting an opportunity to create new ministries which will cater for priority areas or emerging areas of responsibility.

Section 50 (4) of the constitution provides that a minister shall be responsible, for such business of the government of Botswana as the President may assign to him or her.

When the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, which was also published

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on February 5, 2016, was proposed to increase the number of specially elected MPs from four to six it suggested the economy continues to grow in size and in complexity therefore the increase in number of SEMPs will provide a window of opportunity for the National Assembly, and by extension cabinet, to increase the number of members with the necessary expertise and skills to manage a modern and complex economy.

 

Ministries likely to be split

Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources

Too big with just one minister. The water sector alone requires a dedicated minister. Mining sector is another complex field that requires expertise and fulltime minister. Energy issues are also the backbone of the economy and need undivided attention.

 

Ministry of Education and Skills Development

This is one huge ministry that has cost many their political careers. The quality of education has gone down and all fingers point to the size of the ministry, which others are saying is unmanageable. There are three ministers, but they are not coping.

The ministry is likely to be divided into two – Lower and Higher Education.

 

Likely candidates for SEMP

Tebogo Masire – The former commander of Botswana Defence Force who has been featuring prominently in Botswana Democratic Party events.

Botsalo Ntuane – The BDP secretary general who lost in Gaborone Bonnington South to UDC’s Ndaba Gaolathe. Some party members have insisted that the SG should be in Parliament to be up-to-date with the views of other MPs.

Blacky Marole – Some people are of the view that his experience in mining may secure him a seat in Parliament to help give direction to the mining sector.

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