Staff writer TSHIRELETSO MOTLOGELWA samples the contributions of those central to the controversial Air Botswana privatization.
Minister of Works and Transport
On updating Parliament on the on-going negotiations between Government and Airlink.
The proposed business model entails winding up Air Botswana and at the same juncture introducing a venture that will become Botswana's new national carrier.
Airlink will match in cash the equity contribution that Government makes to the joint venture in the form of net assets.
The expected staffing is 170 - compared with 305 in Air Botswana. Recruitment will follow a sequence of, first, Air Botswana staff; second, other Botswana nationals; and third, expatriates. It is also proposed to establish a call center in Botswana that would employ additional staff.
The two main winding up issues are staff retrenchment and disposal of assets and liabilities. With support from a human resources advisor, Air Botswana's Board is to lead the consultation process with staff.
Air Botswana's auditors may be asked to include disposal of assets and liabilities as part of the task of preparing Air Botswana's final set of annual accounts. This would help ensure prudence and probity.
Khumo Maoto MP for Francistown South on opposing the on-going negotiations
On-going discussions and/or negotiations concerning the privatization of Air Botswana be suspended forthwith as the current privatization exercise does not conform to
1) the letter and/or spirit of the Air Botswana Transition Act
2) the letter and/or spirit of the Civil Aviation Regulation Reform Act because the on-going privatization requires or entails the closure or liquidation of the existing company while the above enactments envisage the privatization of the existing company as a going concern
AIR BOTSWANA (TRANSITION) ACT
"An Act to provide for the provision of Air Botswana as a public company under the Companies Act; for its continued existence as if it had been incorporated under that Act and for matters incidental thereto"
"3(5) notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Companies Act, the Company shall use, "Air Botswana" as its company name and be legally designated as such for all purposes"
"4. conversion of financial interest of Government into issued shares
1) from the date
2) the Minister in trust for the Republic of Botswana, may, with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for finance
a. acquire, hold, dispose of and otherwise deal with shares of, or any security interest in, the Company"
"5. transitional provisions
1) from the date of the registration of Air Botswana as a company under the Companies Act, all assets and liabilities of Air Botswana shall become assets and liabilities of the Company without further assurance and the Company shall have all the powers necessary to take possession of, recover, and deal with, such assets and discharge such liabilites
5) all employees of Air Botswana shall become the corresponding employees of the Company and shall continue in office for the period for which, and be subject to the conditions under which they were appointed, as employees of Air Botswana.
Minister for Works and Transport as quoted by The Guardian
I have been instructed by Cabinet to carry out negotiations with SA Airlink. I will continue doing that until Cabinet instructs me otherwise, which at the moment it has not done. Parliament has a legitimate right to discuss and agree on any matter of public concern. But this matter has to be understood in the context that we are currently in the middle of negotiations, whose conclusions-positive or negative- has to be delivered to cabinet at some point. If these negotiations were to be suspended what will I report to Cabinet at the end of the day?
MP Gladys Kokorwe
On the sidelining of Parliament by the Executive
The Executive has to get used to the idea that these are modern times and the era of Parliament acting as a rubber stamping institution for the Executive are over. Parliament has always had problems of the Cabinet not acting on Bills that Parliament has passed. One such example is the Declaration of Assets and the Bill on the crossing of the floor are some of the examples that have been put on the backburner by the Cabinet. That is why we are asking for an even more independent Parliament that can keep Cabinet accountable. The motion said the negotiations should be halted and that is what should happen