What's Going On?

Social media went abuzz with comments following the release of a statement by the Office of the President (OP) announcing a 'mini' reshuffle of cabinet on Friday.

The biggest shocker was perhaps the decision to move former minister of Finance and Economic Development Thapelo Matsheka to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development. People of course started expressing their discontent with the decision, and others had fears that the decision might affect the country's reputation in more ways than one. Prior to the mini cabinet reshuffle, there were rumours doing rounds that the then finance minister was planning to hand in his resignation, followed by speculation after speculation of what his bone of contention could be. As is usually the case with most statements announcing movement within government top posts, the press release did not offer much information as to what necessitated the decision to have a mini reshuffle. The press statements read: "In exercise of the powers vested upon him by Section 42 of the Constitution, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi has made the following Cabinet appointments and decisions: i. Mr Mmusi Kgafela is appointed Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry. ii. DrThapelo Matsheka is appointed Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development. iii. Ms Peggy Onkutlwile Serame is appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Development. These appointments are with effect from the 16th April, 2021." While minister Kgafela's movement did not attract much attention, Matsheka's did, as it is a rare occurrence, for a minister of finance to be replaced after leading the important ministry for such a short period of time. Matsheka served as finance minister for less than two years, which is not that common for the said ministry. It is of course understandable for citizens to be apprehensive and have fears that things might not be going well. Perhaps President Mokgweetsi Masisi should find time to address the nation on the matter to allay the people of Botswana's fears. Meanwhile, congratulations are in order for the incoming Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Peggy Serame, who happens to be the first woman to hold the post.

The following ministers have been at the helm of the finance ministry since independence: Benjamin C Thema

1965-1966 Minister of Finance

Sir Quett Ketumile Jonny Masire

1967 Minister of Finance

1968-1970 Minister of Development Planning

1971-1980 Minister of Finance and Development Planning

James G Haskins

1968-1970 Minister of Finance

 Peter S Mmusi

1980-1989 Minister of Finance and Development Planning

Festus G Mogae

1989-1998 Minister of Finance and Development Planning

Ponatshego H K Kedikilwe

1998-1999 Minister of Finance and Development Planning

Baledzi Gaolathe

1999-2009 Minister of Finance and Development Planning

Ontefetse K Matambo

2009-2019 Minister of Finance and Development Planning

Editor's Comment
Seamless Business Environment Needed Post-COVID

The country was also classified as the least corrupt in the world with strong anti-graft checks and balances. With these assurances, investors were guaranteed safety on their investments and returns. That is no longer the case. Several countries like Namibia, South Africa and Mauritius have done well over the years and overtaken Botswana as attractive places to do business.Therefore, when countries that Botswana is competing with for a piece of...

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