PALAPYE: In a bid to fight corruption in his ministry, the Minister of Lands and Housing Prince Maele, directed that all land applications by all staff in the ministry and Land Board members be declared to him through the permanent secretary.
Maele made the directive during the official opening of the Special Land and Housing Leadership Forum held at the Majestic Five Hotel on Monday. He said that corruption and conflict of interest continue to let down the ministry’s ranking hence Batswana lose confidence on them.
He pointed out that the public perception about this ministry is that it is a corrupt and inefficient ministry and hence implementation of new resolutions.
“I cannot afford to watch helplessly corruption rearing its ugly head in our ministry. This cancerous disease must be cured. I am now forced under the circumstances and in view of the continuing corruption cases reported to direct that all applications by staff in the ministry and for Land Board members be declared to me through the PS and mine will be declared to His Excellency (President Khama),” he said.
He indicated that his ministry has promised to deliver, through the Economic Stimulus Package, a total of 37,000 serviced plots, 4,481 housing units, 500 instalment purchase schemes, 250 youth housing units, maintaining at least 400 housing units and building houses for 540 public officers, among other initiatives. “All of this calls for our procurement processes to be robust and watertight. I do not want re-tenders because issues of re-tendering are likely to be corrupt and preference should be given to Botswana companies. Where we have to do selective tendering, please make sure you avoid conflict of interest,” advised the Minister.
Maele indicated that poor customer service is at the top of the challenges saying that he is not happy with the manner in which some of the MLH staff treat customers.
He emphasised that often they think that they are doing customers favours though it is the other way round as they depend on customers for their pay cheques. In addition, they should encourage customer service feedback forms on their respective departments since it reflects on how they serve the customers and how they can improve their services.
“Our mirror is the customer service feedback forms and let us encourage even our most dissatisfied customers to fill them up to see how ugly we look in the mirror.
“I know your tendency is to encourage those who speak well about us to fill; move away from that,” advised Maele.