Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Philip Makgalemele told Parliament yesterday that the vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi used about P218,000 from state resources for his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairmanship campaign.
Makgalemele was responding to a question from the Francistown South MP Wynter Mmolotsi, who wanted to know the places Masisi visited using Botswana Defence Force aircrafts, the total fuel and ancillary flying costs in his campaign before the Mmadinare congress in July.
Mmolotsi also wanted to know the areas the Vice President visited using government vehicles as well as the cost of vehicle and hotel accommodation for him and his entourage, during the campaign trail.
Makgalemele stated that Masisi is entitled to official transport for both private and official business at all times. He added that the mode of transport is dependent on the nature, distance and time required for the trip, as determined by the Vice President’s schedule and security requirements.
“We must also note that the Vice President’s travel expenditure is not, in terms of the current books of Account, kept broken down by the purpose of his travel, more so that he seldom travels for a single agenda,” he said. Makgalemele said that during the campaign period (April 2015 to July 2015), Masisi used approximately P170,000 on transport and fuel for his air/road trips countrywide and P48,000 on accommodation.
“I wish to point out that where meetings were tied to official duties, government covers costs, while for party business, His Honour the Vice President meets the costs of accommodation and food,” he said.
Makgalemele labelled as ‘cheap politics’ questions raised by Mmolotsi. Selebi Phikwe West legislator, Dithapelo Keorapetse then asked Makgalemele to withdraw his statement as, “it is inappropriate to term the question as ‘cheap politics’, when it about accountability and transparency.”