Members of Parliament have condemned the supplementary budget for the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD), presented by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth this week.
Matambo requested an additional funding amounting to about P568, 968, 430. “The amount is required to pay outstanding tuition fee invoices for students sponsored by the Ministry at various private and public tertiary institutions,” said Matambo.
The money is expected to be used to meet expenditures of among others, the progression of certificate and diploma holders to the next level of qualification for students sponsorship, affirmative action, top achievers sponsorship, back to school and special sponsorship of PhD programmes at BIUST.
Matambo said part of the funds would be used to purchase food for students in secondary schools for the remaining two months of the current financial year.
In response, MP for Molepolole North Mohamed Khan said the supplementary budget could not be accepted as it was huge an amount of money to be taken lightly. “If you are requesting this huge amount of money it shows that the job is not done properly. It shows that someone is sleeping on the job and he should be removed because he is costing the government,” said Khan. He said instead of throwing more money to the ministry, it should be investigated, as there seems to be overspending. “It so surprising because whenever we need money we are told there is no money but now after the budget has been approved all of a sudden we are told that another large amount of money is required.
There is a possibility of corruption in this situation,” he said. MP for Gaborone Bonnington North Ndaba Gaolathe also found the request unreasonable, saying the demand for such a large supplementary budget was a clear indication that planning capacity is lacking. “We understand that this is the largest and the most important ministry in human development and empowerment but the level of planning in this ministry is insufficient. There should be proper models in basis of education that guides how each department is performing. If we can have this models we will no longer require the supplementary budgets,” said Ndaba.
However, in the support the supplementary budget, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said the MoESD is a very difficult ministry. “Education is a difficult department. We have been going through a transition and reviewing of the payments but even up to now we are still building up some records afresh, we can still come back and request for more funds,” she said.