The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is not impressed by the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs’ (MLHA) cavalier attitude, evident in its neglect of the Ramokgwebana boarder.
The PAC characterised the situation at the boarder as chaotic and said the MLHA was bringing Botswana into disrepute by failing to attend to the mess.
PAC member and Nata-Gweta MP Polson Majaga wondered if MLHA permanent secretary Pearl Matome had ever been to the boarder post to see for herself what a mess it is in. He said immigrations systems were slow, which created problems for mainly Zimbabwean visitors who buy groceries from Botswana.
“A lot of Zimbabweans buy their groceries this side but I am not happy with the way they are treated. For one to cross over this side one has to wait in long queues for a long time. Some end up bribing the immigration officers so that they can enter our country. This is not good for our country,” Majaga said.
He also pointed out that Zimbabweans immigrants who used the boarder gate were badly treated by immigration officers. He also called on the ministry to install water supply at the boarder as the employees were suffering, and to ensure customer toilets were working.
In response Matome admitted that her ministry was aware of the Ramokgwebana boarder gate situation and was working around changing “the behavioural and system problem” there.
“We are working on changing the behavioural and system problem as it is an issue of management. We have been there twice and are working on resolving the matter,” she said.
She asked the committee to give her ministry two months to resolve the matter. The PAC, however, applauded Tlokweng boarder gate for their improved services. They said many people had expressed gratitude for the services they were given at the boarder gate.
That though was the only respite Matome would receive from the no-nonsense PAC.They came back, and delivered the sucker punch that even Matome had not expected.