Press statement over the shortcomings of oversight institutions


The Botswana Congress Party demands that the Minister of Lands and Housing fully answers the question; “Who owns the diseta island and how it was allocated”?It is in the public interest that the parliamentary question by Hon Dithapelo Keorapetse, Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe West is fully answered in accordance with the rules of parliament.

We reject the Minister’s argument that he would not divulge the information to Parliament because the information is in the public domain. The BCP shall not rest until the question is fully answered and the Island is returned to its rightful owners, the Shakawe community.

The Minister must understand that not everything that is in the public domain is factual.

In 2010 in answer to a parliamentary question asked by Hon Dumelang Saleshando concerning the ownership of a natural spring around Borotsi and Chadibe in Tswapong South the Minister of Lands and Housing told parliament that the natural spring was not privately owned but a shared community resource.

This was contrary to what was in the public domain, which was that the natural spring was a private property of Seretse Khama Ian Khama. In the case of the Diseta Island in Shakawe it is publicly believed that the Island is a private property of President Seretse Khama Ian Khama acquired through self allocation. The Minister denied himself and his government the opportunity to clarify the issue and lay it to rest.

Referring anybody to seek information from the Tawana Land-board is disingenuous of the Minister given the sensitivity of the matter as it involves the Head of State.

If the Minister found it hard to divulge the information to parliament with all the protection and privileges accorded to him it is far-fetched to expect a department under his Ministry to provide such information over a sensitive issue.

The refusal of the Minister to fully respond to the question raises suspicion that something unlawful must have taken place in the process of allocating the Island to the current mysterious owner.

What is even more worrying is that public oversight institutions including to some extent parliament have been reduced to toothless bulldogs aimed at protecting the interest of the President, his friends and relatives. All allegations of transgressions involving the

president, his friends and relatives are frequently swept under the carpet. The public will recall that the Botswana Congress Party has reported cases to DCEC and Ombudsman over the controversial Mosu home where there were allegations that public resources were used to develop the resort that included the construction of an airstrip, houses for Thapelo Olopeng, Tshekedi Khama and Jacqueline Khama.

Another report relates to a case where it was reported in the media that President Seretse Khama Ian Khama piloted a Botswana Defense Force plane at a fun fare at Matsieng Air and Motor Show at Rasesa on July 26, 2014.

We also reported a case to the Directorate of Financial Intelligence Agency involving a claim of possible money laundering involving the Director General of DISS, Isaac Kgosi – remember the disappearance of a 50 million Euro bag. Hardly any progress has been reported by any of the responsible agencies hiding under the cover of undemocratic secrecy clauses of the law. Reporting cases involving President Khama and his associates to these oversight institutions will remain a formality until they are truly independent and directly accountable to parliament.

Kesitegile Gobotswang,

Secretary General, BCP

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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