Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
PRESIDENTIAL PLEDGE
14/11/16
PRESIDENTIAL PLEDGE When every president is inaugurated, He has to come up with a game plan. Just like any politician, you have to sell people dreams but the difference with when you are a president is that, once you are seated on that chair in the Presidential Office, people will pull out that score cards and start assessing your every move towards making those dreams a reality. With our President, that is no different as we have what we call the Presidential Pledge, all because of Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama

PRESIDENTIAL PLEDGE

When every president is inaugurated, He has to come up with a game plan. Just like any politician, you have to sell people dreams but the difference with when you are a president is that, once you are seated on that chair in the Presidential Office, people will pull out that score cards and start assessing your every move towards making those dreams a reality. With our President, that is no different as we have what we call the Presidential Pledge, all because of Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

I remember it was in 2014 just after the elections during a Senior Management Forum when the then Secretary of Reforms in the Ministry, Mrs Keba Nyati announced these five priority areas. She had used the template that as used for the elections by the president and if my memory serves me well, I think it read; Have you seen/read my letter/message? This was the President ‘s pledge card that has come to be known as the five Government priority areas for his last five years in office.

First on that list is an issue that has become a thorn in the flesh of every graduate or school dropout, eliminating unemployment. On the pledge card it read, Make job creation our priority number 1. Every Ministry was mandated with incorporating these priorities into their ministerial plans so as to help the President meet his objectives. On the issue of job creation, through the Economic Stimulus Programme, Ministries have hired Botswana contractors to build the projects of the programme, killing two birds with one stone. This has addressed both priority 1 and 2 of the pledges. Also for pledge number one, we have seen some ministries absorb their interns and others employing Batswana on contracts, the Ipelegeng Programme and others.

For Priority two which says, Taking Batswana out of poverty, the Government wishes to empower disadvantaged groups through poverty eradication programmes. This is where our Ministry through the Department of Social Protection has the World War Veterans allowances, Pension for the Elderly, Disability Cash Allowance, Food hampers for the orphaned and many other programmes to try and meet the President halfway on his plan. Still under this department, we have the Miss RADP pageant for the Remote Area dwellers which gives the participants cash prizes and projects to help them and their communities out of adverse poverty.

Increase Education funding is pledge number three on the pledge card. Under this one, the Government has committed to bettering the education sector so that we have children taught what the industry needs at the moment. From an early age, children’s grades are to be picked as in the past years, the results form PSLE, JC and BGSCE candidates have not made people very happy and they blamed the government. This is why we now have the ministry divided into 2 being Ministry of Basic Education and the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology. We also have the Ministry given a higher share to answer to the need for classrooms, stationery and staff housing.

Elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV is also a hot topic as Botswana has been greatly affected by HIV. In the past, a lot of children were born with the disease from their mothers but the Government has since introduced the PMTCT programme so that children are not born with the disease even if their mothers are HIV Positive. In clinics, expectant mothers are encouraged to register for Ante-Natal care at 6 weeks so that they can be given care early if the virus is found. This is done at district level and each district is expected to reduce cases of this transmission through any strategies they may put in place.

Fighting crime and all its manifestations is a big one and the last one of the five. Corruption of officials has been a hot case that is why the Government took it upon themselves to come up with the DCEC. Ministries like MLGRD have launched their own Anti-Corruption Policy to curb this monster. Also within the Ministry, there is an Anti-Corruption Unit in place to keep a closer eye on things. At district level, I know Kweneng District Council has a whistle blowing centre to also try uproot this bad practice.

Like Mrs Nyati said, “The President has released his key areas, it is now up to us to follow him. We can say it is up to us to choose to walk with him in his quest but those who choose to be with him must be willing to hit the ground running as he is not

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