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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Issue No 16
10/09/10

Welcome to your weekly window into the Presidency. Having spent part of his Saturday participating in a charity sporting event, H.E. the President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, arrived at the UB stadium in time to cheer on the galloping Zebras in their victory over the Sparrow Hawks of Togo.

Botswana sports made additional global headlines over the weekend when Amantle Montsho won the 400m race with a season best of 49.89 at the IAAF continental Cup Tournament in Croatia.

The weekend's other big event  took place at Jakalas no. 1, where H.H. the Vice President, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe, along with the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, the Hon. Lesego Motsumi, and other dignitaries launched Vision 2016 awareness month.

In his keynote remarks, His Honour called on communities to join hands with Government in supporting initiatives that contribute to the eradication of poverty, citing the  example is in Moshupa village where residents led by Kgosi Mosielele are directly involved in various projects such as horticulture development and providing shelter for the less privileged. He further noted that Government was planning to launch an inclusive "Pitso ya go Nyeletsa Lehuma" next month to engage key stakeholders in finalizing a roadmap for poverty eradication.

Meanwhile in the nearby Tonota North constituency voters steamed to the polls in relatively high numbers to give the ruling party an overwhelming victory in what many media commentators had previously predicted would be a close contest.

At the beginning of the week His Excellency received a quarterly briefing from the Ministry of Labour and Homes Affairs, whose highlights included notable improvements in the turnaround time for most Ministry services, including: 2 days for passports, 10 days for visas, 15 days for Omang; and 60 days for work and resident permits.

The Ministry reported further progress in its promotion of Industrial Harmony measures and fight against corruption.

During the week His Excellency was also briefed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on their progress in simplifying the categorization of driver's licences
            
On Monday afternoon His Excellency had the pleasure of meeting with representative of C.A. Sales, who pledged their support for his ongoing Housing Appeal for the Needy.

On Tuesday the President, along with his Ministers, attended a full meeting of the Southern District Council in Kanye as part of the executive's initiative to take Cabinet to the Councils. This was the fourth such meeting, following previous joint meetings with the Francistown, Gaborone and Kweneng District Councils.

In his opening remarks in Kanye, the His Excellency noted that he and the rest of Cabinet greatly valued their interaction with the Local Authorities, observing that the latter have their hand on the pulse of everyday life at the community level and therefore a good understanding of the needs and aspirations of the communities they serve.

He further noted that while it was the role of Central Government is to finalise policies and strategic interventions in consultation with the local Authorities, their success in implementation depended on their ownership at community level.

His Excellency observed that due to the constrained economic situation Government, including the Local Authorities, must exercise maximum prudence in their financial management and become more proactive and creative in engaging their constituents in assume greater responsibility for activities in their localities, including initiatives to eradicate poverty. He therefore implored Local Authorities to prioritise stimulating economic growth within their jurisdictions.

Concern was also expressed that community participation and mobilization in development has been waning, while the spirit of self help which had laid a solid foundation for nation building at independence and thereafter needed to be revived as reliance on Government is neither desirable nor sustainable.

Also during the week, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration briefed the Southern and Kgalagadi District Councils on the "Botswana Excellence Strategy", which is Government's blueprint for sustainable growth through economic diversification. The interactive meetings were a continuation of a public awareness campaign that will eventually take the Minister to all of the country's City, Town and District Councils. During her tour the Minister is also addressing civil servants throughout the country, in the context of the ongoing implementation of the new Public Service Act.

Tomorrow morning, from 0900 hours, H.E. the President is scheduled visit and interact with residents in the Gaborone South Constituency. His tour is expected to take him to Bontleng, Babuse and Naledi Wards.

Also scheduled for tomorrow, the Vice President will officiate at the Makaleng Ward Victory Celebrations.

 

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