Office of the President (OP)
News/Press Releases
22.02.12
First and foremost let me congratulate you again for qualifying for the first time in our history for the Africa Cup of Nations. This is an achievement we must now continue to strive for in the future. Your first ever game in this competition was always going to be very tough, as you were drawn against the highest ranked team in the competition. The result and the way you played proved once again that you deserved to be there amongst Africa’s best. That first game was a good learning experience for you all for the rest of the competition. You did us proud. Even Ghanaian supporters and their team commended your performance. With the toughest challenge now behind you, we look forward to the next games with much excitement and anticipation. Be assured that the whole nation is behind you. We wish you all the best Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
22.02.12
This is to confirm that the Director of Public Service Management has issued a Circular Savingram (dated 20/1/12), which authorises Public Service Employees to wear national colours, including Zebras' Jerseys, in support of our National Team on the dates they will be participating in the AFCON Games, e.g. 24th & 28th January, 1st February, as well as every Friday until the end of the AFCON Games. Employees should, however, be presentable and are not, for example, allowed to wear multi-coloured wigs in offices. Further to the above, H.E. the President, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, this morning encouraged public servants to show their colours in support of the Super Zebras in line with the above DPSM Circular Savingram. Copy of the Savingram attached. Thank you
17.01.12
1. This is truly a joyous occasion for all of us! Over the past few years nothing has made us prouder or more united as a nation than the collective pleasure we have experienced as Batswana in following the Zebra’s advance in international competition; progress that has now culminated in this latest pinnacle of their ongoing success – participation in AFCON 2012. 2. To the players, coaches and others who have so brought us together, mere words can scarcely convey the deep gratitude we all feel for the talent and commitment you have consistently displayed in reaching this new sporting milestone. 3. Your perseverance and hard work in successfully scoring on the world stage has set a positive example for the rest of us. In the process you have become role models for those who will follow and as such you must always put the nation's interest before your own. 4. That these qualities are now becoming recognized not just by your own countrymen and women, but also the wider international football community was recently re-affirmed by the Confederation of African Football in their well deserved recognition of the Zebras as being this continent’s 2011 “national Team of the Year”, an accolade I may add that has gone virtually unchallenged. 5. Your unsurpassed record in becoming the first team to qualify for AFCON 2012 speaks for itself; but this is not the whole story. Neither has it just been your relentless ascent up the FIFA team rankings. 6. What has really stood out is the growing respect that you have collectively earned, from nearly all observers, for your consistent quality of play. 7. And so the team performance that was once considered to be a surprise for many is now being increasingly accepted and celebrated by outsiders, as well as local fans, as a solid legacy of sustained achievement. They also now know you as the Zebras, because they too have seen your stripes and how you have earned them. 8. Beyond personal admiration and thanks for your achievement, my message to the Super Zebras here amongst us is to simply confirm what I am sure they already know - that your nation is fully behind you, you are not just doing this for yourself, but all of us. 9. In this respect, I speak not just for Government, or the other stakeholders present at tonight’s gathering, but the 2 million or so fellow citizens of all walks of life who are also here in spirit. 10. For its part Government has, and will continue to do its best to ensure that you get the support you need. It is this support that has managed to achieve this milestone and other to come in all sports codes. 11. In addition we have stretched ourselves to facilitate the attendance of some of your ardent supporters at away matches. 12. Let me also use this occasion to once more appeal to the private sector and general public to further maintain and where possible increase your support to our team, recognizing that we all have a part to play in its continuing success. We wish you all the best.
17.01.12
1. My fellow citizens, with the Holiday Season now upon us it is a renewed pleasure for me to once again wish you all a most pleasant and safe break from life’s routine, while enjoying the company of family and friends. 2. Living as we do in challenging times, many of us have come to welcome this end of year break as a time to relax and rejuvenate; as we also reflect upon the journey we have travelled over the past months and the opportunities that lie before us. When we gather together across generations, may we be further reminded of our debt to our elders, for bringing us to where we are, along with our own responsibility to build a brighter future for those who will follow in our footsteps. 3. By any standard 2011 has indeed been a challenging year for all of us. Continued economic volatility, combined with the need to control spending, had an impact on our family budgets as well as the public finances of Government. We were thus confronted with circumstances, not always of our own making, which required us to make difficult decisions. In the end we had no choice but to do more with less. 4. During the year there emerged differences of opinion about wage increases in the public sector. It is in our nature as Batswana, as well as the proud citizens of a free republic, to approach matters from diverse perspectives. This shall continue to be a source of strength for us as long as we also continue to put the long-term interests of our country as a whole ahead of any sectional and short-term desires. Due to the economic outlook for the coming year we will be facing the same challenges as we did this year that will leave the Government with very little or no options at all on various demands as was the case during this financial year. 5. The need for us to work together is all the more imperative given the competitive nature of today’s global environment. Over the past twelve months we have continued to experience the negative aftershocks of the global economic downturn, notwithstanding our own country’s still ongoing recovery. 6. While we can hope for economic growth in the coming year, the extent of our progress will be subject to external market conditions, which unfortunately remain uncertain. As I have previously stated, the possibility of a second downturn in key external markets is now likely. Whatever the outcome it is clear that next year will be another year of belt tightening. 7. We can, in this respect, at least take comfort in the fact that the sacrifices that we have already made have not been in vain. As I said we have begun to achieve more with less, a trend that we can and must sustain. 8. Our relative success so far is clear evidence of our collective ability to make further progress in achieving our common goal of a more prosperous and productive society where all Batswana can live in dignity. 9. This very month we received the initial results of the Botswana Core Welfare Results Survey, which report a further significant drop in our poverty level. This news confirms that we have the capacity to achieve our ultimate goal of eradicating absolute poverty from our society altogether. As we count our blessings let us therefore reflect on how we may assist the less fortunate among us, while building upon our own good fortune. 10. This month we also received the news of our nation’s continued progress in fighting corruption, as reflected in our improved score and ranking in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. This too should encourage us in our efforts to build a fairer and more just society. 11. Let us therefore usher in 2012 with shared confidence, knowing that we have the collective capacity to build upon what we and our forebears have already achieved. This will be accomplished if we each make our own New Year’s resolution to be all that we can and should be, for ourselves, our families, community and country. 12. In the coming year let us also continue to celebrate in the successes of our fellow citizens, such as the sports men and women who have been flying our flag high in international competitions. We are all, of course, already sharing in the excitement of the Zebras appearance in next month’s AFCON tournament. 13. For many of us Christmas will always be a time of new beginnings, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; giving thanks to him who brought heavenly grace to our humble lives. But, no matter what our faith, we can all carry something of the Christmas spirit with us throughout the coming year. 14. Finally, as I always say, please exercise restraint. As we travel, there will be a lot of traffic on our roads and sadly there will be those among us who risk themselves and others through their impatience and overindulgence. Let us not allow drunken or reckless behaviour to turn this time of joy into one of sorrow and grief. Let us rather exercise discipline both on and off the road so that we can all look forward to many Holiday Seasons to come. 15. May I wish you, your families and friends a very happy Christmas as we look forward to the New Year with optimism and hope. God bless.
17.01.12
With reference to the above, this Office has taken note of a number of media reports in which it has been misleadingly suggested that Government’s re-employment of a number of previously dismissed nurses was the result of a recent meeting between H.E. the President, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, and a delegation of Parliamentarians. In the interest of accuracy we wish to note that the rehiring of said nurses, along with other personnel, has in fact been part of an ongoing process, which was initiated last June and is thus not directly related to any recent meetings with His Excellency. In this respect, members of the Press are reminded of the Permanent Secretary to the President's, Mr. Eric Molale's, communication of the 6th of June 2011, in which it was clearly stated that: "The Government has also made a commitment that all employees in essential services who have been dismissed for taking part in the strike declared by the Industrial Court as illegal and unprotected, are eligible to re-apply with immediate effect, to the Directorate of Public Service Management for re-employment. In this regard, DPSM shall use its best endeavours to have them placed in employment and/or positions in the public service as is reasonably practicable depending, among others, on availability of vacancies, and the interest of the public service." The above announcement was, moreover, followed by further communications and spot announcements from the Department of Public Service Management (DPSM) informing affected individuals and the public on the procedures for thus applying for re-employment. Further to the above, members of the press may further recall that on the 12th of July 2011 the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, the Hon. Mokgweetsi Masisi, had reported to Parliament, in response to a question raised by the Member of Parliament for Kweneng East, the Hon. Major General Moeng Pheto, that Government had at that time already re-employed a total of 957 dismissed essential services employees including 34 are doctors, 470 nurses, and 453 from other professions. In the context of the above, last week's meeting between His Excellency and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the Hon. Pono Moatlhodi, and the Member for Kweneng East did not result in any change in Government's existing process of re-hiring, but rather afforded His Excellency with an opportunity to update the two on ongoing progress.
17.01.12
This morning (09/12/11)H.E. the President, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, departed for the New York, where on Monday he will deliver the Keynote Address at the Opening of the 10th Session of the Assembly of State Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Assembly is to be held at the United Nations Headquarters from the 12th through 21st of December 2011. On Sunday evening His Excellency will also attend the Justice Gala 2011 awards at the Harvard Club in New York, where he is to receive the Justitia Award for Statesman of the Year. The Justitia Award are sponsored by the Berlin based Cinema for Peace Foundation, who this year are partnering with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court “in order to Honour Outstanding achievements in International Justice and Human Rights.” In their letter to the President, the Cinema for Peace Foundation state: “We would like to congratulate you on your leadership in Africa transforming Botswana to a role model state that has freedom of speech, a low corruption rate and a vital economic growth. Especially, we want to express our respect for your achievements to promote justice on an international level. Through your efforts, you have taken a further step to bring your country to international leadership.” The Foundation further cites the words of ICC Deputy Prosecutor Fatour Bensouda, who reported earlier this year that: “Botswana is one of those few countries, especially in Africa, that encourage the work of the ICC and one of the countries that take their responsibility under the ICC Statute very seriously.” In addition to His Excellency, Sunday Night’s Gala will also honour actress Angelina Jolie, as Civic Supporter of the Year, and Benjamin Ference, for Lifetime Achievement. The later individual is being recognized for his efforts in promoting a legal framework for international justice, which date back to his role in the post-Second World War Nuremburg Prosecutions. The Cinema for Peace Foundation, which is currently chaired actor Sean Penn, is driven by an International Committee whose members include film stars, as well as Noble Peace Prize Laureates, international statesmen and activists. Prominent individuals on the committee of this year’s awards thus include, among others: George Clooney, Catherine Deneuve, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bob Geldorf, Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Ben Kingsley, Liza Minelli, Liam Neeson, Tim Robbins, Susan Saradon and Catherine Zeta-Jones, as well as with Mikhail Gorbachev, Deepak Chopra, Josckha Fischer and the Dalai Lama. The President is scheduled to return to Botswana this coming Tuesday. While he is away the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, the Honourable Ponatshego Kedikilwe, will serve as Acting President.
17.01.12
The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture wishes to encourage all Batswana to continue wearing Botswana colours; blue, black and white on Fridays to support the Senior National team, Zebras as they prepare for the long road to their first AFCON tournament which will be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012. This campaign was launched on Friday 2nd December 2011 by the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Hon. Shaw Kgathi on Botswana Television. The Ministry in collaboration with BNSC, BFA and Botswana Television encourages employers to allow their employees to wear Botswana colours on Fridays to show solidarity. It would be appreciated if employees could be allowed to wear their Zebras replicas. As a Ministry, we believe this is an opportunity for Batswana to show support for their team and to wish them the best of luck. Let’s join hands to give our ‘Boys’ the support and encouragement they need. RUTH M. MAPHORISA PERMANENT SECRETARY
17.01.12
Following several attempts to resolve the National Stadium issue without success due to disagreements between us as a Ministry and the Consultants that we had engaged to supervise the project on our behalf, we have finally managed to engage a company (AJ Consult), to do an investigation in to the state of the problem at the National Stadium, what led to that problem and eventually recommend as to what really needs to be done as a way forward. This technical audit team will also look at the design of the project and the actual construction work that was done and pass an opinion on the quality of each. We expect them to present a true state of the pitch as they see it and what is wrong with it and even say the contribution if any by any of the parties involved being us as the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology and the Consultants, who designed the project and supervised its execution. It must be noted that the focus of the investigation will be on the soccer pitch as that is where the dispute is. This Technical Audit of the National Stadium Pitch will last for a period of eight (8) weeks. After the said eight weeks, a way forward will be determined that will see the National Stadium project being completed and handed over for public use. We therefore invite the media to a handover ceremony of the National Stadium facility to the AJ Consult Company on Tuesday 06 December 2011 at 0830hrs at the National Stadium, where an opportunity will be availed for them to make any further inquiries they may wish to both Ministry officials, the consultants or to other stakeholders like the contractor and BNSC or Ministry of Sports officials. Thanking you for your usual support. Christopher Nyanga Principal Public Relations Officer Cell no. 71606399
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