Friday, December 4, 2020

De Graaff accuses the media of defaming him

The Minister of Agriculture, Christian De Graaff, is not about to bow to pressure to resign from cabinet over the sorry state of affairs at the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC).

If anything, the minister holds that the media has been giving him bad press, laced with defamation.

“I wish to observe that there has been defamatory material published about me in the media, and hereby caution that like any other Botswana citizen, I have a right to protect my good reputation,” the Minister said in a written response.

He did not entertain a response to growing calls for him to resign.

He said he had appointed a task force to look into issues that impacted negatively on the BMC.

“The Task force has since presented its report to me. I have shared the report with Cabinet and have made a statement to Parliament,” he said.

De Graaff added that the government is preparing a White Paper which shall identify the way forward with respect to the recommendations of the report.

“As a result of this, I do not consider it appropriate to discuss matters relating to BMC with the media,” he said.

There have been calls for De Graaff’s resignation from cattle owners, the general public, politicians and media editorials but De Graaf and, by extension, President Ian Khama, have ignored such calls. ┬á

The President of the Botswana National Front, Duma Boko, last year during a press conference called for a credible and independent Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of the Botswana Meat Commission.

Boko pointed out that if De Graaff lacks the decency and sense of shame to resign on his own, BNF calls upon President Ian Khama to relieve him of his duties as Minister of Agriculture.

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