Saturday, June 3, 2023

Gil Saleshando bemoans government’s mismanagement of public funds

The mismanagement of funds by the government seems to be continuing even at the time when the economic recession has hit the Ministry of Education harder. The government has announced that they are cutting costs but it appears as if it is only the Ministry of Education that is doing this.

The government has asked for strategies on how to cut costs but strategies provided by the opposition have not been considered.

In a press release, the President of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Gilson Saleshando, revealed that the government spends P8.5 million annually on the 101 unelected councilors.
He pointed out that the government intends to double the number of the Specially Elected Members of Parliament as a matter of urgency, yet the current cost for these current four MPs is about P1.2 million. He also referred to the presidential jet and caravan, which cost about P240 million, with the caravan to be towed by a luxurious Mercedes Benz.
He said the renovation of the State House in the last 5 years had a price tag of P18 million.

Saleshando alluded to ministers who stay in their houses but still receive a housing allowance, which cost the taxpayer upwards of P132 000 annually per minister. Then, he said, there is the construction of the 16 executive ministerial houses which cost over P80 million. The Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) was given over P200 million yet their work is never seen in the society and they are given preference over students. Constituency tournament have continued to be sponsored as the president has been seen around the country giving footballs for the tournament.

Zimbabwe has not yet stabilized its political and economic systems as the international bans that were imposed on them have not yet been lifted. The Botswana government recently gave Zimbabwe a loan of P500 million. The likelihood of Zimbabwe failing to pay is very high and this makes the loan an indirect grant from the government of Botswana.

Saleshando bemoaned directives that have been sent to University of Botswana informing students that anyone who disturbs peace within school campus will be blacklisted and never sponsored again or work for the government. This was done so as to silence those who would later be affected by the current measures. The drastic measures that followed after the directives were not challenged as the communiqu├® took away the democracy from the students.

Saleshando said the president and his ministers have refused to give statements in a high profile case which also involves the misuse of funds and abuse of office by the then managers of Debswana. The public has not been informed on the decisions taken by the president and his ministers.


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