Sunday, August 9, 2020

How Boko’s inner circle prepared a transition document for new UDC gov’t

A group of friends close to leader of Umbrella for Democratic Change Duma Boko had ahead of elections last year come up with a blue print on the overhaul of government and how the UDC government was going to function, going forward.

That blueprint has been seen by Sunday Standard.

So sure of victory were some in the UDC that they even suggested possible names for cabinet appointments.

In a paper entitled “Proposed Presidential Transition Management Plan” that was submitted to Boko for possible review, consideration and adoption, the transition team had come up with a detailed plan that when read now after defeat at the polls reads like a fiction.

“The purpose of this Proposed Transition Management Plan is to suggest practices and key choices most likely to contribute to smooth and successful transition to State Power in 2019. It is proposed here that the transition period be 14 days to allow for a smooth handover process and inauguration preparations,” the paper opens by stating.

The team continues by observing that a presidential transition that they were planning would be the first in the History of Botswana, and as such would involve establishing key goals and infrastructure.

The listed goals include staffing the Ministry of State President and the Office of the President, making more than 180 presidential appointments.

“Staffing a new administration requires more than 150 presidential appointments. The transition team must identify and internally vet priority personnel and senior leadership candidates and submit to the President Elect for final approval.”

Also suggested as a key position was the Legal Counsel.

“The transition’s general counsel will be responsible for supporting a number of important activities as part of the transition team. These will include incorporating the transition team as a separate legal

[entity]

, ensuring that the transition is reviewing contracts and agreements, and providing legal advice to transition leadership.”

They framers of the policy framework had also set out the dates for meeting both the Botswana Defence Force and also the Botswana police after elections.

Also included was the date for Boko to take oath, victory speech and celebrations thereafter.

There is also the renovation of the State House included, a meeting between the transition team and outgoing administration, Boko meeting former president, Mr Masisi, President Boko accepting congratulatory messages from foreign  Heads of State, Boko meeting the UDC leadership, president Boko receiving economic brief from Governor of Bank of Botswana and also the president receiving brief from heads of the Armed Forces.

Under a new UDC government, ministries would be led by Director Generals.

Government was going to do away with current set up of permanent secretaries.

Government would be divided into three arms; Parliament, National Executive and the Judiciary.

Parliament, under the UDC would consist of National Assembly and District Councils. District, Town and City Councils would be led by Executive Mayors.

Executive arm of Government would be the president and his cabinet. While the judiciary would at the top be led by a Constitutional Court, followed by Court of Appeal, then High Court and lastly Magistrate Courts at the bottom.

Minister in the Presidency, a position which had been earmarked for Dithapelo Keorapetse was going to be responsible for national security, national infrastructure, national economic Council, Government Communications and also cabinet affairs. Under the presidency would also be the Office of the First Lady, military office, ICT office, protocol, operations and general administration.

UDC would do away with the position of Permanent Secretary to the President.

The current powers of PSP would be concentrated in the hands of Director General in the Presidency, a premier position that was going to be given to attorney Boingotlo Toteng, a close associate of Duma Boko.

The Vice President, which was to be given to Dumelang Saleshando was going to have significantly reduced powers, as most of the current roles of VP were going towards Minister in the Presidency and also the Director General in the Presidency.

Both the president and Vice President would have what UDC policy framers have called “body men.”

The president would have three aides while VP would have two.

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