Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo has admitted that he adores and wishes that Ndaba Gaolatlhe, an opposition Member of Parliament, could be his deputy given his analytical skills on issues of finance and the economy. He however says such is impossible given Gaolatlhe’s choice of political home.
Matambo made this confession in parliament on Thursday, a day after Gaolatlhe made his submission on the supplementary estimates expenditure from the consolidated and development funds.
The three-times-lucky Minister on Wednesday requested Parliament to approve over P2 billion supplementary money citing financial implications during budget execution due to the shortfall in the budgetary provisions for some ministries and departments.
“Madam speaker, nine ministries submitted supplementary budget requests amounting to P1, 351,615,020 from the consolidated fund, out of which P1, 104,713,370 is being recommended for approval for only eight organizations expenditure,” said the minister.
However, Gaolatlhe who is a member of the finance parliamentary committee, when debating the matter later during the same day said that the parliamentary committee needed at least three months, not a week to evaluate supplementary budget which crossed the P2 billion mark.
“I believe we have failed the nation as finance parliamentary committee. We failed to apply our self adequately. P2 billion can make a country to collapse, we could have checked whether supplementary was done in a right way. Because of time, at some point we were based on opinion,” Gaolathe said.
Following Gaolatlhe’s Wednesday submissions, Matambo admitted on Thursday that he could not help but admire the Gaborone Bonnington South MP’s key points which he said fits that of an assistant minister of finance and development planning.
“As the honourable MP was making his contribution yesterday, I was reminded of the fact that I do not have an assistant. Had it not been the fact that he sits across the aisle I would recommend to President Ian Khama that he be appointed my assistant. It is a pity he is on that other side,” Matambo made a frank admission to parliament.
Matambo, who took over from Gaolatlhe’s father as Minister of Finance in 2008 was brought back to parliament by President Ian Khama through the special elected dispensation.
The young Gaolatlhe on the other hand was elected into parliament in the just past general elections for the Gaborone Bonnington South Constituency.
A graduate of Mathematics and Economics from the George Washington University in America, Gaolatlhe was very instrumental in the drafting of his political party policy.
He was at some point, whilst still a member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party advisor to the former President Dr Festus Mogae.