Government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay was last week at pains to explain why he invited the media to a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) press conference, a task which should be reserved for the party public relations officer.
The latest development follows in the wake of complaints by opposition parties and the civil society that under President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s administration, the lines between government and the BDP have become blurred.
Ramsay who is a public servant issued invitations to the media for a BDP press conference hosted by Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
In what comes across as a sign of the times, Ramsay sees nothing wrong in him inviting members of the press to a BDP press conference. He told the Sunday Standard that for as long as the communication came from from the President or the Vice president, his office was compelled to advise the media.
“Yes I am government’s spokesperson; if our office gets any communication from the President or the Vice President office on any event communicated to the Press we can always advice the press on the President or Vice President scheduled events,” said Ramsay.
Quizzed on his presence at the party press conference, Ramsay said, “although I happened to be present at the press conference during that day I was not there to participate but I was only there to meet the Vice President.”
Ramsay emphasized that the office that he heads did not participate in the BDP Press Conference.
“My office can always advice the press on the President and the Vice President scheduled events. I do not know why this is an issue now; we have been doing this for 20 to 30 years,” he said, adding that his office had nothing to do with the actual organisation of the BDP Press Conference.
Pressed to explain why he had to meet Vice President Masisi at Tsholetsa house Ramsay said he was meeting him somewhere else immediately after the Press conference and they discussed matters not involving politics but public issues.
Government spokesperson said the invitation they got was never from the ruling BDP office but from Vice President Masisi office.
“We did not get the invitation from the BDP anyway we got it from the Vice President Office. Our release did not mention anything to do with politics; we only announced time and the venue,” said Ramsay
Ramsay insists that he always give full schedules about fourth coming events that involve the President and Vice President and releases from his office are in protocol for President and Vice President.