Former Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe will reportedly return to the Office of the President next month, this time as coordinator of the controversial Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP). The programme, launched by President Ian Khama last year as an initiative meant to boost the ailing economy, will be housed at OP and is expected to run for a period of three years with an estimated budget surpassing P3 billion.
Although the government is yet to make an official statement, President Ian Khama gave a hint of Kedikilwe’s impending appointment at the recent launch of the ESP in Machaneng when he said he will soon appoint a presidential inspectorate to oversee the programme.
“As part of our efforts to strengthen oversight on implementation, effective service delivery and improved project delivery countrywide, a Presidential Inspectorate Task Team composed of eminent citizens will be set up to among others, assess, monitor and make interventions that will assist in improving delivery of government programmes and projects, including ESP projects which are key in our road map to the country’s economic development initiative. Our target is for the Inspectorate to start work from 1st March 2016,” said President Khama at the launch of the ESP.
Kedikilwe served as a Member of Parliament and cabinet minister before Khama appointed him Vice President in 2012. President Khama is once again expected to announce him as the head of the Presidential Inspectorate Task Team.
Ironically, Kedikilwe was amongst the dignitaries at the Machaneng village in the central district. The former Vice President, who is also chairman of the Sefalana Group, told The Telegraph on Monday that he has not yet received any official communication from government, but admitted that he has heard about the matter.
“It’s news to me because I also received a call recently from someone inquiring about the same issue. But there is nothing official on my table,” Kedikilwe said.
Government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay would neither deny nor confirm the latest development.
“Why can’t you wait for an official statement to be issued if indeed there is something to that effect,” said Ramsay.
The Telegraph is informed that Kedikilwe’s role will not only be limited to ESP projects as he will be heading a taskforce of ex-civil servants which will monitor the implementation and delivery of government projects.
The ESP is Khama’s flagship project aimed at revitalizing the domestic economy, whose growth is projected to slow down due to falling government revenue. Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo slashed down his growth projections for 2015 from 2.7 percent to 1 percent in the budget speech earlier this month.