Friday, November 27, 2020

Khama presents his battle plan cabinet and civil service team

Even before being sworn in, Khama has announced key appointments in the senior civil service echelons which effectively gave a hint of what to expect as style and substance of his government.
Some of his closest associates were shuffled around, with Isaac Kgosi taking over the all important security job of Director of Intelligence and Security.
By the time he was sworn in, the new President made it clear that the civil service and political leadership will have to act as a team.
Those found to be going adrift will swiftly be disposed of.

“As part of a team charged with delivering services and development to the nation I hope they are all up to the task because those unable to deliver cannot be kept on the team,” he said.
An economic sub committee of cabinet led by Vice President General Mompati Merafhe has been set up.
The committee reports to cabinet on a monthly basis.

Immediately after laying down this, Khama announced a new look cabinet which saw him cutting off the heads of a number of senior ministers.
Perhaps the biggest casualty was former minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Charles Tibone.

A former Permanent Secretary and one of Festus Mogae’s closest friends and business partners, Tibone has also held the all important portfolio of Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.
It is not clear on what grounds Tibone was axed since there is general consensus that he is an experienced performer who brings a wealth of corporate acumen into politics.
Also axed was Minister of Health Professor Sheila Tlou. For some time now cabinet watchers have been agreed that compared to her predecessor Joy Phumaphi, Tlou was often found out of breath.

Tlou’s defeat at the BDP primaries for Palapye by-election sealed her fate as her loss rendered her a lame duck with no political future inside the BDP.
Also dropped from cabinet senior position was the pioneering Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture, Moeng Pheto.
Pheto’s fall from grace has come as little surprise to many observers. The former army General has made little impact ÔÇô both as a Member of Parliament and a senior minister.

His political future became precarious when a young businessman Lesang Magang started to be associated with the Lentsweletau constituency that has been held by Pheto since the retirement from politics by David Magang.

David Magang, who still enjoys tremendous political clout at Lentsweletau, is Lesang’s father, and is widely believed to be the mastermind of ambitions by his son to topple Pheto in the coming BDP primaries.

Vice President General Merafhe has been removed from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is now in the Office of Presidential Affairs. Phandu Skelemani has taken over at Foreign Affairs. An accomplished farmer Brampy De Graaf is the new minister of Agriculture. De Graaf’s friend, Johnny Swartz is now Minister of Works and Transport, taking over from Lesego Motsumi who has been moved to heal.

New comers in the junior ministerial positions are Guma Moyo at Finance and Shaw Kgathi at agriculture.
Nonofo Molefhi is new minister of Labour and Home affairs.

Clearly conscious of the need for inner party stability, factional kingpins inside the BDP have been left untouched.
Daniel Kwelagobe retains his portfolio as Senior Minister in the Presidency.
Ponatshego Kedikilwe has kept the important portfolio of minerals.
Jacob Nkate continues to be the political head at the Ministry of Education.

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