Former President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama is still regarded as the torch bearer of Botswana’s national Vision 2036 by virtue of him having been appointed to that role by Cabinet.
Through a Presidential Directive Cab 31 (A) of 2017 Khama is expected to continue in that role until a contrary decision is pronounced by Cabinet.
“This means that he continues to play his facilitator role as an Elder in the Nation Vision Council (The Council). As a champion, he provides credibility and integrity to the work of the Council. He facilitates opening of doors which may not be so accessible,” highlighted, Nonofo Molefhi, Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration.
Molefhi pointed out that the Council has been operational for close to 15 months now. It has been setting up its Coordinating Agency offices, which will serve as its Secretariat and Delivery Unit, adding that, the office facilities are in place with the operating structures taking shape
The coordinator was appointed in February, 2018 while the recruitment process of other staff members is said to be ongoing. In the same vein, it is generally believed that with required resources mobilized and availed for the Council this financial year, it should be possible to take its activities off the ground.
Dithapelo Keorapetse, Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe had asked Molefhi to say who exactly had appointed the former President to the role of the Vision Champion, to the chagrin of other MPs, especially on the ruling party side, that seemed to wish the question out of table.
Keorapetse sought to establish, if Khama was still champion of the Vision and what that meant or entailed including his specific role. He also wanted it stated categorically and specifically as to who assigned him that status.
In addition, concern was raised in the form of questions seeking for clarity as to whether the Former President ever attends meetings of the Council, and regarding the distinction between the old Vision 2016 and the new 2036 Vision, since many of the targets set in the former Vision could not be reached.
The distinction was explained that : “The 2036 Vision is a renewed undertaking and commitment to develop our country to a high income status, which we aim to achieve by ensuring that the National Development Plan (NDP 11) is guided and informed in every way by this vision”.
In this context, a transformational agenda or programme has already been conceived for which an a national strategy team is planned to identified for implementation of the Vision and ensuring its convergence with the NDP 11,District and Urban Development Plans, and resource allocation as well.
Molefhi further posited that in formulating the new Vision government decided to emphasize and create monitoring and evaluation provision as key components for the sake of progressive implementation and constant feedback, right across sectors.
Another critical element of the Vision implementation, according to the Minister responsible for the National Vision, is the composition of “Thematic Working Groups” inside government wherein different Ministries and or Departments, in the line with convergence of their mandates, would be allocated tasks relevant to the Vision.
Whilst no direct connection was made between the substance and leadership of the Vision with Khama, Molefhi struggled amid murmurs, to persuade Keorapetse and colleagues, that government needed the former President in order to secure the public and other important stakeholders’ buy in, for implementation and translation of the Vision into tangibles.
“It was not him who chaired the meeting. It was Cabinet that decided in his absence as he was not present at that meeting. Gore e nne champion, we are trying to extend reach to the public, gore re nne le a public buy-in,” Molefhi qualified.