Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has said he would not discuss the problems stopping President Khama from attending international conferences.
Answering intense supplementary questions from opposition MPs in parliament on Monday, Masisi said he would only answer the question when he had available information.
“At the moment I cannot provide the information. The question was not on the order and as such I am unable to provide details,” he said.
The Member of Parliament for Kanye North had wanted to know whether the President’s inability to attend the United Nations General Assembly, let alone the African Union Heads of State Summits was because of lack funds, transport or even short of time.
It emerged during parliamentary question time that President Ian Khama has not attended any of the UN General Assembly and AU Heads of State summits. He had only been to Conservation International Board meetings since he became President.
“The president at all these fora was represented by either the Vice President or the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,” Masisi said, responding to the initial question posed by Gaborone Central MP, Dumelang Saleshando.
“As regards Conservation International Board meetings, His Excellency has attended six Board Meetings accompanied by a delegation of five officers namely senior private secretary, chief protocol, medical officer/presidential nurse and two security officers,” he added.
Masisi denied suggestions that the President attaches more importance to Conservation International Board meetings than the UN and AU meetings.
“The President’s attendance is not in any order of hierarchy,” he said.
President Khama arrived back in Botswana recently after attending a Conservation International Board meeting at the invitation of Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron.
A self-confessed environmentalist, President Khama is associated with tourism projects in the Kalahari and Moremi Game Reserves.