Finance Minister, Kenneth Matambo has come out in support of a Presidential directive that relocated the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatization Agency (PEEPA) from the Ministry of Finance to the Office of the President (OP).
Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) last week expressed their displeasure with the relocation of the privatization agency during Matambo’s ministerial budget presentation last week. MP for Gaborone Bonnington South, Ndaba Gaolatlhe opined that the relocation of PEEPA from Ministry of Finance to OP was ill-advised as the latter did not have the requisite capacity to supervise the privatization agency.
“I don’t believe it was your ministry that instigated this transfer,” he said.
At the same time, Matambo could not reveal who initiated the transfer. Another MP who spoke out against the transfer is Dithapelo Keorapetse of Selebi Phikwe West. The BCP legislator said the OP will eventually become inefficient in discharging its mandate as it was becoming bloated. Uproar previously broke out when various other departments were transferred to the OP, among them the Department of Information and Broadcasting Services and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). In response to the MPs’ concerns, Matambo said the transfer of PEEPA to OP will help government to supervise project implementation and monitoring. PEEPA is responsible for advising government on privatization strategies and implementation; which includes commercialization, restructuring, outsourcing and divesture interventions. The parastatal recently spearheaded the privatization of Botswana Telecommunications Limited (BTCL) and its listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).