Monday, September 28, 2020

Ministers overwhelmed by cabinet tasks – investigation

Thousands of Batswana inmates are breathing down each others necks in prison cells that are packed like slave ships; patients seeking medical attention spend long hours in hospital queues and sleep on floors of crowded wards because ministers are falling short of their responsibilities ? The Sunday Standard can reveal.

Charles Tibone, who was recently appointed Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, inherited full ?IN? and ?PENDING? trays because his predecessors Moeng Pheto and his deputy, Olifant Mfa, spent more time fighting than carrying out development work assigned to them.

Figures emerging from the current ministries? budget proposals presented in Parliament last week suggest that Pheto and Mfa were overwhelmed by the assignment to carry out development projects under the ministry Labour and Home Affairs. By January 2007, a few weeks before the ministry was split into two and the two ministers reassigned new cabinet posts, they had only used 23 percent of the money they had requested for development projects during the 2006/2007 financial year.

Health Minister, Dr Sheila Tlou, also proved smaller than her assignment and only managed to spend about 30 percent of the money she had requested for developments during the 2006/2007 budget. Justifying her failure to use up the money she had requested, Tlou told Parliament this week that part of the money was to finance completion of the five hospitals currently under construction, namely Scottish Livingstone, Sekgoma Memorial, Mahalapye, Maun and Lobatse hospitals, and the construction of Serowe and Molepolole IHSs.
?The low expenditure pattern is largely attributable to slowed progress on site due to the liquidation of the mechanical/electrical subcontractor.?

Trade and Industry Minister, Neo Moroka, was among the best performing ministers. Moroka had used up to 60 percent of his development budget allocation by February 2007 and the figure is expected to have shot up to 80 percent by the end of the financial year in April.

Among those who have already presented their budget request, Tibone was the best performing minister while at the Ministry of Minerals Energy and Water resources. According to the ministry?s records presented by the current minister, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, last week, ?the actual development expenditure as at the end of February 2007 was 79 percent of the total budget. By the end of the financial year the level of expenditure is expected to be 100 percent of the revised development budget.?

Although all but one has so far managed to use up his 2006/2007 budget allocation, the ministers were last week asking parliament to increase their budget.

Tibone, who has inherited a ministry with a development performance of 19 percent asked parliament to increase his development budget performance for 2007/2008.

Labour and Home Affairs Minister, Charles Tibone, asked for a bigger allocation compared to last year although the ministry was only able to spend 23 percent of its 2006/2007 allocation.
If we split the 2006\2007 budget allocation between the two new ministries (Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture) Tibone?s Ministry remains with a budget of P109 million or 56 percent of the total budget provision while Pheto?s Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture gets a budget of P87 million or 44 percent of the budget provision. Out of the total budget provision of P109 million, Tibone?s inherited ministry has spent only 19 percent of the money that was allocated to the ministry during 2006\2007.

Pheto, who has used slightly over 20 percent of his current ministry?s last financial year?s development budget allocation of P87 million, last week asked parliament to increase his development budget to P123 million.

Tlou, on the other hand, who was only able to spend about 30 percent from her 2006\2007 budget allocation of P576 million, asked Parliament last week to increase her budget allocation for 2007/2008 to P630 million.

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