The minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Lesego Motsumi, last week took a swipe at the opposition for dictating terms to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, despite the fact that it has been mandated by the national majority to run the affairs of the country as it deems fit.
When contributing to the budget speech, opposition parties slammed government’s decision to reallocate public media houses, in particular Botswana Television, Radio Botswana and Botswana Press Agency, to the Ministry of State President, a move which they argued put the already biased national broadcasters under the control of the unilateralist president Khama and his cronies, who will abuse the public mouth-piece even more than before.
Motsumi last week did not mince her words when she reminded the opposition that the ruling BDP is in the driver’s seat and will therefore not pander to the wishes of the opposition.
“Opposition voices should know that we are in full control of this government, and we have been mandated by the majority to do so. We will govern as we please. They should not dictate terms to us because these state media houses are the voice of government,” she said.
The reallocation of the state media and the government printing and publishing services to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, she said, was done because there was no control at the disbanded Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.
Motsumi also dismissed insinuations over the upgrading of the State House and the conversion of the old Serious Crime Squad office to provide accommodation for the newly established Botswana Defense Force unit at the State House as a waste of money at this time of the global credit crunch, arguing that even the legislators want their falling houses to be renovated.
“They want their houses renovated, but they do not want the same to be extended to the president. They are provided with security at their houses and they don’t want our president afforded the same,” she charged.
Gaborone Central MP Dumelang Saleshando had posited that the renovation of the State House and the old serious crime squad offices to provide accommodation for the BDF is implausible and unnecessary during these crucial times of the global crunch, adding that the presence of the military at the state house is tantamount to the style employed by the late former Iraq president Saddam Hussein who surrounded himself with the Republican Guard.