Friday, December 4, 2020

MPs campaign for citizen empowerment hots up

The words “localization” and “expatriate” cropped up at least twenty times in Parliament on Friday as parliamentarians’ campaign for citizen empowerment gathers more heat.
Botswana may not be rolling back the welcome mat from under the feet of expatriates, but something is stirring. Tswapong South MP, Oreeditse Molebatsi, on Friday asked questions in Parliament asking ministers to explain differences in salary packages of expatriate CEOs and their Batswana counterparts.
Molebatsi also asked the Minister of Communications Science and Technology Pelonomi Venson to disclose the number of expatriates in her ministry “ the contract value of these expatriates; that is total money earned so far as well as terminal benefit to be earned; the longest serving expatriate and what plans are in place for localization of the post/s”.
The questions fit in with the emerging pattern which suggests a hardening of attitudes by parliamentarians towards expatriates.
Molebatsi joins Palapye MP who, since the last parliament sitting until now, has filed more than 10 questions in parliament taking each minister to task over their record of citizen empowerment.
Another MP who has joined the bandwagon is Selibe Phikwe West representative, Kavios Kario, who on Friday asked the Minister of Works and Transport, Lesego Motsumi, if there was any localization plan specific to the Super Scale positions in his ministry, ‘what plans are in place to achieve 100% localization in terms of training and recruitment of locals and when she intends 100% localization to be achieved.”
Motsumi revealed that of 32 Super Scale posts in her ministry 14(44%) are held by expatriates.
President Festus Mogae, who seems to be jittery with the emerging trend of nationalism in parliament last week, spoke out against Botswana’s slide towards xenophobia.

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