The newly re-elected Chairman of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi (House of Chiefs), Kgosi Puso Gaborone has called on government to brief Dikgosi about the recently unveiled Economic Stimulus Package (ESP), insisting that as an advisory body to government, the institution has to have input on the project.
Aimed at boosting the moribund economy, the stimulus package has been targeted to boost activity in the construction, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors. The budget for the ESP is expected to be released on February 1st as Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Ken Matambo presents his annual budget speech.
The ESP has been the focus of public attention and controversy since it was announced by President Ian Khama a few months ago and later during his State of the Nation Address. Many have expressed suspicions about the stimulus package, especially because there has been very little information about exactly what it entails. Responding to a speech by Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Monday, Gaborone reiterated calls for smooth cooperation, collaboration and consultation between government and Ntlo Ya Dikgosi.
“Cooperation, collaboration and consultation have been the cornerstones of this institution for time immemorial. It is through the institution Ntlo Ya Dikgosi that we have fostered the peace and tranquility that Batswana are currently enjoying. It is only through cooperation, collaboration and cooperation that we can build close relationship with the VP’s office and other government offices,” Gaborone noted.
He added that as Dikgosi they demand a full briefing about the ESP project so they can understand and make meaningful contributions about it.
“As the advisory body of government we have a part to play in the development of this country for our relevant communities,” said Kgosi Gaborone.
In response, Masisi–who is also the coordinator of ESPÔÇöpromised the traditional leaders that they will not be left out when the ESP is implemented. He explained that the stimulus package is designed to boost economic development and diversify the economy through targeted interventions in the construction, infrastructure, tourism and manufacturing sectors. Ntlo Ya Dikgosi will discuss motions and questions next week and it remains to be seen if their debates will feature the ESP. Kgosi Gaborone indicated that there are 10 motions and 46 questions to be tabled during the session.