In our previous responses on PEEPA’s mandate and privatisation activities published by the Sunday Standard, we have sought to restrict our comments to substantive issues relating to the role of PEEPA and other stakeholders’ as well as to the privatisation process.
We have articulated the mandate of PEEPA with respect to privatisation and how the Agency works with its stakeholders.
The focus on these issues is nothing new to PEEPA stakeholders as we have previously ran many workshops and conferences to explain the contents of the Privatisation Policy and The Privatisation Masterplan. Some of the workshops were held, especially for the media, recognising their importance in the public education programme. The workshops were attended, amongst others, by staff of the Sunday Standard and other media houses. We, therefore, expect that the Sunday Standard understands clearly our mandate and the privatisation process.
The dissemination of information on the mandate of PEEPA and the role of other stakeholders in relation to the Air Botswana transaction cannot now be reasonably construed as apportionment of blame. In our view, the explanations were only intended to clarify issues to the reading public so that they are not fed with inaccurate information.
As we have stated before, PEEPA is a creation of Government, as you quite rightly pointed out, to serve its interests in the facilitation of privatisation. While this is the case, they are other important arms of Government with varying responsibilities that also play an important role in privatisation. To clarify the different responsibilities of these organisations cannot, in our view, be construed to be blame-shifting.
We also note the views expressed in your newspaper about how other media houses, reporting on the subject of privatisation, are perceived. Whilst it is not our duty to speak for other media houses, we believe it is only fair and proper that other publications tell the story on privatisation as it is correctly stated in the Privatisation Policy and the Privatisation Masterplan, without enduring the wrath of The Sunday Standard.
In disseminating information to the media, as part of PEEPA’s public education programme, we send similar press releases to all media houses, the Sunday Standard included. To impute that accurate reports are only those emanating from the Sunday Standard and not from other media professionals, only leaves one wondering as to the intended motives.
With regard to your report that PEEPA promised to have privatise GEMVAS and BTC by year end, we would like to correct that impression, which may have been inadvertently created. PEEPA cannot promise to privatise when it does not have the mandate to execute transactions. Instead, PEEPA, together with other stakeholders, are working on the privatisation of the two organisations, although the transactions are running behind schedule.
PEEPA has previously informed Batswana, through to the media, about its challenges involving the appointment of an advisor on BTC privatisation. This cannot be denied. If it gives anyone comfort to blame PEEPA for the delay in appointing BTC transaction advisors, we will accept that blame.
Finally, it would not be fair to suggest that PEEPA only wants favourable media coverage. We expect nothing more than the media reports on privatisation and PEEPA activities that are fair and balanced, which do not deprive Batswana of correct and reliable information.
We hope and trust that the Sunday Standard and other media houses will continue to contribute to lively, accurate and factual debates on privatisation, for the benefit of readers and Batswana as a whole.
For further information, please contact:
Corporate Communications Manager
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +267 318 8807
Telefax: +267 318 8662