Gaborone central Member of Parliament, Tumisang Healy, is set to field a number of questions to the minister responsible for Trade and Investment, Mmusi Kgafela.
Amongst the things Healy wants to find out is why big retailers in the country sell cooked foodstuffs such as fat cakes, samp, meat, etc.
Healy also wants Kgafela to explain to parliament and by extension, the nation, if the sale of cooked foodstuffs is part of retailers’ ordinary license or they had to augment their licenses by applying for special licenses to the Minister in order for them to also sell cooked foodstuffs.
Kgafela is also expected to clarify if issuing such compounded licenses does not defeat the Government’s vision of income distribution and employment creation.
“What would it take, in terms of legislation or policy adjustment, to ensure that these retail stores cease to sell foodstuffs and hive off that operation to be undertaken by ordinary unemployed Batswana”, reads part of Healy’s question.
Healy’s question comes roughly a few months after Parliament passed a law which seeks to empower locals economically. Dubbed the Economic Inclusion Act, the piece of legislation seeks, to amongst other things to make a provision for the establishment of the office of the Coordinator of the Economic Empowerment Office. While the coordinator is yet to be hired, his/her office role would be to promote the effective participation of targeted citizens in the economic growth and development of the economy. The office will also be expected to facilitate enforcement of the economic empowerment initiatives and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
In addition to existing provisions relating to reservation of trades, preferential treatment and localisation requirements, some of the proposed provisions in the Act include Ownership of land and property, Investment Opportunities and Capacity Development.