Fire, hire interrupted by Namibia trip
Underperforming ministers to be dropped
Masisi has limited options in BDP backbench -Analyst
Frustrated by the poor performance of some cabinet ministers, President Mokgweetsi Masisi is caught in a dilemma and is considering a shakeup of the Executive arm of government, The Patriot on Sunday has learnt.
Source whisper that Masisi was supposed to announce a reshuffle on Thursday morning before travelling to Namibia to meet his counterpart President Dr Hage Geingob on an official visit but chose to hold the decision in abeyance. It is expected that Masisi will soon pull the trigger, cracking the whip on some underperfoming ministers.
University of Botswana (UB) political science lecturer, Mokaloba Mokaloba says Masisi is in a dilemma whether to reshuffle cabinet or not. He said Masisi may have not reshuffled cabinet for a number of reasons, including that he may not want to distract his government plans amidst the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the globe.
In addition, Masisi observed that Masisi is limited in terms of his substitutes regarding the available ruling Botswana Democratic (BDP) MPs who are currently seating in backbench. “Loyalty has also been key within BDP when they make ministerial appointments,” said Mokaloba.
Highly placed sources have revealed that Masisi is considering to take complete overhaul of his cabinet by dropping poor performing ministers but he is also in quandary to choose their successors. “Reshuffling has been put on hold. Masisi is contemplating to reconfigure his cabinet which will see some underperforming ministers losing their posts as he tightens performance screws. Masisi is not happy at all with his cabinet. Dissident ministers are in danger,” said the source.
Sources allege that among ministers earmarked to be dropped include Tumiso Rakgare (Minister of Youth Empowerment), and assistant ministers Dumedzweni Mthimkhulu (Presidential Affairs) and Buti Billy (Youth Empowerment) with Simon Mavange, Thapelo Letsholo and Lesaso likely to get into the cabinet.
Mavange is the MP for Tati West and he is tipped to be the Assistant Minister of Youth whilst Beauty Manake (assistant minister of agriculture) is tipped to take charge of the youth ministry. “Kanye North MP Letsholo is earmarked for the assistant minister of trade and industry. Aubrey Lesao will see himself as the assistant minister of lands and Mmadinare MP Molebatsi Molebatsi would be transferred from ministry of trade to agriculture as assistant to Karabo Gare,” disclosed source.
A questionnaire sent to the Press Secretary to the President Batlhalefi Leagajang on Thursday regarding the cabinet reshuffle was not responded to at time of going to print.
BDP MPs are pleading with Masisi to drop the ministers who are disrespectful to Parliament. According to the backbenchers, they want the ministers such as Rakgare and Eric Molale fired. “We have submitted to the President through vice president Slumber Tsogwane the list of the ministers who should be relieved the duties as they are failing. We have been long pleading for deadwoods and arrogant ministers to be dropped as they don’t respect us,” said one BDP MP.
Also, backbenchers said removal of Dr Kwape as Health Minister was a wrong move therefore they anticipate that the ministry of health should be given to effective person to replace Dr Dikoloti.
Masisi reshuffled the cabinet last year in August after the then Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation (MIAC) Dr Unity Dow resigned. She was replaced by Dr Lemogang Kwape, who was then replaced at health ministry by Dr Edwin Dikoloti while the MP for Mmadinare Molebatsi Molebatsi was also promoted to the cabinet as assistant minister of Trade and Industry.