The Ministry realizes that it is important to periodically update the media and nation on matters concerning its operations. In that regard, the Minister and Assistant Minister recently met senior officials of the Ministry to discuss matters that are pertinent to the current period.As an outcome, it was decided that the following are important to be shared immediately with the nation through the media:
The Ministry is determined to be at the forefront of living up to the Reset Agenda, the first priority of which is to save lives. Nevertheless, government must remain functional in all other facets in order not to jeopardize delivery of services to Batswana. The public service is commended for positives attained because of its efforts. In the same vein, the public service is encouraged to improve where there is room for improvement.
The Minister cautioned officials against the temptation of falling into corruption. All public officers must strive for integrity and trustworthiness. This is important in order to gain public confidence as the Ministry responsible for good governance. Designated agencies (such as DCEC) and relevant officials must therefore deal with corruption unabated.
3. Service delivery
Even though COVID-19 has occasioned changes to the established processes of working, the Minister encouraged senior officials to be exemplary and not to take advantage of arrangements like working-from-home to indulge in personal affairs at the expense of official business.Supervisors must ensure that their supervisees adhere to expectations and produce the desired output. Accordingly, Office of the President must be the benchmark for service delivery and accountability.This comes on the background of public feedback that suggests that some officers across government are never available and always ‘on shift.’
4. Prioritizing Public Interest
A reminder was made to the effect that both the political leadership and public officers have a responsibility to account to the voting public. For this reason, the political pronouncements that earned a vote of confidence for the government of the day must be infused into ongoing implementation. In particular, the RESET AGENDA must be seen to be in practice.
5. Creating Synergies
In order to succeed, as ONE GOVERNMENT, all the organs and units of government must pull together. Where needs be, timely information must be shared accordingly. There ought to be no contradictions between statements and actions of government organs and units. Coordination and teamwork must define the mode of operation of the Ministry.
TRANSPARENCY must be practiced as far as reasonably and legally possible. However, transparency must not be abused by way of taking internal communication and documents to third parties.
On other business, the following successes by the Ministry are notable:
1. The Reset Agenda has re-arranged priorities. Saving Batswana from COVID-19 is the number one priority and most of Government efforts and substantial resources are directed to this cause.
2. Accession of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
3. Passing of the Ombudsman Bill (which confers the Ombudsman with a human rights mandate).
4. Cordial consultations with media pertaining to the Media Practitioners Act. BOMAWU, MISA Botswana, Botswana Editors Forum and UB Media Studies Department have submitted their proposals. AG’s Chambers will soon commence drafting a new proposed law.
5. Setting up of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Gender Based Violence. The committee comprises political leaders, Dikgosi, Faith/Religious Leaders etc.
6. Filling of some vacancies of senior officers in the Departments of Broadcasting Service and in the Department of Information Services. Mr. Raymond Tsheko has been appointed as the Director of Broadcasting Service, Mr. Epena Ngatangue has been appointed as Deputy Director of Information Services.
Moreover, government reaffirms that a Constitutional Review will be undertaken once practically possible to do so, that is beyond the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry commits to fulfilling is mandate and will update the nation as often as practically possible. The Minister and officials have agreed to up the standards in order to improve output.