10 July 2018

Botswana: Masisi for Empowerment of Batswana

Gaborone — Reflecting on his first 100 days since ascending to the highest office in the land, President Mokgweetsi Masisi says government has set wheels in motion to ensure further political and economic empowerment of Batswana.

Speaking during a press briefing held in Gaborone on Monday, Mr Masisi reiterated his commitment to upholding constitutional provisions protecting the rights of the citizenry.

"The first 100 days typically allows those in a democratic dispensation the opportunity to reflect.

I am committed to the spirit of the letter of the constitution.

I believe in the power of government to ensure emancipation of our people.

To this end, members of the cabinet have made a renewal of the commitment to the rule of law," Mr Masisi said.

With a view of improving accountability, President Masisi said, government had prioritised promulgating Freedom of Information and Declaration of Assets bills which would be tabled later in the year.

The president added that the operations of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) would be reviewed to explore ways of further entrenching transparent government.

He said the political leadership should not be involved in procurement of government business either as businessmen or as leaders trying to influence the procurement process "however benign the motives," and pledged to take stern action against those who do so.

President Masisi said his government was studying the country's legal framework with the view to reviewing laws which might be an impediment to the economic climate for individuals and the private sector.

The media heard that the alcohol levy was under review while consultations with the leisure and entertainment sector over aspects affecting the industry were also ongoing.

The hunting ban could also be reviewed after a consultation process involving relevant stakeholders, the president said.

Diamond beneficiation, diversifying the tourist sector and other interventions aimed at job creation and broadening the country's revenue stream would be fast tracked, President Masisi said.

He also revealed his Tuesday meeting with leaders of opposition parties had been organised to establish dialogue between the governing party and their political opponents and begin a process of consultation on national issues to ensure better social cohesion.

Source : BOPA

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