Republic of Botswana (20/11/05)
TAUTONA TIMES no 41 of 2005
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President (21/11/05)
"In this country the right of legal representation is guaranteed by the constitution and every person can access a lawyer of his own choice and get assistance with the full knowledge that, in fighting for his rights, his lawyer can subpoena anyone including the President of the country, the Chief Justice, and/or even the Speaker of Parliament to give evidence in court on behalf of his client." - H.E. President Mogae [D 1]
A. A Luta Continua
B. November Press Schedule
C. The Week That Was
D. Statements by H.E. the President at the:
1) Administration of Justice and Law Society Dinner (12/11/05)
2) Opening the High Level Consultative Council (17/11/05)
3) Opening of the Scout Association Annual Conference (19/11/05)
E. OP Press Office Notices:
1) False allegation of OP Directive to Btv (15/11/05)
2) Botswana/Namibia Joint Commission (17/11/05)
3) Remarks by the Hon. Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration at Police Service Conference (17/11/05)
A. A Luta Continua
Last night the former President of the Republic of Mozambique, H.E. Joaquim Alberto Chissano, was the guest speaker at the annual Botswana confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower dinner. Reproduced below are a few of his observations:
"Africa is a continent that currently harbours the majority of the natural resources of the world, which are yet to be explored and exploited. Africa is probably the richest continent in terms of mineral resources. It is the most endowed continent in terms of land, forests, wildlife, clean air, oil, gas, rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, islands, beaches and cultural diversity. Besides being fully endowed in terms of all these resources, Africa also boasts a significant development of human capital, another fundamental condition for sustainable development. However, it remains the poorest continent in the world, facing widespread poverty, endemic diseases, inequity, conflicts and social unrest.
"Given these prevailing problems, African governments have been focusing their attention and resources on fighting them. Therefore funds have been channelled mostly to social sectors, focusing on education, health and structural adjustment programmes. But, to ensure economic transformation in Africa, we should also focus on the efficient use of our resources. Reality shows that nowadays Africa remains basically an exporter of raw materials, deriving minimal benefits from trade, given low global prices of commodities.
"Besides pursuing greater efficiency through adding value to our raw materials, we also and foremost need to use those resources for the economic transformation of our countries....the economic transformation of Africa requires a transformation of ourselves, which means a change in the attitudes and behaviours of all us Africans. We must once and for all understand that this challenge can only be addressed by us and nobody else. And we must believe that we can be successful. That we can overcome all adversities, and put our continent on a steady path of development and transformation."
In the past the elders of this continent played a leading role in the governance of their communities. Today, we are still blessed to have senior statesmen like former President's Chissano, along with such peers as our own sir Ketumile Masire. actively continuing their life long struggle for our continent's renaissance
- Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President (21/11/05)
Contacts: Office Telephone: (267) 3975154 & Facsimile: (267) 3902795.
Cell: (267) 71318598. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
B. November - December Press Schedule:
As always the events listed below, which represent only those parts of H.E. the President's schedule open in whole or part to press coverage, are subject to change. When possible and necessary, updates will be forwarded. Members of the Press are also encouraged to contact the sponsors of the various events listed below for further programme details and possible updates.
Sunday (20/11/05): This morning, from 9:00 am, H.E. the President will meet with Chinese Vice Premier, Mr. Haung Ju at the Office of the President who is on a three day Official Visit. A Tête-à-Tête between the leaders will be followed by further bilateral talks with officials and the signing of agreements. The Vice Premier's entourage includes the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Qiao Zonghuai, Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr. Yu Guangzhou, and the Vice Minister of Health, Mr. Chen Xiaohong. Also included among the 88 member delegation are a number of leading Chinese Entrepreneurs, as well as representative of major Chinese media. In the evening, from 19:00, a State Banquet will be held in Vice Premier Huang Ju's honour at the GICC. During his visit Vice Premier Haung Ju is also expected to meet with the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Salomao, and the Speaker of the National Assembly, H.H. Patrick Balopi.
Wednesday (23/11/05): In the afternoon, at 17:00, H.E. the President's schedule will include receiving a cheque for the Masiela trust from His Worship the Mayor of Gaborone, Mr. Nelson Ramaotwana, and Mr. Manhar Mooney of the TransAfrica Group.
Thursday (24/11/05): In the morning, at 9:00 am, H.E. the President will be interviewed for the RB2 Youth Programme. Thereafter he will be interviewed for the BTV Boswa Programme.
Friday (25/11/05): In the morning H.E. the President will chair a meeting of the National AIDS Council. In the evening he will attend the BDF Concert in Maun.
Saturday (26/11/05): In the morning, from 10:00, H.E. the President will be in Tonota, where he will be present for the handing over of a house to the needy that was build by the community of Rutwang CJSS.
Monday (28/11/05): H.E. the President's morning schedule will include farewell call on the part of the outgoing High Commissioner of India, at 11:00 am, and Head of the European union Mission, at noon.
Tuesday (29/11/05): At noon, at the Office of the President, H.E. the President will receive a cheque donated to the Masiela trust fund by Choppies SuperStores.
Wednesday (30/11/05): In the evening, H.E. the President will attend a dinner in honour of the President and CEO of the Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Peter G. Trebler.
Thursday (1/12/05): H.E. the President is expected to addend the World AIDS Day Observance in Letlakane.
Thursday (8/12/05): During the day H.E. the President will be in Bobonong to open the Botswana Tribal Administration Service Association Conference. In the evening, from 19:30, he will hold a reception for invited members of the Botswana media fraternity at Boipuso Hall
Tuesday (13/11/05): In the morning H.E. the President will open a meeting of the SADC Parliamentary forum.
C. OP Press opportunities for the week ending 19/11/05:
Saturday (12/11/05): During the morning, H.E. the President joined mourners at the funeral of the late Kgosi Moshibidu Gaborone of Batlokwa in Tlokweng. Thereafter, he will take part in the BDP National Music Competitions, at the Jwaneng Civic Centre. In the late afternoon he was in Mochudi for a wedding before attending and addressing the evening's Law Society and Administration of Justice Dinner [D 1].
Monday (14/11/05): At noon, H.E. the President met with the retiring CEO of Merck Company, Mr. Raymond Gilmartin and other company representatives involved in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
Wednesday (16/11/05): In the afternoon, H.E. the President met with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, Hon. Dr. Virachai Virametteekul. The two noted that people to people as well as inter-governmental cooperation between the two countries had been growing since the establishment of diplomatic ties. This was seen as underscoring the value of increased Afro-Asian and South-South economic cooperation. H.E. the President confirmed that there was a growing consensus among Africans on the value of a "look east" approach in seeking renewed economic and political partnership. There was agreement that cooperation between the two continents should be further enhanced by bringing together the states of the African Union with the Asia Cooperation Dialogue.
In terms of bilateral ties, both further observed that there are a number of economic sectors, most notably in the beneficiation of diamonds and in the field of tourism, which could be developed on a win-win basis. Thailand is already a significant centre for diamond cutting and polishing and jewellery manufacturing. The two were also in agreement on the need to push for the reform of the United Nations, including the restructuring of the Security Council. The Vice Minister further thanked Batswana for their support in the wake of last year's Tsunami disaster.
Thursday (17/11/05): In the morning, H.E. the President chaired a meeting of the High Level Consultative Council at the Pavilion, Fairground Holdings [D 2].
Friday (18/11/05): In the morning, H.E. the President flew to Namibia for discussions with his Namibian counterpart, H.E. President Pohamba, returning the same day.
Saturday (19/11/05): In the morning, the President the President opened the Annual Council Meeting of the Botswana Scout Association [D 3]. In the evening, he attended the BOCCIM Annual Gala Dinner at the GICC, whose guest of honour will be the former President of Mozambique, H.E. Joaquim Alberto Chissano.
D. STATEMENTS BY H.E. THE PRESIDENT:
D 1) Remarks by H.E. the President at the Administration of Justice and Law Society Joint Dinner for the Legal Fraternity (12/11/05)
My Lord the Chief Justice, Judges of the High Court and Industrial Court, Attorney General, President and Council of the Law Society of Botswana, Members of the Legal Fraternity,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
1. My Lords and Ladies, Members of the Bar, Ladies and Gentlemen, some of us who are not members of this honourable profession become very uneasy when we are asked to talk to the learned brothers and sisters and the full bench of both the High Court and the Magistrates court. Our greatest fear is that of risking saying things that may contravene the law and may amount to contempt of court.
2. I wish to mitigate my case at the onset and ask you to remember that I am a layperson, although I am alive to the fact that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Unfortunately my Lords and Ladies, I have neither brought my own lawyer nor have I instructed one as yet to be on stand by in case I am charged with an offence. I however believe that there are good Samaritans here amongst this body of lawyers who will be most willing to take up my case on pro deo basis in case of emergency.
3. Ladies and Gentlemen, it was 39 years ago that Botswana gained independence and we started running our own affairs as Batswana. When we attained independence, not only was the country undeveloped (actually undeveloped in our case) but we also inherited many institutions that were undeveloped. A lot of our crucial institutions were in the hands of expatriates who had to transfer the skills to the locals.
4. You will all recall that until the 1990s our judicial system was still dominated by expatriates. Today we are proud and we must congratulate ourselves that after four decades of self-rule, we have been able to produce lawyers of outstanding quality some of whom have now ascended to the higher bench as judges.
5. Batswana are proud that the Judiciary is now in the hands of citizens and that our laws are interpreted and enforced by indigenous Judges and Magistrates who understand the mores and values of their people and who should also be able to detect any change in the mood of the society resulting in appropriate sentences being passed. This is the more reason why the development of any institution must not disregard the society it exists to serve.
6. As a developing country, Botswana requires the support of all its institutions. Such institutions must work tirelessly to develop themselves and to ensure that their efforts in turn contribute towards the development of the country as a whole. The pride of this country, as it is indeed that of any country, lies in the efficiency and co-operation of all institutions of governance.
7. Ladies and Gentlemen, I must hasten to mention that Government supports the legal profession and always ensures that it works in an environment that is free from interference and interruption. This is also an environment where lawyers can consult their clients and defend them in any action, including actions against the Government, without fear of intimidation or reprisal.
8. In this country the right of legal representation is guaranteed by the constitution and every person can access a lawyer of his own choice and get assistance with the full knowledge that, in fighting for his rights, his lawyer can subpoena anyone including the President of the country, the Chief Justice, and/or even the Speaker of Parliament to give evidence in court on behalf of his client. Where they are not able to instruct their own lawyer, Government is able to provide pro deo services.
9. Ladies and Gentlemen, the judiciary and the entire legal profession are held in high esteem and enjoy the respect of the people of this country. This is a challenge to this system, which must regularly take stock of itself and ensure that it conducts itself in a way such that it continues to earn that respect. A lot of trust is reposed on this institution and it is our expectation that this profession must remain an honourable one, whose membership should comprise of men and women of honour and integrity.
10. We always feel extremely disappointed when we read in the newspapers that some of the members of this honourable profession conspire with their clients and join them in some of their dishonourable activities.
11. We however, get comforted when we learn that the long arm of the law has quickly caught up with those lawyers and their clients. This must serve as a reminder to everyone that nobody is above the law, including experts in the law themselves.
12. I want to take this opportunity to urge you to strive to develop, maintain and sustain a legal profession in which you will all take pride, which we can also use as a selling ticket for Botswana all over the world. It is when you lawyers join hands with the determination to develop a good and honourable profession that you can push out undesirable elements amongst yourselves.
13. As lay people who are not learned in the law and who do not qualify to be referred to as "my learned brother or my learned sister," our expectation of a lawyer is one who is learned in the skills of the profession and who must at all times maintain the honour and the dignity of his/her profession. It must be someone who takes her or his clients seriously and ensures that:
* s/he advises them on their legal rights and obligations and represent them diligently;
* s/he endeavours to carry out his/her clients instructions competently and zealously;
* assists them in every appropriate way and takes legal action to protect their interests;
* assists clients everywhere where they require his services;
* always seeks to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law and fights for their protection;
* assists the courts in carrying out their functions of administering justice.
14. Ladies and Gentlemen, Botswana faces a number of challenges and amongst them the promotion of development opportunities. As a developing country, Botswana needs the participation of all of us gathered here to achieve her development goals. We have therefore in our endeavour to promote development in the country sought to lure foreign investors. Of course this does not mean that Government does not recognize the existence of local investors. We have policies in place that are geared at encouraging and empowering citizens to invest in their own country.
15. We have had a number of key factors working in our favour in our efforts to attract foreign investors. These are amongst others, good governance, democracy, respect for the rule of law and an independent Judiciary that is efficient in its operations. I want to challenge you, as the legal fraternity, to further find ways of strengthening the factors I mentioned above and to find innovative ways of creating a conducive environment for investment, so that you can collectively complement the efforts of BEDIA in attracting investment to our country.
16. I want to reiterate that the rule of law and the fundamental principle of the independence of the Judiciary are unquestionably accepted by my Government. As individuals and/or as Parliamentarians, we sometimes feel that pursuant to international best practice, totally alien and inappropriate practices are being imported into our judicial values without due regard of our own specific circumstance and cultural values.
17. To illustrate, in the United States of America, an offender can be acquitted in spite of the availability of adequate independent corroborative evidence, simply on the grounds that the Police Officer who arrested suspect or offender forgot to tell him that he has the right to remain silent.
18. In an African context, if a tribesman kills or causes grievous bodily harm to a tribesman of a different ethnic group, acquittal on these grounds that I have cited, can result in fierce inter-communal violence resulting in many deaths.
19. My Lords and Ladies, the example I have cited may be clumsily expressed. I have done so because I am anxious to distinguish between complaints against certain customs or practices by the Judiciary and the principle of non-interference and independence of the Judiciary.
20. One area where the public may have been confused is the question of mandatory sentences. Parliament rightly or wrongly does so in order to indicate their perception of a threat from the emergence of a particular type of crime, which in its opinion should be snipped in the bud or its growth arrested. Parliament and the Executive in our case would be thinking of the need to express abhorrence of a particular crime and not conscious that it may indirectly and un-intentionally be interfering with the independence of judges when they impose in the law minimum sentencing.
21. The Judiciary as an organ of the State plays a very crucial role in the governance and development of this country. It is for this reason that our judiciary must continue to work efficiently. It is common knowledge that the efficiency of the Judiciary depends on the support that it gets from its stakeholders like the Attorney General, the Bar, the Police, DCEC, Prisons, etc. Should one of these institutions fail to deliver efficiently, the whole system slows down. Judges will inevitably become frustrated in their work if prosecutors and/or the police fail in the discharge of their duties.
22. It is for this reason that the justice system must unite around a common goal, which is to endeavour to deliver justice within a reasonable time. This means that all the parties must endeavour to play their part in a way that promotes and supports the operations of the others. Through this form of co-operation, cases will move faster through the conveyor belt of the courts system and our potential investors will admire Botswana and ultimately put their money here as investment. They will do so with the full knowledge and conviction that once they are dragged to court, or they have dragged people to court, their cases will be heard quickly by a judiciary that is independent and assisted by officers of the courts who are serious about the plight of their clients.
23. We have as a nation, agreed on a vision, commonly known as Vision 2016, which challenges us as a nation we must strife to achieve. This vision must drive our development initiatives. Our desire is to be a competitive nation in the global competitive world. In order to do that we have set seven pillars, around which our efforts must be concentrated. Every one of us is called upon to embrace the vision ideals and work towards their achievement.
24. Ladies and gentlemen, it cannot be disputed that Lawyers have come to dominate our lives. Almost every transaction today requires the intervention of a lawyer, for instance in business negotiations, contracts, disputes, applying for licenses for trading, plots of land and land transactions, administration of Estates of deceased persons and international agreements, etc.
26. This is how important and indispensable lawyers are in our lives of today whether we like it or not. It is also for that reason that we call upon the lawyers of this country to be diligent in their operations, to respect their clients and to be loyal to them and to always endeavour to produce the best results for them, to further remember that they are officers of the court and as such, they must always assist the courts by preparing thoroughly for the cases and finally to respect the courts at all times. Disrespect is not part of our culture.
27. My Lord the Chief Justice, Judges of the High Court and the Industrial Court, Members of the Council of the Law Society of Botswana, Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to thank you all for respectfully listening to what I have to say.
D 2) H.E. the President's Statement opening a session of the High Level Consultative Council (17/11/05)
1. Honourable Ministers, Distinguished representatives from business and other sectors, good morning and welcome to the nineteenth HLCC meeting. His Honour the Vice President is not with us today because he is out of the country on official business. We will miss his meticulous time keeping, but I trust we shall still adhere to the allotted times.
2. My remarks will be very brief as I highlighted challenges facing our nation and government's response to them in my State of the Nation Address last week. The private sector is central to the resolution of many of the challenges that we face and much can be achieved through solid Public Private Partnership and increased collaboration among all role players in the economy. I for one believe that Batswana have it in themselves to confront and overcome the challenges that we face. And even where we disagree, we must recognise the need for fundamental transformation and offer viable long term alternatives.
3. I am cognisant of the fact that issues such as the Pula devaluation, VAT, level of interest rates, cost recovery measures (such as the charge of 25 pula a month for a student in a Junior secondary School), general economic performance, public sector delivery, inflation continue to occupy centre stage in public discussions. The times have really changed in Botswana! Before independence, at much lower income levels, parents willingly paid school fees. Paying one's taxes was an act of pride and honour. Following independence, initiatives such as The Botswana University Campus Appeal, popularly known as BUCA or "Motho le Motho Kgomo", stand out as a true attestation of the spirit of self-reliance. We must rekindle this spirit of self-reliance and mutual social responsibility. Our capacity to do more is certainly much more than in the past.
4. I should also point out to this gathering something that appears obvious but is often taken for granted. The process of development entails making sacrifices, trade - offs, setting priorities and foregoing consumption in favour of investment and creating capacity for future economic growth. As a Nation, we have to make difficult choices to build a foundation for a secure future. And it is not every intervention that will produce immediate positive results. In many instances, there will be short term transitory costs associated with the transformation process. We therefore require patience and perseverance to realise our long term goals. I am told an analyst once said "We hate inflation, but we love everything that causes it".
5. We have to approach the challenges we face with a positive and focused mindset at all times. The great Philosopher Confucius said "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall". I am not wishing anyone to fall but rather wishing everybody who may have fallen to rise and realise their true potential.
6. Bagaetsho, the critical water shortage in our country, particularly in the southern part of the country, continues to be worrisome. I am happy that measures put in place to restrict excessive consumption of the limited water are bearing fruit. But in the long term we have to conserve and use water wisely in all corners of the country, even in locations not under current restrictions. We must inculcate a strong culture of water conservation and take a long term view of water availability.
7. Somebody from Francistown must not have to remember to conserve water only when he/she comes to Gaborone because it will be difficult to make the necessary adjustment.
Re le Batswana re tlaa tshwanelwa ke go kgaogana metsinyana aa leng teng.
8. Drought is also affecting many people's lives especially our rural community who are mainly dependent on agriculture. Various drought relief programmes have been put in place to sustain the livelihood of these people. Drought also affects business as the disposable incomes of people are reduced. Wildlife and its habitat are also not spared the adverse effects of drought. This will have negative consequences on tourism and related industries. We should however not despair and continue to pray and look up to the Almighty to relieve us from the debilitating heat and dry spell. But let us all deal with the challenges of drought in the best way we can and Government will assist wherever it can.
9. Regarding the business of the HLCC, I am concerned that agenda items for the sectoral HLCCs appear to be dwindling and that some fora also seem to be plagued by poor attendance at meetings. We have all agreed that the detailed business of the HLCC should be undertaken at the sectoral level and that the main HLCC will deal with major unresolved issues. The fora must establish clear timelines for issues requiring resolution because otherwise they tend to drag on and on. We have to show increased commitment to the operation of the HLCC at the sectoral level. That way, I am sure we can quickly resolve many of the outstanding issues.
10. Lastly, please note that the HLCC meetings for the next year have been scheduled for Thursday 18th May 2006 and Thursday 16th November 2006.
11. As Parliament is in session, we should keep our presentations and comments brief so that members of Cabinet can attend Parliament this afternoon. This concludes my opening statement and I now request the Press to excuse us so that we may proceed with the closed meeting.
12. Thank you.
D 3) Remarks by H.E. the President Opening the Annual General Conference of the Botswana Scouts Association (19/11/05)
Director of Ceremonies;
Patron, Botswana Scouts Association, Mr. Lesang Magang;
Chief Commissioner, Mr. Ndondo Koolese;
Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen:
(Moment of silence for departed)
1. Good Morning. It once more my pleasant task as Chief Scout to open this Annual Council Meeting of the Botswana Scouts Association. In this context, I am happy to report that over the past year our Association has continued to make a positive contribution towards the development of young throughout our country. But, as always, we wish we could have done more.
2. Since its foundation, in 1974, this Association has remained true to it mission of developing the full potential of its members in line with the values contained in the universal Scout Promise and Law. Our promise has always been simple to remember, if not so easy to fulfil. It is:
"On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country; to help other people at all times and to obey the Scout Laws."
3. The Scout's Law requires one to adhere to a set of core values. These are: Honour, Loyalty, Obedience, Fortitude and the Duty to be Helpful and Courteous to others. The code further calls upon us to respect the environment and property, as well as each other, to maintain cleanliness in thought, word and deed, and finally to promote international brotherhood and sisterhood through the world wide family of Scouts.
4. Our Association thus stands out as an example of a youth organization whose activities are grounded in a strong set of moral values. To some these values may seem a bit old fashioned. But, we value them as fundamental commitments that have stood the test of time, and are of universal applicability and compatible with all major religions.
5. In today's ever changing world it is important that organizations like the Scouts remain steadfast in providing our youth with a moral compass, as well as the opportunity to engage in activities that are both enjoyable and constructive.
6. Over the past year Botswana Scout Association troops have continued to engage in a range of community service projects, such as clean up campaigns and peer counselling on behaviour and health issues, with of course particular emphasis on the need to positively confront the threat of HIV/AIDS. With regard to the latter, our initiatives against the scourge have now been incorporated into the programme of the National AIDS Council's Men's Sector. We have also been active in supporting the Vision 2016 Council, more especially the Vision Awareness Week.
7. Ladies & Gentlemen, Scouts & Guides, in the process of carrying out their activities our Scouts gain practical insights into the value self-reliance and teamwork. Such understanding in turn provides a firm foundation for future success, as well as good citizenship.
8. In past Conferences I have often voiced my concern that this Association is not reaching out to all who would benefit from its activities. I still believe that recruitment remains a major challenge. I am, nonetheless, pleased to report that ten new troops have been registered over the past year. Overall up to 10,000 young men and women are now participating in either Scouting or Girl Guide Activities.
10. Behind these numbers is the notable fact that both Associations have remained national in its scope, maintaining an effective presence in diverse parts of our country. Thus, while the activities of some youth organizations these days appear to be primarily confined the urban areas, we can take particular pride in the part played by Scouting, along with the Girl Guides, in the life of many rural communities.
11. The Association also provides opportunities for youth from different communities to come together through its holding of Jamborees or rallies. This past year's national Jamboree, which was held in Maun, attracted over 500 Scouts.
12. I am also pleased to be able to report this morning that more of our teachers have taken it upon themselves to become involved. This year a 100 of them were enrolled in our leadership training programme.
13. In terms of recruiting and training additional adult leaders there has also been progress. This past year 91 adults took part in our district empowerment training workshops, while 68 Scout leaders participated in the Woodbadge course. Another ten have now been certified as adult trainers.
14. Director of Ceremonies, I am reminded of the fact that in 2007 the international scouting movement will be celebrating its centenary. In 1907 Lord Baden Powell of Mafikeng founded the first scout camp in England with only 20 boys. Since then Scouting has grown into a global movement of over 500 million. Our Association and that of the Girl Guides are already planning a joint programme of activities to mark the anniversary. Preparations are also under way for our hosting the 2010 Africa Regional Conference.
15. Director of Ceremonies, before concluding, I wish to express my appreciation to all those individuals and organizations that have supported our Association over the past twelve months. Particularly noteworthy is the financial support we received from Debswana, amounting to 35,000 Pula, which complemented Government's grant of 100,000 Pula, through the Botswana National Youth Council. I hope that in the coming year the Youth Council will be in a position to assist the Association further. We also thank the Netherlands for its continued support for regional capacity building.
16. Director of Ceremonies, with these remarks it is now my pleasure to declare the 2005 Annual Council Meeting officially open and I wish you fruitful deliberations. God Bless!
E OP PRESS OFFICE FORWARDING:
E 1) 14/11/05: COMMUNIQUE ON 15th SESSION OF THE BOTSWANA/NAMIBIA JOINT PERMANENT COMMISSION ON DEFENCE AND SECURITY
1. The Botswana/Namibia Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security held its 15th Session in Swakopmund, Republic of Namibia, from the 8th to the 11th November 2005.
2. The delegation of the Republic of Namibia was led by Hon. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Charles DNP Namoloh, MP, Minister of Defence, and included Hon. Angura PT Tsheehama, MP, Minister of Safety and Security, Hon. Rosalia N Nghidingwa, MP, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration and H.E. Theresia Samaria, High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia to Botswana, and other senior Government Officials.
3. The delegation of Botswana was led by Hon. Phandu Skelemani, MP, Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, and included Hon. Maj. Gen. Moeng Pheto, MP, Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, and included H. E. Norman S. Moleboge, High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana to Namibia, and other senior Government Officials.
4. The Commission reviewed and analysed progress made on the decisions of the 14th Session of the Botswana/Namibia Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security which was held from the 13th to the 16th July 2004 in Ghanzi, Botswana and noted with satisfaction the extent to which those decisions were implemented. It also committed itself to working together at exploring new avenues of cooperation.
5. The Commission expressed satisfaction with the warm relations which continue to exist between the two countries and expressed the need to nurture the relations for not only for the benefit of the two countries, but also for the region and continent as a whole. TO this effect, the Commission noted the H.E. Festus Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana attended the inauguration of H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia on the 21st March 2005. In the same vein, the Commission noted that H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, paid a State visit to the Republic of Botswana in May 2005.
6. The Commission applauded the peaceful and successful conduct of the elections which took place in the SADC region during 2004/2005. In this regard, Namibia congratulated H.E. Mr. Festus G. Mogae for having been re-elected as the President of the Republic of Botswana. For her part, Botswana congratulated Namibia for her peaceful; and successful succession of the leadership at the highest level, which saw H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba being elected as the president of the Republic of Namibia.
7. The Commission congratulated the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) on attaining its 10th anniversary in August 2005 in Luanda, Angola and commended the Organisation on its resolve to continue fighting trans-national organized crime in the region.
8. The Commission encouraged the Governments of the two countries to continue with their policies aimed at preventing and combating the HIV and AIDS pandemic, which is claiming many human lives in the two countries.
9. The 15th Session was held in a climate of openness and cordiality reflecting the traditional ties of friendship and fraternity that existing between the two Governments and peoples. To this end, a commitment was made to not only review past resolutions, but also to come up with concrete and practical solutions.
10. The Namibian delegation congratulated H.E. President Festus G. Mogae, the people and the Government of the Republic Botswana for having been elected to the Chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). For her part, Botswana congratulated Namibia for election as the Chair of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
11. The Namibian delegation congratulated Hon. Phandu Skelemani, MP, and Hon. Maj. Gen. Moeng Pheto, MP, on their appointments as Ministers of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Labour and Home Affairs of the Republic of Botswana respectively. Similarly, the Botswana delegation congratulated Hon. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Charles DNP Namoloh, MP, Hon. Angura PT Tsheehama, MP, and Hon. Rosalia Nghidingwa, MP, on their appointments as Ministers of Defence, Safety and Security and Home Affairs and Immigration respectively.
12. The Commission welcomed the peace efforts being made by the United Nation, African Union, SADC as well as individual countries involved in the peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It however expressed concern on the negative activities of the armed groups in the eastern part of the DRC, which continue to constitute a challenge to the strengthening of peace and political stability in the Great Lakes Region.
13. The Commission noted with sadness the tragic death of Dr. John Garang, the former First Vice President of Sudan and leader of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). The Commission also congratulated his successor, General Salva Kirr, and wished him, the Government and the people of Sudan success in striving to make the peace process irreversible.
14. The Commission commended efforts made by the two countries for participating in regional, continental and global peace Support Operations and exercises such as Exercise THOKGAMO that was held in Botswana in June 2005.
15. The Botswana delegation expressed its profound gratitude to the people and Government of the Republic of Namibia f or the warm hospitality accorded to them and excellent facilities put to their disposal.
16. The Namibian delegation accepted the invitation to attend the 16th Session of the Botswana/Namibia Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security, to be held in Botswana in 2006 on a date and venue to be determined.
E 2) 15/11/05: Re: Allegation of OP Directive vis-à-vis Matho-a-Phage programme.
With reference to today's Mmegi newspaper front page story entitled "Btv presenter quits", this Office notes with concern the appearance in the text of the said article of an unsubstantiated and false allegation alleged to have been made by a certain individual identified in the same article as Ndulamo Antony Morima. The article reported that:
"According to Morima, he learnt that Btv received a directive from Office of the President (OP) that the recording should not go ahead."
The article further quoted Mr. Morima as having said:
"We wasted our time there trying to discuss things that we thought are in the interest of the public only to be surprised when it was not aired. It was only that the OP did not want these things to be discussed in public."
This Office wishes to affirm that there is absolutely no truth to the above allegation. No directive or instruction from this Office was ever issued with respect to the Matho-a-Phage programme in question.
We have been further informed that the matter was an internal one within the Department and Ministry responsible.
This Office further notes that we are unaware of Mmegi newspaper having made any effort to contact this Office with respect to the above allegation in accordance with "Good Practice" provisions 2i-ii and 5 of the Botswana Media Code of Ethics. We note that this was the case notwithstanding the fact that the Press Secretary was contacted by a Mmegi reporter at 18:59 yesterday evening on an unrelated manner.
E 3) 17/11/05: REMARKS FOR THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE BOTSWANA POLICE SERVICE ANNUAL SENIOR OFFICERS' CONFERENCE BY THE HON. MINISTER FOR PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION MR. PHANDU T.C. SKELEMANI, MP
1. It gives me a great pleasure to have been invited to officiate at the opening of the 34th Botswana Police Service Annual Senior Officers Conference. I feel greatly honoured to be among men and women who have been tasked with the responsibility of ensuring safety and security in this nation.
2. Director of Ceremonies, the Botswana Police Service Senior Officers' Conference comes at a time when the country is experiencing rising levels in crimes that are violent and intrusive in nature. These crimes, in particular; murder, robbery, rape, house breaking and theft, burglary and theft and store breaking and theft as well as transnational organised crimes are a major concern in this country. This is so because their increase brings diminished ability of the citizens and residents to enjoy the freedom of utilising public spaces and therefore putting their safety and security at risk. I am aware that the Botswana Police Service has over the years worked very hard in developing comprehensive strategies with a view to mitigating the negative effects brought about by criminality. Whilst most of these strategies have gone a long way in preventing crime, I hold the view that there is still room for improvement especially around the development of strategies and tactics employed in the control of crime.
3. Crime statistics indicate a persistent increase. The most worrying trend is that our society is increasingly becoming more violent with no respect for human life. The rise in the general assault incidents through murder testifies to this fact. This development calls for a multi-agency approach particularly with respect to so called "Passion Killings" which is a clear signal of a society running short of sound value systems which are an essential element for relationship survival. This concern has been raised by His Excellency Mr. Festus G. Mogae, in his State of the Nation Address to the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament on the 7th November 2005 when he said these upsurges in violence "are rather outpourings of hatred and rage which may have their roots in untreated depression and/or misdirected feelings of personal inadequacy". . To this end, the conference is a fitting intervention by the leadership of this organisation to position the Botswana Police Service to respond to this national calling.
4. The road safety on our public roads and highways is a matter that needs the attention of all stakeholders. It is, however, worth noting that there has been a notable decrease in the number of people who have lost their lives as a result of road traffic accidents. A total of 262 people had lost their lives by September 2005, as compared to 308 for the same period last year. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to applaud the Botswana Police Service for trying their best in keeping the situation under control. This is in all respects, consistent with the customer expectations. Ladies and gentlemen, members of the public demand for a change in the current driving culture and replace it with attitudes which are characterised by responsible use of vehicles along public roads. There is room for improvement to attain this ideal. The areas of improvement include amongst others, drink driving, speeding and road courtesy. This situation goes to demonstrate why the government is vigorously pursuing the amendment of the Road Traffic Act. It is once again my belief that the conference of this year will address itself to this expectation.
5. Director of Ceremonies, the aspirations of Batswana are clear as articulated in the National Vision - "Towards Prosperity for All by 2016". The vision defines the direction and agenda for the country as a whole. This road map is outlined under the seven pillars which have been validated as the necessary precondition for attaining this prosperity. The pillars are;-
* An Educated and Informed Nation
* A Prosperous, Productive and Innovative Nation
* A Compassionate, Just and Caring Nation
* A Safe and Secure Nation
* An Open, Democratic and Accountable Nation
* A moral and Tolerant Nation
* A United and Proud Nation
6. Ladies and gentlemen, in terms of the statutory function and mandate of the Botswana Police Service, the Government expect the Botswana Police Service to deliver on the fourth pillar - "A Safe and Secure Nation". You have by now had nine years working on this pillar and we expect this conference to help position your organisation to create this reality over the next eleven years.
7. Director of Ceremonies, a number of Public Service Reforms have been put in place over the past years. Ladies and Gentlemen, consistent with this change process, the public service has adopted a theme; "Visionary Leadership; for High Workforce Performance". This move places a number of expectations on Police Commanders and some of them are as simple as merely addressing the burning platform issues. These include; response time, turn around of cases, process improvement, collaborative planning, effective use of resources, service quality, to mention but a few.
8. Ladies and gentlemen, I am impressed at the ground you have covered so far in your endeavour to embrace the national agenda. You have crafted your organisation's Vision as "... Committed to providing a professional law enforcement service for a peaceful, safe and secure nation; in partnership with the community". This vision has stirred the requisite excitement in all sectors of our society. It is so because you have acknowledged that efficiency has a strong correlation with professionalism. You have further developed your values to define the tolerable standards of behaviour in this organisation. Ladies and gentlemen, this should not only pass as wishes. Your commitment and dedication to these ideals should be seen through the leadership which is not hesitant to act against employees who (do not lack harbour) these ethical principles.
9. Director of Ceremonies, ladies and gentlemen, I am aware that the leadership of the Botswana Police Service has taken great strides in dealing with the problem of corruption and involvement of police officers in criminal activities. I am also aware that the great majority of the members of the Botswana Police Service are doing a wonderful job in the area of providing a professional law enforcement service. However, there are individuals who tarnish the image of this country's police service by engaging in acts tantamount to unethical conduct. These individuals do not belong to the Botswana Police Service. I urge the Commissioner and the leadership present in this hall to identify not only the affected individuals, but also the behaviours that give rise to this tendency in order to come up with long lasting solutions. I am aware that the Botswana Police Service continues to receive favourable approval ratings on the international arena and this is what this conference should seek to enhance.
10. Director of Ceremonies, during the year under review I visited Botswana Police Service Headquarters. I also undertook a tour of some establishments to appreciate how you deliver on your functions. During my interactions with you I was impressed by the level of commitment and determination resident in this organisation. I am therefore convinced that if you work hand in hand with your Senior Management Team there is no way the Botswana Police Service could fail.
11. Bagaetsho, a look at your public outreach programmes suggests there is significant partnership and consultation with customers and all relevant stakeholders. I was particularly encouraged by the hand over of four motor vehicles from the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM). This goes to confirm delivery on your principles as captured in your Vision. You have my support in your meaningful collaborative efforts. Crime prevention and other related strategies form part of my discourse. I have been associated with the criminal justice for my entire life as a public officer and currently as a politician. I am aware of the magnitude of challenges you are facing. The commitment of Government to your efforts is guaranteed.
12. Ladies and gentlemen, considerations are being made to merge the Botswana Police Service and the Botswana Local Police. The Government's position is that bringing these police agencies under one roof will help streamline procedures and therefore bring about synergetic benefits to help in the attainment of the police mandate. The merging of organisations with such history is a very delicate undertaking and I am pleased that the government is engaging a consultative process towards achieving this end. I can only encourage you to provide adequate advice during the consultations.
13. Ladies and gentlemen, on the issue of conditions of service; particularly salaries and welfare; I am aware that your submissions have been brought to the attention of the government through a number of representations over the past years. This issue is critical and it remains under active consideration by the Government.
14. Ladies and gentlemen in conclusion I would like to acknowledge and appreciate your efforts in the fight against crime. I am aware that you go beyond the call of duty in ensuring the safety and security in this nation. I urge you to continue to demonstrate this commitment and serve your society. It is my belief that by the time you leave this conference you would have critically assessed your performance against the resolutions of the last conference. The meeting should seek to explore causes of deviations where they exist and above all you should chart a clear agenda for servicing the people of this country. I have no doubt that at the end of the conference you will pronounce a law enforcement agenda that will demonstrate your adequate appreciation of the societal expectations of the Botswana Police service.
15. With these remarks ladies and gentlemen, I declare the 34th Botswana Police Service Senior Officers' Conference officially open. I wish you fruitful deliberations during your conference. PULA!!!!!
Notes: 1) Tautona Times; 2) Back issues and copies of speeches available; 3) Sources of Information on the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve
1) Tautona Times was launched in 2003 as a means to communicate scheduling and additional matters to the media and other interested stakeholders. It now has a direct global e-circulation of several thousand and is freely available to any who wish to receive it. But, we have no wish to spam. Requests for cancellation will be promptly acted on, as will any complaints about such things as double mailings.
2) Those seeking online information on the settlement of Botswana citizen outside of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) can browse www.gov.bw/basarwa/index.html. For further information one can also contact the Director of the Public Relations, Research and Information Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Cliff Maribe, at Tel: (267) 3600763 or e-mail: email@example.com.