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Molale refuses to shame ministers

Publishing Date : 12 April, 2016

Author : ALFRED MASOKOLA

Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing ministries and to disclose to Parliament the best performing Ministries for the last two years including the main reasons for underperformance.

Sensing that Member of Parliament for Gabane-Mmankgodi, Major Gen Pius Mokgware, was trying to ensnare him into a move that will shame his failing colleagues, Molale told Parliament that the purpose of Performance Monitoring is not to identify the best or worst performers in public service, but rather to help President Lt Gen Ian Khama to closely monitor performance of Ministries and Departments.

He asserted that performance monitoring is common approach in any setting where leadership has to ensure delivery as per the agreed terms.

“This performance monitoring is based mainly on the Committee of Supply deliverables which culminate with His Excellency [President Khama] giving the State of the Nation on what Government has achieved,” he said.

Molale also, could not reveal how many scores each ministry had gotten in the last two years.

Despite opposition MPs harping on the matter and coercing Molale to reveal how the ministries are doing, Molale said ministries could not be compared since they are different in what they do.

Mokgware had posed to Molale to appraise Parliament on the best and worst performing Ministries for the last two years, main reasons for under-performance and what action had been taken by government to improve the performance.

The issue of minister score cards and performance appraisal came into light in 2011 when Khama unceremoniously sacked then Minister of Transport and Communications and former MP for Maun East, Frank Ramsden. Ramsden had scored 52 percent in the appraisal, while the trio of Nonofho Molefi (Lands and Housing), Lebonaamang Mokalake (Local Government) and Peter Siele (Labour and Home Affairs) who had scored 72, 74 and 77 respectively were ranked as best performing Ministers.  

In 2014, ahead of the general elections, Khama reshuffled his cabinet which resulted with then Minister of Education and Skills Development, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, being given a special task amid reports that she was fired.

Venson-Moitoi never returned to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development after being deployed to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation following the 2014 general election. Dr Unity Dow has since been appointed substantive Minister of Education, taking over from Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi who served in the Ministry for a short spell.

Opposition legislators were not impressed by Molale’s answer as they suspected that he was covering up for those who are failing their ministerial duties.

Major Gen Mokgware said by not answering a question asked in Parliament, Molale was undermining the role of Parliament which is to provide oversight over the executive to fulfil the duty of checks and balances.

MP for Gaborone Central, Phenyo Butale said, by deliberately withholding information which they had on good authority that it is available, Molale was making mockery of the country’s Parliamentary process.

Butale also expressed his concern that the Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe, was allowing the Minister to get away with it which he said has a negative impact on the purpose of MPs asking questions in Parliament.

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