Prisons ordered to settle debts by end of this week

Kitso Ramono
CONCERNED: Minister Mmusi

Minister of Defense and Security, Thomas Mmusi, has issued a directive to the Botswana Prisons Services, instructing them to settle all debts owed to suppliers by the end of this week.

Addressing the 2024 Senior Officers Conference at the Adansonia Hotel in Francistown, the minister emphasized the President’s concerns regarding poor service delivery in public offices.

He highlighted the ministry’s commitment to improving the quality of services provided to the public by their respective departments.

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“Timely payment of suppliers of goods and services is a persistent challenge that requires your urgent attention. Some of the entities that you do business with, especially the small and medium sized enterprises have closed down while others are on the brink of collapse due to delayed payments for goods and services they rendered to us. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency since it tends to defeat governments efforts to empower local citizens,”he said.

The minister urged the Prisons Service to settle all outstanding payments to suppliers by the end of the month and submit proof of payments to the Ministry by the first week of March.

He emphasized the importance of adhering to the designated turnaround time of ten working days for payment of suppliers.

Additionally, Mmusi encouraged the Botswana Prison Services to focus on internal preparations and business processes to ensure the success of strategic initiatives, drawing parallels to the successful organizational change and rebranding of the Prison Service undertaken last year.

In response, Commissioner of Prisons, Dinah Marathe, assured the minister that solutions consistent with government policy to enhance service performance would be developed during the Senior Officers meeting.

Marathe stated that the performance review exercise had commenced and was ongoing.

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She expressed confidence that tangible resolutions and decisions would be reached by the end of the conference, aligning the Prison Service with government policies and programs while reinforcing their commitment to correctional excellence.

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