The best six in cabinet

Daniel Chida

Cabinet Ministers are responsible for directing government policies and making decisions about national issues. Ministers also have to work closely with other ministers and senior government officials as permanent secretaries to make sure key initiatives are implemented effectively.

Although some Ministers have been sleeping on the job for the past four years, there are those who came to the party and used their experience to deliver on their mandate. The Voice staffer, DANIEL CHIDA brings you those Ministers who have excelled in executing their duties.

Peggy Serame- Minister of Finance

Despite the fact that global economies continue to face a number of economic challenges, which have adverse implications on various economic jurisdictions, Serame has managed to steer the ship well.

She has brought reforms under The Economic Recovery Supports Programme such as improved governance, providing an enabling business environment and supporting private led agriculture and industrial sector transformation.

She has made sure that Botswana’s debt levels are not only within the statutory limit of 40 percent of GDP as set out in the Stocks, Bonds and Treasury Bills Act 2005 CAP 56: 07 but are within what is regarded as low according to international standards.

Under her leadership as Minister of Finance, Financial Action Task Force removed the country from grey list in October 2021. Further, following consecutive years of having financial deficits, the 2022/23 financial year saw the government emerging from that and recording a surplus from the national budget for the first time in a long time.

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The best six in cabinet

Lefoko Moagi- Minister of Minerals and Energy

Although the odds are stacked against him because of his entanglement in tribal issues that pitted him on the side of government against his tribe represented by Kgosi Mosadi Seboko on the other hand in a land dispute , Moagi has performed effectively.

The Member of Parliament for Ramotswa can be credited for having played a role in DeBeers/Botswana Diamond deal which saw the world’s largest diamond company, conceding to Botswana’s demands.

Although the agreement was reached on the last minute, the deal is what the President has been fighting for.

His contribution in his ministry could also be attributed to his background on Mining Engineering.

Despite being one of the best there are projects like Tshele Hill, which have been talked about without implementation.

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The petroleum sector is also struggling and so is the renewable energy sector.


The best six in cabinet

Philda Kereng- Minister of Environment and Tourism

Botswana govt Tourism policies are no doubt world class and definitely an envy of many countries.

The Specially Elected Member of Parliament therefore found a solid foundation to work with at the macro level.

It is also worth noting that while other countries stopped flights during covid because the aviation industry was not profitable, Botswana’s skies remained operational and that alone helped the tourism industry to recover quicker.

Ministry of Tourism has in the last four years empowered citizens with 45 campsites across Khutse Game Reserve, CKGR, and Kalahari Trans Frontier Park, as well as eight lodge sites in Chobe National Park yet to be allocated in line with our National Tourism Policy and the strategic National Tourism Strategy and Master Plan.

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However progress in this ministry is hampered by lack of harmonisation of regulatory issues and tourism policies as well as poor infrastructure. .

Out of all the best performing Ministers, Kereng takes the tail position because of lack of a clear strategy to bring the sector to full recovery, especially when considering that she has failed to appoint a substantive Chief Executive officer for the Botswana Tourism organisation, a key parastatal tasked with developing and marketing and promotion strategies for her ministry for the past four years.

Operators have also decried poor staffing in the department of tourism, especially at district level where there is often even shortage of staff.


The best six in cabinet

Kefentse Mzwinila- Minister of Lands and Water Affairs

The more than 100 water projects which have been taking place at government’s determination to ensure water security for all is being achieved under the leadership of Mzwinila Despite the fact that his ministry is riddled with allegations of corruption with some technocrats in the ministry facing court cases, emanating from dubiously awarded water tenders, Mzwinila has done well in ensuring that all projects are complete.

Maybe that is one reason why the President has not reshuffled him since taking over the Ministry.

Some of the water projects include the construction of Masama/Mmamashia 100km pipeline, Village Water Scheme for Seronga-Gudigwa and Seronga/ Mokgacha, Kazungula Rehabilitation of Water Distribution Network, Palapye Water Treatment Plant Expansion, Mahalapye Water Treatment Plant Expansion, Refurbishment of North South Carrier Pump Stations and Installation of trenchless technology 14km pipeline from Ramonnedi to Mmathethe Village.

He has also done well in land matters with government showing dedication to allocate more people land. He has already passed 50% of 100 000 plots allocation set by the president for the 2022/23 financial year.

Mzwinila’s ministry is also fast tracking the change of land use.


The best six in cabinet

Karabo Gare- Minister of Entrepreneurship

While at the Ministry of Agriculture from June 2020 to March 2022, Gare managed to turn around things at the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC).

For the first time in 10 years, the BMC increased cattle price and turnaround time for its payments.

Through his guidance there was improvement in beef sector investment. The Small Stock Abattoir in Tsabong also opened its doors.

He then moved to the new Ministry of Entrepreneurship where he has been setting up structures and strategies together with parastatals.

Sometimes he acts on behalf of the Minister of Finance where he also excels.


The best six in cabinet

Fidelis Molao- Minister of Agriculture

With the help of the much visible and arguably one of the most hardworking Assistant ministers, Molebatsi Molebatsi, Molao has successfully transformed the Ministry of Agriculture from mere subsistence agriculture into modernized commercial agriculture.

The use of technology and overall modernization of farming like Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Artificial Insemination, Embryo Transplant, Sexed Semen for beef and dairy cattle, importation of live Bulls for semen tapping in the animal production subs sector is one big achievement.

The importation ban on some vegetables has been viewed as a welcome development more so that horticulture farmers have started tapping into the sub sector. While the move has led acute shortages of the vegetables over the last 16 months, it has since reduced the import bill of vegetables and improved local production with availability of those vegetables gradually improving as farmers take advantage of the available market.


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