- Backbenchers said to be particularly angry with health ministry
- Want ministers to deliver on Domkrag election promises
- President says he has had a serious engagement with health ministers
Backbenchers of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) are reported to have asked President Mokgweetsi Masisi to crack the whip on ineffectual ministers for failing to deliver on their mandate.
They used a recent two-day retreat of MPs of the BDP at Notwane Farms to discuss the implementation and progress of government projects in line with the party’s 2019 general elections manifesto to assert themselves and to press the President to get tough with ineffectual members of his cabinet.
“We expressed our concerns to the President regarding the state of affairs at our hospitals, for instance,” said one backbencher who preferred anonymity.
“There is a serious shortage of medicines and personnel in our areas, especially in the rural areas. We have complained about this situation for some time but there seems to be no change.
“The state of our roads and infrastructure is in disrepair. What irks us the most is that we have complained about these things for some time but there is no change. We demand progress.
“We cannot have ministers who constantly fail to follow up on issues to ensure that the promises we made to Batswana in 2019 are fulfilled. We want the President to take action against such ministers.”
The issue of poor delivery and the massive deficit on the ruling party’s election promises is so serious that President Masisi had his ministers sign performance agreements and annual performance plans last month.
The President effectively read out the riot act out to them, telling them that they will be fired if they continue to fall short on delivering on their mandates.
He told journalists at a press conference that recently he had had a serious engagement with health minister Dr Edwin Dikoloti and assistant health minister Setlhomo Lelatisitswe about the deplorable state of affairs at public health facilities.
But in a rather curious response when contacted, the Chief Whip of the BDP, Liakat Kablay, said he was not aware of any concerns about underperforming ministers.