- Magosi confirms preps for new State House
- OP at budgetary stage for new State House
- DIS maintains existing State House is not safe
The Office of the President (OP) has begun plans to build a new State House following advice that the existing official residence of the President is vulnerable to threats. The head of DISS Peter Magosi told The Botswana Gazette this week that plans to relocate State House are already underway. “It involves a lot of things,” the head of the secret service said.
“We are currently at a budgetary stage. Moving State House has to be planned for in the National Development Plan (NDP). We cannot reveal anything much at this stage because we are still at a preliminary stage.”
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of State President, Goitsemang Morekise could not be reached because his mobile phone was off.
Magosi previously told the media that the location of the current State House was not safe for the security of the President and that he had recommended purchasing most properties in its immediate vicinage by the government.
However, it is understood that he was subsequently advised that doing so would be too costly.
His reasoning was that the existing State House is one of few official presidential residences that are located around the city centre in the SADC region and that this could pose a threat to the security of the President.
This comes after considerable renovations were done at State House after since President Mokgweetsi Masisi assumed office. The OP revealed that P10 million was spent on the renovations that included removing booby traps and wiretaps that were found.
President Masisi did not move into State House until early 2021, two years after becoming president in his own right and three after he assumed office by automatic succession.
Until then he had lived at State House 2, which is the official residence of the Vice President, while Vice President Slumber Tsogwane remained at his ministerial house.
The Permanent Secretary to the President, Emma Peloetletse, last week told The Gazette that Tsogwane was expected to move into State House 2 this week following completion of renovations that lasted over a year there.
“We are awaiting the OP to hand over the house to us to conduct the necessary security checks,” said Magosi this week.