It will take P34 million to construct President Ian Khama’s home and office when he retires in 2018.
This is according to the estimation of Presidential Affairs Minister, Eric Molale, who proposed this amount as part of the NDP 11 budget for projects and programmes in his ministry.
The request follows amendments Khama made in the President’s Pensions and Retirement Benefits Act, which among other things stated that, “A retired President is given the option to choose between having a residential house of the standard and size specified by the president or receiving a housing allowance in lieu of the house. A restriction to having the official residence in Gaborone has been removed,” a clause from the bill reads, adding, “A retired President is given the option to choose between having an office, where he or she prefers, of the standard and size specified by the president or receiving office accommodation allowance using the prevailing Gaborone market rental rates.”
The bill was deferred following reports that BDP MPs at their caucus said they would only accept the amendments if their own conditions are also considered.
Molale said the establishment of the president’s retirement home was in line with the current Act and further proposed a total of P115 000 000 for the refurbishment of the Office of the President at Orapa House to provide additional space due to the increase in functions of the ministry.
Other luxurious benefits Khama wants is 30% gratuity of his current monthly basic salary upon dissolution of parliament or upon ceasing to hold office. This, he proposed, should be “multiplied by the number of months completed by him or her as President,” Section 3(1) of the bill reads in part, also proposing the waivering tax.
Khama’s exit package raised eyebrows particularly because his amendments included P14 million more expenditure on his home than Festus Mogae whose Phakalane house only costed P20 million, while Sir Ketumile Masire’s home was billed for a little close to P8 million.