Botswana: Political Appointment of Diplomats Adds Value

| June 1, 2016

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) says political appointment of diplomats adds value to Botswana's foreign missions.

Deputy permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr Thuso Ramodimoosi told the Parliament Accounts Committee (PAC) on May 30 that appointment of diplomats was the prerogative of the President of the country.

Mr Ramodimoosi stated that the President could choose to appoint career diplomats or non-career diplomats to a foreign mission.

Reacting to a suggestion by PAC member and Member of Parliament for Gaborone Bonnington South, Mr Ndaba Gaolathe that political appointment of diplomats could be destroying morale of career diplomats working for the Ministry of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation, the deputy permanent secretary vehemently denied that, saying that was not the case.

"Yes there are a sizeable number of political appointees and from my point of view it has not affected morale in a negative way. They (the political appointees) have brought diversity which is helping us to push our agenda better," Mr Ramodimoosi said.

Mr Ramodimoosi said in its endeavor to establish as many foreign missions as possible in strategic places abroad, the ministry plans to open two embassies during the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.

Currently, Botswana has 22 foreign missions which are used to promote and manage relations with other countries and advance trade, investment, and employment interests for the country, he said.

He said they wanted to open more foreign missions in Africa to exploit opportunities that abound on the continent but were held back by limited resources.

"We place high priority on our foreign missions in Africa because our foreign policy is anchored on good relations with our regional neighbours.

We value our relationships with other African states.

Mr Ramodimoosi also insisted that there was no bad blood in the relations between Botswana and China.

Another PAC member, also Member of Parliament for Tati East, Mr Guma Moyo had asked the deputy permanent secretary to explain what the ministry was doing to address the relations between the two countries which he stated was at its lowest ebb.

MP Moyo said the government of Botswana was not happy with the performance of China contractors handling big government projects.

"From the foreign affairs point of view, we believe that we should not paint all Chinese companies with one brush.

Some of these companies have done a good job.

There has been an engagement between our government and that of China concerning quality of projects done by Chinese companies here," he said.

Source: Botswana Daily News

Category: Human Rights

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