Response to Parliamentary question
Question No : 500
Asked on : Monday 8th August, 2022
By : Hon. P.P.P Moatlhodi, MP. (Tonota Constituency)
To ask the Minister for State President:
i) to appraise this House on what has happened to the Committee led by Dr Masupu appointed by His Excellency the President of Botswana to manage and sensitize Batswana against the scourge by adhering to all the “do’s and don’ts” pertaining to Covid 19 and if so:
ii) Can the Honourable Minister confirm or deny that the sad committee did an excellent job and if so; why cant the Minister consider the said Committee Members for Presidential Hours and Awards, and if so when and if not why?
You will recall that His Excellency the President appointed a team of experts led by Dr Masupu in early 2020 to provide expert advice to the Presidential Task Force in managing the response to COVID-19. The team has executed their mandate in a commendable manner and this has helped Batswana to manage the scourge of COVID-19 through the interventions that are still in place.
Mister Speaker, to date the disease burden has abated to a large extent and Batswana have responded positively to vaccinations and advice to adhere to protocol as stipulated in the regulations. It is against this background that since early this year the contracts for the Presidential Task Team led by Dr Masupu ended after they successfully helped the country to respond to COVID 19. However, some experts led by Dr Matshaba who is the Scientific Advisor volunteered to continue to support the Presidential Task Force since COVID 19 is still with us.
Mister Speaker, with regard to considering the Presidential Task Team Committee members for Presidential Honours and Awards, I would like the House to note that “The Botswana Honours Awards are guided by Botswana Honours Act Chapter 03:06 or in accordance with any motion passed by a simple majority in the National Assembly calling to do so”. A consultative process is followed to receive nominations from districts and relevant organizations which will be assessed by a National Selection Committee under a defined criterion for approval by Cabinet.
It is worth noting Mister Speaker, the Presidential Honours and Awards were suspended for the past three years due to preparations for the elections in 2019 and the Covid 19 pandemic. Notwithstanding that, my Ministry is resuscitating that process this year.