The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Eric Molale says the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS) will get the largest requested share of the Ministry’s development budget. Out of the requested total amount of Six Hundred and Seventy Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Six Thousand, Three Hundred Pula (P670,826,300) for the 2017/18 financial year, Two Hundred and Sixty-One Million, Sixty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fourteen Pula (P261,060,914 will go to DIS. The envisaged allocation to DIS represents 38.9 per cent of the Ministry’s development budget that has increased 11.8 percent from the 2016/2017 budget of P600, 084,150.
According to Molale the funds allocated to DIS will enable the institution to implement various development project under its wing. Molale says the projects, include various infrastructure developments, improvements in communication network and acquisition of mobile platforms.
“Chairperson, continuous improvements in organizational infrastructure and operational tools/ instruments is vital in the integration and coordination of initiatives aimed at safeguarding national security. As such it is critical to continue improvements and investment in capital projects in this area. It is in that regard that I request P261, 060,914 for the implementation of various development projects during the 2016/17 financial year.”
Rejecting the proposed allocation of P261 million to DIS, opposition MP’s said the allocation could not be justified. “I mean, I cannot just bring myself to accept that this Parliament passed a budget that gives it about P130 million and this Parliament is going to pass a budget of P261 million to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and then you tell me you have got your priorities right,” MP for Gaborone Central Phenyo Butale said. Pius Mokgware also decried the secretive procurement of DIS, citing that there are reports that things are not being doing properly and parliament cannot continue to approve its budget without dealing with the challenges at the institution.
“We should, as parliament make sure that DIS procurement becomes a little bit transparent, a little bit open so that it cannot be open to abuse as it is been suspected by most right now,” challenged Mokgware.
Molale stated that DIS procurement goes through a procurement system that is within the law. “There is a committee that deals with special tender considerations for agencies like the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), the DIS and others, which cannot be in the public domain, but there is a record of procurement that can with time be made open for people to see that there was nothing to hide.”
Hot on DIS heels in the Ministry’s allocation of Development Budget is the Poverty Eradication Programme at One Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand Pula (P188, 470,000) or 28.1 per cent, followed by MOPAGPA Infrastructure at One Hundred Million, Five Hundred and Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty – Six Pula (P100, 508,386) or 15.0 per cent and Improvements to Broadcasting Services at Eighty-Two Million, Three Hundred and Forty Four Thousand Pula (P82, 344,000) or 12.2 per cent.
Molale says the remaining 5.7 percent of the budget is shared among the rest of the projects in the Departments of; MOPAGPA Consultancies, Computerisation, Botswana Public Service College, Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).
For the Ministry, Molale requested One Billion, Two Hundred and Eight Million, and Ninety-Seven Thousand, Four Hundred Pula (P1,208,097,400) for the Recurrent Budget as well as Six Hundred and Seventy Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Six Thousand, Three Hundred Pula (P670,826,300) for the Development Budget be approved and stand part of the Estimates for the 2017/18 financial year.