Bots ex-presidents may find employment after retirement
By Mpho Tebele
Gaborone – Botswana’s former heads of state may find employment anywhere they choose.
This follows a bill passed by Parliament amending the pensions and retirement benefits of former heads of state.
Commenting on the latest development, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the bill amended the current legislation and made it lawful for former presidents to find employment anywhere after vacating the country’s highest office.
According to Masisi, former presidents would now have access to any mode of transport with permission from the sitting president under the amended law.
He said former presidents would be allowed to work after retiring from the presidency so that they could share their knowledge and experiences locally and abroad.
He revealed that some former presidents would still be young and active, and that as such, they needed to share their abilities and expertise on how to govern.
Masisi also added that former presidents needed to continue contributing to the development of the country even after retiring.
This has stoked speculation that President Ian Khama may rejoin the army. But the President’s private secretary George Tlhalerwa said Khama has not shown any intention to go back to work.
“The President started working at a tender age. He worked for over 40 years and has not made any intention to seek employment,” he is quoted as saying.
Tlhalerwa also said it was impossible for Khama to rejoin the BDF as the retirement age is 55. He said there was no provision of rejoining the BDF and that contract extensions only existed for those who served continuously without breaking.
Tlhalerwa said the law would be solely for those who attain Presidency at a young age and wish to work afterwards.
He also said the law provides benefits for outgoing presidents so that they do not have to work.
According to the newly enacted Act, former Presidents may directly or indirectly hold any paid office after their retirement.
It also grants former Presidents access to the use of any government owned mode of transport, on a case by case basis, on such terms as may be determined by the President. This is on top of three motor vehicles namely one sedan (Mercedes Benz or an equivalent or similar class of motor vehicle), one four-wheel drive station wagon and one pick up van.
The vehicles will be permanently at the disposal of the former President and will have government registration number plates unless otherwise decided by Parliament.
As with other government motor vehicles, the motor vehicles will be replaced as and when necessary.