Venson-Moitoi enjoys ministerial pecks outside cabinet
Former Education and Skills Development Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi may have been indefinitely sidelined from her duties but she continues to enjoy the lavish lifestyle reserved for cabinet ministers.
The vacancy of her seat in the National Assembly is yet to be communicated to the Speaker Dr Margret Nasha who this week was still clueless, or so she said, about Venson-Moitoi’s removal from cabinet.
Nasha as the speaker of the National assembly is supposed to re-arrange sitting order in parliament whenever there is change of position amongst the members.
Speaking to The Voice on Wednesday evening Nasha said Leader of the House, Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe, did not attend the parliament session to brief her on the latest developments.
“I am also in the dark and just awaiting the leader of the house to come back and that is when I will maybe have a light on what is happening. As it stands I have not yet changed the sitting arrangement in the house,” she said.
Nasha also said it is the first time a minister is sent on leave. In the meantime Venson-Moitoi, according to government spokesperson Dr Jeff Ramsay, is just an ordinary legislature.
Ramsay says Venson-Moitoi has been stripped off her ministerial powers. “She remains an MP for Serowe South but she enjoys the personal privileges accorded ministers,” he said.
Benefits that Venson-Moitoi enjoys as an MP include a ministerial car, a house and guard at the house all at the cost of the taxpayer’s money.
Ramsay said he was not in a position to explain why Venson-Moitoi was enjoying ministerial benefits.
He was however quick to point out that there are chances that Moitoi may be returned to cabinet.
“Venson-Moitoi is just an ordinary member of parliament at the moment.
She is no longer part of cabinet but Eric Masisi is the acting minister of education. We must however take note that there are high chances that she may return to cabinet when the president reshuffles the cabinet,” he said.
The Government announced a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday stating that President Ian Khama has, in accordance with Section 126 (2) of the Constitution, granted Venson-Moitoi leave of absence from her ministerial duties.
In a statement it states that Venson-Moitoi is appointed to undertake a special assignment within the Ministry of Education and Skills Development.
The assignment effected on the same day until further notice.
“The focus of the special assignment will be to oversee the development of the Ministry’s Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan, which is a project undertaken in collaboration with international cooperating partners.
The purpose of the project is to develop a comprehensive and holistic plan for the education sector, as well as harmonise and prioritise policies. It also seeks to factor in issues of performance management and monitoring and evaluation of education sector programmes.
The importance and magnitude of the assignment is such that it will require the full time attention of Honourable Venson Moitoi,” reads the statement.