The highly anticipated cabinet reshuffle by President Ian Khama has come and passed with a number of changes that have surprised many people. Analysts argue that the changes were done without looking at one’s capabilities or qualifications. One such shocker is the redeployment of Kitso Mokaila, who headed the ministry responsible for mining and energy.
Mokaila, formerly with the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, is now the political head at Transport and Communications. He is replaced by Sadique Kebonang at the renamed Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security.
The redeployment of Mokaila has shocked many as they thought he had won over Batswana in a number of areas including the load shedding that came with failures of the P11 billion Morupule B Power Station. He also presided over a ministry that was facing backlash from the consumers over unreliable water supply.
Mokaila was also supporting the establishment of a power and water regulator although Gaborone Bonnington North MP, Ndaba Gaolathe stole the limelight from the minister by tabling a motion that called for creation of such body.
“As you know the cost of power and water remaining high has got effects on the economy. One of the effects being that it would dissuade potential investors into the economy,’’ Gaolathe was quoted by Daily News.
The ministry that Mokaila is leaving behind is responsible for coordinating development and operational activities in the minerals, energy and water sector and it also formulates, directs and coordinates the overall national policies and strategies on minerals, energy and water resources.
Under ministry, the minister overlooks the mining portfolio, energy and water resources in the country. Water and power have been thorny issues for the government as billions of Pula have been spent on dams, but the Southern part of the country where most of the industry and people are located face water shortages while the northern side has more dams, but poor reticulation means it cannot be transferred to the South.
Energy on the other hand has been a big head ache for government ever since South Africa’s Eskom reduced exports to Botswana to meet own requirements. Botswana has been experiencing electricity difficulties as the Morupule B Power Projects is not reliable.
Mokaila lost Good Hope-Mabule constituency in the 2014 general elections.