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Government rebutts Sunday Standard article “Licensed to sin”

Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation notes with regret the Article entitled “Licensed to Sin” as carried on the front page of the Sunday Standard Edition of 17-23 June 2018.

The Article on whole is evidently intended to present the Ministry in bad light, and by extension undermine the integrity of the Botswana Foreign Service.

Given the seriousness of the allegations, the Ministry wishes to respond as follows:

The Article refers to a document purported to have been compiled by the Ministry’s Reforms Unit, which apparently forms the basis for most of the allegations advanced by the Sunday Standard.

The Ministry wishes to categorically state that such a document does not exist. In any case, it is not within the mandate of the Ministry’s Reforms Unit to produce any document pertaining to the abuse of the diplomatic immunities.

Contrary to what the Article

suggests, diplomatic Immunities and privileges do not entitle diplomats to break the law with impunity. We wish to clarify that Botswana diplomatic staff, like any other diplomats in the world, are duty bound to act in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,1961, as well as to abide by the laws of the host country. Where host country laws are violated, a range of disciplinary measures are applied, including the waiving of diplomatic immunities, where necessary.

On the issue of promotions, the Ministry like the rest of the Public Service has policies and systems in place which govern promotions.

Some of these systems include Promotions Board, and various forms of assessments to evaluate and recognize performance.

It is therefore extremely regrettable that the Article chooses to discredit female diplomats, alleging that they are promoted based on criteria other than merit.

We find the allegations very offensive and an insult to the

character of our officers, who are professionals and continue to carry out their duties with diligence and commitment to service.

Lastly, and as a matter of procedure, the Ministry will not react to a number of allegations which are advanced in the paper, which are clearly pointed to some members of the Botswana Foreign Service.

The Sunday Standard should be well aware that personnel matters are not discussed through the media. ENDS

 

Source : MIAC

Author : BOPA

Location : Gaborone

Event : Rebuttal

Date : Jun 20 Wed,2018

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