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Masisi turns rule book on Kokorwe

Publishing Date : 12 November, 2018


In his continued effort to stamp his authority President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has taken aim at Speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Kokorwe, a very close ally of former President Lt Gen Ian Khama in his declaration of applying the law to the letter.

The Director of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Brigadier Peter Magosi wrote through the National Assembly Clerk withdrawing some members of the DIS who were deployed as guards to the Speaker with immediate effect. While it is not provided for in the Green Book, former President Khama had decided to deploy agents to man the Speaker of the National Assembly’s security after an unfortunate event in 2016 when some Members of Parliament were found to be in possession of weapons during a parliament session. The former President was of the view that the safety of the Speaker was compromised. 

He then recommended and deployed six members of the DIS to safeguard the Speaker and also double as chauffeurs. The six worked on shifts but they would add numbers when there is a function. Meanwhile it is alleged a recent visit by Khama to Gladys Kokorwe who is on sick leave at her Tapologo Farms near Ramaphatle has invited the fury of President Dr Masisi. Khama and Kokorwe are said to have enjoyed good relations during Kokorwe’s era in politics and later appointed her Speaker of the National Assembly.

It alleged that during his visit to Kokorwe’s farm former President Khama proposed to Kokorwe to take up the Chairmanship of the National Housing Appeal a position Kokorwe did not refuse but later declined looking at the recent feud between Masisi and Khama that was reported in the newspapers. It is alleged that President Masisi later knew about the meeting and did not take it kindly. Sources close to the president said Masisi was very furious about the developments and directed that DIS agents deployed at Kokorwe be withdrawn with immediate effect. 

“A letter withdrawing the said staff was read to Kokorwe on her sick bed by the clerk and the following day she was left with only one staff member who is still waiting for Kokorwe’s driver to report for duty on Monday before leaving. Kokorwe who refused to comment on the matter owing to her ill health told WeekendPost that she is still the Speaker of the national Assembly and will soon resume duty after her sick leave. When further pressed about Khama’s proposal Kokorwe said at the moment she is still busy but will be free to do whatever she likes after stepping down next year October and to attend to whatever political party she likes.

“As much as I know, we have never had differences with Masisi, he is my President and Khama is my friend”, she said. Kokorwe is also passionate about humanitarian work and helping vulnerable people within the society, a work Khama is doing. Kokorwe has held the position of Deputy Speaker, assisting Patrick Balopi before being appointed Botswana’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe. When she was appointed in 2014 Gladys Kokorwe made it very clear that she will only serve one term.

Having been active in politics for 25 years, Kokorwe had to remain neutral after being appointed Speaker. Standing Order no. 5.1b states that the role of a speaker shall be to preside with complete impartiality over parliamentary debates. He/ She shall protect the freedom of speech and debate in the national assembly and its committees. 



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