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MPs lodging to cost Gov’t P8million

Accommodation arranged by Government for all the 63 Members of Parliament (MP) at the exotic Avani Resort and Casino, pending the refurbishment of the parliamentary village flats is likely to guzzle an estimated P8,418,060 from the already ‘dry’ Government wallet. 

Following their victories from various constituencies on the 23rd of October, the MPs checked-in at Avani the following week to take oath and to nominate the six Specially Elected Members of Parliament (SEMP). Another business they came for was to elect the Speaker of the National Assembly as well as his Deputy. That was on the 28th of the same month with President Mokgweetsi Masisi opening the parliamentary business with State of the Nation Address (SONA) on the 18th of November. Since that date until the closure of the ongoing parliamentary meeting on the 20th of this month, the legislators would have stayed in the luxurious rooms for almost two months (54 days).

WeekendPost can authoritatively reveal that the MPs are lodging in Avani rooms which are 27 square meters on size. The rooms can carry three people (two adults plus one child) and it has Wi-Fi. There are other complimentary services which sees the room costing P1, 020 a night. Calculations by this publication from the 28th of October to the 20th of this month, show that it would have been 54 days which amounts to P3, 470,040.

The second meeting of the next session is expected in the first week of February next year until April. This is normally presided by a Budget Speech presented by a Minister of Finance and Development Planning. Mathematics has once again projected that the legislators will stay in Avani for a prolonged period of 75 days. For this period only (3rd February to 17th April) Government will cough up P4, 819,500, which will see the total amount including expenses of the current meeting at P8, 289,540.

For the MPs to be staying in Avani is a government effort to ensure that the honorable members have a decent accommodation and environment to stay in. For now, it is said, the parliamentary village flats are far from being ideal for MPs to occupy. The flats’ windows, tables and other properties which were damaged by the 11th parliament occupants will have to be replaced. Weekendpost however at time of going to press was yet to unearth the total budget for the renovations.

A memo reminding the legislators to leave the flats has long been issued for them to see how they will rescue themselves but they decided not to respond. As is Weekendpost is reliably informed that most of the legislators have now vacated the flats with only few remaining. his, a source says is the main reason stalling everything. “This is a process, the houses should be inspected and all the assets inside should be valued and registered for auction sale. But for now there is nothing that could move with some MPs still refusing to leave, this should be done at once.”

This also means that the contractor to refurbish the houses is yet to be appointed, hence projections say the flats will only be ready mid-year 2020. Questionnaire sent to Parliament Public Relations Unit was not responded at the time of print, despite various attempts to allow the Parliamentary Secretariat to comment. The Parliamentary Village is a residential complex in Gaborone where MPs are housed free of charge for their entire term of office, to execute their duty with ease. Earlier this year, it was revealed that MPs are failing to pay electricity bills amounting to around P200, 000.

It was said since 2015, the MPs defaulted and it appears that those who have lost General Elections intend to leave Parliament without settling the bills. It is not clear which mechanism the government would use to force the MPs to pay the bills before Parliament is dissolved for the General Elections. Parliamentary sources on the other hand tell this publication that they have received letters requesting them to pay the bills with July set as the deadline for all to have paid.

The arrangement between MPs and the Government is that the cost of electricity used by an individual member should be borne by the member in full. It is said they should foot the bills every month, something which they did in the formative months in Parliament before defaulting.  However, in some instances it is said some legislators claim not to be aware of such agreement despite almost five years residing in Parliamentary Village.

The Botswana Parliament is created by Section 57 of the Constitution and it is composed of the President and the National Assembly. The role of Parliament is to make laws as stipulated in Section 86 of the Constitution, which states that: ‘Parliament shall have the power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Botswana.’  In this way it means Parliament exercises legislative powers as one of its core mandates. In addition, Parliament performs functions such as representation, scrutiny and oversight.


The public is informed that, since the Parliamentary Village that ought to accommodate Members of Parliament is currently under renovation following the departure of the former tenants, the National Assembly had no option but to house the newly elected legislature at a hotel in Gaborone. Since the MPs were accommodated together with their Conditions of Service, the hotel accommodation could not be revoked when the MPs retreated to Kasane for the one week orientation.

The departure process of the former MP tenants at the Parliamentary Village, coupled with personal circumstances that are common to vacating residential premises, contributed to the delay in carrying out renovations in time for the newly elected MPs to take up residence at the Village. Currently, the MPs are in the process of vacating the hotel to occupy the temporary accommodation arranged by the National Assembly pending the completion of renovations at the Parliamentary Village.


The office of the President further regards as absurd, allegations of astronomical expenditure relating to official travel by His Excellency the President since any such expenditure is a product of accountable budgetary processes. The allegations about plans for the construction of a new State House are equally false and prepopsterous.

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BCP, AP stalemate in 7 constituencies

21st March 2023

When the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Alliance for Progressives, Botswana Labour Party (BLP), and conveners reconvene next week, the controversial issue of allocation of the seven constituencies will be the main topic of discussion, WeekendPost can reveal.

Not only that, but the additional four constituencies will also dominate the talks. The idea is to finally close the “constituency allocation phase,” which has proven to be the most difficult part of the ongoing negotiations.

Earlier this year, the two parties announced that the marathon talks would be concluded by February. Even at a media briefing last month, BCP Secretary General Goretetse Kekgonegile and Publicity Secretary Dr. Mpho Pheko were optimistic that the negotiations would be concluded before the end of February.

However, it is now mid-March and the talks have yet to be concluded. What could be the reasons for the delay? This is a question that both Kekgonegile and Pheko have not responded to, as they have ignored the reporters’ inquiries. However, a senior figure within the party has confided to this publication as to what is delaying the highly anticipated negotiations.

“We are reconvening next week to finalize constituency allocations, taking into account the additional four new ones plus the outstanding seven,” he explained. It later surfaced that Gaborone Central, Gaborone North, Mogoditshane, Tswapong North, Francistown West, Tati West, and Nata Gweta are all contested by both BCP and AP. This is because the other 50 constituencies were allocated by December of last year.

The three parties have failed to find common ground for the Bosele Ward by-elections. Are these constituencies not a deal breaker for the talks? “None of the constituencies is a deal breaker,” responded a very calm BCP official.

In Bosele Ward, AP has yielded to BCP, despite most of its members disapproving the decision. On the other hand, BLP has refused, and it will face off with BCP together with Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

The decision by BLP to face off with BCP has been labelled as a false start for the talks by political observers.

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Botswana approves extradition of British fugitive

21st March 2023

Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

Merapelo Mokgosi, the Assistant Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), confirmed that he will be extradited to France, where he is wanted for his crimes.

“It is true that Tayub will be extradited to France, where he has been wanted for some time,” says Mokgosi.

She explained that the fugitive was arrested by the Botswana Police in early January while attempting to enter Botswana through the Pioneer border gate. Since his arrest, he has been appearing before the Lobatse Magistrate Court to fight his release from custody and to object to his extradition to France. During his court appearance, Tayub opted for voluntary extradition.

“He opted for voluntary extradition, which the extradition Act allows,” said Mokgosi. She added that the suspect was not under duress when he chose voluntary extradition. Soon after he made this choice, the Ministry of Justice was notified, and the minister approved his extradition. Preparations are still underway to fly the wanted man to France, and once the necessary paperwork is completed between the two nations, the suspect will be extradited.

Mokgosi indicated that plans were still being made to complete the suspect’s extradition to France, and the Botswana government would pay for his flight along with his escort.

Meanwhile, the court has ordered the Botswana Prison Services (BPS) to provide the Islamic British fugitive with “halal food” while he is in custody.

In an earlier court application, Tayub had asked to be detained at a five-star hotel, as he could pay for it until the completion of his case. He also argued that he should not have to wear a prison uniform due to the Covid-19 outbreak. He was thought to have been traveling to Malawi at the time of his capture.

When delivering the order, the principal magistrate, Gofaone Morwang, said the detainee should be provided with halal daily rations with immediate effect while he is in custody. The magistrate dismissed TAYUB’s application for hotel detention and exemption from wearing a prison uniform.

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Botswana approves extradition of British fugitive

20th March 2023

Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

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