Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) leader, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has this week revealed some of his priority areas, should he ascend to power post October 2019 General Elections.
Masisi uncovered this during the weekend launch of Kanye South BDP MP candidate Dr. Lemogang Kwape and his crop of Councillors in Kanye. The President asserted that at the top of the agenda will be how he and his new government will be enacting a law barring politicians from floor crossing. Currently, there is no law that prohibits politicians from crossing the floor to join other political parties if they so wish at any point of incumbency.
Masisi provided the hint amid strong speculation that some BDP MP candidates are said to be planning to join the opposition Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF,) immediately after winning the impending 2019 National elections. Some of the coming MPs are said to be on their way to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), in order to smoothly ensure Masisi and his government collapse and a new leadership ushered in after elections. BPF, which is a party formed by former President Ian Khama, currently caught up in power struggle with Masisi, is fighting tooth and nail to unseat Masisi – through everything written in the rule book.
Aware of this state of affairs, Masisi stated this week that: “Nna ga ke batle go tshosediwa ke busa puso (I don’t want to be threatened when I run government), whereby you hear people around or legislators speculating that they will jump ship to other political parties in parliament,” he said. As a matter of priority Masisi stressed that, if he wins, he will table the law immediately when he gets to parliament.
He explained: “the law will be made in such a way that whoever wants to cross the floor by joining another party, whether they dump opposition to join the ruling party or they dump the BDP and join the opposition, they should then altogether resign the MP portfolio.” He added: ‘I believe they (politicians) should go back to the electorates to ask for a clean mandate so that they have an opportunity to choose which party or candidate they want and then vote again.
As it stands, the current arrangement dictates that an MP, just after being elected by the people, can just write to Speaker of the Parliament, informing him of his decision to cross the floor. “Now, we got them, from the General Elections we will pass this law with immediate effect. Ga go tshamekelwe mo ntlong pula e sa ne. This is a serious matter and we are not joking about it,” Masisi emphasised. He also said when parliament resumes, he anticipates to see some legislators with such kind of behaviour wanting to floor cross but he will nip them in the bud.
Meanwhile the Constitution of Botswana, the National Assembly Act (in terms of MP’s) and the Local Government Act (Councillors) are at the moment silent on floor crossing. Only the Parliamentary Standing Orders, with regard to floor crossing, state that MPs wishing to cross the floor should notify the Speaker of the National Assembly in writing and they would be granted such. Standing Order 6 (2) reads thus; “any member who crosses the floor or changes his political allegiance shall inform the Speaker in writing as to which party she/he belongs.”
However, it is not the first time that such a floor crossing Bill has been promised to be brought to parliament. In 2009, the then Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Daniel Kwelagobe told parliament of government’s intention to bring the Bill to the floor of parliament for debate and consideration, but never did.
Research indicates that the motion which supported development of anti-floor crossing measures nonetheless passed in 1998, although government delayed in drafting a bill on the matter. The public was said to have supported the motion. According to reports, floor crossing is not a new phenomenon in Botswana, as it has happened on many occasions in favor of the ruling party.
“In 1998, after a bitter war at a congress in Palapye, 13 Members of Parliament of the BNF left the party to form the Botswana Congress Party (BCP). This prompted a ruling party MP to table a motion calling on government to draft legislation on floor crossing. Although the House adopted the motion, to-date government still has not drafted the Bill,” reports states. They further highlight that delay could be stemming from the fact that the ruling party has benefited from the absence of the law for many years and it never occurred to them that one day, their members would cross the floor to join other parties.
After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.
According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .
BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.
The alleged breaches include , breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.
The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018
South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.
When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.
“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.
It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.
The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.
Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.
Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.
Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.
For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.
“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”
BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.