The soon to be dissolved 11th parliament has decided against implementing the agreed living allowance of former legislators until later date since they are not catered for by the public pay system, WeekendPost has been told.
Earlier this year the National Assembly debated with vigour and passion salaries and allowances amendment bill. This resulted in the August house approving a 4 percent salary hike and delinking members of the National Assembly from the public service structure by 11 percent. Furthermore, parliament also agreed in principle that former MPs will get 20 percent of the current legislators’ salaries as living allowance. This was subjected to be ratified in the just ended meeting, but to no avail.
“They will not get anything for now,” said Minister of Presidential Affairs Governance and Public Administration Nonofo Molefhi in a brief interview. “We are still in consultations as government and I would not know when we will be done, but it is a matter that as government we are looking at.” The ministry was yet to respond to this publication’s questionnaire at the time of going to press.
Molefhi could not specify the details of the consultations to this publication but sources indicated that the matter has been forwarded to Attorney General (AG) to see if there will not be any negative repercussions from the constitution. This now means former MPs who expected the approval of parliament during the July-August meeting, will have to wait a little longer, hopefully for November meeting. The adjustment which excited legislators from the opposition and the ruling party alike, seen MPs salaries surging from P23 786 to P39 197 per month or P470 364 or P285 432 per annum as basic pay.
The former legislators were to be entitled to P8000 a month for a life time. “We are told that the public pay structure does not cater for us, thus we will get the incentive only after the law has been passed by parliament which will be in the next session. This is to also create a scale for us. That is what we have been told anyway,” Association of Former MPs Vice President David Magang told this publication.
He continued; “Of course we are disappointed as former legislators because we anticipated that by now we will be getting something so that we can live a dignified life as you might know that most of us are struggling. But what can we do? We will wait for government to create that structure in the public system and we are adamant that the 12th parliament will address that because our numbers keep on increasing. Some will not be returning back after the elections,” he said.
The Association of Former Members of Parliament is acting as an advisory body to the government of the day on matters of national interest. The decision to form the association was championed by mostly Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) erstwhile members like Ray Molomo, Shirley Segokgo and Magang who are also in the committee. Anyone who once served in the August House as an MP can join the association regardless of political party affiliation.
KHAMA REFUSES TO JOIN, MOGAE SAYS HE IS READY
The association which was registered in September last year still misses two faces of former Presidents Lt Gen Ian Khama and Festus Mogae who have not yet committed to join their colleagues. “Yo, wa ga Seretse [Ian Khama] is quiet about joining us but he has been approached. So we don’t know why he is mute whether he doesn’t want to join us or what we don’t know,” Magang shared with this publication.
On the other hand he said; “Mogae said he will join but he has been away with the international business but very soon we are expecting him to be joining the association once his schedule normalizes.” For his part Khama has in the past said he is not aware of the association. “I have not been formally told about it. Besides I don’t know the procedure as to who should approach who between them and I, should they send me an invite or I should just go because, before I became a President I was an MP,” he said.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.