Vice President and the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman Slumber Tsogwane has intervened in a feud involving Francistown West legislator Ignatius Moswaane and Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele over public outburst involving the two at parliament recently.
According to sources, Tsogwane is deeply worried by the BDP’s legislator’s un-parliamentary conduct especially in public domain. The latest incident pit Moswaane against Madigele. It is said Tsogwane and other members of the party are mostly perturbed by the repercussions this could have in their party leading to the general elections in October. Tsogwane reportedly told the party caucus that as leaders they should behave like them [leaders] not casually as it is the case.
The party’s longest serving MP said the party have structures and forums where they should discuss issues internally before they behave like that publicly. He BDP rebuked the duo, indicating that their actions work against the party. The party chief whip Liakat Kablay said this week’s party meeting covered wide ranging issues and confirmed that indeed the matter involving the two MPs was discussed.
“As a party we should be united especially in public fora and the intention was to call both Moswaane and Madigele to reconcile them unfortunately the latter was on an official trip with the President so the efforts to see them shaking hands have been deferred until next week,” he said. Moswaane was kicked out of Parliament last week after using foul language and swearing at the Madigele, following the former’s belief that the minister had answered unsatisfactorily about the operations of Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital in Francistown.
Moswaane was concerned about the dire state of congestion at the hospital in Francistown, with patients now being referred to Mahalapye District Hospital without assistance. The outspoken Francistown West lawmaker said he regards health matters seriously, adding that people's loved ones are dying over issues which could otherwise have been addressed.
But it appears he was not satisfied by the answer he received from the minister who said the question asked by Moswaane did not warrant an urgency status but rather should have taken a normal route. This got into Moswaane’s nerves. Moswaane further went on to rant at Speaker of the National Assembly when asked to withdraw the word. "Mr Speaker ga re bana ba gago. We are here as people's representatives and ga o kake wa gosomana mo go rona malatsi otlhe we are sick and tired."
He said before he was being thrown out of parliament chambers for refusing to withdraw the word S$*T that he uttered to Minister Madigele. With Tsogwane giving this matter the serious status, it is expected that the two will again appear before the VP, President Masisi and their colleagues next week to shake hands as the party envisages. It is also said at the meeting Moswaane conceded to misbehaving and assured the party that he is ready to shake a hand with Madigele to put the matter to bed.
Other members within the party however said as much as Moswaane uttered the lewd word, Madigele also said something, “fortunately or unfortunately his microphone was off and it was not captured,” it is said. What the party leadership wants the cabinet minister Madigele to apologise on, is capturing Moswaane in a compromising position and circulating the picture on social media platform.
“It is against Parliamentary standing orders to take pictures inside and whoever did that must be taken to book. It has been agreed by the VP that whoever did that must also apologise publicly at the national assembly because that’s an August house,” added the party chief whip, Kablay. Party insiders say they are equally shocked by the two’s public squabbles as they have always been cool buddies. While others within the BDP suggested that this could be fostered by the pressure of the upcoming elections. Apart from apologising at the party forums, the BDP leadership has also planned that the two will also have to say sorry to the public at parliament.
NORTHREN CAUCUS WANT ELEPHANTS KILLED
Still at the meeting, a resilient block of MPs from the northern part of the country are unanimous that Batswana be allowed to shoot elephants as they frustrate agricultural efforts by the locals. “Voters are angry they say if we don’t approve shoot to kill, then elephants will vote in October,” one MP reportedly said at the meeting. The issue of elephants has been a hot potato with several MPs including Tati East legislator Guma Moyo criticising the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism and other stakeholders for laxity on the matter.
The P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) saga that has been before court since 2017 seems to be losing its momentum with a high possibility of it being thrown out as defence lawyers unmask incompetency on the part of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The Gaborone High Court this week ruled that the decision by the State to prosecute Justice Zein Kebonang and his twin brother, Sadique Kebonang has been reviewed and set aside. The two brothers have now been cleared of the charges that where laid against them three years ago.
The United States (US) will on the 3rd of November 2020 chose between incumbent Donald Trump of the Republicans and former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democrats amid the coronavirus pandemics, which has affected how voting is conducted in the world’s biggest economy.
Trump (74) seeks re-election after trouncing Hillary Clinton in 2016, while Biden (77) is going for his first shot as Democratic nominee after previous unsuccessful spells.
US Presidents mostly succeed in their re-election bid, but there have been nine individuals who failed to garner a second term mandate, the latest being George W H. Bush, a Republican who served as the 41st US President between 1989 and 1993.
Dr Mark Rozell, a Dean of the School of Policy and Government at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia describes the complex US electoral system that will deliver the winner at the 3rd November elections.
“The founders of our Republic de-centralised authority significantly in creating our constitutional system, which means that they gave an enormous amount of independent power and authority to State and local governments,” Dr Rozell told international media on Elections 2020 Virtual Reporting Tour.
Unlike parliamentary democracies, like Botswana the United States does not have all of the national government elected in one year. They do not have what is commonly called mandate elections where the entire federal government is elected all in one election cycle giving a “mandate” to a particular political party to lead, and instead US have what are called staggered elections, elections over time.
The two house Congress, members of the House of Representatives have two-year long terms of office. Every two years the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election, but senators serve for six years and one third of the Senate is elected every two years.
For this election cycle, US citizens will be electing the President and Vice
President, the entire House of Representatives and one third of the open or contested seats in the Senate, whereas two thirds are still fulfilling the remainder of their terms beyond this year.
An important facet of US electoral system to understand given the federalism nature of the republic, the US elect presidents State by State, therefore they do not have a national popular vote for the presidency.
“We have a national popular vote total that says that Hillary Clinton got three million more votes than Donald Trump or in Year 2000 that Al Gore got a half million more votes than George W. Bush, but we have what is called a State by State winner takes all system where each State is assigned a number of electors to our Electoral College and the candidate who wins the popular vote within each State takes 100 percent of the electors to the Electoral College,” explained Dr Rozell.
“And that is why mathematically, it is possible for someone to win the popular vote but lose the presidency.”
Dr Rozell indicated that in 2016, Hillary Clinton won very large popular majorities in some big population States like California, but the system allows a candidate to only have to win a State by one vote to win a 100 percent of its electors, the margin does not matter.
“Donald Trump won many more States by smaller margins, hence he got an Electoral College majority.”
Another interesting features by the way of US constitutional system, according to Dr Rozell, but extremely rare, is what is called the faithless elector.
“That’s the elector to the Electoral College who says, ‘I’m not going to vote the popular vote in my State, I think my State made a bad decision and I’m going to break with the popular vote,’’ Dr Rozell said.
“That’s constitutionally a very complicated matter in our federalism system because although the federal constitution says electors may exercise discretion, most States have passed State laws making it illegal for any elector to the Electoral College to break faith with the popular vote of that State, it is a criminal act that can be penalized if one is to do that. And we just had an important Supreme Court case that upheld the right of the states to impose and to enforce this restriction”
There are 538 electors at the Electoral College, 270 is the magic number, the candidate who gets 270 or more becomes President of the United States.
If however there are more candidates, and this happens extremely rarely, and a third candidate got some electors to the Electoral College denying the two major party candidates, either one getting a majority, nobody gets 270 or more, then the election goes to the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives votes among the top three vote getters as to who should be the next President.
“You’d have to go back to the early 19th century to have such a scenario, and that’s not going to happen this year unless there is a statistical oddity, which would be a perfect statistical tie of 269 to 269 which could happen but you can just imagine how incredibly unlikely that is,” stated Dr Rozell.
BLUE STATES vs RED STATES
Since the 2000 United States presidential election, red states and blue states have referred to states of the United States whose voters predominantly choose either the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates.
Many states have populations that are so heavily concentrated in the Democratic party or the Republican party that there is really no competition in those states.
California is a heavily Democratic State, so is New York and Maryland. It is given that Joe Biden will win those states. Meanwhile Texas, Florida and Alabama are republicans. So, the candidates will spent no time campaigning in those states because it is already a given.
However there are swing states, where there is a competition between about five and 10 states total in each election cycle that make a difference, and that is where the candidates end up spending almost all of their time.
“So it ends up making a national contest for the presidency actually look like several state-wide contests with candidates spending a lot of time talking about State and local issues in those parts of the country,” said Dr Rozell.
High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.
Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana. “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.