The head of government, President Lt. Gen. Dr. Ian Khama is expected to rally his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) battalion of legislators to assist amend the existing law to accommodate two more ministries and two specially elected Members of Parliament posts as early as next week.
“Appointment will be made beginning of next year just before the budget speech,”a BDP top activist close to the cloak and dagger developments confirmed to this publication this week. It is still unclear what the new ministries will be responsible for and whether the two incoming specially elected MP’s will head the ministries.
Indications are that a BDP caucus met recently to discuss and the issue was instead settled at the drop of a hat. It was accentuated that the new posts will bring in new expertise.
The ruling party which banks on its strength of having majority in parliament is expected to swiftly pass the motion to amend the law on the current parliament session without fuss.
Currently, the constitution provides in section 58 (b)that “four Specially Elected Members shall be elected in accordance with the First Schedule to this Constitution and subject thereto in accordance with the provisions of any Act of Parliament.”As a result the amendments will increase the number of specially elected legislators from 4 to 6.
The amendments will also be in line with section 42 of the same supreme law which emphasizes that “there shall be such offices of Minister of the Government (not exceeding six or such other number as Parliament may from time to time provide) as may be established by Parliament or, subject to the provisions of any Act of Parliament, by the President.
A high ranking sitting BDP parliamentarian who spoke on the condition of anonymity also confirmed to this publication on Thursday: “It’s true the issue was brought to us recently to the effect that we should create two new ministries and positions for two specially elected legislators; and we discussed it and acceded to it.”
According to the maverick MP, there was realization that the government is growing and the current ministries do not cater for all necessary posts, and the lawmakers decided to increase ministries and bring new skills to parliament.
Weekend Post has established that the Assistant Minister in the Office of the President, Phillip Makgalemele, who was said to be instrumental in the suggestion, was adamant that the current sitting of the national assembly should not close without having passed the amendments to cater for new posts.
The ruling party is said to be running against the clock on the matter.
The two ministries are largely believed to be probably coiled around Ministries of State owned enterprise and the other one maybe on Women and Children.
Already there are suggestions going around that former MP Robert Masitara may be considered for one of the posts as he is versed with massive expertise in combating corruption and in forensics – a skill currently lacking in parliament.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.