Molale will resign, but only after winning primaries
The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale has got everyone talking. He is contesting the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary election whilst also holding the position of Specially Elected Member of Parliament.
President Lt Gen Ian Khama also holds the key because Molale’s all clear solely depends on the President’s discretion. It is clear that Molale has the President’s blessings to contest. He may keep as Minister until the legality of his stay as Minister expires! Reports from some BDP members indicate that Molale has made it clear that he will resign should he win the party primary elections…
Pundits are clear in their explanations that there is no law that Molale is breaking, and in fact he is not the first Specially Elected MP to contest primary elections whilst still in Parliament. There are those who feel Molale should not contest because he is already in Parliament, but indications are that this is not only about Molale, it is also about the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
The BDP stands to gain in the event Molale wins because they will have a chance to slot in a different Specially Elected MP to replace the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration. There is no doubt that the BDP or President Lt Gen Ian Khama had a lot of potential candidates lined to be made Specially Elected, and this is yet another opportunity. Molale has been given a chance to prove his worth as a politician, and the Goodhope-Mabule bye-election suits his ambitions.
In the event Eric Molale succeeds at primary elections the main question is whether he will resign both his positions so clears the way for his contestation in the bye-election. WeekendPost has looked at precedents and the law in part and made discoveries that Molale is covered in all angles.
He may choose not to resign until Election Day as MP, and may contest for the position of MP for Goodhope-Mabule while still holding the position of Minister. Section 42 (3) of the constitution of Botswana allows Molale to run while still holding the position of Minister.
Meanwhile Molale is also free to contest BDP primary elections while still holding the position of Specially Elected Member of Parliament. According to the constitution of the country it is also clear that President Khama is not under any pressure to Specially Elect a replacement for Molale when he resigns as MP (because he (Molale) will be compelled to resign from Parliament to contest the bye-election.
Therefore this means that President Khama can wait for the outcome of the bye-election and make an informed decision after. In the event Molale loses he has the discretion to reappoint him as Specially Elected MP. According to the constitution, Khama also has four months to watch the developments while Molale holds position of Minister while not being a Member of the National Assembly.
Insiders have pointed out that it is a risk worth taking for the Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Minister because he is “covered in all angles”.
PRECEDENTS OR LIKELY SIMILAR CASES
In 2007, after Boyce Sebetlela resigned from Parliament, the former Minister of Health Sheila Tlou was allowed to contest BDP primaries in Palapye constituency while still a Member of the National Assembly. She went on to lose the primaries to Moiseraela Master Goya and continued with her parliament and ministerial duties.
In 1994 the High Court nullified the Kgatleng constituency results because of irregularities and Ray Molomo could not be declared a Member of Parliament. The then President, Sir Ketumile Masire went on to appoint Molomo a minister without a constituency and waited for him to win the re-run.
On 1st April 1994 when Festus Mogae succeeded Masire as President, Lt Gen Ian Khama was made Vice President. But Khama did not hold a seat in the National Assembly hence he could not be immediately appointed Vice President. Former President, Mogae waited for Khama to win the Serowe North bye-election and later appointed him Vice President. Khama was ushered in through the resignation of Roy Blackbeard.
In a recent case though different, two serving Mahalapye Councillors, Moatshe Senai and Jackson Cebani, in 2012 were allowed to contest in BDP primary elections challenging Bernard Bolele for the vacant Mahalapye West Parliamentary office.
The vacant position at Parliament cannot stay for more than 90 days hence before then the bye-election should be conducted.
Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms. “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.
“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.
“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.
“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”
Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner. He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.
Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.
Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.
The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).
“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.
“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”
Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.
From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.
“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.
“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”
In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.
TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.
“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.
“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”
Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.
“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.
“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”
Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.
Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.
According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.
“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.
According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).
“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.
“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”
The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.
“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”
Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.
The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.
This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.