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.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.