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Molale need not resign to contest

OP Minister will stand in Goodhope-Mabule

The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale has availed himself for the Goodhope-Mabule bye-election which came as a result of the shock resignation of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament, James Mathokgwane a fortnight ago.


But his position presents a dicey legal brainer in the event he wins his party’s primary elections or is declared a compromise candidate…


The number of hopefuls to represent the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the primaries has jumped from seven to nine, but there are suggestions that the party may decide to push for a compromise and party structures agree on one name to avoid primaries.

The UDC had snatched the constituency from the BDP’s Kitso Mokaila in the October 2014 general election. As things stand the BDP is confident of recapturing the constituency which they lost with a margin of about 600 votes.


Two candidates currently stand out as favourites – Eric Molale and Kenaope Motsaathebe are leading the race before it starts. One a serving minister and the other a secretary for the region and former youth leader, it is likely that the former may stroll should the party decide for a compromise candidate.

The other candidates who have shown interest were either vanquished in the October general elections at local government elections or they are yet to compile steady profiles that could escalate their motivations at present.


But there are pertinent questions that have engulfed the minds of many in the event Eric Molale succeeds at primary election level or is endorsed by the party as a compromise candidate for the Goodhope-Mabule constituency bye-election. The main question being 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 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 can also 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), instead he can wait for the outcome of the bye-election. In the event Molale loses he can 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.

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When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

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Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

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