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BDP, Opposition deadlocked over Parley committees

Opposition has not lodged grievances formally

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chief Whip, Fidelis Molao says the standing committees of Parliament will continue to perform their oversight roles despite the absence of opposition Members of Parliament.


He said it will be business as usual until the aggrieved opposition lodges its complaint formally with the Parliament Selection Committee.


According to Molao, all committees currently quorate and there is no need for the committees to suspend duty on the basis of the absence of opposition MPs.


The BDP chief whip says opposition discontent with the committees does not mean the committees composition is unlawful, noting that any engagement with the opposition to address their grievances will only be done in the spirit of promoting cooperation between the ruling party and the opposition.  


Opposition Whip, Wynter Mmolotsi indicated that the ruling party has not yet brought forward a workable solution to address the opposition concerns. He affirmed that the impasse will remain until their grievances are addressed.


The opposition pulled out of the standing committees in protest in December last year, because of lack of fairness in the process of electing committee members and chairpersons.


Of all the committees, only one was chaired by an opposition MP, while the other 22 were chaired by ruling party MPs something which opposition MPs say compromises the oversight role of the committees. Parliamentary committees are made up of MPs of the ruling party who are not cabinet ministers (backbenchers) and opposition MPs.


The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is automatically chaired by an opposition MP by the virtue of statutory requirement.


Molao says the opposition should approach the relevant authorities instead of wailing around with no clear intention of solving the problem. Molao is of the view that the Leader of Opposition, who is a member Selection Committee, alongside Speaker of the National Assembly and the ruling party chief whip could address the matter once and for all. “What are only aware of a press conference in which they addressed the media, not the relevant people who established those committees,” he said.


Molao believes that there is a workable solution and they are ready to listen and engage the opposition MPs on their suggestions on how they think parliament should better operate to enhance democracy.
Molao also accused the opposition of double standards. He observes that at council level, they are doing exactly what they do not want the BDP to do in Parliament. Molao says he is aware that opposition has taken advantage of its numbers in a few councils in order to control of all the committees at the expense of the ruling party.


Ever since the 10th parliament, parliamentary committees have played an effective oversight role exposing maladministration and corruption in a number of government institutions and other quasi-government institutions.


It was during Margaret Nasha’s speakership that she advocated for an effective Parliament which can play its oversight role over the executive. The opposition is of the view that, the current committees were selected in bad faith with the intention of weakening the oversight role of Parliament contrary to what Nasha had advocated for.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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