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BDP MPs demand 6% percent increase

BDP MPs

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) legislators have pushed Minister of Presidential Affairs Governance and Public Administration (MOPAGPA) Kabo Morwaeng, against the wall, demanding that he present as a matter of urgency a bill that seeks to establish committee on their remunerations.

The committee will eventually push their six percent salary hike which was deferred in the past financial year in parliament due to among others budgetary constraints.

The MPs made their stance known at the party’s weekly caucus and told Morwaeng that he should ensure that the matter is debated on a certificate of urgency. In fact, to arrive here, it is said the MPs wanted an act to establish a standing committee on remuneration (members of the national assembly, councilors, and specified members). However, there are many glitches from the bill.

Morwaeng first presented the bill to the general assembly in February 2021 but later withdrew after facing resistance from opposition ranks. On March 31, 2022 Morwaeng yet again tried to table the bill brought on certificate of urgency because of pressure from his colleagues but it yet again faced resistance in the floor of Parliament. The bill has not yet reached its maturity as it was re-published in the Government Gazette on March 25, 2022.

When it was pushed under the carpet last year, the idea was that the MPs are conflicted to decide their own salaries and conditions of service but rather there is need of an independent structure to asses if there are compelling reasons for any adjustments.

Morwaeng was at the receiving end this week, with MPs pushing him into a tight corner. At one point, those in the know say the Presidential Affairs Minister pleaded with the legislators to slow down as there are no available funds currently to cater for their demands and also told them that the bill is yet to mature. His request fell on deaf ears of hardliner MPs, the source said.

It is said at one point in the meeting Kgalagadi South MP, Sam Brooks told Morwaeng on his face that it is the government money and he should not hesitate and that, the formation of structure and 6% was deferred in the past and therefore he must act.

Without answers even from the party chairman Slumber Tsogwane, it is said Morwaeng had to log out from the meeting as felt attacked by his comrades. In the interim, the party agreed that only President Mokgweetsi Masisi can come and address them on the matter. Another meeting was scheduled later this week but never saw the light of the day as the President seemingly had other commitments.

Contacted on the matter the BDP Chief Whip Liakat Kablay refused to comment on the matter saying it is “very sensitive and will be attended to by the party leadership.”

Botswana MPs reports have always maintained that they are one of the lowest paid in the continent and the world. Former MP David Magang has reiterated that the legislators salary is just peanuts and “peanuts attract monkeys.”
Nigerian MPs are among the highest paid in the continent and the world.

In addition to basic salary, they get a string of allowances in the form of hardship allowance, constituency, furniture, newspaper, wardrobe, recess allowance, accommodation, utilities, domestic staff and entertainment allowances.
Kenyan MPs, are the second highest paid in the world. Ghana is also cited as paying politicians well. South African MPs now earn R 1, 1 million a year excluding other benefits.

MPs basic salaries (Monthly)
The President – P89 588
The Vice President – P78 586
Minister – P60 416
Assistant Ministers – P46 490
The Speaker – P60 416
Deputy Speaker – P46 490
Leader of the Opposition – P46 490
Government Whip – P40 783
Opposition Whip – P39 984
Ordinary MP – P39 197

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In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.

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While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.

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Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.

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