Mmegi Online :: New crop of opposition MPs raise hopes of robust Parliament
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Monday 24 September 2018, 15:01 pm.
Banners
New crop of opposition MPs raise hopes of robust Parliament

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana’s 11th Parliament, which is yet to commence business, promises robust and vibrant debate than its predecessors.
By Ryder Gabathuse Fri 07 Nov 2014, 15:39 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: New crop of opposition MPs raise hopes of robust Parliament








However, the fact that the ruling party has 41 MPs, more than twice the opposition number of 20 may make it another rubber stamp Parliament. BDP legislators have always used their strength in numbers to frustrate the opposition.

However, this has not prevented a strong team of opposition MPs - like the 1994-1999 crop - from giving the BDP a run for its money. Under the direction of the founding father of the BNF, the late Dr Kenneth Koma the likes of Michael Dingake, Maitshwarelo Dabutha, Vain Mamela, Paul Rantao, Otlaadisa Koosaletse, Mokgweetsi Kgosipula, Gilson Saleshando, Isaac Mabiletsa, Joseph Kavindama, Sidwell Gabatshwane, James Pilane and Kebadire Kalake proved their mettle in the seventh Parliament. For example, the late Dabutha of the bombshell fame was a combative swashbuckler who articulated the BNF policies very well. He was erudite and ebullient. The late Rantao mesmerised Parliament with his oratorical skills. He left his audience spellbound with his melodrama. He was a darling of the masses.

The late Kavindama, who hailed from the Okavango appealed to the masses because of his rotten Setswana while Saleshando was notable for his anti-government stance.

The late Gabatshwane who was a teacher, spoke flowery English and never missed an opportunity to remind all that he had taught then cabinet minister and Speaker of the last Parliament, Dr Margaret Nasha of the BDP, who is eyeing a second term. Majority of members of this team were products of Koma’s study group.

Fast forward to the current crop of opposition MPs and hopes are high again that the BDP will have a rough time in the House. University of Botswana (UB) political analyst, Professor Emanuel Botlhale said the opposition legislators can contribute effectively to the debate as the majority of them are young professionals.

“In terms of caliber, they are cabinet material but unfortunately, the Botswana system is winner takes it all,” he said. He however, noted that in terms of the debate he expects a robust and engaging Parliament. Since the BDP has 37 MPs, Botlhale fears that the ruling party could still use its numbers to frustrate the opposition. Moeti Mohwasa, spokesperson of the main opposition, UDC said that in the immediate transition period, it is upon the party to prove that it has good policies and programmes as an alternative government.

“It is upon the UDC legislators and civic leaders to articulate

Banners

the position of the party on pertinent issues as they are not independent players and they therefore, carry the hopes of Batswana,” he said yesterday.

He acknowledged that expectations are very high from the MPs and councillors as UDC positions itself as an alternative government. Mohwasa noted that from the outset, elected UDC leaders would have to show the masses what to expect when the party takes power.

He said UDC MPs would produce quality motions and contribute effectively to parliamentary debate. “We are not just going to be passive and watch the BDP with their numeral advantage play ball as if we don’t exist.

We are also not going to disappoint the masses who have entrusted us with their massive votes.” Mohwasa said the UDC is going to give the BDP a run for its money. “The government has to be responsible. As official opposition, we are going to influence certain policies beneficial to the masses to be considered by the BDP government.”Perhaps, anticipating serious challenge from the UDC, President Ian Khama, a known schemer, has already made a move to plead with UDC leader and MP, Duma Boko, to cooperate with him on pertinent political matters. Since he came to power in 1998, Khama has never taken opposition leaders in Parliament seriously. But he seems to have changed tact in the case of Boko and his UDC.

At a recent UDC press conference in Gaborone, Boko broke the news of Khama’s invitation to meet and share ideas with him. He stated that Khama has shown commitment to working with the UDC.

“He is committed to working with us and building a working partnership,” Boko said of something that the opposition has never known. He added that he assured Khama that the UDC was prepared to work with his government in executing the development agenda of the country. As if he was in a panic mode, Boko stated that Khama called him twice to assure him that: “All what I had discussed with you earlier about working together was sincere”.

That is uncharacteristic of Khama as he has never given the opposition a chance in his government, let alone time to discuss issues. The writing is on the wall that if the UDC and minority opposition BCP work closely, the BDP will not have a chance to frustrate opposition motions at will.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Banners
Banners
Banners


News
Banners
Banners
Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   9.7656
1 GBP = Pula   13.4590
1 EUR = Pula   11.9617
1 YEN = Pula   0.0882
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7938
1 Pula = USD   0.1024
1 Pula = GBP   0.0743
1 Pula = EUR   0.0836
1 Pula = YEN   11.34
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2597
Subscribe to our Newsletter
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Tuesday 25 Sep - Tuesday 25 Sep :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Tuesday 25 Sep - Tuesday 25 Sep :::
  • Previous
    The Meg
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 10 Aug - Sunday 07 Aug :::
    The Meg
Selefu
BASOP!
Banners
Banners
istanbul escort