Mmegi Online :: Khama consulted Boko on VP preference
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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Khama consulted Boko on VP preference

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Duma Boko has confirmed that President Ian Khama had consulted him prior to the appointment of the Vice President to seek his opinion.
By Lekopanye Mooketsi Fri 21 Nov 2014, 14:58 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Khama consulted Boko on VP preference








“He did ask me about my view and how I feel,” said Boko, who is also the president of the coalition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). 

Boko said he furnished the president with the names of his preferred candidates and gave reasons.  However, he said he could not disclose them. 

On the appointment of Mokgweetsi Masisi as the Vice President (VP), Boko said it was the President’s choice.  He said opposition MPs did not take part in the elections to endorse the VP because it was merely a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) affair. 

“We were indifferent as it was BDP business,” he said.

Masisi was endorsed by 41 MPs, while one ballot was spoilt.  The BDP, is in the majority in Parliament with 41 MPs.   This means that the opposition bloc did not vote.

The combined opposition has 20 legislators, one of whom may have deliberately spoiled the ballot.      

Boko who is also a prominent lawyer, said it is procedural that the President should consult the Leader of the Opposition regarding appointments of certain highly ranking government officials like the VP and the Ombudsman. 

Previous presidents reportedly consulted Leaders of the Opposition before they appointed their deputies. 

In 1998 Khama’s predecessor, Festus Mogae, reportedly consulted the former Leader of Opposition, Dr Kenneth Koma about his preferred choice for the vice presidency. 

Although the then Botswana National Front (BNF) central committee was said to have instructed Koma to reject Khama’s name, the late opposition leader is said to have approved Khama anyway.

For the first time in the

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history of Botswana, the endorsement of the VP by Parliament was marred by controversy. 

The event even had to be postponed and the country remained without a VP for some time.  This was after the Attorney General, believed to have been under pressure from the BDP, took opposition parties to court to challenge the Standing Orders that stipulated that the voting for the endorsement of VP be done by secret ballot.  

The Attorney General insisted that the said Standing Orders were contrary to the constitution.  In her application, she wanted the voting for the endorsement of VP and specially elected MPs to be done by a show of hands.

Contrary to the AG’s claims, both the High Court and Court of Appeal maintained that the Standing Orders were not violating the constitution. 

It is believed that President Khama wanted MPs to vote by raising their hands as a way to intimidate those who may have been against his preferred candidates. Since he took over in 2008, Khama broke away from tradition, as he was not willing to appoint a VP who would succeed him.

His first VP was Mompati Merafhe who has retired and later Ponatshego Kedikilwe who has also quit politics.

Fear has been expressed in political circles that Khama could be using Masisi as a temporary measure before appointing his younger brother Tshekedi Khama to take over from him.  

However, Khama has assured Batswana through the Weekend Post that Masisi will ultimately become the president when he retires in 2018.

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