Mmegi Blogs :: Molale comes to parliament with missiles on the ready
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Molale comes to parliament with missiles on the ready

Recently in Parliament, Hon Eric Molale made shocking utterances in parliament when he was presenting his speech. This was in response to the State of the Nation address that had previously been made by the President of the republic.
By Richard Moleofe Fri 19 Dec 2014, 10:52 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Molale comes to parliament with missiles on the ready








The reader needs to note that this is a man who has literally grown up in Government and understands all the workings of this machinery far much more than a lot of us. If the Government of Botswana has any ancestors, he is certainly one of them.

Truth be told, Molale has been brought to Parliament as a package of reward for steering the government establishment in line with the wishes of the executive. In fact for the length of years he remained as Permanent Secretary to the President, he was the overall supervisor of the entire civil service. Besides that, he also has been a defacto cabinet member and not just playing the advisory role. The decisions that have been made by government and in particular, cabinet have had a given bearing because Molale had a say in it. He gave counsel to the President.

No wonder Molale has come to Parliament with his missiles on, ready to defend the very same decisions he had prevailed upon during his days when he worked with the executive. Molale has come on board with a lot of political energy that he seems too eager to expend on the floors of Parliament by way of defending himself as he has been playing a key role in the functions of the executive.

I would without hesitation attest that Molale has come to parliament with his guns blazing, shooting at everyone and everything including his own foot.

In his response to the President’s speech, Molale said in Parliament that he has come to “defend the executive because some MPs think it is the lesser of the three equals.”He said this referring to the equal relationship between the executive, the judiciary and Parliament. In the case of Botswana, we have seen the executive dominating the other two equals to a point of diluting their thinking and independence.

Allow me to draw an analogy from the Christian faith. The Trinity will forever remain equal, even though the functions of the three are different. There is never a time when the other boasts of any seniority. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit form what is referred to as the God Head. The Trinity enjoys such a harmonious relationship so much that from eternity past there has never been conflict on their assigned roles.

There is clear separation of powers and one submits to the other. Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Philippians said this about Jesus the Christ; “who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”(Philippians 2:6)In fact, as part of a developmental process of democracy, the functions of the Trinity were copied into an earthly system. It seems this earthly system fails us more often than not because it is human nature for one to lord over others.

At the time of independence, three churches decided to worship together under one roof in the capital of Botswana. This gave birth to the Trinity Church in Gaborone central. The Methodists, Congregationalists and the Anglicans agreed to worship together under a cordial arrangement of the three churches and they did this harmoniously. Molale should learn something from this as I want to assume

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that he is a Methodist when taking into account his tribal identity.

And why do we have an executive that thinks so highly of itself? The fact that the executive continues to dominate the other two equals shows us that we have a parliament that has gone to sleep. I have always said that unless Parliament is liberated, we should not expect anything to go well in this regard. Before the executive took a move to do as they please, they had already put a check on Parliament to make sure that it remains as docile as possible. As I have always said, Parliament has the means to liberate itself.

Parliament is a body that enacts laws holds the executive to account. In our case in Botswana, Parliament has allowed itself to remain the lesser one of the three equals. No one will come from the moon or another planet to come and bring life into our own Parliament. They need to rise from their stupor and serve the interests of the people that elected them.

Recently Parliament was tested by the executive when their work was suspended while the judiciary still had to decide on their fate. This very exercise of going back and forth to the courts has apparently come with a staggering cost to government as the tax payer has to cough out a couple of millions and a half. In their debates, the MPs seemed so reluctant to challenge this decision on the floors of parliament. I think someone brave should probe this during the next parliament session.

As long as our MPs allow themselves to remain as puppets of the administration, more and more of the citizenry will remain disillusioned by such actions of both Parliament and the executive.  If this is allowed to continue, we can no longer call ourselves a democracy.

If freedom of speech is killed right on the floors of Parliament, what more of the media? Freedom of expression stands only on two legs; one is Parliament while the other is the media. If you take out one, the other’s function will only be left to limp. The media, being the fourth estate has thus far made a sterling contribution to our democracy and have raised the bar so high that everyone is training their eyes on Parliament to see if they will emulate the media in making our democracy vibrant.

I believe as a nation we have arrived at a crossroads where we need to redefine where our democracy stands. Despite our public pronouncements that we are a democracy, it seems we are only holding on to a name and not the character and the values of this form of governance. And the rhetorical question is; how do we punch through that identity of calling ourselves a democracy when in fact we are miles away from this form of governance?

In closing, let me thank all my readers for the sterling feedback they have been giving me on my column. Let me wish you a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. As a scribe, I pledge to continue to enrich democracy and its ideals and institutions with my writings.

 

Richard Moleofe is a Retired Military

Officer (DSM)

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