Mmegi Online :: Mma Tshireletso missed the point
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Friday 19 October 2018, 15:27 pm.
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Mma Tshireletso missed the point

The assistant minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso has vowed that she will call for a change of dress code for members of the public attending Parliament sessions.
By Mmegi Editor Thu 01 Jun 2017, 11:38 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Mma Tshireletso missed the point








In particular, she wants women to be allowed to wear jeans and mini-skirts in the House’s public gallery. The assistant minister was speaking in response to a recent incident at the Gaborone bus rank where a young woman was stripped naked for wearing a mini-skirt.  The incident is unfortunate and has left many of us with more questions than answers.

However, this incident should not be used to undo the good things that the society has put in place to give respect to different institutions and we should not allow our emotions to control us. For the assistant minister to call for mini-skirts in Parliament she is automatically disrespecting the head of the House, the Speaker of the National Assembly, who has a mandate to ensure that Parliament is given the respect it deserves.

Each institution has got rules that should be obeyed by all who may be interested in starting any form of relationship with such an institution. For instance, there are religions that require one to take off their shoes for certain rituals, and it is not negotiable irrespective of the guest’s status in the society.

High Court judges are expected to dress in a certain way when they preside over cases and the same applies to lawyers, litigants and members of the public attending such court proceedings.

There are many

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examples we can share to explain the meaning of dress code and certain institutions. An argument by the assistant minister, that women should wear whatever they want in Parliament, ‘as long as they are comfortable,’ is misplaced and was borne out of an emotional state of mind.

Lawyers always argue that judges and magistrates should not allow public outcry to influence their judgement and it is our position that Parliament, like our courts, is a sacred place that should not be influenced by public outcry. This simply means that a judge should not unleash a harsh sentence on an accused person just because there is public outcry about the crime they committed. They should consider the interests of society vis-a-vis the interests of the accused person, the law, and strike a fair and balanced judgement.

In the bus rank incident, the law should take its course and deal with the hooligans who have turned the place into their personal playground where they harass and steal from innocent members of the public, and even openly sell drugs and deal in foreign exchange. Let us not allow emotions to undo the good things that have accorded our institutions respect for so many years.

 

Today’s thought

“What to wear: An employee chooses. How to dress: His employer chose.” 

- Mokokoma Mokhonoana, Divided & Conquered

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Thu 01 Jun 2017, 11:38 am
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