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Deputy Speaker Denounces Parliament Time Wasters

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
Kagiso Molatlhegi
The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Kagiso Molatlhegi has decried lack of consultation by ministers who miss Parliament sessions whilst knowing that they have to answer questions.

This came after Tati East Legislator, Moyo Guma, quiried why ministers who were to take some questions had not told the Speaker that they would not be in. “Did the ministers tell you that they would be absent? This is so not fair. We can’t be skipping so many items while people knew that they had questions to answer,” he said.

In response, Molatlhegi said the ministers in question Kitso Mokaila, Tshenolo Mabeo and Sadique Kebonang had not told him that they will not be in. “This is very worrisome. We tend to waste a lot of time while we have so many motions and questions. The ministers know that they should always tell me when they cannot make it to Parliament. The same applies to you legislators, you must always let us know when you will not be in,” he said.

Minister Nonofo Molefhi stood for Kebonang to respond to a motion by MP for Gabane-Mmankgodi Pius Mokgware.

Had it not been for Molefhi standing in for Kebonang, Parliament would have literally convened for nothing. Mokgware’s briefly debated motion requested government to increase the

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electricity connection radius from 500 metres to one kilometre for the standard charge. It was shot down. While the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Tshekedi Khama was present in Parliament, he said he was not ready to answer a question directed to him. Gaborone North legislator Haskins Nkaigwa had requested Khama to update the House on the Tourism Development Fund.

The minister requested that he be allowed to answer the question at a later date, as his answer was yet to be completed. After the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) legislators shot down Mokgware’s motion, stating that there was already a plan to review the same, some opposition legislators walked out of Parliament leading to the collapse of the quorum.

Time management waste by the legislators is on the rise as it has happened on many occasions that ministers, and at times ordnary legislators, are not in Parliament to ask or answer their questions. The end result is usually extended Parliament hours which lead to the taxpayer having to settle the bill for public servants working into the night.



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