In full public view, we saw legislators show Batswana that their political affiliations matter the most before people’s lives.
The ruling party used its numbers to ignore valuable contributions to the State of Emergency regulations amendment from the opposition.
It is a known fact that a lot of people have not paid their rentals and that a lot of landlords have not received their dues since the spectre of COVID-19 befell the nation. One would have expected that Parliament would have considered stopping landlords from evicting tenants that cannot afford rentals as other sectors were helped in different ways by other entities including the government itself!
It is unfortunate that immediately after, Minister Mpho Balopi, when interviewed after Parliament emergency meeting, only acknowledged the need for interventions regarding rentals while government did not make a clear pronouncement on the issue during the sitting of the House nor even the amendments to COVID-19 regulations.
Opposition members in Parliament raised critical issues including setting up a fund to help struggling businesses. But all failed because the ruling party was just following a process without independent ideas from individual members of Parliament coming to the party.
It is further worrisome that when serious allegations of misuse of funds were raised, authorities did not relish the opportunity to prove them wrong and provide information on the exact and true state of affairs.
It is therefore proper that, legislator Motsamai Motsamai rightfully accused the ruling party of acting as if it owns the coronavirus as it is not living the President’s promise of fighting the virus in collaboration with all stakeholders.
The amendment proposed by opposition to have churches attended by more than 10 people in view of at their premises carrying capacities to determine the number of attendants was quite in order. We have some people who spend long hours in workplaces such as shops and it would only be fair to allow churches to operate looking at space, membership ratio.
With all said, we urge Cabinet members to continue conversing with different stakeholders on issues affecting them so we can all effectively fight this virus. It is evident from the number of cases we have that we were able to do right thus far and we can definitely do better fighting the virus. We however need to do a lot much better to ensure that the informal sector amongst others get assistance and are able to live decently.
“The primary elections are the cornerstones of the plebiscitary presidency. They strip away the veneer of party unity and expose the individuality of each candidate. As contemporary selection procedures force party leaders to compete with one another in the open, they prompt them to differentiate themselves publicly and to boast of their independence of mind. Pitting potential party spokespersons against one another in public combat, these procedures undercut the credibility of the candidate’s affiliation with anything other than him- or herself.”
- Stephen Skowronek