Hate him or love him but you cannot ignore Palapye legislator Boyce Sebetela. During his ministerial days, the MP made many enemies in the media and the opposition. He was considered heavy handed in the way he ran the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.
It was during his tenure that the Daily News was controversially commercialised and took a lot of advertising from the private press. As a consequence, some newspapers went under.
Newspaper owners complained that government was out to starve them to death. But in Boyce Sebetela, they had a fearless opponent who ensured that government's wish prevails. The opposition complained that Sebetela presided over a broadcasting regime that gave a lot of airplay to the ruling party while the opposition was given peripheral ventilation. In Boyce Sebetela, the BDP found an avid defender.
After the 2004 general elections, President Festus Mogae caused a surprise when he did not include Sebetela in his cabinet. Except for the fly in Mogae's office nobody really knows why 'the Boyce' was left out. Over the years, Sebetela seems to have found a completely new vocation and he is enjoying himself. With aplomb, he has become a critic of the very government that he once defended staunchly. In Parliament, the Palapye legislator has proved to be a thorn in the flesh of the executive. He has been very active in holding the government to account on many issues.
The public has without doubt benefited from Sebetela's many questions and some of his motions. But why did it take this long for Sebetela to offer this kind of service to Batswana? Some cynics are of the view that the man is bitter that he has not been included in cabinet.
Of course we do not think so and even if he were, we would encourage him to be forever bitter because he is serving Batswana and democracy very well. The likes of Sebetela are keep parliamentary debates very vibrant and meaningful particularly at a time when the opposition is worse than a toothless, sickly old bulldog.
We believe that the likes of Sebetela would serve as an inspiration to other equally top BDP MP performers in the likes Botsalo Ntuane, Duke Lefhoko that Parliament is about serving the people even if you have to speak certain bitter truths to your party and government.
When MPs and once again ministers Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Daniel Kwelagobe were re-appointed to cabinet, we were fearful that this marked the death-knell of the BDP back-bench. But with this spirited performance from the Palapye legislator, we are hopeful that the fires will always be kept burning.