Troubled Nata-Gweta Member of Parliament (MP), Polson Majaga has said he will not bow to pressure from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) calling for his resignation from Parliament.
This follows a petition from Botswana Child Rights Network delivered in Parliament by MP Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang on Wednesday calling for Majaga to step down as his defilement case continues in court.
The Nata-Gweta legislator, who faces a third defilement charge in his life, believes the current case is politically motivated with a view to unseat him as area legislator.
“This is the third time I face a similar charge with politicians playing an active role to try and make me resign from my seat because they want it. NGOs have been sent to push the agenda against myself to make noise at courts when I have not been convicted of any crime. And now they are trying through Parliament. The court should be allowed to do their job,” he told Mmegi. Majaga, who has since been suspended from the Botswana Democratic Party, slammed the NGOs saying they should be prepared to apologise to him after the case because they are tarnishing his name.
Majaga further said he was shocked that politicians were being used to fight him while they also know they could have a similar trap set for them as politicians.
He maintained that he would not be resigning from his seat and represent his people whom he said were supportive of him and appreciated his work in Parliament.
“In May 2020, Nata-Gweta Member of Parliament was arrested and charged with defilement of a now 16-year-old girl who is also reportedly pregnant. When Parliament resumed its sitting during the 2020 winter session, Polson Majaga was part of the House, receiving considerable time in the National Assembly that is broadcast on national television and on radio,” reads the petition.
The petitioners said Majaga is a free Member of the House, free to debate and engage on any matter brought before the House, including matters concerning gender based violence and child sexual exploitation.
“We noted that recently, Polson Majaga participated in a motion brought to Parliament by Yandani Boko, calling on the President to establish a commission of enquiry on gender based violence in the country. Although Majaga did not debate the motion, he nonetheless voted on two occasions when the matter was put to a vote by the house,” the Botswana Child Rights Network said.
It said on both occasions Majaga voted against the spirit of the motion as brought to Parliament by MP Yandani Boko.
“This is a clear case of conflict of interest within the highest level of the country’s governance. Surely a Judicial Officer cannot be allowed to preside over any criminal case when they themselves have been criminally charged.”
The NGO requested that Majaga should take leave of absence pending the conclusion of his case so that he could clear his name. They also requested Parliament to come up with rules and regulations to govern the conduct of MPs and councillors who face such kind of criminal charges.