Former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Kagiso Molatlhegi is said to be next speaker of Parliament, The Monitor has learnt.
Molatlhegi was the acting speaker during President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s inauguration.
Already some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members are lobbying for his appointment.
The Monitor has also learnt that some want Botlogile Tshireletso to be Speaker of the National Assembly. The former Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe’s term ended in October and she did not contest for the post.
Kokorwe has not been well for some time and Molatlhegi has been acting in her role. The Speaker of the National Assembly will be elected today while Members of Parliament (MPs) will also be sworn in.
Specially elected MPs will also be nominated today. BDP MPs are also expected to endorse President Masisi’s wish to retain former Vice President Slumber Tsogwane as the Vice President during the nominations.
Molatlhegi’s decision not to contest the recent BDP primary election was widely viewed as a calculated move premised on the expectation that he would take over as the Speaker of Botswana’s 12th Parliament.
“I’m still young and competent enough to serve the nation in any capacity where my services may add value. If the BDP MPs and the President want my service, I will be willing to serve the nation,” Molatlhegi said.
He has served 10 years as an MP for Gaborone South constituency.
According to Section (59) of the Constitution of Botswana there shall be a Speaker of the National Assembly who shall be elected by the Members of the Assembly from amongst persons who are Members of the Assembly or from amongst persons who are not Members of the Assembly.
The role of the Speaker shall be to serve as head of the National Assembly, and he or she shall safeguard and maintain the independence and authority of the National Assembly and to preside, with complete impartiality over Parliamentary debates and he or she shall protect the freedom of speech and debate in the National Assembly and its Committees.
It is also to protect the right of all MP including the minority and be the guardian of the privileges of the National Assembly and to perform the duties of the spokesperson of the National Assembly in its relations with other organs of Government and with outside institutions and persons.
Equally, the Speaker is responsible for the administration of Parliament and for ensuring that the staff provides Parliament and its members with quality service and develop Parliament through reform and transformative changes in order to enable Parliament to play its institutional role by promoting the principle of checks and balances.