MPs want government to tighten security at their residences and Parliament. The legislators made the call yesterday in response to Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Minister, Eric Molale’s budget proposals in Parliament yesterday.
Commenting on Molale’s presentation, Gaborone South MP, Kagiso Molatlhegi said Parliament was not safe at all since people are not searched when they come to listen to proceedings. “We need CCCTV cameras and people should be searched. The reason why I am saying this is because one of the listeners once came and shouted at former minister Keletso Rakhudu when he was commenting in Parliament. Recently, one guy was swimming in front of Parliament. Next it will be a different story altogether,” Molatlhegi said. He stated that an approval for a security wall around Parliament was made during NDP 10 but nothing has been done. “I requested the minister responsible to release the money for the screen wall to be made. Parliament should be a protected place,” he said.
Dithapelo Keorapetse of Selebi-Phikwe West complained about security at parliamentary flats.
“There is need for tight security at parliamentary houses. Some offices in Parliament need to be renovated. I believe Parliament can do things effectively if its budget can be moved from the Office of the President. Our stand as Botswana Congress Party is that the speaker should be given powers to do the budget for National Assembly,” he said.
He requested the government to make provisions for MPs to be given scholarships to upgrade themselves so that they can deliver on technical issues.
Keorapetse said the reason why some MPs did not debate on certain issues was because they are too technical for them to understand.
Gaborone Bonnington South’s Ndaba Gaolathe said there was need for the government to establish a budget office because the budget on its own requires analysts.
He said analysts were the ones who could explain and account how the money was used and why certain monies need to be approved for the National Assembly.
In his proposal, Molale said the National Assembly had not been allocated any funds under the development budget for 2015. What Parliament has is a provision of P35,960,000 through the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology maintenance budget, for the refurbishment of parliamentary flats and Phase II renovation of the old Parliament buildings.
He requested MPs to approve P106,013,690 recurrent budget for Parliament in the 2015-2016 financial year.
“This represents a decrease of P11,794,240 or 10% compared to the 2014-2015 financial year budget which was P117,807,930. The National Assembly has been allocated P3m for the financial year 2015-2016 under the development budget to cover furniture and equipment and computerisation,” Molale said.
He said the major share of Parliament’s proposed recurrent budget of P106,013,690 is taken up by the National Assembly that has been allocated P98,166,100. The remaining P7,847,590 is allocated to Ntlo Ya Dikgosi.