Opposition Members of Parliament are seething with anger against Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi over the nomination of Botsalo Ntusane, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) secretary general and Dumelang Saleshando, the leader of the Botswana Congress Party, a fortnight ago.
The opposition lawmakers say they would not rest until the public knows who nominated the two men because, they allege, Masisi defamed them at a political rally by saying that they made the nominations.
The matter took a new twist in Parliament yesterday when MP for Jwaneng/Mabutsane, Shawn Ntlhaile, accused deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Kagiso Molatlhegi, of bias against opposition members to please his masters in the BDP.
Ntlhaile accused Molatlhegi of unfairly treating opposition MPs as the latter turned down the members who were questioning Masisi’s utterances that Ntuane was nominated by mischievous opposition members for position of specially elected Member of Parliament.
“Mr Speaker I have a complaint about you,” Ntlhaile said. “It seems like you do not know your responsibility. You are just there to serve the interests of your party and oppress opposition members of opposition.”
Ntlhaile said Molatlhegi always muzzled opposition legislators whenever they wanted to discuss issues in Parliament.
The furious Ntlhaile went on to point a finger at Molatlhegi and accused him of ill-talking him after he warned that he would find himself in trouble. Molatlhegi ordered him to sit down, as he was not in the mood to argue with him.
All this was an aftermath of Molatlhegi closing the floor while opposition members wanted to discuss the nomination of Ntuane and Saleshando for Specially Elected Member of Parliament. Gabane-Mmankgodi MP, Pius Mokgware, argued that it was important that the deputy speaker allow opposition members to speak about the issue in Parliament as the vice president had already defamed them and they had to respond.
Molepolole North MP Mohammed Khan argued that though they did not have a problem discussing the matter at General Assembly as the Speaker Gladys Kokorwe had ordered, “our leader the vice president went on to the media and accused opposition members to be mischievous as they had nominated Ntuane. We want him to say that in this house and tell us where he got that information which we were told we can’t get by the speaker.”
Phenyo Butale of Gaborone Central reiterated Khan’s sentiments. Butale also labelled the process of bringing Eric Molale back to Parliament as illegal.
“Specially elected members of parliament cannot nominate someone for the same position,” he said. “Without knowing who nominated Molale we can only say the process was fraudulent.”
Molatlhegi would not allow any more comments and said the speaker’s ruling was final, that the matter be discussed at the General Assembly.