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By UTLWANANG GASENNELWE, 13 April, 2015, Weekend Post (Botswana)
Outspoken Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Francistown West, Ignatious Moswaane has called on President Lt. Gen. Khama to update parliament on issues of national interest.
The BDP MP filed a motion in parliament calling for Khama to among many issues, come up with a comprehensive strategy on how government is going to create jobs as well as prevent job losses.
WeekendPost has established that initially, the legislator wanted Khama to brief parliament through an urgent motion before it closed its business yesterday (Friday), but failed due to resistance from his fellow MP’s at the party caucus citing insufficient time – in the just ended session.
Moswaane wanted Khama to brief the house on his comprehensive strategies to uproot corruption other than the existing ones which were in place before the elections. He also said the president ought to further consider pushing for the independence of parliament. “He should consider setting laws that would be clearly liberating parliament from the executive,” the BDP legislator said in the motion.
According to Moswaane, the reason for the urgency of the motion was that the president’s update would help parliament to determine how best Batswana can access the promises to create a better living for themselves. “We are in the first quarter of the first year in office as the national assembly (eleventh parliament) and there is nothing to take back to the constituencies to show our performance as members of parliament,” he argued.
The MP also stated in the motion that Khama should also stipulate “comprehensive and clearly outlined strategy on citizen empowerment” and “strategies on how government is empowering youth and women in 2015/2016.” He also pointed out that the wealth of the country is not distributed fairly, more especially tenders which are in the hands of the foreigner who have no plans to keep their monies in the country.
In terms of the national budget the Francistown law maker said the president should come up with a strategy on how Batswana are going to benefit from the just approved budget and furthermore questioned why the parliament approved budget while the priorities were done elsewhere.
Moswaane is the first BDP MP to break ranks with his party colleagues and openly call the president Lt. Gen. Ian Khama to account to parliament through a sponsored motion of parliament.
Last month, Moswaane also had his urgent motion postponed calling on government to institute a commission to review salaries for civil servants, and to also investigate whether the salaries for the civil servants matched the cost of living versus income. He wanted government to consider a 10 percent salary increment. He also said they should benchmark with countries with sound economical status as well as phase out low pay structures and consider paying minimum wage of P3500 for the lowest government employee.
At the time, the BDP MP had contended that the motion was urgent as the civil servants morale at work was below average and as a result there was irreparable harm to the economy. “The general believe is that the legislature, executive and judiciary must act jointly in resolving the crisis,” he posited.
This publication understands that all the previous presidents; Sir Seretse Khama, Sir Ketumile Masire and Dr. Festus Mogae never embraced questions and answer sessions in parliament during their respective tenures. In addition, no motion has been moved before to the effect that they should come and brief the national assembly as presented this week by Moswaane.
The Francistown legislator said the president may have adopted the long standing tradition of his predecessors but now has to change.