12 May 2017

Botswana: Residents Want Parliament Sessions On Btv

Nata — Residents of Nata/Gweta constituency have requested that Parliament sessions be broadcast live on Botswana Television (Btv) for Batswana to get a glimpse of all the happenings of every session.

They said this at a kgotla meeting addressed by the Speaker of National Assembly, Ms Gladys Kokorwe on May 10 in Nata.

A resident, Mr Galethata Zibani said it was not every Motswana who knows their representatives, and that having them on national television would help them to see and understand the need to watch and listen to what they were saying.

He said although the sessions were aired on radio as summaries, many people, particularly the youth, do not have interest in listening to the radio.

Mr Zibani added that if Members of Parliament (MPs) were aware that they were being watched by the nation, it would encourage them to put more effort.

He also added that it would make their representatives to pull up their socks, more so that there had been reports that some were not attending sessions as per schedule.

"We have chosen our representative on the basis that they are there to be our voice, not to be doing other things at the time of Parliament sitting," he said.

On other issues, he requested that the youth Parliament be re-established so that young people could learn proceedings from the national one and have an input in some issues that concern them as future leaders.

Another resident, Mr Bonewamang Ntuane questioned the independence of the house, noting that they do not make their own budget, and that some of the decisions taken were not on the basis of importance, but on who had the numbers.

He suggested that now was the time that they should look into such issues and orientate new members so that they could fully understand why they were there.

Kgosi Oletsositse Mosweu of Dukwi said prior to taking the decision to air Parliament session on national television, they should conduct a referendum and get the views of the nation.

He added that members should be sensitised on how to present themselves instead of misbehaving in front of people.

"Botho should prevail at every platform no matter the difference that we might be having and that is what has made Batswana what we are today," he said.

For her part, Ms Kokorwe said they were in the process of televising parliamentary proceedings, as it would also help them give Batswana proof of everything that was happening there than just listening from the radio or reading in papers.

She said they would consider if the necessary processes were done to either start in the next session in July or at a later stage.

Regarding the youth Parliament, she said they would also consider re-establishing it more so that it was also what the Commonwealth called for across its members.

BOPA

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