Gaborone — Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Gladys Kokorwe says Botswana and Seychelles have a lot to learn from each other on the operations of the committee systems of the countries' national assemblies.
Speaking during a courtesy call by committee on Promises, Undertakings, and Assurance from the National Assembly of Seychelles, Ms Kokorwe said the committee system would share with Botswana on different issues including how committees are facilitated and their budgets.
She noted that it would be of interest to learn how to deal with challenges faced by committees, such as human and financial resources.
She said she was delighted that the team had chosen Botswana for their benchmarking activity as it would serve to strengthen the already existing relations between Botswana and Seychelles.
Ms Kokorwe said the committee on Promises, Undertakings, and Assurances, which the delegation represented, was an important committee in the work of Parliament.
She said this was because in Botswana the main function of the committee on government assurances was to scrutinise the assurances, promises and undertakings given by ministers from time to time on the floor of the Assembly and to report on the extent to which such assurances have been implemented.
She said this also included whether such implementation had taken place within the minimum time necessary for the purpose.
She mentioned that Botswana had recently amended the Standing Orders to separate the committee on government assurances from that of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Security committee because the mandate was too broad.
When briefing the team on the Parliament of Botswana, Ms Kokorwe stated that the 11th Parliament of Botswana was on its last year of the five-year term and that they were only left with one meeting before it was dissolved.
She further mentioned that Botswana was expecting the national elections to be held in October as it has been Botswana tradition.
For his part the chairperson of the Seychelles committee, Mr Gervais Henrie said they were to learn from Botswana National Assembly, adding that they would exchange ideas, experiences, challenges and other relevant issues they encounter as well as share notes going forward.
The team was also hosted by Botswana National Assembly Chairperson of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Justice, and Security committee, Major General Pius Mokgware, who emphasised that their committee was charged with the responsibility of carrying scrutiny of government departments.
Major General Mokgware explained to the team that their role was to make sure they followed the laid down policies, adding that they called the responsible officers to brief their committee of their doings as well as to ensure that they keep their mandate.
He further stated that their committee examined government policies and legislation under the portfolios of foreign affairs, international affairs justice, and defense.
Source : BOPA