8 May 2019

Botswana: Kenya Parliamentary Committee Visits

Gaborone — Kenyan delegation, led by West Mugirango MP, Mr Vincent Mogaka, is currently in the country for a week-long visit.

During the courtesy call the eight-man delegation paid on National Assembly speaker, Ms Gladys Kokorwe on May 7, Mr Mogaka said the purpose of their visit was to learn all about the operations of the Botswana National Assembly as well as its Committee on Member's Rights, Interests and Privileges.

The Committee is mandated to deal with matters pertaining to members' rights, interests and privileges, which include benefits, entitlements, interests and welfare of members.

He also explained that their Powers and Privileges Committee's mandate was to consider complaints made by any person against a National Assembly member and inquire into the conduct of a member whose conduct is alleged to constitute breach of privilege.

The Powers and Privileges Committee also protects the institution of Parliament, individual MPs and ensures that they fulfill their constitutional role properly and without impediments.

Mr Mogaka also shared the sentiments with Ms Kokorwe that the two country's parliaments should share experiences they acquired.

When welcoming the delegation, Ms Kokorwe expressed gratitude for their choice of Botswana for a benchmarking visit, saying it was testimony of the excellent relations that existed between the peoples of Botswana and Kenya.

The Kenyan delegation's meeting with chairperson and members of the Committee on Member's Rights, Interests and Privileges, Ms Kokorwe said would provide a valuable learning opportunity as there was a lot to learn from each other.

"We can both share experiences and exchange ideas on any area where the two countries have best practices to improve on our services," she said.

She also complimented and wished Kenya National Assembly speaker, Mr Justin Muturi, good health 'as he continues to preside over National Assembly of Kenya.' Mr Muturi is also the executive committee chairperson of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Africa Region.

Furthermore, Ms Kokorwe noted that the 11th Parliament of Botswana was on the final year term, as the country was preparing for national elections to be held sometime in October.

"Our Parliament is very small in terms of numbers, composed of 57 elected MPs, six specially elected members plus the Speaker and the President. The President and the Speaker are ex-officio members. All in all there are 65 MPs," she added.

The speaker also explained that Cabinet ministers were drawn from the 65 MPs, while the remaining number formed a pool from which members were appointed to Parliamentary Committees. She also added that there were 12 Portfolio Committees, 12 Standing Committees and five Inter-Parliamentary Bodies.

Having served as the eighth Speaker of Botswana National Assembly, she said "it has been a long and fulfilling journey."

"Before then, I had served as an MP and government minister. I have also had an opportunity to serve the country as Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Mauritius," she added.

Meanwhile, the delegation, which arrived in Botswana on Monday, paid a courtesy call on Ntlo Ya Dikgosi chairperson, Kgosi Puso and met chairperson and members of the Committee on Members Rights and Privileges.

They return May 11.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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