Botswana: 'Masisi, Khama Worst Presidents Ever'

18 November 2020

The Chairman of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Nehemiah Modubule says there is nothing that can be written home about the presidency of Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor, Ian Khama.

Modubule took swipe at Masisi and Khama for taking the country backwards by failing to implement motions adopted by Parliament. Therefore, he said, it is regrettable for Masisi to portray himself as a Messiah even though he is a hopeless leader. He said Khama and Masisi both dismally failed to execute the mandate bestowed on them by the Constitution, adding that the two presidents have regressed the country many steps backwards.

Modubule referred to a Bill proposed by him which was passed by the 10th Parliament during the budget session in 2014 that to date both presidents have failed and/or neglected to act on. "A private Member's Bill which sought to amend the Constitution of Botswana Section 68 (1)(a) to provide for the right of members of Parliament to continue as the Members of the National Assembly up to and including the last day preceding a general election notwithstanding the dissolution of Parliament. If the bills are not implemented we are regressing," said Modubule.

Section 68 (1) (a) currently reads "upon dissolution of Parliament" and the proposal was to replace the current (a) with the words "On the day immediately preceding the next general election".

"A tense debate ensued which included the Attorney General's office as they had a different opinion on the matter. Parliament however after the debating the Bill at the General Assembly resolved to debate the Bill in the house. It was well debated and passed but as the constitution dictates it can only become law after the President has assented to it," lamented Modubule.

According to him, it is troubling that Khama did not return the bill for possible amendments if there was need to but his successor and former vice president Masisi is neglecting the bill too.

Known to be a harsh critic of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) led government, Modubule said the two presidents have been a disgrace to Botswana leadership if not the worst in history. He said he expected that Masisi will keep all his promises but he keeps on failing to stay by his word noting that Masisi and BDP should come out of comfort zone to keep electoral promises.

"He made several promises such a constitutional review but nothing is yet to materialize. Just, like under Khama era there is no hope and direction under Masisi's administration," he added.

Asked about the party's view on Masisi's SONA delivered early on Monday, former Lobatse MP said he could not comment because the party will soon issue official position reflecting SONA.

BDP Spokesperson Kagelelo Kentse said it is highly regrettable for opposition leaders such as Modubule and Leader of Opposition (LOO) Dumelang Saleshando to say Masisi is failing as leader. Kentse is adamant that Masisi is the best president and there is direction under his leadership. "Opposing is a very easy thing. For the first in a long very time we saw a live broadcast of the parliament in national television. This is a huge milestone by Masisi led BDP government. It is also pity that opposition dispute factuality of numbers of jobs created as raised in SONA,'he said.

He said it was not true that the country is regressing under the presidency of Masisi as it is said. "All of the promises that the BDP some were met and we will implement that is left behind. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted lot of things but we must be happy that Masisi is focused, "said Kentse.

Police Commission

Meanwhile, Modubule said it is crucial for government to establish an independent police commission that will be responsible for investigating police officers in wrong side of the law. He buttressed that this is another motion which was passed by 10th parliament yet no results.

"In South Africa there is independent police commission and I called for the establishment of the similar Independent Police Commission (IPC) to deal with the investigations on crimes laid against police. It is not fair for police to investigate each other. We need to act fast," he stated.

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