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Saleshando calls for state political party funding

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Leader of Opposition, Dumelang Saleshando, has in his response to the State of the Nation Address made a strong call for state political party funding.

Calling out the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) on its hypocrisy in slamming the opposition for accepting funding from sponsors while they did the same, the Maun West Member of Parliament said that, in the minds of the BDP leadership, only their party has a right to access campaign funding from private entities, domestic and foreign.

“It is common knowledge that the likes of De Beers have in the past bankrolled the BDP, whilst Chinese businesses now dominate contributions to the BDP. This explains why foreign nationals dominated the VIP section at the President’s inauguration. It is not because they love the BDP more than Batswana who voted for it. They sponsored the victory and will be expecting to recover their sponsorship through government tenders.”

“Public funding of political parties and regulation of private funding is long overdue.”

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Vice President also noted that after the dissolution of the 11th Parliament, President Mokgweetsi Masisi went on a whirlwind campaign using the Kgotla and all opposition MPs were now former MPs and had no access to the Kgotla. “Only President Masisi and his cabinet had the exclusive use of the Kgotla and their campaign propaganda went unchallenged, flying high on the wings of the presidential jets.

“For example, the president alleged in a number of meetings that a water project, rejected by parliamentarians across the political divide on allegations of corruption, was an act of economic sabotage by the opposition. The president knew all too well that his statement was false. It was however repeated at many Kgotla meetings because the votes it attracted for the BDP, justified the presidential falsehoods,” he added.

Saleshando said that the 2019 elections were also predominantly about a tussle between Masisi and his predecessor, a feud over which the opposition played no part in igniting.

“Only former president Khama and the incumbent know the details behind the fall out. The President has long threatened to spill the beans but never went beyond the threat. This tussle denied Batswana an opportunity to maturely reflect on the policy proposals presented by the contesting parties,” said Saleshando adding that the Khama/Masisi exchanges shifted attention from the key issues of employment creation, decent lives, better quality health care and education to the fight.”

“There can be no doubt that this also affected the reputation of Botswana on the global stage. When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers,” he said.

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Politics

The backbench is a blessing- Kablay

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I am not quitting anytime soon- Kablay

Member of Parliament for Letlhakeng/ Lephepe, Liakat Kablay is delighted to have retained his position as BDP Chief Whip.

Although there have been allegations that he was disgruntled after he was yet again overlooked for a ministerial position, Kablay has dismissed such allegations in an interview with The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA.

Congratulations on your nomination.

I am very delighted by the re- election to the role of Chief whip by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

It shows that I did things right in the last parliament and I promise to keep working hard for the country and for our party.

I have been criticised before for speaking to the media and being open minded and I thought I was not going to make a comeback as Chief Whip.

The nomination has motivated me to whip the MPs even more so that they do what is right in parliament.

There have been allegations that you were upset that you didn’t make it into cabinet.

I know those allegations but I was never upset. I was just happy that I retained my seat as an MP.

I worked hard for that. I worked under former President Ian Khama for 10 years and he never considered me for a Ministerial position.

One thing that you have to know is that being overlooked for a ministerial position can be a blessing in disguise.

Majority of former Ministers lost elections because they focused more on their Ministerial jobs and forgot about their constituencies, so maybe it is a blessing in disguise that I was left out.

If the man who chooses cabinet does not see that I deserve to be included, then there is nothing much I can say except to help in building our party.

Is there a particular Ministry you had wished to lead?

Yes, I want to be a Minister for Local Government, it is close to my heart.

I come from an impoverished constituency and from that ministry I could effectively push for more developments in the area.

What has been your first assignment as Chief Whip?

I have been in meetings with the backbench discussing our issues and our expectations.

We don’t want a situation where we don’t have answers for poor or no service delivery by government

What do you mean?

We want a good working relationship with Cabinet because we are from the same party.

Ministers are not supposed to undermine us.

Have you been undermined before?

Yes in the past, Ministers brought motions to parliament without even consulting us and then expected us to keep quite as if we were in the know.

We were then labeled as rebels who wanted to oust some from their positions but we could not just agree for the sake of agreeing.

What was happening in the 11th parliament should not happen in this sitting.

I have spoken to the Vice President about our concerns as the backbench.

Ministers must brief their Permanent Secretaries about the BDP Manifesto so that they see that it is implemented.

People voted us into power because of our manifesto and we must walk the talk.

Are you prepared for the motion of no confidence on HE if tabled again?

That motion is dead! People lied saying the opposition was asking support from us the backbench because we are disgruntled for not making it into cabinet. That’s a big lie.

If we remove Masisi then it gives opposition a chance to take over government and that is something that we don’t want.

We have confidence in Masisi and MPs must know that some of us were voted because of him, people were voting for Masisi not us and therefore we can not turn our backs on him.

There is talk of motion on floor crossing, what is your take?

Opposition should not rely on us for their motion on floor crossing.

I told the BDP MPs that those who will connive with opposition should kiss BDP goodbye.

We are certain that no one from our side will cross.

What about BDP getting members from opposition?

Yes it is possible.

Are you referring to Pono Moathodi?

Of course, I can bet with you, we are getting him before the end of next year.

Why do you say that?

He is one of us, he likes Masisi very much and every time the President makes his way into the house, Moathodi’s face lights up with joy.

He smiles, cracks jokes and even consults him more than us.

When are you retiring from politics?

I haven’t considered quitting maybe I will contest for the last time in 2024.

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Politics

UDC court papers for download

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As the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) seeks to redeem itself by winning back seats which they believe should have been theirs at the just ended general elections, we have put together some of the court documents in which they believe will assist them in their court case.

The UDC has sought the relief of the High Court of Botswana, putting together 19 petition for both parliamentary and council seats. In the papers the UDC implicates the President of Botswana, dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi, Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) , Peter Magosi, BDP treasurer Satar Dada, BDP Secretary general and elected Member of Parliament for Gaborone North , Mpho Balopi, IEC officials, some BDP committee members .

The cases will be heard by a panel of 12 judges in total, in a case which is set to challenge the integrity of the IEC.

Nkaigwa Petition by The Voice Newspaper Botswana on Scribd

Boko Petition by The Voice Newspaper Botswana on Scribd

Ramaotwana Petition by The Voice Newspaper Botswana on Scribd

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Politics

Nata/Gweta

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MP Polson Majaga calls for immediate end to ‘tenderpreneur’ civil servants.

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