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Speaker gives loo red light

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BLOCKED FROM MAKING A STATEMENT DESPITE STANDING ORDERS GIVING HIM THE RIGHT TO DO SO

Following last Tuesday’s train accident in which two people lost their lives, Minister of Transport and Communications, Thulaganyo Segokgo has told parliament an investigation into the tragedy will be conducted.

However, when the acting Leader of Opposition (LOO),Dr Kesitegile Gobutswang who is also the MP for Sefhare/Ramokgonami requested to give an official statement as well,he was turned down by the Speaker, Phandu Skelemani.

According to *Standing Order, 9.3.2: LOO have the right to make official statements in the Assembly on important national and international issues on behalf of the majority opposition.

The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA unfolds it for you:

MR SPEAKER: I do not think it is proper to allow this Parliament after the address by Segokgo, to have another statement from this House on the same issue, immediately following that statement, when we now know that the matter is under investigation.

I think it is proper that we hold the Minister Segokgo to his word to come back, otherwise we are going to be sending confusing remarks to the nation, I think we should avoid that.

I say Dr Gobotswang, if I am not mistaken in my perception of what you want to cover. I will not allow you to make the statement.

MR MOATLHODI: Point of clarification. With all the trepidation concerning your statement of this morning, I thought Dr Gobotswang asked before to bring his statement to the house.

If he didn’t do so, with all due respect, let him do.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Honourable Moatlhodi, I repeat myself again, I found the copy of the statement from Dr Gobotswang when I returned from lunch, which means that he had delivered it.

MR MOATLHODI: You interrupted me.

MR SPEAKER: I stopped you because your sequencing, which seems to be the real point of departure, is wrong Honourable Member.

MR KAPINGA: Point of order Mr Speaker. I am only rising to ask you to consider this issue Mr Speaker that you referred to in your decision.

You were saying that if the acting LOO was to make a statement in this House, after the Minister has made a statement, it would send confusing information to the nation.

I just want to raise the point that this House consists of the ruling party and the opposition.

It being composed of the ruling party and the opposition, both voices need to be heard by the nation.

If there is any divergence in the voices, there is nothing wrong with that Mr Speaker.

Both voices need to be heard. We are not going to say anything heretical.

We are just going to say what we think about what has happened.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Honourable Kapinga, you are quite right that the House is composed of political divisions, political parties, who will hold different views on any item and their views should be heard. I agree with you totally.

Where I do not agree with you is that on a matter which is still pending before this House, where we are waiting for the Minister to come back.

In terms of his promise, we should allow another statement which at best will sort of question what has been said by the Minister who is responsible.

It may be indeed that you have different facts and you will recall what I did yesterday after the Minister made the statement – I allowed many questions so that those who have knowledge of anything contrary to what the Minister has said could indicate to him and this House that is he aware that there is a, b, c; if he does not agree, this is what he told the House.

As far as I can tell, there are four political parties in this House. Imagine each one of them claiming the right to make a statement on the same issue. I shudder to think what will be said to Batswana.

We will have the same opportunity to ask him because he promised that within so many days, he may have a preliminary report.

It is not my intention to stifle anybody. In a democracy, we cannot do that.

MR MMOLOTSI: Point of order Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I think where you are confusing me right now is where your ruling actually takes away the right given to the LOO by the Standing Orders to make a statement.

According to our Standing Orders, only the Ministers and LOO can make a statement in the House.

As far as I am concerned, the opposition has a way of looking at issues and then the ruling party has got their eye, they have got a way of looking at the issues as well.

I was thinking that the Minister was representing the Government and the LOO is representing the opposition majority. Earlier on you also indicated that there are four parties in the House but there are only three parties in the House: the BDP, UDC and the AP, but the AP according to the Standing Orders…Oh! BPF, oh!

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: …(Laughter!)…

MR MMOLOTSI: The AP and the BPF according to the Standing Orders are not allowed to make a statement, only the LOO.

I would plead with you to consider this one.

MR SPEAKER: That is the yo-yo which I think we should avoid. I agree perfectly.

The opposition has a right and I would be surprised if they see things the same way as the ruling party.

Your opportunity is not lost to question the Minister. If he does not come back as he promised, then Honourable Mmolotsi, I would be forced to reconsider whether the other people who seem to see things differently should not now be allowed to tell the nation how they also observe the same incident.

We are not losing that, I do not think we should ever lose that. That is the right which we have.

MR MOATLHODI: On a point of clarification. The Minister told us that he is going to investigate but how long will it take, it can even take up next year February.

I don’t understand why the Speaker assumes that the LOO will bring conflicting reports? We are a just and compassionate nation. Please reconsider your position

MR SPEAKER: No, Honourable Moatlhodi, I am not going to do that. I will explain myself sufficiently that, as much as you are different political parties in this House, we are still one House. The matter is very serious, I never said he is going to refuse.

On a serious matter like this, while waiting to receive a feedback. No, Honourable Members! I am closing this issue.

*Standing Orders contain rules for the conduct of proceedings in the House and for the exercise of the powers possessed by the House.

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Son of BDP women’s wing SG accused of forging DIS boss signature

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Yes I was detained and questioned- Maruapula

A man rumoured to be romantically linked to the reigning Miss Botswana, Oweditse Phirinyane was this week allegedly nabbed and questioned for impersonating a Directorate Of Intelligence Services (DIS) agent.

The suspect, Mompati Maruapula is the son of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) women’s wing secretary General, Neo Maruapula.

He reportedly attracted law enforcement officers’s attention by uttering a false document, complete with a forged signature of the Director General of the DIS Peter Magosi as ‘proof” that he was employee of the DIS when he was not.

He allegedly produced the fake proof of employment in an attempt to fraudulently purchase a BMW vehicle limited addition at one of the car dealers in Gaborone, an eyewitness has claimed.

“The car dealership phoned the DIS to confirm and that is when law enforcement agencies were alerted and a sting operation was set in motion to nab him,” the source further narrated.

He was then told to come back at 2Pm for the car only for him to find security agents waiting to catch him.

Asked to comment on the incident Maruapula explained that he was not charged but simply questioned.

“They (Police) said they would get back to me. I have not yet been charged with any crime. I was briefly detained and released yes. It is true,” he said in a brief interview.

The DIS when quizzed about the matter referred The Voice to The Botswana Police.

“I cannot confirm nor deny your questions. Please liase with the Police for a full brief,” DISS spokesperson Edward Robert said.

Miss Botswana also refused to comment saying she would like to keep her private life private and quickly handed the phone to the recently divorced Maruapula who was in her company at the time.

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Montshiwa’s murder trial yet to start

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Trial date for the late Fairground Holdings Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Montshiwa’s murder case has been postponed as Judge Michael Mothobi is on sick leave.

The main suspect in this matter attorney David Modise and his co-accused- a traditional doctor Tumelo Tshukudu, today appeared at the Gaborone High Court for mention and confirmation of trial dates.

The 35-year-old lawyer is linked to the death of his client, Montshiwa, and he is facing another charge of stealing by agent.

He is currently out on bail awaiting trial.

Montshiwa was shot and killed on the 18th of October, 2015 at his house in Block 6 Gaborone.

It is said that Modise was the last person to communicate with Montshiwa just minutes before the CEO’s fatal shooting.

Police investigations revealed that between June 30 and October 17, 2015, Modise withdrew about P245 000 from Montshiwa’s Trust account.

The money according to the Investigating Officer Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo, was entrusted to Modise for the purchase of a plot for Montshiwa in Mogoditshane.

It is alleged that when Montshiwa realised that the money was missing from the Trust account, he communicated with Modise demanding to see him at his house on the night he was killed.

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DPP resuscitates 15 year ‘cold’ murder case

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Nearly fifteen years after he allegedly hacked three people to death, the wheels of justice have started turning and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) are reopening the files to bring murder suspect Mokolopi Mothusi to book.

The accused is facing a triple murder charge after he allegedly hacked to death a man, his wife, and their child with a tomahawk axe sometime in 2005 at Khonkhwa settlement near Jwaneng.

The matter appeared to have been forgotten for sometime, but on Monday the DPP reopened Mothusi’s files and he showed up in court walking with the aid of crutches.

Initially the matter was scheduled for trial for several dates in May but had to be postponed to December to allow the defense to locate witnesses.

“We are faced with a difficult matter here, so far the state had intended to call 20 witnesses, but we are informed that five of them have since died. We will also need time to locate our witnesses who are scattered somewhere in the desert,” said attorney Tengo Rubadiri who is defending Mothusi.

The matter was postponed and trial dates have been set for December 10th up to 15th 2020.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Kagiso Sejamabogo will have to wait a bit longer in prison before he is granted bail pending appeal of his 17-year prison sentence for various offences.

Although he has been in prison since 2012, Sejamabogo will have to wait until June before the High Court hears his appeal because a typist who was recording his case record at Molepolole Magistrates Court has been transferred to Mochudi.

Since 2018, Sejamabogo has been trying to get his case record from the court but the staff have been too busy with other engagements at the expense of his agonizing prison remand.

Justice Michael Leburu ordered the Molepolole Court Clerk to avail the record on the 29th of May and that the appellant will present his argument on June 22nd.

The appellant has had his prison term reduced to 11 years and has so far served eight years in prison.

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