Pilane, Boko differ over Opposition MPs’ performance in Parliament

Nicholas Mokwena
Wednesday, 09 August 2017

Newly-elected Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President Advocate Sidney Pilane has expressed concern over the performance of opposition Members of Parliament.

According to Advocate Pilane, little is heard in terms of contribution by opposition MPs. Advocate Pilane who was speaking during his maiden press conference as the BMD leader, stated that the opposition used to be strong and vibrant in Parliament. Advocate Pilane is leading one faction of the BMD while the other is led by MP for Gaborone Bonnington South Ndaba Gaolathe.

Advocate Pilane explained that he would love to see and hear a united opposition voice in Parliament with robust debate. “There used to be times when Parliament was led by opposition MPs in terms of debating issues. Currently there isn’t much that we hear of our colleagues. 

“Unless if I do not hear properly and there isn’t much reporting about your performance as opposition MPs in Parliament but you are many in numbers. Back in the days we used to have the likes of the late Dr Kenneth Koma, Maitshwarelo Dabutha and Robert Molefhabangwe who caused uproar in Parliament. They were few but their contribution used to shake Parliament,” he stated.

He explained that opposition MPs should demonstrate that the UDC is an alternative government. Advocate Pilane challenged the opposition MPs to stand up and stage robust debates in Parliament so as to cause an upset on the ruling Botswana Democratic Party. He said through robust engagement by opposition MPs, people would even feel motivated to attend Parliament. 

“We need to see you and hear you more. Please inspire us,” said Advocate Pilane who has been linked with intentions to contest for a Parliamentary seat in Gaborone North Constituency. Gaborone North is held by UDC under BMD. He has however dismissed claims that he intends to challenge area MP Haskins Nkaigwa during the BMD primary elections. 

This week the BMD leader stated that he would announce when the time is right if he is contesting for any constituency or not. Gaborone North is the same constituency that rejected Advocate Pilane’s membership application in 2015.

Opposition MPs have however been hailed by Leader of Opposition in Parliament Advocate Duma Boko for a sterling job. He said they have shown commitment through their questions and motions tabled in Parliament. Currently MP for Selibe Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse is the only opposition MP who has tabled Private Members Bills. 

Keorapetse, who is also Botswana Congress Party Publicity Secretary, has tabled Bills calling for the amendment of disciplined forces Acts (Botswana Defence Force, Botswana Police Services and Botswana Prison Services).

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