The present arrangement whereby only Botswana’s former presidents continue to enjoy the benefits associated with their services to the country at the expense of colleagues in Government, namely former Ministers, Members of Parliament and Councilors, has been criticized as counterproductive.
Moreover, it has the effect of promoting a situation where people’s elected representatives might opt to cling to political office as a way of ensuring their survival, with the propensity for corruption being very high.
According to Kabo Morwaeng, an elected Additional Member of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee, it is high time this arrangement is reviewed.
“Especially so, if we are to safeguard our vital human capital, which is manifest in most of these people so that the country can get the most out of their vast experience that has been earned during their tenure of office,” said Morwaeng.
This was after Daniel Kwelagobe, the newly elected Chairman of the BDP, handed over P16 000 worth of therapeutic massage chair to Bahiti Temane, who is a former MP for Maun and one of the founding fathers at independence.
Kwelagobe pointed out that he was giving the chair as a token of appreciation to Temane, as he was his important guest at his official launch as Candidate for Molepolole South Constituency few weeks ago.
“I do recall moments in my childhood when my grandmother would ask me to walk over, up and down her back, while she lay down,” he said humorously.
He added that as he grew up, he then got to realize that it is this type of chair that, had they afforded the cost, they should have acquired.
“It is the spirit in which the chair is given to me that I appreciate even more than anything else, but I must admit that its like Kwelegobe prophesied that I needed it, though we never talked,” reciprocated Temane in gratitude.
Morwaeng, who, together with Specially Elected MP, Botsalo Ntuane and other BDP officials accompanied Kwelagobe, expressed concern that important people who contributed collectively with the President to the building of this nation have been reduced to paupers as they do not get any pension to survive on.
“The country is missing out a great deal by not using this experienced men, to advice and inform the country’s policy development and vision, as some of them either get tempted to resign prematurely so that while they are physically up they could amass wealth, or cling to positions at the expense of the country’s renowned democratic practice, ” said Ntuane.
Morwaeng said that Kwelagobe’s gesture must be construed as “a gesture of compassion for a fellow democrat who remains committed to the nation’s ideal of democracy and consultation”.
Temane had said at the launch that the prevention of the country being usurped by authoritarian individuals was very critical for the defense of democracy.