Monday, May 17, 2021

BDP MP compares Deputy Speaker to a prison bully

As a councillor in the City of Francistown Council, Ignatius Moswaane was a handful. As an MP, he is proving to be both handsful and has been shown the door in an acrimonious moment.

Once before the Francistown West MP has told the Speaker, Gladys Kokorwe, that he suspects that she “hates” him and he would later tell Deputy Speaker, Kagiso Molatlhegi, that “I don’t worship idols.” In the latest incident he has accused the latter of “sabotaging” him and compared him to a prison bully.

Moswaane’s problem with the leadership of parliament is mostly over his motions and in the latest incident he wanted to know why a motion by Gaborone Central MP, Dr. Phenyo Butale, was taking precedence over his. Molatlhegi’s explanation didn’t satisfy Moswaane and he made it known that “I’m not happy with the way I am treated in this parliament.” He felt that he was being sabotaged and didn’t bite his tongue communicating that impression.

“It is a very serious sabotage and I cannot allow it to happen. I have been elected as Member for Francistown West to represent the [constituents’] interest, nobody else’s,” the MP fumed.

Molatlhegi asked him to control himself but that didn’t help. The real face-off would occur when the Deputy Speaker made a ruling that he would attend to the motion issue in his office. One important parliament rule is that when the Speaker has made a ruling, it cannot be challenged but Moswaane was having none of it. Thrice he indicated intent to interject on a point of order but Molatlhegi rebuffed him each time. The MP got more insistent and combative, telling the Deputy Speaker even as the latter was still on his feet: “I am raising a new point of order. This is unacceptable!” This was another protocol breach because the rules of parliament don’t allow MPs to rise at the same with the Speaker. Moswaane would not be deterred even when Molatlhegi reminded him of the latter and instructed him to take his seat.

“No, I am not. This is unacceptable Mr. Speaker. You are treating me so bad,” Moswaane shot back.

Molatlhegi tried again: “Honourable Member, please resume your seat” to which the latter responded: “No, Mr. Speaker, this is not right.” Seconds later the MP felt the need to remind Molatlhegi that parliament was not prison.

“We are not like men in prison doing their routine job ba laolwa ke ‘sebonta’ sa prison [being ordered about by the prison bully]. We cannot work like that,” Moswaane said.

At this point Molatlhegi had reached his tolerance level and he instructed the Sergeant-at-Arms to “please assist the member to move.” (In a nightclub context, that would be the bouncer escorting out an unruly reveller out.)
A physical altercation would have ensued had the Francistown West MP resisted but he didn’t saying he would “move out with pleasure but I would not allow you to do what you are doing in this parliament. This parliament is disabled; e tshwana fela le segole.”

That politically incorrect parting shot will most likely get the MP in trouble with some parties outside parliament.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper