The Opposition parliamentary caucus is introducing new measures as part of a face saving makeup following an embarrassing lapse that saw their leader, Otsweletse Moupo, not making a formal response to President Festus Mogae’s State of the Nation Address.
This week, the BNF (Botswana National Front) Publicity Chief, Moeti Mohwasa, confirmed that there would be a change in the way things have been done.
“I do not have all the details. But I can confirm that the caucus has met over the issue,” said Mohwasa.
It is an attempt to restore public faith and regain their badly damaged credibility.
The change of strategy is that Moupo shall, from now on, be the first to speak.
Moupo caused a storm when he let pass a rare opportunity to respond to the State of the Nation Address by the State President.
As leader of the opposition, Moupo is allocated much more time than other MPs.
He said his failure to respond was a result of a political strategy gone badly wrong.
A few BNF MPs were supposed to speak before him, but when called to do so, they did not.
When the BNF MPs failed to speak, Speaker of the National Assembly, Patrick Balopi, called upon the leader of the House, Mompati Merafhe, to wrap up the debate, upon which Moupo and his aide, Akanyang Magama, frantically tried to plead with Merafhe to yield.
The gaffe was particularly painful for Moupo as he was still from a more severe personal embarrassment that entailed his terrible personal finances that led to his law firm being suspended from the roll.
According to information passed to The Sunday Standard, henceforth, Moupo will be the first opposition Member of Parliament to respond to all major policy issues tabled in parliament by the ruling party.
These include the budget speech, State of the Nation Address and the presentations of the National Development Plans and any other major reviews.
“It is important that he is the one setting the tone and agenda,” said one BNF member.
Other new measures introduced by the opposition are that they will become more professional in their approach of debates so that they can speak with one voice.
At the moment, the opposition has been less organized with each one speaking own mind giving an impression of incoherence and poor leadership on Moupo.
The Sunday Standard learned that there would be weekly meetings to prepare for parliamentary debates when the House is in session.