While the nation will on 1st April be witnessing and celebrating the peaceful exit of president Festus Mogae from office, paving way for vice president Ian Khama to assume the highest office, BDP members are aware that BNF members will be out in the streets mourning and protesting against the transition.
Contributing in parliament on Friday on the ongoing motion which seeks the government to amend the constitution, the assistant education minister, Peter Siele, said the BDP members are aware of scheduled BNF demonstrations aimed to frustrate and demoralizing Khama.
“We are aware of the BNF secretive plans to undermine Khama’s ascendancy through a demonstration on his inauguration day on 1st April. The demonstration is designed to undermine Khama but he will assume the responsibility as dictated by the constitution,” Siele declared.
Siele said the motion by opposition Gaborone South MP, Akanyang Magama, takes aim at Khama’s accession to power.
Three weeks ago, Magama moved a motion in parliament calling for the government to amend sections 32 and 35 of the constitution of Botswana so as to ensure and to provide for the direct election of the president by the electorate and abolish automatic succession to the presidency by the vice president on the death, resignation or ceasing to hold office by the president.
The motion has since sparked controversy amongst the ruling BDP and opposition MPs with the former against the amendment while the latter lobbied for the constitutional change.
“The people should be involved and be consulted. They should be seen casting a vote for the president,” opposition MPs argued.
Because of the sensitivity of the motion, the speaker of the house, Patrick Balopi, disallowed the question put by local government minister Margaret Nasha over the motion but instead prolonged the debate.
Like his fellow MPs, assistant minister Siele sees nothing wrong with the current constitution system. He argued Magama and colleagues did not advance comprehensive and positive arguments.
“They are devoid of reasons and did not convince the House. I have traveled my constituency and the constituents are comfortable with the constitution in question,” Siele confirmed.
Opposition Kgatleng East MP, Isaac Mabiletsa, lamented that the ruling MPs are driven by jealous and hatred by not supporting the motion.
“Just because the motion is a brain-child of the opposition MP, the ruling BDP members of parliament could not support the motion.”
He called for the casting of votes not the nomination of the president by the few privileged.