Vice President Slumber Tsogwane was on Sunday left staring at an uncertain future after President Mokgweetsi Masisi revealed that plans were underway to retain or repeal a law that requires that a vice-president shall be a Member of Parliament with a constituency.
The national constitution dictates that a Vice President shall be a Member of Parliament with a constituency behind their name.
Addressing a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) rally in Moshupa, Masisi indicated that the government was assessing some of the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Review of Constitution.
He said plans were underway to consider whether to retain the current system in which under the current law it is a requirement that the vice president shall be someone who is a Member of Parliament with a constituency or repeal it.
According to the final report Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Review of Constitution, “During the consultations, there were people who supported the retention of the current system of appointing the Vice President, but proposed that the vice president should have a constituency.”
The report states further that; “The perspective was that the dual responsibility results in vice president neglecting his or her constituency as he or she is duty-bound to represent the President at various occasions or act on his or her behalf.” In addition, the report says, the current system derails him or her from focusing on Presidential duties.
Parading Tsogwane before some BDP supporters who graced the rally, Masisi said looking experienced deputy, he appointed Tsogwane vice-president.
In what is seen as pacifying Tsogwane, Masisi further stated that Tsogwane was a “heartbeat away from the presidency.”
“If anything happens to me or if I die, he automatically becomes the president of the party according to the BDP constitution.”
Masisi further stated that the current national constitution dictates that the president of the ruling party automatically becomes State President.
Masisi indicated that should the current law be repealed, specially elected Members of Parliament shall be eligible for being appointed a vice-president.
“The result will be that Autlwetse (Local Government Minister Kgotla Autlwetse), Mzwinila (Minister of Lands Minister Kefentse Mzwinila), Philda Kereng (Minister responsible for Tourism) or Mma Serame (Finance Minister) can be appointed as a vice president. I’m saying this because currently they are specially elected MPs without constituencies,” said Masisi. Tsogwane is currently the MP for Boteti West.
If the current system is abolished, unconfirmed reports indicate that Masisi could appoint Serame or Mzwinila has vice-president.