Saturday, November 28, 2020

Dikgosi demand their share of Btv, RB1 publicity

Traditional leaders want to have their 15 minutes of fame via state-owned Botswana Television (Btv) and Radio Botswana (RB1) just like parliamentarians.

Ntlo Ya Dikgosi is set to debate a motion calling for Btv to begin broadcasting live proceedings of the House, which has been relatively marginalised by the media over the years.

A Specially Elected Member of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi Kkgosi Oateng Setlhodi is set to table a motion to the effect that: “This Honourable House requests the government to broadcast the proceedings of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi on both Radio Botswana and Botswana Television”.

Motions raised by Ntlo ya Dikgosi particularly those in the best interests of the House have almost invariably been passed and all indications are that Dikgosi will adopt the motion.

Adopted motions are then sent to the relevant ministry for possible approval and implementation. Unlike Parliament, where a ruling party exploits its numerical advantage to turn down motions from the other side of the aisle, Dikgosi are more often than not united on their motions.

Following years of dilly dallying the government finally resolved to broadcast parliament on National Television this year largely due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The motion to air Parliamentary proceedings was passed by the 10th parliament but it is only now in the 12th parliament that it has been finally implemented. The motion had been tabled by then Selebi Phikwe West Member of Parliament Gilson Saleshando seeking to give voters access to proceedings.

The former MP said at the time that live broadcasts would encourage members of the public to take a keen interest in parliamentary business to help reduce voter apathy. Then Kanye North MP Kentse Rammidi was also quoted by the media saying people should know their representatives, adding that most of the time Batswana were in the dark about what representatives stand for.

“We have been told that the mass media has state of the art equipment and can house 67 channels but at the moment we only have one while we have so many graduates who are capable of doing the job,” Rammidi was quoted in the media.

The live broadcasting of parliamentary proceedings this year has proven a success, bringing the electorate closer to their representatives. Dikgosi now also want their subjects to have direct access to House proceedings. Kgosi Setlhodi’s motion ‘Broadcasting of Ntlo ya Dikgosi proceedings by State Media’ is set to be debated later this month.

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