Monday, March 8, 2021

Ftown West by-election petition divides BDP MPs

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Pono Moatlhodi, has denied any interest over the Francistown by-election saga, saying he has nothing to hide over the petition that postponed the elections.

Moatlhodi came out strongly against the petition, questioning the authenticity of the document as moved by the opposition parties in the just ended parliament session.

His support for the opposition raised eyebrows amongst his fellow ruling Botswana Democratic Party Members of Parliament who wanted the motion to be killed.

“I agree with you honourable member I heard Rakhudu say I am supporting the motion because I am an interested party,” Moatlhodi,┬ápresiding over the session, acknowledged on Friday.

 He was responding to MP for Maun West, Tawana Moremi, who wanted Gaborone North MP Keletso Rakhudu to withdraw his statements.

Opposition Botswana Movement for Democracy’s Wynter┬áMmolotsi moved a motion on Thursday calling for a parliamentary committee to investigate the authenticity of the petition by the people of Francistown West which in some cases included the dead people┬áas signatories.

Mmolotsi argued the petition was a fraud.

Rakhudu and Serowe South MP, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, vented their anger at the Deputy Speaker, insisting what was a parliamentary question has descended into a debate.

They called for him to stop supplementary questions as an ordinary question was sparking some debate which according to them was wrong in accordance with parliamentary standing orders.

Moatlhodi however would not budge, saying the question was of great importance and interest to the public.

Rakhudu thus remarked unrecorded that Moatlhodi was an interested party against the petition within the earshot of some legislators including Moremi and the Deputy Speaker himself.

“God will in the future vindicate me and everything will speak for itself,” Moatlhodi said responding to Moremi’s request.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper