President Ian Khama on Wednesday paid special tribute to the Vice President, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who after nearly five decades as a civil servant, politician, and leader, will be retiring from public office.
Addressing the final session of the 10th Parliament which drew to a close, Khama said he considered it appropriate to join the Parliament in order to announce the date of dissolution.
He said Kedikilwe’s energy, experience and selfless devotion to service would be sorely missed.
Addressing Parliament, Khama paid tribute to the front bench and backbench of his own party for their contribution, as well as the opposition for playing their part in a manner they thought appropriate in the democratic processes that unfolds in Parliament.
He spoke of the record of the Parliament which he said is also a tribute to how ably the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Margret Nasha guided the proceedings of the house and the dedication displayed by the Parliamentary staff in the management of its affairs. “Here again I am confident that I speak for this entire House in expressing our collective gratitude to all of them,” he said. Looking back on the past five years, Khama said members of the House can take pride in both the quality and quantity of the 111 Bills they have passed into law, “which is your primary constitutional mandate”. He said the House considered 14 policies, adopted 45 private members’ motions, while 4018 questions from MPs were answered by Ministers, and Ministers responded to 68 Ministers’ question times. “Soon it will once more be the voters’ time to decide who shall be representing them in this House, as they exercise their right to elect their representatives,” he said.
The President then announced that the 10th Parliament would be dissolved on Friday the 29th of August 2014. General Elections will be held on Friday 24th October, a day he said he would declare as a public holiday.
“By putting the interests of Botswana first, we shall continue to appreciate that what might appear to divide us will always be less than that which joins us as citizens of a nation that remains proudly united in its diversity,” he stated.