Francistown South legislator, Wynter Mmolotsi, at the end of the current parliament session on Friday, hit back at Vice President Mompati Merafhe, who himself had called him a “village idiot”.
Mmolotsi, true to his earlier promise at a recent political rally that he would respond to Merafhe in parliament, went for Merafhe’s jugular when presenting his motion, which sought parliament to institute a commission of enquiry on the 2010 Final Examinations.
The motion, rather predictably, was shot down by the Botswana Democratic Party majority in parliament. The assistant Minister of Education, Skills and Development, Keletso Rakhudu, said his ministry would instead conduct an internal “thorough investigation”.
“When people get older, they remember less important stuff like insults,” Mmolotsi ridiculed Merafhe, adding that unlike Merafhe, the former Botswana Congress Party president, Gilson Saleshando, retires from active politics when he can still be a resourceful person to his constituents and the country. The legislator said Merafhe has the penchant to say that Saleshando should be denied the limelight when he himself (Merafhe) always wants to be in the limelight.
Mmolotsi then added that Merafhe in his dotage is better placed at “villages where he can taste traditional brews” along with the village folks.
“He is the worst Vice President I have ever come across,” the Francistown legislator said before presenting his motion.
Twice referring to the deputy speaker, Pono Moatlhodi, as Madam Speaker before correcting himself, Mmolotsi said he was not going to waste his energy and mental capacity delving into trivialities about “clowns and village idiots” in parliament.
As the legislator continued to fire a tirade, a well calculated one, at Merafhe, MP Daniel Kwelagobe stood up on a point of order, requesting him to tone down impressing upon the house that the legislator treats him as a father figure.
“O a itse gore ke rraagwe. A a fetole sentle eseng ka bogale jo bo kana. Le ga ba mo lootsa,” (He knows that I am his father. Let him respond not with much anger but in a polite manner though he is being [BDP MPs] provoked).
But the deputy speaker would not buy Kwelagobe’s story saying Mmolotsi was merely defending himself against the attacks that were levelled against him by the Vice President and other BDP MPs. (Ha o tsobera yo mongwe le ene o tla go tsobera. O hetola se a se teilweng). ┬á
Mmolotsi did not spare assistant minister of Local Government, Kentse Rammidi, saying he is a playful legislator who has the habit of trivializing parliamentary debates.
Comparing him to a joker in a pack of cards, Mmolotsi said Rammidi “is not compelled to contribute on issues he doesn’t understand.”
To the Specially Elected MP, Vincent Seretse, the fiery but soft spoken Francistown legislator said it was wrong for Seretse to say the teachers’ unions and opposition have politicised the standoff between teachers and government.
“Issues that affect teachers are political,” Mmolotsi told Parliament.
Mmolotsi told parliament that his motion was more about problems of examinations leakages reported and those not reported including those associated with the conduct of examinations.
“Minister Venson-Moitoi and I disagree on some facts. That is why we need a commission of inquiry. Her sources are as good as mine,” said Mmolotsi. The legislator told parliament that the minister cannot investigate herself, adding that would be tantamount to sending a criminal to investigate how he carried out a crime.
“The minister would cover herself. For the benefit of the country and children, she should swallow her pride and institute a commission,” said the legislator.
“We don’t need a commission of enquiry. We will conduct an internal inquiry. ┬áBEC (Botswana Examinations Council) rightly outsourced services from the general public. The examinations authority had to find a plan of ensuring that examinations do get carried out,” Rakhudu told parliament.
He said the fact that for the first time a scenario where invigilators were not necessarily drawn from teachers was the first to obtain.
“This caused a fair amount of anxiety. Many have said it can’t be right for a person not a teacher to invigilate. Internationally, this is the practice. Significant countries have invested in using retired police officers and soldiers as invigilators,” Rakhudu told parliament.