The Botswana Movement for Democracy’s Secretary General and Member of Parliament for Francistown South, Wynter Mmolotsi, has re-ignited debate on the value of Specially Elected Members of Parliament and Councilors.
Speaking in parliament, Mmolotsi questioned the criteria used.
He said the system is abused by the ruling party who employ it to reward its members and to push high their representation at both council and parliamentary levels.
But the ruling Botswana Democratic Party has defended the system.
“The criteria used to nominate councilors is that of nominating an individual who will bring skill and knowledge to the Council and consideration for gender and youth issues including people with disabilities and vulnerable members of the community,” responded the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso.
She added: “To my knowledge there is a nominated councilor for Francistown South Constituency and consequently there is no anomaly in this regard.”
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What could be of great importance to one person could be the opposite to another,” Tshireletso argued.
Mmolotsi said a certain Specially Elected Councilor in Francistown deserted his ward to campaign for the BDP in the recent Letlhakeng West by-elections.
The same councilor, he said, did the same during the BDP Elective Congress when he disappeared from Francistown for months.
Realising that her cabinet colleague was fighting a losing battle, the Minister of Education, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, came to the rescue.
“Mr. Speaker standing orders prohibit the mention of names of individuals who are not members of this House as they would not be able to respond by virtue of them not being the members of the House.”
To which the Deputy Speaker responded: “I was about to intervene over the matter. Indeed the Honourable member is correct.”
He threatened to take action should Mmolotsi continue to mention names of none MPs in the debate.
Mmolotsi, however, dug his heels insisting he was talking about public finances which get wasted by paying a councilor who contributes nothing to the public.