Nominated Member of Parliament and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale has absconded from Parliament sessions to campaign for ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primaries ahead of the Good hope ÔÇô Mabule constituency by-election.
It is understood that Molale has delegated his junior, Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Philip Makgalemele to answer questions from Members of Parliament addressed to his ministry.
Molale is an approved candidate for BDP primaries in Good hope ÔÇô Mabule constituency. Members of Parliament are unhappy with Molale’s absence saying he undermines the House.
When asked about the whereabouts of Minister Molale the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Kagiso Molatlhegi said nobody should ever question him about the whereabouts of absent members of Parliament.
“You should stop questioning me when I am in Parliament; you should only ask me questions at the general assembly or come to my office. I asked about the whereabouts of Molale and I have been informed that he is away addressing Kgotla meetings around the country,” said Molatlhegi.
Member of Parliament for Francistown South, Wynter Mmolotsi told Parliament that their worry as MPs was that Molale was busy with his campaigning to be a Member of Parliament while he is still holding the position of Member of Parliament which he doesn’t attend.
“He is not only doing that, he is also using government resources in his campaigns. The issue here is that we as members of Parliament have a right to know whether there is a vacancy for specially elected Member of Parliament. If it is there when will that position be filled,” asked Mmolotsi.
Mmolotsi said “one wonders why these Kgotla meetings intensify in that area (Goodhope/Mabule) when there is a by election. This is only happening after Molale was approved as a candidate for BDP primaries.”
“It is not a coincidence that he is intensifying his kgotla meetings now. This is corruption that we always talked about. He is using government money and resources. He is even using the public servants. He is using his authority over public servants to portray him as a messiah who is supposed to be voted. We are saying this is wrong,” said Mmolotsi
Molatlhegi insisted that he would not answer any question on behalf of anybody.
“If you want to know about Molale’s whereabouts ask his Ministry they will tell you about all his engagements.”
But Mmolotsi also insisted that as the captain of the parliamentary ship they expect Molatlhegi to give answers on the whereabouts of Ministers who are absent.
Gabane-Mmankgodi MP Pius Mokgware said although the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly does not allow them to ask questions on the whereabouts of Members of Parliament they expect that any Member of Parliament who is absent should brief the speaker of the national Assembly on the reasons why they cannot make it to the house.
Minister of Defense Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi said it will be a new thing that the speaker of the national assembly can be asked questions on the whereabouts of MPs.
“It has never happened before, Members of Parliament are always absent but there has never been any question on their whereabouts. You are being dragged into an irregularity led by Mmolotsi,” said Kgathi.