Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Motion to up number of Specially Elected MPs faces defeat

Mahalapye Member of Parliament’s motion that seeks to amend the Constitution to increase the number of Specially Elected MPs to eight had a cold reception on Friday.

No sooner than the Mahalapye MP had taken the floor than MPs from across the party divide started disrupting the parliamentary proceedings.
Tabling the motion, attended predominantly by BDP women dressed up in party colours, Tshireletso argued that since independence women have been sidelined from political office in favor of men.

Tshireletso said, culture played out dominantly, barring aspirant women from taking up leadership positions.

“It has been our culture and taboo for women to contest against their male counterparts. That system still persists today, disadvantaging women to reach high office. Our culture makes it a taboo for women to lead men (Ga e ke etelelwa ke manamadi pele) and women have been confined to the kitchen. Tshireletso argued.

Tshireletso argued that women are traditionally trapped to the kitchen tending to family chores. It is against this backdrop that she fells women should be given a free ticket into parliament, via the Specially Elected provision, where one needs not to sweat to.
Kweneng East South MP, Mmoloki Raletobana, intervened and asked what route Tshirelotso had used to enter parliament

In repose, Tshireletso said, “I have been beaten so many a times but I did not give up until I won elections that saw me through to parliament,”

Raletobana maintained that this was the route both men and women should take to fulfill their destinies.

Kgatleng East MP, Isaac Mabiletsa, interrupted her, adamant that the essence of the motion would benefit the ruling BDP women functionaries.

Since the inception of the provision, staunch BDP members have been the beneficiaries of the programme amid mounting pressure from members of the public, opposition parties and from within BDP circles. Currently, their number stands at four and Tshireletso wants the number to soar to eight to cater for women as a matter of urgency.

Tshireletso further argued that the Constitution needed to be penal-beaten to carter for an alternative electoral system as the current first past the post was adversely disadvantaging womenÔÇô an observation which invited Gaborone North MP, Keletso Rakhudu, to interject, arguing that if she were serious and determined the Mahalapye East legislator could have initially debated a motion which called for change of the electoral system.

“As the motion now stands, it is a waste of time. She should have made thorough investigations. It is a pity we can not discuss it any further,” said Rakhudu outside parliament as he discussed the motion with Sunday Standard.

Tshireletso wraps up the motion Friday.
Meanwhile Francistown south MP Khumongwana Maoto’s motion calling on government to review the situation of government staff housing as a condition of service as a matter of urgency sailed through.

“It is an important and a noble motion but I know it will be shelved and, as such, I reluctantly embrace the motion,” observed Lobatse MP, Nehemiah Modubule.


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