More than a month after trouncing Eric Molale in a bye-election, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II has yet to resume his duties as Member of Parliament for the Goodhope-Mabule constituency. With the parliamentary year starting in November when President Ian Khama will deliver the state-of-the-nation address, the new MP-elect’s honeymoon will last more than two months.
While voters would want to think of parliamentary candidates becoming MPs the moment results are announced, the reality is a little different. Following such announcement, a winner becomes not an MP but an MP-elect until s/he takes the oath of office in parliament itself. After a general election, parliament typically convenes two days later for MPs-elect to take this oath and become MPs. In the particular case of Lotlaamoreng, the election that he was triumphant in happened during parliament recess and it never happens that parliament is convened for the swearing in of one MP. Although he has yet to fully resume his parliamentary duties, Lotlaamoreng says that he occasionally stops by the constituency office and that he has also participated in some events in the constituency in a quasi-official capacity.
Since his installation in February 2002 as Barolong kgosi and in accordance with Setswana custom, Lotlaamoreng has been using the regnal name of Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II. His father, Kgosi Besele II had died the previous year. A law graduate from the University of North West in Mafikeng, South Africa, Lotlaamoreng is the second child of late Kgosi Besele II and Mohumagadi Alinah Montshioa.
Lotlaamoreng has made clear the fact that he is not abdicating his throne but is merely taking leave of his duties to go into politics. To that end he has indicated that he will use his regnal name in parliament but that is unlikely. In parliament, Maun West MP, Kgosi Tawana II, is known only as Tawana Moremi; this means that Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II will officially be known as Lotlaamoreng Montshioa.
The downside of Lotlaamoreng’s honeymoon is that he is not yet on the National Assembly’s payroll. He says that staff there has told him that the necessary paperwork will be done after he is sworn in. In Lotlaamoreng’s absence, Kgosi Botiki Motshegare is now Barolong Regent and will also be sworn in as a member of Ntlo ya Dikgosi when the house meets next month.
Something highly unusual could happen when parliament meets in November. If Molale is made a Specially Elected MP again, there would be two such MPs who lost successive elections in the same constituency. Kitso Mokaila, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, lost to James Mathokgwane of the Umbrella for Democratic Change in the 2014 general election and was made Specially Elected MP.