Saturday, March 6, 2021

Nominated councillors gobble P6.5m in salaries ÔÇô Tshireletso

Botswana spends at least P6, 577, 746.00 on nominated councillors across the country as their salaries per month.

Assistant minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso, told Parliament that in total there are 113 nominated councillors and their salaries per year add up to P78,933,16.00.

She said their projected gratuity is P 9,866,646.00.

Botlogile said the councillors are not nominated according to party affiliation therefore she could not say with certainty how many belong to each part in Botswana.

She was answering a question from Member of Parliament (MP) for Francistown South, Wynter Mmolotsi, who had asked for the number of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) members respectively at the time of the nomination; the total amount paid to all nominated councillors and their gratuity.

Opposition parties have in the past called for the abolishment of specially nominated councillors and parliamentarians because it only benefits the ruling party.

They have also questioned the criteria used in selecting specially nominated councillors, saying that the selection is questionable because it is not based on merit or any other grounds that have been forwarded in the past, among them increasing the representation of women and other marginalised members of the community.

 BDP has in the past nominated its members who lost in the general election back to the council.

In 2005, MP for Mmadinare, and now the Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe, tabled a motion in Parliament  calling for the system to be scrapped as it had diverted from its intended purpose and instead been turned into a patronage exercise aimed at rewarding BDP activists.

He had said there has developed a tendency by the appointing ministers to nominate councillors even from areas where there are already elected representatives instead of looking at those areas in the outlying settlements where there is no elected.

However the motion was shelved.

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