The Botswana Movement for Democracy chairperson, Botsalo Ntuane, was on Monday officially ordained as the new parliamentary Leader of the Opposition, ousting Botswana National Front’s Olebile Gaborone.
The Gaborone West South MP, together with a few of his disgruntled colleagues, broke away from the ruling BDP, and took with them a considerable number of BDP legislators, culminating in the BMD having more MPs and overtaking the BNF.
A former BDP Publicity Secretary, Ntuane did not immediately take the reins but instead allowed Gaborone to continue to occupy the seat of Leader of the Opposition as the political change of guard occurred mid-July.
Officially unveiling Ntuane, the Speaker of the House, Margaret Nasha, congratulated the out-going Gaborone for his outstanding performance during his tenure, saying that the new Leader of Opposition should walk in Gaborone’s shoes for the smooth sailing of parliamentary debates and services to the nation.
“As I have recently communicated to you that I would in the time not distant announce the new Leader of Opposition following the recent change of guard and as stipulated in our standing orders and in line with Botswana parliamentary regulations, today I officially to do so and announce Botsalo Ntuane as the new Leader of the Opposition,” said Nasha, to delight and ululations from across the floor.
“He is accorded the position with all the privileges that go with his new position and together we congratulate and wish him luck as he ascents to the position. My warm congratulations also go to the out-going South East North MP, Olebile Gaborone, for his exceptionally good performance during his tenure and wishing him a warm and cordial working relationship with Botsalo Ntuane,” she added.
Nasha also took note of the presence of UK parliamentarians, a delegation from the United Kingdom Commonwealth Association, whose visit to the country is to scope a bilateral programme between the Botswana Parliament and Westminster to promote parliamentary best practices and strengthen parliamentary capacity.
During their four day visit, the delegation, which comprises of two members of the House of Commons, Ian Davidson and Matthew Offord, and a member of the House of Lords, Lord David Chidgey, will pay courtesy calls on the Speaker herself, the new Leader of the Opposition, the chairman of Ntlo ya Dikgosi and meet with three different parliamentary committees.
The delegation will also visit the Diamond Trading Company and Botswana Craft.