Former Minister David Magang says he observed a serious mistake of both law and protocol during the recent inauguration of President Ian Khama.
Magang says it was not in order that the departing President, Festus Mogae, arrived at the swearing in ceremony of his successor as an ordinary citizen.
Magang says procedure is such that Mogae should only have ceased to be President after Ian had been sworn in and introduced to the nation as President by the Chief Justice.
Magang says the omission by officials is serious in that it creates a vacuum during which time there is no President.
“And that was never meant to be like that,” he said.
Magang further says that it was improper that cabinet ministers arrived to the ceremony as ordinary MPs.
He said the correct procedure is that ministers only cease to be so after a new President is sworn and is expected to form his own.
Magang joins Sydney Pilane, who was Mogae’s Special Advisor.
Writing recently, Sydney Pilane contended that “I noticed on the 1st of April this year that there seemed to be an assumption that President Mogae had ceased to hold office as President at midnight 31st March 2008. He did not come as nor was he addressed as the President on the morning of 1st April.”
Magang said it is very important to note that the incoming President assumes office only after he is sworn by the Chief Justice.
Up until then the office is held by the outgoing President.
“It is clear that the succeeding President assumes office upon subscribing the oath of office, but it is unclear when precisely the retiring President ceases to hold office … This matter may require reflection and various permutations considered. In the end it is best if there is no gap at all, or if unavoidable, the briefest gap between the time when the retiring President ceases to hold office and the time when the succeeding Vice President assumes office as President,” said Pilane.