Tuesday, June 6, 2023

“I will not back-off until the motion passes” ÔÇô Butale

Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central, Dr Phenyo Butale who was on Monday physically thrown out of parliament by police officers says he will not give up on having his motion being debated on urgent basis.

Dr. Butale, together with another Member of Parliament for the opposition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Wynter Mmolotsi were physically thrown out of parliament by the parliamentary security personnel with help of the Botswana Police Services.

The historical manhandling followed Dr. Butale’s decision to table an urgent motion without notice on the dire water and electricity situation which has gripped the country for the past several months.

Speaking in an interview shortly after he dusted himself off, Butale said he had a meeting with the Deputy Speaker in the morning as procedure requires but he (Kagiso Molatlhegi) failed to be impartial from the word go, then chose to misdirect himself, in a bid to silence him and stop parliament from discussing the double crisis. Butale said the speaker suggested that he would give precedence to a question that has been noticed by Honourable Ditlhapelo Keorapetse which he said later resulted in his send off from the house.

“I put to him that since he agrees that the matter is important and urgent, he then needed to allow parliament to deliberate on the matter. I made it clear on the floor that for us (the opposition) it doesn’t matter who brought it, I even said he could give Hon. Keorapetse to table the motion so that the representatives of the people can deliberate on the issue. Despite all these efforts the speaker refused to allow parliament to discuss the water and power crisis that is bringing our economy to its knees. He then proceeded to order that MPs be forcible removed from parliament.”

“How can I be treated like a criminal for simply asking for space to air the concerns of my people? If us members of parliament are censored, intimidated and thrown out of parliament like I was, with no dignity whatsoever, how about those voiceless people, whose only hope is us,” Dr Butale rhetorically asked.

Despite the Monday incident which saw the Botswana Police officers intimidating some of the opposition party Members of Parliament, Butale says he will continue with his motion until it is given chance on the floor of parliament.


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