Leader of the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change from the just-dissolved Parliament will remember the 10th Parliament as intolerant of dissenting voices under the leadership of President Ian Khama.
The President dissolved parliament last week Thursday, with the Speaker of the House offering Members of Parliament a few moments to recount their experiences and the challenges they encountered during their five-year spell as lawmakers. While some of the MP’s kissed goodbye to the hallowed House for good following their defeat at their respective party primaries, others will vigorously campaign to be re-elected for political office ahead of the national elections scheduled for October 24.
“I remember the 10th Parliament session for the public workers strike in 2011, alongside the workers leaders, as a period in which we were denied audience by the President because of my presence with the team. He told co-delegates he will not listen to them when I am part of the delegation,” said UDC leader, Nehemiah Modubule in the just-dissolved Parliament.
Now an ordinary Lobatse MP candidate, Modubule will also remember the 10th Parliament as a Parliament which unanimously passed a Private Motion Bill calling for the MP’s tenure to remain intact until the last day of the national elections. However, it will not see the light of day as the President will not endorse the decision.
While Cabinet Ministers and their Assistants will remain in their posts, as will the Speaker of the House and Deputy, the tenure of MP’s ends immediately upon dissolution of Parliament. They will only be remunerated once again should they win the elections.
“It will also be a tenure during which I won the elections as an independent MP,” former Lobatse MP reminisced proudly.
Were he to be born again as a child, former Kanye North MP Kentse Rammidi will likely be called “Kedibonye” ÔÇô a common Setswana name meaning “I have seen it all”.
A former BDP parliamentarian and Secretary General, Rammidi also had a stint with the opposition Botswana National Front, later joining the Botswana Congress Party during his period as an MP.
“I have seen that life at the other side is quite an easy walk in the park while it is difficult this side,” he said pointing at the ruling party floor and to his opposition side.
Rammidi will represent his new political home BCP in the Kanye North constituency, trying his luck for the second time as the area MP which he won under the BDP.