Monday, October 19, 2020

Parliament almost descends into an orgy of fist fights as MPs trade insults

Parliament almost erupted into an orgy of fist fights last week as Members of Parliament exchange insults, some threatening to resort to physical confrontation. The Speaker of the National Assembly lost control of Parliament which descended into chaos resulting in an unscheduled early adjournment.

Tempers flared following an urgent motion by Francistown West MP, Ignitious Moswaane requesting Parliament to expunge from the Hansard a statement by Leader of Opposition Duma Boko on the diplomatic row between Botswana and China.

Boko had accused the Botswana Government of inciting the diplomatic row with China. The Chinese government, smarting from a statement by the Botswana Government on the China Sea territorial dispute two months ago closed its embassy in Gaborone in protest.

The Chinese Government had vowed not to resolve China Sea dispute through the International Criminal Court process that was initiated by Philippines. Botswana joined the fray against China stating that the China Sea issue should e resolved through the ICC.

Opposition MPs tried to stop the Speaker of the National Assembly from allowing Moswaane’s motion, arguing that there was nothing urgent about the motion. Boko proposed that Parliament should convene a meeting similar to the one that found him guilty of plagiarizing the land policy when debating the budget speech last month. 

Chaos broke out on the Parliament floor when the Speaker ignored opposition MPs arguments and allowed BDP parliamentarian to debate the “urgent” motion. Opposition MPs who openly maligned the Speaker’s curious decision as “witch-craft” vowed to stop the Speaker from turning Parliament into Tsholetsa House (BDP head office).

Opposition MPs them demanded clarification from the Speaker on her decision, resulting in an exchange of insults across party benches.

Moswaane, who was the mover of the motion fired the first salvo against Boko ÔÇô who was on the floor- , openly stating: “loyaranyana e ea ntlwaela” which translates (This lawyerette  is [email protected]#king with me).

Mogoditshane, MP Sedirwa Kgoroba came to Boko’s defence dismissing Moswaane as a lunatic.

Moswane retaliated by accusing Kgoroba of speaking under the influence of dagga.

The speaker intervened calling on MP’s to withdraw their statements. Both agreed to withdraw their statements. Chaos however escalated when Kokorwe called on MP’s to vote on Moswaane’s motion since four BDP parliamentarians had already debated in support of the motion.

Opposition MPs lost their temper and warned the Speaker not to turn parliament into a playground.

Gaborone North MP, Haskins Nkaingwa threatened that he would remove “that white powdered wig from the Speaker’s head” should she go ahead and call for a vote on the motion.

When the Speaker insisted on putting the motion to a vote, opposition MPs switched on their mikes disrupting the Speaker from calling for a vote.

A heated exchange went back and forth between members of Parliament with opposition MPs adamant that they will not allow the Speaker to run Parliament as she pleases.

MPs were trading insults and parliament threatened to descend into a fist fight forcing the Speaker to adjurn the House before scheduled time.

Boko had referred to Botswana’s decision to publicly engage China over South China Sea as an extremely dangerous attention seeking excise.

 Boko argued that it was irresponsible for government to fail to engage china through diplomatic channels.

 He said that as a government in waiting the Umbrella for Democratic Change was apologizing on behalf of Batswana for remarks that resulted in diplomatic tensions.

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