Saturday, September 26, 2020

Saleshando rejects Mothobi’s “public-spiritedness”

The parliamentary Committee on Subsidiary Legislation has rejected a request by University of Botswana law academic, Mike Mothobi, to appear before it.

Two weeks ago, Mothobi wrote to the Chairman of the Committee, Dumelang Saleshando, volunteering to appear before the committee.

This was after the committee had summoned Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme, Nick Czypionka and Minister of Works, Lesego Motsumi.
The trio had at various times said that government could go ahead with the privatization of Air Botswana notwithstanding a parliamentary motion to the contrary as parliamentary motions were not binding on cabinet.

Mothobi had also suggested that the employees of Air Botswana be summoned or those willing to appear before the committee be allowed to do so.
He had also said such hearings be conducted in public, for transparency’s sake.

Writing in The Sunday Standard last week, Mothobi said he hoped that his letter to Saleshando if not considered favourably would at least receive formal acknowledgement.

The letter, said Mothobi, was one way of fostering an effective dialogue between the Members of Parliament and civic society on matters of national concern.

“The lesson of all this is that an excellent opportunity has presented itself to our leaders to foster an effective dialogue between Parliament, Government, the private sector, the press and the public at large.”

But Saleshando was not impressed.

In his rely to Mothobi, he said he thanked Mothobi’s sustained interest and public spiritedness in as far as privatization in general and that of Air Botswana is concerned, but concluded that “the Committee is unable to entertain your request on account of the fact that doing so would have entailed its affording an equal or similar opportunity to other interested parties and commentators.”

Saleshando said the increase in the number of people proposed by Mothobi to appear before the Committee “did not assure or guarantee finality on issues with which the Committee was concerned.”
A month ago Lesego Motsumi, Nicko Czypionka and Athaliah Molokomme caused a stir when they said parliamentary motions were non-binding.
MPs were not impressed.

The findings of Saleshando’s committee on the summons of the three are still to be known.

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