Opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change is worried that at the rate things are going the party will come into power in 2019 only to be met by empty coffers.
The fiery UDC Member of Parliament for Francistown South Wynter Mmolotsi sounded the alarm bells during the just ended parliament session.
“Today is a bad day for our country,” said Mmolotsi when debating the Ministerial Offices Bill last Thursday.
The Bill will increase cabinet ministers as well as the number of Specially Elected MPs.
“The envisaged Bill (Ministerial Offices), I will like to say is a blatant ploy by the ruling party leadership to deplete public money so that by the time we take the reins of power 2019 there will be nothing in the coffers,” Mmolotsi further said.
“Worse still the Bill is brought by an unelected MP and Minister.”
He was referring to the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Eric Molale, a Specially Elected MP who was presenting the Bill.
“When pressing matters including the need to create employment for the vulnerable youths are presented to Parliament your Government has the audacity to say there is no money. But when it comes to creating employment for friends they will bend so low as to readily avail the money. This is pitiful,” Mmolotsi further lamented.
Francistown South legislator vehemently argued that the Ministerial Offices Bill was uncalled for especially during the time belt tightening.
A basic salary for a full Minister stands at over P41, 000 including a monthly package of incentives totaling over P60,000 while the Assistant Minister, the opposition MP argues earn over P30,000 of basic salary inclusive of P50,000 monthly package.
Besides, both Ministers are availed two vehicles each totaling close to P4m not to mention drivers and cleaners.
“The solution like I said is not to increase Ministers and their offices… but to set our priorities right,” Mmolotsi noted, insisting the ruling party Government was clutching at straws over its priorities.
As things stand, he is convinced the Government has a lot of money some of which it has time to burn with their fellow party activists and functionaries who will be recruited into the new posts at the expense of other deserving nationals.
For his part opposition Botswana Congress Party MP Dithapelo Keorapetse wondered the import of recruiting from outside Parliament when from both political aisle there is abundant talent and skills in the House.
He cited Biggie Butale a lawyer by profession and Kefentse Mzwinila a colourful engineer from esteemed University overseas as shrewd politicians to suit the caliber of Specially Elected MP’s required amongst others from the ruling party.
He said Parliament is being demanded to increase MPs without being told the caliber of skills and talent that are on demand.