In rare feet, the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso spent over 20 minutes of her response to the State of the Nation Address praising the leader of opposition Duma Boko and his deputy Ndaba Gaolathe for their sterling leadership. The Mahalapye West MP, who revealed that Boko grew in her eyes, said that she learnt about the two Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leaders’ quality and good mannerism when they went to Vietnam, South Africa and Geneva.
“Not everyone can do this to their political opponents but Boko and Gaolathe showed what true leadership is,” said Tshireletso, adding that she knows that some people will misinterpret her statement. She applauded Boko for bringing stability to Botswana National Front (BNF) which in the past used to be besieged by political upheavals and urged him to help Gaolathe bring sanity to Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
One of the issues that Tshireletso debated passionately was that of gender especially transgender, gays and lesbians and applauded Boko for always guiding them when on international conferences with his legal experience. “You know he is not like some politicians who just like to insult people and would just debate issues that they are not even conversant with,” said Tshireletso, who coincidentally made the statement after the MP for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane called deputy speaker Kagiso Molatlhegi a professional liar.
While many ruling party MPs and cabinet ministers have accused the opposition MPs of being petty by criticising President Ian Khama’s state of the nation address especially the much talked Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP), Tshireletso held a different view. “Opposition MPs are right in critiquing the ESP because as a proposal it must be critically analysed and I don’t have any problem with that,” she said.
Being a head of state is not an easy job said Tshireletso, noting that people should look at former Presidents Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae who during their presidency looked older but now are looking much younger. According to Tshireletso, it is not like President Khama is not doing anything about the crisis facing the country but is having sleepless nights to find solutions. Though ahead of the 2014 General Elections some churches campaigned against her for calling on government to legalise abortion and recognise gays and lesbians, it seems that has not deterred her from speaking out about the issue.
He called on government to come up with a law to help transgender people and said that it is painful how they are treated at clinics where medical staff laughs at them. She said child marriage was still a big problem in Botswana and said this was encouraged by the law which allows Under-21 people to be married and said that it is one of the causes of high divorces.