MP for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane is either an attention seeker or a true people’s leader. What is clear though is that he never shies away from a fight. On Wednesday he lived up to his dramatic and militant ways when he broke down in tears like a child crying for a lollipop after the Speaker Gladys Kokorwe called him to order after he tried to present a urgent motion on water and power crisis through standing order. A rabble rouser that he is, Moswaane accused parliament of not taking the water and power crisis seriously which is affecting the greater Gaborone.
It was Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso who consoled him and escorted him outside while Mogoditshane MP Sedirwa Kgoroba accused him of being an attention seeker. Opposition MPs accused Moswaane of being a turncoat after he voted against the same motion when presented by Gaborone Central MP Dr Phenyo Butale in the first session of the 11th parliament.
The voluble Francistown West MP would on Thursday return to parliament now more determined. His fury could be felt in the public gallery as he tried to force the motion again. He blatantly told deputy speaker Kagiso Molatlhegi that he was a professional blue liar after he denied seeing a notice of his urgent motion. Efforts by the Speaker Kokorwe to ask him to withdraw the statement hit a steel wall as Moswaane told her that, “over my dead body and will rather go out!” sending shivers among those who hold the speaker of the national assembly in high regard.
Outside parliament a crowd puller who leaves his audience in stitches with his easy-going conversational manner was surrounded by some people especially those who see themselves as future legislators as they admire his talks. The militant lawmaker who once broke his spectacles during the debate on the registration of churches bill accused fellow MPs of being immature for failing to support his motion. It seems his militancy paid off as on Friday his urgent motion was allowed in which he wanted Parliament to institute a task force to look at the water crisis in the greater Gaborone and supply the residents with water.
The dramatic politician that he is, Moswaane wanted to add that Parliament should declare a state of emergency on the water crisis but Kokorwe had none of it. MP for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaingwa rose on a point of order and asked that Moswaane should withdraw his statement that Molatlhegi was a professional liar. The rebellious Moswaane, who has threatened to defect should government not heed his calls, tried to refuse to withdraw but under immense pressure from opposition MPs who kept on standing on point of order he was forced to withdraw.
His motion was dismally defeated as it was only endorsed by Member of Parliament Letlhakeng/ Lephephe Liakat Kably and Paulson Majaha of Nata/Gweta. His other motion which calls for the policy to protect the interest of the informal sector was also defeated and feeling like a ‘ lone voice in the wilderness’ he withdrew his other motion which calls on government to increase value added tax to 14%. In an interview MP for Gaborone Central Dr Phenyo Butale said that Moswaane is killing the quality of debates in Parliament as he has submitted 25 motions to be debated.
“Sometimes I wonder where he gets the time to do research. Parliament should look at this issue because we cannot just debate motions of one parliamentarian,” said Butale, who was once bundled out of parliament for trying to bring the motion on water and power crisis. Asked why he did not support Moswaane’s motion on water and power crisis, Dr Butale said it is not that just because something is against government they will just embrace it. “We don’t just oppose for the sake of opposition to the extent of supporting mediocrity hence we didn’t support the motion,” said Butale.
The Gaborone Central lawmaker said they cannot allow Moswaane to hold parliament at ransom and said some of the motions that he brings are just jokes of the century.One motion that is expected to cause some tension especially in the opposition ranks is calling on government to investigate UDC for obtaining by false pretense by requesting the public to contribute in raising funds to investigate the death of Gomolemo Motswaledi. BDP chief Kablay asked if they have ever tried to talk to Moswaane about his antics in parliament answered in affirmative.
“Moswaane is very stubborn. I tried to arrange a meeting between him and the speaker but he refused only to agree to meet her on Friday morning,” said Kably. He said that he supported Moswaane’s motion but the problem was his approach. “Government is failing people especially in the rural areas and is really frustrating,” he said. In his defence Moswaane said that he doesn’t like attention, dismissing those who feel that he is a troublesome MP as small boys. “I have discussed this motion at the party caucus but they betrayed me in Parliament. This is a sign of immaturity,” said Moswaane.
A man, who some political pundits have regarded him as chip off the old block in terms of independent-mindedness is not new to political antics as during his time as councilor at Francistown City Council (FCC) he used to clash with the mayor and city clerk on various issues.