Member of Parliament for Shoshong Phillip Makgalemele has said he is disappointed by fellow MPs shun who his motions. He also raised concern at the way debates are conducted at the winter session of the Parliament which started on Wednesday.
Makgalemele had presented a motion calling on the house to request government to commit additional resources outside the National Development Plan 10 to implement the 1991 fencing policy.
The former Botswana Football Association (BFA) President presented his 10 paged motion which could have been easily been confused for the state of the Ministry of Agriculture address, elaborated on how the policy can help the agricultural sector and diversify the economy of the country.
After the presentation which took close to 25 minutes, Minister of Finance and development Planning Kenneth Matambo said that though the motion is a noble one it cannot be implemented outside NDP 10 but could only advise MOA to put it in NDP 11.
Minister of Agriculture Christiaan De Graf concurred with the Finance Minister and noted that his ministry will consider putting the issue in their 2015/16 financial budget. After the ministers’ comments, Speaker of the National Assembly Margaret Nasha opened the floor to members of parliament to debate the motion, but no one stood up. Nasha complained that it is disappointing for MPs not to show interest in some motions and asked Makgalemele to move his motion.
“Madam Speaker I am very disappointed that after so much research and efforts in tabling this motion no one is debating it,” said the frustrated Shoshong legislator. He called on the speaker to investigate the issue as he has realised that whenever an MP from an opposition bench brings a motion, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) MPs do not debate it and the opposite is the same.
“During the last session of parliament, Honorable Kentse Rammidi presented a motion and members from the ruling party did not participate on its debate,” he said.
During the voting Makgalemele’s motion was defeated by 21 votes to 7. In an interview outside parliament, Makgalemele said that though he is disappointed that his motion has been defeated, he is pleased that ministers Mathambo and De Graaf appreciated it.
“Their only problem is that it cannot be implemented outside NDP 10 and I will make corrections to it and present it again in the next session of parliament,” he said. This is not the first time that parliament has rejected Makgalemele’s motions, which in some quarters.
In the last sitting of parliament, he brought a motion which called on parliament to enact a beneficiation law especially in minerals. However, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu said a beneficiation law could scare away potential investors who are not interested in beneficiation.