The opposition is reading malice in the collapse of quorum on Friday when parliament was supposed to debate the motion by the MP for Gaborone Bonnington South, Ndaba Gaolathe. Last week Gaolathe presented a motion which was calling for government to establish an independent and autonomous water and power regulator to create an environment in which the water and power sector may benefit from significantly greater investment. The motion was given the nod by the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila noting that they have something similar in the pipeline and was supposed to be debated on Friday.
When it was time for the motion to be debated, Members of Parliament from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) walked out of parliament leaving only Minister Mokaila. Efforts by the speaker Gladys Kokorwe to ask them to come back in as the quorum was collapsing hit a snag. They continued with their tea outside forcing the Speaker to adjourn Parliament proceedings for the day. There was speculation that BDP were revenging on after the opposition did the same thing during a debate on the Constitutional Amendment Bill when they walked out at voting time only to come back later. Opposition chief whip Wynter Mmolotsi said the BDP MPs were clearly sabotaging Gaolathe’s motion.
“They feel that the motion will take limelight from them hence they don’t want it to be debated,” said the frustrated Mmolotsi. Asked if the BDP is revenging on what they did to them on Tuesday when they walked out, Mmolotsi answered in negative, saying that the ruling party MPs started sabotaging the motion last week Friday when it was presented. “They are not happy that Minister Mokaila has given the motion thumbs up and now want to show him that they are in control,” he said
Another issue that has annoyed the BDP, according to Mmolotsi, is that motions which were supposed to be presented by Ignatius Moswaane have been pushed back after he failed to come to parliament last week Friday. Moswaane has over 30 private members motions and most of them were bypassed last week when he came late to parliament paving way for Gaolathe’s motions. Efforts to get comment from BDP chief whip Liakat Kably were futile as he did not answer his phone.