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BDP MPs block Keorapetse's motion

SHARE   |   Monday, 03 April 2017   |   By Staff Writer
BDP MPs block Keorapetse's motion

An attempt by Selibe-Phikwe West MP Dithapelo Keorapetse to cause a resolution to review the constitution of Botswana was rejected by legislators from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) on Friday. Keorapetse's motion reads: "That this Honourable House resolves to review the constitution of the Republic of Botswana". Presenting his motion in Parliament and lobbying for support from fellow MPs Keorapetse said parliamentary independence is an unfinished business in the Constitution.  He argued that all oversight institutions should be entrenched in the Constitution so that their protection is guaranteed. Opposition UDC MPs rallied behind Keorapetse as a war of words erupted in the august house, with BDP MPs vehemently opposing the motion in large numbers. BDP MPs took turns to oppose the motion, dismissing it as not well thought out as the country is not facing a constitutional crisis. They said amendments to the Constitution are carried out when the need arises. Leading the onslaught on the motion was Tati East MP Samson Moyo Guma, who said it is poorly crafted as it seeks Parliament to undertake the review of the whole Constitution without any justification. Guma said such responsibility lies with the legal division of the Attorney General's chambers who continuously look at different sections of the Constitution and advice on those that require amendments. Despite that there is ongoing review of the Constitution; Guma suggested that the motion should be modified to propose that Parliament expedite the process. Once that resolution has been passed by Parliament the relevant department at AGs will be tasked to undertake any such review, he said. "The motion as it stands creates an impression that the whole Constitution is problematic and needs to be amended but that is not the case. Otherwise it is like saying we do not have a Constitution," said Guma.  The motion was killed through a vote of 22 votes against and 10 votes for.