Monday 30th November_ 1998 by zhangyun

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									                              Monday 30th November, 1998

                           THE ASSEMBLY met at 2.30 p.m.

                              (THE SPEAKER in the Chair)



                         QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER


MR P.M. RANTAO (GABORONE WEST) asked the Minister of Local Government,

Lands and Housing to brief this Honourable House on the current development and

settlement status of the new SHHA areas of Block 3, 6, 8 and 9 in Gaborone West, stating

the total number of allocated plots, the number of developed and undeveloped ones in

each block and give reasons for the delayed development.


(MRS PHUMAPHI): Mr Speaker, the allocation of plots in areas of Block 3, 6,8 and 9

in Gaborone started in 1994. The plots are at various stages of development depending on

the abilities of the respective allottees to develop their plots. The current development and

settlement status showing the total number of plots allocated, those developed and

undeveloped in each block is summarised as follows:

BLOCK                  TOTAL NO. OF            DEVELOPED               UNDEVELOPED

                       PLOTS                   PLOTS                   PLOTS


3                       815                     240                     575
30th November, 1998                          2          Response to the President Speech

6                       984                      193                    761

8                      2026                      351                   1675

9                       924                      361                    563

TOTAL                  4719                      1145                  3574

Mr Speaker, the reasons for the delayed development are:

1.     Some plot allottees find it difficult to comply with the requirement for paying for

       the purchase price and completing the plot development within four years.

2.     There are those who have yet to pay the initial 10 percent deposit and therefore

       cannot be allowed to commence any form of development.

3.     The loss of employment by some of the allottees due to retrenchment has also

       contributed to the delay.

MR RANTAO: Since the Minister recognises that it is rather difficult for most of these

allottees to comply with the four years, is he thinking of any better option?

MRS PHUMAPHI: Mr Speaker, Sir, the four years was a compromise, but if the

Honourable Member feels that we need to compromise even further, then government

would have to look at that because four years itself was a considerable compromise.



MR T.D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH) asked the Minister of Local Government,

Lands and Housing to tell this Honourable House the number of qualified primary school
30th November, 1998                         3            Response to the President Speech

teachers in the Tswapong area of the Serowe-Palapye Sub-district who are still being

accommodated in one or two roomed “rondavel” houses and further say what programme,

if any, is in place for providing teachers with suitable institutional housing and when

implementation of such programme will be completed.


(MRS PHUMAPHI): Mr Speaker, there are currently twenty-one teachers who are still

being accommodated in one-and-two-roomed “Rondavel” houses in the Tswapong area

of the Serowe/Palapye Sub-District.

I must admit that there is a huge backlog in the provision of teachers quarters country-

wide. Funding for their construction has been provided under the primary education


Mr Speaker, according to the Central District 7/14/2011 development Plan 5,28 teachers

quarters will be constructed in the Tswapong area of Serowe/Palapye sub-district during

this plan period. These will be developed as follows:-

SCHOOL                         NO. AND TYPE OF                  PROPOSED

                               PROPOSED                         COMPLETION DATE



RATHOLO                        7 x LA2 (2 bedrooms)             2000 - 2003

MOLEBATSI                      4 x LA2 (2 bedrooms)             1999 - 2000

                               3 x LA2 (2 bedrooms)             2001 - 2002

LERALA                         4 x LA2 (2 bedrooms)             1998 - 1999
30th November, 1998                        4        Response to the President Speech

                              3 x LA2 (2 bedrooms)          2001 - 2002

MAUNATLALA                    4 x LA2 (2 bedrooms)          1998 - 1999

                              3 x LA2 (2 bedrooms)          2000 - 2001

This is between the financial years 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/2001 and 2001/2002.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.



                                     AND 1997/98

MR T.D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH) asked the Minister of Local Government,

Lands and Housing to tabulate the number of institutional housing units built during the

financial year 1996/97 and 1997/98 from the annual allocations for the District Housing

Budget Component, and say how many units will be built during 1998/98 financial year

for public officers   other than school teachers, in the wards of Lecheng, Goo-Tau,

Ratholo, Lerala, Selolwane and Maunatlala; the Minister should further indicate if there

is any shortage of housing units to cater for the total staff establishment and when he

proposes to implement a programme which will eliminate the short fall.


(MRS PHUMAPHI): Mr Speaker, my Ministry is not directly responsible for the

construction of institutional housing countrywide. This is handled by the respective

Ministries and Departments for example Health, Police, Immigration, Customs and

Excise and Botswana Defence Force. My Ministry is therefore only responsible for

District Housing Programme which caters for the needs of the four local authorities,
30th November, 1998                           5         Response to the President Speech

namely District Administration, Tribal Administration, District Councils and Land


There were no houses built in Lecheng, Goo-Tau, Ratholo, Lerala, Maunatlala and

Selolwane during 1996/97 and 1997/98 financial years. In the case of Maunatlala

Subordinate Land Board, there are two types of houses under construction, namely one

LA1 house and one LA2 house.

My Ministry had allocated P6 920 000.00 for housing in the Central District during

1997/98 financial years. Tenders have been invited for construction of 47 houses in the

various villages within the district. The construction is expected to start in the near future.

Out of 47 houses two LA2 type houses are for Maunatlala and Lerala respectively.

Mr Speaker, it is true that there is a shortage of housing, not only in Central District but

countrywide. This is being addressed through the District Housing Programme. An

allocation of P125 000,000 has been approved for the entire country under NDP 8.

In respect of financial year 1999/2000 my Ministry has made a provision of P42,740,025

available to construction 388 units. To address the problem of capacity, which has been

the delaying factor, Director of Architecture and Building Services has started engaging

direct works to be carried out by their own staff as well as by private contractors to speed

up the process.

Thank you Mr Speaker.



                                     (Resumed Debate)
30th November, 1998                          6        Response to the President Speech


(MRS PHUMAPHI): Mr Speaker, when we adjourned I was deliberating on poverty.

We should find the cause for this poverty. Experts are available who can assist us in

determining this phenomenon which retards developments, and identify the root causes

thereof. The findings of the Botswana Institute of Development and Policy Analysis

(BIDPA) are the one cause of poverty is that people are provided with the basic services

and those necessities are not evenly distributed. We have seen ways of delivering these

basic services to the people. We also have to determine the nature of these services. One

area which warrants consideration is whether the land is evenly and fairly allocated to the

people. Are basic services like education, health available to every Motswana in an

equitable manner? Does a child attending a primary school in Gaborone receive the same

facilities as a child attending school at Khwee, Goo-Tau. Shakawe, Kalkfontein etc?

Does the Gaborone child receive the same medical care as the child at Khwee, Kalkfoten

etc? In short are facilities and services equitably distributed in the country? As the

Legislative body, are our policies able to ensure even distribution of services? What can

we do to ensure this? What causes the bottlenecks? What measures should be taken to

ensure delivery of services? If we quarrel among ourselves the people will become

victims for lack of services. If the delivery is ineffective we have erred in our judgement.

Realising the error we should correct it. We waste time bickering. If Ministers or Cabinet

can bring policies to this House, I see no reason why every Parliamentarian cannot do

likewise. I am concerned that since Parliament convened, nothing on Friday private

motions has been received. Members criticise policies but offer no alternative ones.

Another reason advanced by Botswana Institute of Development and Policy Analysis
30th November, 1998                         7         Response to the President Speech

(BIDPA) is the increase in population. We were surprised to learn about the big number

of Standard Seven candidates. If you take the figure 40065 and multiply it by seven you

arrive at a figure showing the number of pupils at primary schools. Of the country‟s

population of 1.4 million the majority are children. If some 40,000 children were in one

class, this means that the other classes are big too. These figures are frightening and I

agree with the Institute‟s findings. We should note that resources do not grow at the same

rate as the population. The land, schools and hospitals cannot increase at the same rate as

the population. In any case the land never increases. I want to know what we are doing to

reduce this increase in population? I request Honourable Members and Chiefs to raise this

subject in their gatherings. Botswana is developing rapidly compared to other countries,

but poverty still exists. Our people must be taught to curb this population growth. They

should not be mislead by the population figure and assume it is small. We should also not

be misled by the percentage figures and feel that poverty is decreasing as the population

increases. If we use the percentage figure you will realise that 10 per cent in 1980 is

greater than 20 per cent in 1960. Another possible problem is the scattered nature of our

villages and settlements. We came to Parliament with an idea that services will be

provided at villages and settlement of a certain population. Could Honourable Members

go out to the people and tell them that developments are not able to cope with the demand

of multiplying villages and settlements. This aggravates the poverty dilemma including

unemployment. Yes poverty must be combated by employment, but the provision of

services also helps. When we provide services to the people, as the experts advise, we

must also identify services which can generate industries. We have to be very selective

otherwise we are wasting the scarce resources. We have to identify the value of allocating
30th November, 1998                         8         Response to the President Speech

resources to different sectors such as mining, farming, trade and business, education and

decide where the people will derive the maximum benefit. There is no place to waste the

resources because of minimal benefits. Honourable Members will agree that the

distribution of resources and services is not even. When investigations are carried out, it

is observed that the groups hit most by poverty is that of women and children. I therefore

request that resources be distributed evenly. Women should also be allocated land - a

national heritage. Setswana custom allocates land to men and sons. You will find


MR KAVINDAMA:            On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Is the Honourable

Assistant Minister implying that women are denied allocation of land as women or are

not treated like everybody? Could you please explain. We are under the impression that

women applicants are treated like every applicant.

MRS PHUMAPHI: Honourable Member‟s question is very helpful. The allocation of

land is an old practice even before independence, land was allocated to men.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Who allocated the land?

MRS PHUMAPHI: The government of the time. Land was allocated to men before

independence. Land was not taken away from those allocated prior to independence,

when the new procedures were put in place. Tradition had it that men should be allocated

land even before we knew women had equal rights. When a woman applied for land she

had to bring a husband. If she was single she had to bring her father. In the meantime the

land to be allocated decreased and there is no how we can increase it. Because most of the

land is in the hands of men, very little land is left for women. Even if we try to iron out

differences between men and women, the fact remains that the bulk of the land is
30th November, 1998                          9         Response to the President Speech

allocated to men. One way to correct this situation is to work at our culture and customs .


MR KAVINDAMA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I have learned from the

Honourable Assistant Minister how land was allocated in the past. Is there any part of any

law which discriminates against women regarding land allocation, in our time?

MRS PHUMAPHI: In my explanation, Mr Speaker, I likened land to a cake. When

distributing three parts go to say Honourable Kwelagobe and one part to me which I will

again share with Honourable Kwelagobe, who has the most share? In order to address this

issue we have to look at our culture, as to who should be entitled to the inheritance. In the

past it was men. We should tell the nation that the worst hit victims of poverty are women

and the children they look after. These women cannot make a living without land. The

women can get back the land by way of inheritance because as representatives of women

and children we can effect the changes. We are not representing men who have land. The

President said we should look at ways to improve business. One way we can improve

business and industry is through agriculture. In considering agriculture care must be taken

not to exclude women by expecting them to engage in big agricultural projects as they

have no resources. I request Agricultural extension workers to encourage women to farm

as they tour the country talking about the new agricultural policy. My Ministry has

allocated big and good land to the Ministry of Agriculture. Therefore, they should involve

women and allocate them land. There are consultants carrying out an investigation on

arable farming so as to advise us on our traditional occupation of farming. Could women

be taught sound agricultural practices because they are the cradle of the nation. We have
30th November, 1998                         10        Response to the President Speech

to give them a share without disregarding men. I wish 70 per cent of the land earmarked

for agriculture be allocated to women, as a way of reducing poverty.

Another area of reducing poverty is to provide housing to the people. There is a Bill

coming to Parliament proposing the purchasing of double story flats by the occupants,

because some of the people who occupy these flats wish to purchase them. They do not

want to pay rentals anymore; but rather pay towards ownership of property which will act

as security in their financial undertakings. I hope Members will support them. The new

graduates voiced their plea during a seminar recently held at Boipuso Hall. They

appreciated the invitation to the seminar and they hope Parliament will assist them. They

are getting discouraged because the process is taking too long to take off. I wish to appeal

to Honourable Members that we should take seriously the words of the President so that

the youth can have confidence in us.

KOOSALETSE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The Honourable Member

implies that the rental paid will enable the tenant to purchase the flat. There are people

who are occupants of ordinary houses who should not be left out when we consider this

scheme. Why the discrimination when there is a shortage of accommodation?

MRS PHUMAPHI: I thank the Honourable Member for Lobatse. We all know that

markets differ. One shop will give you goods on hire purchase system at the rate of

P10.00 per month, while the other shop will demand a monthly rate of P12.00 per month.

It is for the purchaser to decide which shop to buy from. The Salaries Commission

recommended that 15 percent of an employee‟s salary should go towards housing. This

amount will go towards mortgage payments. The tenants await anxiously the outcome of

this exercise of the purchase of flats. There is a policy of this arrangement which will be
30th November, 1998                         11        Response to the President Speech

brought to this House and I do not want to discuss it now before you read the relevant

paper. Provision of housing will reduce poverty, because once housed your misery is

reduced. Somebody without housing is like a beggar because such a person has no place

of abode. We have had a Commission appointed by His Excellency Dr Masire to

investigate the policy on Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) with the view to increase

the money loaned to people who wish to buy building materials. The amount of P3,600

has been increased to P6,000. Councils have been instructed to implement this new

policy. Some Honourable Members thought the figure was still P3,600.

My next intervention is on HIV/AIDS, and I am directing my remarks to Honourable

Members. We must all cooperate on this issue. While we may talk about this subject at

kgotla meetings and freedom squares, this is not sufficient. There are a number of

government policies which we, as leaders, are failing to put across to the people, let alone

implement. I am aware that talking to the people about this scourge is one way of dealing

with the problem. However, there is a policy of Home Based Care which we have heard

of at places like Maun etc. The death rate due to this disease is mounting. Funerals are

held every weekend and some even bury during the week. Villages such as Bobonong and

Gabane have started the practice of Home Based Care which is of great help. We are able,

as leaders, and representatives, to go to the villages and form ward committees of our

political parties. However, on the other hand we do not cooperate with the District

Commissioners to form similar structures for the project of Home Based Care. What is

our problem? I was impressed by the view expressed by Honourable Seloma that as soon

as we leave Parliament, we should for a week or two go and form Home Based Care

Committees in various places in a way to save the nation. Our people whether young or
30th November, 1998                         12        Response to the President Speech

old shun AIDS patients. The people feel that the care of AIDS patients is the

responsibility of medical staff, social workers and Community Development Officers

only. People have repeatedly been told that those patients are the responsibility of us all.

Home Based Care has been operating for some time and yet it has not taken root in many

areas in the country. People feel that Government should take the responsibility to spread

this project. Why should the people not be involved? The election of a representative is to

assist the people and not do certain things for them. Why should a person all the time

criticise Government and not undertake certain things. It is disturbing that in Gaborone

the 4 Parliamentarians have failed to form Home Based Care Committees in their wards.

This is disappointing that the leading City has not taken any action wherelse Bobonong

and Gabane have done so. Another point of concern are orphans. At the next Parliament,

Members will stand up and say, that in their constituencies there are so many orphans,

could they be assisted. Why can Members not make arrangements to have these orphans

assisted? Let us all tackle this disease. Let us look after orphans due to the disease or

motor accidents. People die daily on our roads and we have to face the problem of

reckless driving. Is there a way the Minister of Works, Transport and Communications

could investigate whether the lessons and tests undertaken by drivers are effective

enough. Are the drivers who pass competent enough? I wish to point out to the

Honourable Vice President and the Honourable Minister of Works, Transport and

Communications that the combined effects of HIV/AIDS and road accidents account the

high rate of deaths in this country. Both these two phenomena are new to this country.

Strong measures should be taken against people who cause accidents. If a driver has been

found to have been drinking, his licence should be suspended even up to a period of five
30th November, 1998                            13       Response to the President Speech

years. A driver should, by these measures, be prevented from causing an accident and

thus destroying lives. It is tantamount to say that he should kill first for steps to be taken

after lives have been lost. If somebody, when being checked is found to have been

drinking, why can steps not be taken right away? Our traffic laws should be ruthlessly

enforced, such as not stopping at a stop street, not yielding to pedestrians on a zebra

crossing etc. Driving a vehicle is like carrying a lethal weapon.

MR MFA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The light for a pedestrian crossing

shows a man only. Should not there be a sign showing a woman crossing!

MRS PHUMAPHI: Mr Speaker, please control the Honourable Member for

Sebina/Gweta     ....(Laughter) ....... I   will not answer his question! Enough on road

accidents and the traffic law. The law on the use of drugs needs a visit. The use of drugs

is on the increase and they should be stopped. They are not only dangerous for driving but

for people. Children go hungry while the father is drinking expensive drinks. Children go

to school hungry and yet they have able parents who can look after them. We should

always stop the use of drugs and intoxicating substances or alternatively look into the

Laws relating to children and make them more effective. If we cannot reduce the

operating hours of liquor outlets, at least let these facilities be operative after working

hours. Liquor should be sold for only four hours. Any business person violating these

hours should be severely punished and their licence withdrawn.

My next remarks are on Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMME‟s).

MR GABATSHWANE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. In your good

intervention, I thought you would mention the habit of some drivers who overtake other

vehicles on the left side which is wrong. The second point is that other drivers do not
30th November, 1998                           14        Response to the President Speech

yield to ambulances and fire vehicles even if their sirens are on. Government should take

harsh measures against offenders. Thank you.

MRS PHUMAPHI: I appreciate the Honourable Member‟s helpful contribution. The

Traffic Law needs strong enforcement. I am also concerned to observe an ambulance

stationary in a line, because no driver yields, and yet carrying a critically ill patient. Such

drivers should be punished. The President mentioned new measures on this subject and

women await the outcome of this project as they want to participate. Before the policy

comes to Parliament I would wish to contribute. I hope the Ministers of Commerce and

Industry and Finance and Development Planning will accord me the opportunity. I also

hope the policy will address women who are poor. If you look at the small businesses in

Botswana ..... (Interruptions) ...... Mr Speaker, please protect me.

MR SPEAKER: Order please!

MRS PHUMAPHI: Honourable Members must remember that their mothers are

women! Small businesses are operated by women with a lot of problems. Men are not

interested. When they retire they engage in drinking.


MRS PHUMAPHI: No, not many people do that, most men want big businesses. Even if

he has no resources, he will fight until the bitter end. A woman will start with a small

business so as to place bread on the table for her children. In considering small businesses

we must bear in mind that women are particularly affected because they have scarce

resources. The banks will not help them and they have no land. I request the two

Ministers to come up with a policy that will bear women in mind as they are the ones who
30th November, 1998                         15        Response to the President Speech

are engaged in small businesses. They should be protected. The other group to be assisted

are single mothers (single parents). They have immense problems.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What about us (men)?

MRS PHUMAPHI: These women are unable to get help from the fathers of those

children and yet the fathers are obliged to help in the upbringing of these children, but do

nothing. The women raise them alone. Single women parents should be assisted in this

project. Disabled people are also interested in business. They are unable to do so because

banks will not give them loans, they are not allocated land and hence they are frustrated. I

wish this policy could bear this in mind also. I am happy that the President mentioned the

fact that people will be instructed about business procedures. I hope that this education

will be directed towards women and the disabled. There are programmes tailored to assist

people, but some of these groups are excluded and cannot avail themselves of these

arrangements. Hope that when these programmes are hatched .......

KGOSIPULA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. We sometimes talk endlessly

and miss the main topic. The other day Mrs Phumaphi said that to refer to people as

cripples was uncomplimentary. (Setswana semantics) She preferred the term “disabled”.

This terminology is current. My question is “is it in order to refer to somebody as having

a disability”? My knowledge of Setswana is that one says somebody is crippled/lame. Mr

Speaker, perhaps Honourable Gabatshwane can assist us.

MRS PHUMAPHI: Thank you. The person who knows the problems is better able to

talk about these problems. It is the people who have these physical problems who prefer

the word disabled. The language is developing and is being enriched. No language is

static. The language must develop as people develop and it must evolve and develop with
30th November, 1998                          16        Response to the President Speech

the times. Some parts of the original language do not suit and apply to our terminology. I

am grateful about developments to improve trade and businesses, together with the

education that will be given to people. I hope these programmes will also assist those

people who are unemployed or have lost employment. Some of the retrenched people

have no skills with which to survive. We should as representatives of the people put

forward programmes which will benefit the people. We should implore the business

community to impart skills to their employees so that they can survive in the unforeseen

event of retrenchment - loss of earnings. This should equally apply to Government as an

employer. Government must train people and give them skills if they loose their jobs. I

hope the policy of privatisation whereby services previously provided by Government

will be passed on to the private sector. I would like to see this policy targeting the

unemployed, the poor, the disabled, the landless etc. It would be most regrettable that

when privatisation is effected, the services fall into the hands of foreigners. If this

happened it would be difficult to remove the businesses from the foreigners. Examples

can be obtained from neighbouring countries, where it is difficult to take land from

foreigners and allocate it to citizens. This reversal of land tenure displeases some other

countries. To avoid such a situation the services should be placed in the hands of

Batswana. This is my request to the Ministers of Finance and Development Planning and

Commerce and Industry. All businesses to be undertaken by the Botswana Export

Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) should go to Batswana. If foreign

investors come in, they should go into partnership with Batswana. If this is not done our

future generation will curse us as it will take a long and difficult time to undo the damage.

We must empower Batswana.
30th November, 1998                         17        Response to the President Speech

I would be failing if I did not commend the move to terminate Tirelo Sechaba (National

Service). Some of us regarded the stationing of children at distant places as unfair verging

on abuse. Some children were fortunate to stay with caring families. Others suffered.

Some were raped, assaulted, murdered and some took up drugs. Furthermore, some

developed mental illnesses and contracted diseases because of the programme. I am

happy it has been stopped. I apologise to those Batswana who benefited from the

programme and I hope they understand. The children paid dearly with their blood and we

should not do that.

MR SALESHANDO: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Is the Honourable

Member apologising, on behalf of the Government of Botswana Democratic Party, for the

atrocities which befell these children?

MR PHUMAPHI: I am apologising for the beastly people who inflicted pain on those

children. The terrible people who raped, stole from these children murdered those

children and taught them drugs. It is them that I apologise for. Government had come up

with a good policy to help the nation. Unfortunately some people with inhuman

behaviour, destroyed the programme. I am apologising for those people not Government.

My next comments are on Paragraph 49 - Sport and Recreation. We made a tax

dispensation for those business people who assisted youth in sport. These businesses had

tax cuts. Sports and Recreation include activities like various disciplines of sport, drama,

traditional dancing etc. In the past business community donated towards youth activities.

These days they do so on condition they get tax rebates. I would not wish these firms to

assist children who can help themselves and prepare their own future. I appeal to the

Minister of Finance and Development Planning to come to their aid and to make tax
30th November, 1998                           18        Response to the President Speech

rebates to those firms and companies that assist youth activities. Our children have got

talent and compete well, in music, with those from other countries. The national anthem

was composed by a Motswana who had learned music outside the country. Where shall

we get musicians like the composer of the national anthem unless we develop the talent

we have? When we preserve culture, we are leaving a heritage for posterity. Our future

generations should be proud of this legacy. In the next 50 years in Botswana, it will be

strange for people to speak English only. One will wonder as to what became of the

Batswana languages. If on the other hand you heard English and say two other languages,

you will wonder as to what happened to the other languages in Botswana. I was sad to

learn that some Batswana requested to increase radio programmes using another language

apart from Setswana and the request was turned down. I am not happy about the refusal

because the reasons for it are unclear. I wonder whether we want some of our languages

to die!

The BTA was given a mandate to serve and assist every Motswana who is equally entitled

to that service such as to be heard on the radio, their language to be preserved in this

country. They assume that their service is like any other business. The Authority was

established to represent the whole nation. Mr Speaker, ........


MAGANG): On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I just want to clarify that the point

made by the Honourable Member had been raised by another Member and I made

enquiries and I understand that evaluation of the tenders for radio broadcast in the various

regions were considered purely on economic grounds or on commercial grounds not on

cultural grounds and I thought I read in the papers too where there was an answer by the
30th November, 1998                         19        Response to the President Speech

Chairman of the BTA which is the body responsible for registration. So, there was no

question of cultural grounds for consideration of the granting of the licence and the

evaluators were not from this country, they had been given the mandate to evaluate as

consultants from outside. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MRS PHUMAPHI: I shall now speak English and say that is a serious indictment on the



MRS PHUMAPHI: I was about to speak English. I was talking about culture Paragraph

50 before the tea break. The body with the mandate to improve radio communications is

not responding to this mandate when allocating radio licences. When we address culture

we are not making the subject narrow but encompasses aspects such as language in

different parts of Botswana. It would be a pity that despite our target in Vision 2016 some

languages will not be preserved, as this Authority is unable to do so. Some people wanted

to send their messages by radio. This was denied because the programme is commercially

oriented. The commercial aspect may not develop like others as was explained by the


This Authority must understand its role and mandate. It was not established for

commercial purposes only. It was established to preserve culture, protect our

communications bearing in mind our different languages. Members of this Authority

must be worried because our radio station does not use other languages and they must

find out how other languages can be used. If they fail other members will be appointed.

They were given a big responsibility and they seem not to have studied the Act, passed by

Parliament, establishing the Authority. Mr Speaker, with your permission I shall quote
30th November, 1998                          20         Response to the President Speech

from Section 17, Functions, Powers and Duties of Authority (2) “Without derogating

from the generality of the provisions of sub-sections (1), the Authority shall: (a)    take all

reasonable   steps   to   promote    the   provision,    throughout    Botswana       of   such

telecommunication services as will satisfy all reasonable demands.

(b)    Promote the interests of consumers, purchasers, and other users of

       telecommunication services in respect of the prices charged and the quality and

       vanity of such services.”

Mr Speaker, the Authority must respect and carry out the wishes of Batswana in

preserving culture. One language should not be used at the expense of other languages.

The Authority must bear these points in mind in their operations.

MR SEBETELA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I do not fully understand the

Honourable Member. Is she saying the Authority has failed to issue licences or is she

saying that those who apply and wish to use one language should not be issued with a

licence? What happens if those denied the licence appeal? Thank you.

MRS PHUMAPHI: The Authority thinks like the Honourable Member for Palapye. The

emphasis is on commercial lines. The mandate was not commercial, but to promote an

understanding among the different people in Botswana. We can only achieve this if our

culture, our different languages are preserved. If the tenders were not aware that different

languages should be used this was not in order ......


MRS PHUMAPHI: Yes, I said so. When considering tenders the Authority must bear in

mind that their role is to foster relationship among Batswana and not concentrate on

financial returns. If they fail to do so, they are not in concert with the Act we passed as
30th November, 1998                        21        Response to the President Speech

using one language especially a foreign language is not in the best interests of Batswana.

We want all languages in Botswana to be spoken. The Authority must find a way to

address this. If they fail they must be removed and other members appointed.

My last remarks are on the year 2000 which could herald problems. We normally

associate a new year with good tidings. However, the year 2000 seems to be different. All

machines which use chips such as computers, road graders, factory machinery, mining

machinery, electricity, generators, telecommunications equipment, water pumps boosters

etc, will not function and may affect our lives adversely. The National Year 2000 Forum

has been established to co-ordinate awareness in Government offices, commercial

companies and Non-Governmental Organisations about this problem. I request

Parliamentarians to bring this awareness to all in their constituencies. This problem has

been circulated in the radio and other forms of the media so that people should know

what to do and where to seek help. Government has also engaged consultants to assist.

Even filling stations, cash registers will be affected in places such as Gumare. The

problem will affect the whole country. Everybody should know where to seek help. If one

needs new parts or new equipment, they should know where to buy it. People should not

be corned to purchase obsolete equipment or parts. Dumping of old equipment should be

avoided. Firms will sell obsolete equipment for low prices costing say P2000 for only

P800 and people will think it is a bargain. Be careful because some of this machinery will

not function in the year 2000. We want the whole nation to cooperate with us to avoid

problems in the future.

Mr Speaker, I wish to comment on a few policies such as housing. Honourable Members

commented on some of these issues and I wish to respond to some comments already
30th November, 1998                         22        Response to the President Speech

made. Some Members wanted to know how many houses Botswana Housing Corporation

has sold since the inception of the exercise. There are 374 houses sold to Batswana, yet

we are aware of “fronting” even in businesses whereby businesses preserved for

Batswana pretend to be the owners, while in fact the business belongs to a foreigners.

Such people enjoy results for a short time and then lament. A soft loan has been arranged

to enable Botswana Housing Corporation to build 86 houses at Kasane, Francistown 116,

Gaborone 112, Maun 150. This soft loan of P50 million was arranged with China. People

ask what the function of National Conservation Strategy is because the country is not tidy.

It is amazing since the body was established to conserve the environment. We have

established, in Parliament, Waste Management to dispose of waste and rubbish. Is

sanitation also rubbish disposal?

HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is conservation of the environment.

MRS PHUMAPHI: National Conservation Strategy was instrumental in the

establishment of Waste Management which is under the Ministry of Local Government,

Lands and Housing. We passed laws here some involving the conveyance of dangerous

waste material across international boundaries. We have signed an International

Biological Diversity Treaty. National Conservation Strategy has established a National

Biological Diversity Authority which will have independent committees including

Government. We have signed the Wetlands Convention. In view of this we have put up

projects under the Wetlands Policy and Strategy. A meeting which was to spread the

information, was recently held in Francistown. The Attorney General‟s Chambers is busy

drafting legislation on Environmental Impact Assessment. The legislation will control the

impact on the environment by any commercial undertaking. Mr Speaker, we have to find
30th November, 1998                         23      Response to the President Speech

ways to strengthen National Conservation Strategy so that it can oversee the other

Government Committees. I want to explain to Honourable Members how it functions. We

have been trying to find out the number of plots allocated since we used the new system.

The number is 22,228. Gaborone tops the list of these areas having 10,351, Francistown

3,405, Selibe Phikwe 2,614, Lobatse 2,531, Jwaneng 1,627, Sowa 914, Kasane 786.

When Honourable Members comment, they imply they are not aware of the figures or

nothing has been done. Of these plots 9,325 were allocated to SHHA applicants i.e.

people with low income. Applicants for this scheme are entered into a computer and are

allocated plots on a Direct Grant System. People entered on the computer and are

automatically allocated plots on the first some first allocation method. People do not

choose plots. Some plots are reserved for commercial purposes and others for offices;

schools. Computers are fair and do not cheat. If one applies several times, the computer

will pick this up. The number 29,000 could increase people who apply several times.

Some are reserved for commercial purposes and others are for clinics or government

offices etc. On 26th November, 388 plots were processed by direct allocation, handed

over to different Government Departments. 365 plots allocated to Councils, parastatals

205 and Botswana Housing Corporation 5556, Debswana 705. If Members stand up and

say people were allocated plots unfairly, they must justify their claim by quoting name

and place. When we think about the allocation of plots we must compare the number of

plots available with the number of applicants.

There were 22,228 plots which were serviced and of these 15,719 were allocated. This

means that the plots are running short. People awaiting allocation are 29,509 broken

down - Gaborone 15,933, Francistown 4845. I do not think it is necessary to enumerate
30th November, 1998                          24         Response to the President Speech

all the numbers. The idea is to demonstrate the acute shortage of plots because the land is


MINISTER        OF     FINANCE        AND      DEVELOPMENT             PLANNING         (MR

KEDIKILWE): On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Could the Honourable Member

explain that in view of the fact that computers will be used and do not cheat, will

computers detect people who apply more than once? The number 29,000 could mean

that some people have applied more than once. Thank you.

MRS PHUMAPHI: The Honourable Minister has stated a fact in the figure of 29,000

that some people may have applied 10 times or applied at Gaborone, Jwaneng, Lobatse,

Selebi Phikwe, Sowa etc. An applicant may have applied for a residential, commercial,

industrial plots at one centre. In allocating a residential plot we check whether the

applicant was ever allocated a residential plot. If they have a plot we do not allocate a plot

to them. Numbers are increasing and we try to avoid double allocation. This means that

an applicant should not get a plot in Francistown and another in Gaborone. I have spoken

at length I shall yield to other Members. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MR KGOSIPULA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I wish also, to comment on the speech

made by the President. The speech is poor, no meaning and non-inspiring. The

President‟s speech is to abdicate his responsibilities. It is most discouraging that the

President does not promise anything to the nation; such as overcoming the problems

which have been experienced by his predecessor, and his party. He then made some paper

promises which will never be fulfilled. He said the President is party to the policies and

there is no indication that the policies and problems will change. He is saying that he is a

Member of the Botswana Democratic Party, he will carry out BDP policies and there will
30th November, 1998                          25        Response to the President Speech

be no change. One of the promises he makes and I quote “In return I promise to do my

duty, to cooperate with all and consult at all times.” A hollow promise!


MR KGOSIPULA: Honourable Mr Gabaake, please excuse me. He promises to consult

everybody. We had a Parliamentary Radio programme which was in progress during the

tenures of office of the last two Presidents. The first step the President and his Vice took

was to terminate the programme without consultation. His promise of consultation holds

no water and there are instances to show that the President and his Vice does not consult.

They merely issue instructions. Even the Members of the Botswana Democratic Party are

complaining about the cessation of the Radio programme. The nation is equally unhappy.

They complain quietly because they are afraid of the leader. One of the BDP Members

said that the Parliamentary Radio Programme was terminated by the Chief because he

cannot speak Setswana. I told him to go and repeat this in Parliament. People are



MR KGOSIPULA: We are talking about consultation which means bringing in other

people. Batswana are used to consultation and it is their way of life. But when we ......


MR KGOSIPULA: Because you have not explained to the people why the Radio

programme was stopped our explanation to them is that it was a political move. Even

Parliament was not advised. When Honourable Kedikilwe was in the Office of the

President, he came up with the idea at All Party caucus and it was turned down by both

the BNF and the BDP‟s. You gave up. When the new ones came in even without a word
30th November, 1998                        26        Response to the President Speech

to you, they terminated the programme. One Member inquired about the programme and

questioned the Vice President at one of his decision meetings. No explanation is

forthcoming. The only street explanation we got is that some people were abusing the

programme. I do not think that this is an official explanation. It would be a very stupid

reasoning. I think it was stopped for some other reason like the FAP scheme was abused

by one or two people. That would not be a good reason to terminate the FAP programme.

At the moment the Vice President has taken an office for unknown reasons. I will come to

that subject.


MR KGOSIPULA: The Leader of the House is at his office listening. I wish to challenge

the Vice President today to tell the nation why he stopped the Parliamentary Radio

Programme. I am apprehensive that oppression is slowly creeping into this country. The

Vice President must explain to Parliament why the programme was stopped. The

programme was ended for political reasons as evidenced by the way Radio Botswana is

operated. From April, May, June to July the station is run by BNF. Dr Koma is always

offered to use the station. Dr Koma used the Radio station to destroy his party. BNF news

comes is aired early in the morning displacing regular programmes. Dr Koma is offered

all the time even to organise his party meetings to the exclusion of programmes people

wanted. This is why we contend that the programme was terminated for political reasons.

People yearn for the programme and Members of the BDP cannot offer a reason for the


Mr Speaker, I wish to commend Honourable Dingake for the able way he spoke. He

displayed good qualities as the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition
30th November, 1998                         27        Response to the President Speech

must speak immediately after his counterpart - the President finishes addressing the

nation. We applaud him for his ability. We should also thank him .......

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Once again, the Honourable Member for Kgatleng East is

being asked not to raise his voice when he makes a remark or something like that because

it eclipses what the Honourable Member for Mogoditshane is trying to say.

MR KGOSIPULA: After thanking Honourable Dingake, I wish to address Paragraph 4

or HIV/AIDS which the President talked about mentioning his involvement in the

campaign to combat it. I thank the President for his efforts and assure this House that

BCP will support all steps taken to fight this epidemic. Unfortunately, measures taken are

belated. The MTP2 programme was ready in 1996 and the question is why was it not

implemented earlier? This is the problem with projects which are conceived and planned

but are not implemented in time. This is the tendency of BDP to view ideas from young

Members such as Honourable Sebetela assisted by Mrs Phumaphi.

Their efforts are not well received because they are regarded as novices. Those problems

indicate .......


MR KGOSIPULA: Honourable Members like Mr Mfa make an effort. Mrs Phumaphi

came up with an idea which was thwarted by the party. She gave up. She came up with

the idea of the human development of the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs - that it

should be split. The Party poured cold water over the suggestion. Both Mrs Phumaphi and

Mr MfA once brought up the idea of ITC which fell on deaf ears. Honourable Mfa

brought about a matter concerning Section 77 of the Constitution. The idea was accepted

after Honourable Mfa got support from Honourable Dabutha. The subject was equal
30th November, 1998                         28        Response to the President Speech

treatment of all tribes. The same applies to a motion from the Opposition which all failed.

We are unable to express ourselves and so we are completely discouraged. If political

issues are raised such as Honourable Kokorwe‟s which do not benefit the people, funds

will be expended in touring the whole country, following that motion. Such a motion was

not opposed by anybody and in fact Parliament agreed on it. Why waste money and time

on an issue nobody opposed, while on the other hand ideas expressed by Members such

as Honourable Mfa receive no attention. You run around the country side conveying the

impression that you are consulting. The impression is given that you accept ideas,

beneficial to the nation. Once accepted and agreed to, nothing is done. Sometimes

motions agreed to, become topics for campaigns. Yet such ideas never see the light of the

day by way of implementation.

Mr Speaker, I shall now address Paragraph 5 on international affairs. We support the

stand taken by the President vis-a-vis developments in Nigeria. Bringing democracy to

Nigeria is a commendable step. The problem is about Lesotho. Non consultation took

place regarding steps taken about Lesotho. Honourable Dingake was summoned and

briefed, but Parliament was never consulted. The Chiefs were not consulted. The nation

was not consulted and are unhappy. This also goes to the Members of the BDP. I wish to

quote Honourable Sebetela„s words to the press. Unfortunately Honourable Sebetela has

since somersaulted. He has been stifled and said something else. This shows the

insincerity of BDP .....


MR KGOSIPULA: We know why you will not talk about the subject ..... (laugher) ....

Listen to Honourable Sebetela‟s statement to the press.
30th November, 1998                        29        Response to the President Speech


MR KGOSIPULA: We wish to indicate your lack of consultation Mr Speaker, this is

very serious. One of the basic tenets of democracy has been violated, mainly consultation.

It is not a matter to be swept under the carpet, Honourable Merafhe. You always preach

and boast about the four principles. Honourable Sebetela never refuted or challenged the

statement in the press. So we have to take it that he made the statement. The heading

states, “Sebetela takes Khama to task.”

MR SPEAKER: Honourable Member, you have not sought my permission.

MR KGOSIPULA: My apologies Mr Speaker. May I have permission to quote

Honourable Sebetela. The heading is, “Sebetela takes Khama to task.”

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Who are you referring to?

MR KGOSIPULA: The Press says Khama

HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is Khama (Pronounced “Kh” as “Kg”)

MR KGOSIPULA: This is Khama


MR KGOSIPULA: That is the statement in English.


MR KGOSIPULA: This is not my statement. This is what is written here. “In the letter

Sebetela comes out strongly against the Government decision to send Botswana Defence

Force soldiers on a Southern African Peace keeping mission in Lesotho without the

knowledge of the Members of Parliament. This he says negates our nation‟s effort to

build consultative, transparent and accountable society in line with the aspirations of

Vision 2016.” This he said before he was reprimanded. You recollect Honourable
30th November, 1998                         30        Response to the President Speech

Sebetela that we once met at Broadhurst Motors and you said, “Kgosipula there will be

chaos in Parliament - - - (Laughter) - - - - if BDP acts in this manner. If BDP is not

careful they will get the wrath of Boyce Sebetela”.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: I am not Honourable Mrs Phumaphi!

MR KGOSIPULA: “I am not Honourable Mfa who they toy with. This issue they will

get to understand Sebetela”. We were at Broadhurst Motor ..... (Laughter) ....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: To buy vehicles?

MR KGOSIPULA: To buy vehicles at Broadhurst Motors .... (Laughter) ....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Through the scheme ....(Laughter) .....

MR KGOSIPULA: Mr Speaker, with your permission may I quote Honourable

Sebetela‟s last words, “The letter concludes, with a stern request for an apology from the

Office of the President to both Parliament and the public.” These are his words and other

BDP members who are afraid of the Chief .....(Laughter) .... People have complicated

matters by taking a Bamangwato Chief and made him Leader of the Party. Even in the

party, they regard him as a Chief. They fear him and cannot correct him.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Respectable Mongwato!

MR KGOSIPULA: In their interventions in Parliament, they have to address the Chief

with respect. They have problems        .... (Laughter)   .... So BDP members are so

unscrupulous that the young Members are not allowed to express their views freely. We

cannot govern the country in this way. Parliament is merely told and has no teeth.

Anybody who utters words contrary to the views of BDP will not be nominated for the

elections. This is improper because people are not free to speak. There is no exchange of

views, consultations so that divergent views are reconciled. The end result will be a
30th November, 1998                        31          Response to the President Speech

decision of all concerned. We cannot survive on a system of instructions in a democratic

state. We are told that the soldiers were sent to Lesotho because of a request/invitation

from the Lesotho Government. It is my view that the invitation which is purported to

come from the Prime Minister of Lesotho, in fact came from the political party there.


MR KGOSIPULA: I do not deny, but he stood for the party, because if investigations

were carried out ....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Did the Minister represent a party?

MR KGOSIPULA: Yes he represented a party. It is difficult to imagine that the

disturbances in Lesotho were not an outburst of the views of the people there. People lost

lives, property destroyed and this could cause a change of government. We have to be

careful who we support in other countries as the new government may not view Botswana

favourably. We may lose relations with the future government in Lesotho. These points

must be considered before action is taken and not assume that as a party in power we can

do as we please and inform Parliament later. We take it that when Parliament is

consulted, the nation is consulted. When Chiefs are consulted the nation is consulted.

Everybody should have been a stake holder in this matter.

MR SEBETELA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Would the Honourable

Member say whether this issue which was militarily sensitive could have enabled

consultation with the nation? Does he not think the best approach which is our request,

that instead of consultation we should have been briefed in advance if you were in power.

What is your view in the light of the circumstances?
30th November, 1998                        32          Response to the President Speech

MR KGOSIPULA: I am not sure how to answer Honourable Sebetela in view of the

views he expressed. Was he not serious when he expressed his views? I take it that he

meant his word. . . .

HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) You go and seek the paper and pay him.

KGOSIPULA: I was physically with Honourable Sebetela. This is not hearsay . . .


MR KGOSIPULA: We were not at the bar. I took it that Honourable Sebetela was

serious in expressing his views. To answer you I should say it represents a major policy

shift. You cannot at the spur of the moment, decide to send an army to a foreign country

without proper sanctioning of the relevant authorities. The action has after effects which

may harm this country. All these things should be considered. South Africa consulted its

Parliament before despatching soldiers to Lesotho. What is that secrecy here which was

not in South Africa. Why did you not consult Parliament here? I agree with Honourable

Sebetela when he says the Executive takes Parliament as a rubber stamp.. Arrogance of

the Executive Honourable Sebetela, I agree with you.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Arrogance of the Executive do you agree?


MR KGOSIPULA: Arrogance of the Executive - the Pre Cabinet! Arrogance! They

believe they can do anything they like because they are in power. Honourable Sebetela

these actions are creating problems in this country. We must condemn in no uncertain

terms, the actions of Cabinet. The country does not belong to Cabinet. They have been

given a mandate for a limited time to run government and must consult all the time. We
30th November, 1998                           33         Response to the President Speech

have not allowed anarchy to reign supreme, making decisions which we shall be

answerable for in future when they are gone.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Where will they have gone to?

MR MFA: Mr Speaker, I seek clarification.

MR KGOSIPULA: What is the matter Kabila?

MR MFA: Mr Speaker, clarification please because you - - -


MR MFA: You dissidents!

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What did you say?

MR MFA: You BCP Members, the day you take over government if ever you do . . .

MR MABILETSA: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Honourable Member is

imputing improper motives against the Honourable Members this side. He is calling us

“digogelathoko” (dissidents). I demand that he withdraw that word ..... (Laughter) ....

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I have a problem Honourable Members especially when

you have to be expressing concepts in Setswana. Obviously “gogelathoko”, I would like

to say would tend to offend as against “baganetsi” “(Opposition Members)”. So I do not

know what should be the proper word that you accept. And I would ask the Honourable

Members that, in your expression of whatever you want to say in Setswana, be very

careful because some words are distasteful. Therefore, try and avoid offending others. I

would like to say that, this is much as I can say because “gogela thoko” means you are

disagreeing, so ..... (Laughter) ....... Let us hear your gogela thoko.
30th November, 1998                         34        Response to the President Speech

MR MFA: My question is if BCP took over government and the country is attacked and

it is necessary for the President and Cabinet to make a decision, will his government wait

to recall Parliament and the nation to consult while people are being attacked and killed?

HONOURABLE MEMBER: That is the procedure.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Nobody acts like you.

MR MFA: You talked about consultation. Did you want to be recalled?

MR KGOSIPULA: If there are hostilities in the country the President is duty bound to

consult Parliament. This is what we expect, in terms of the constitution. If you disregard

the constitution please explain. BCP will follow the constitution as you know we shall

take over power. In conclusion about the Lesotho situation, I wish to say that BCP is

against the use of force.

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: You who were fighting in Palapye!

MR KGOSIPULA: We are against use of force. If you will hold your horse Mr Kabila I

shall explain. We were not given an opportunity at the time to examine the facts existing

at the time in Lesotho. I am proceeding. Paragraph 11 shows that the economy of the

country is improving. Unfortunately the lives of Batswana are left behind. While the

economy is growing - money wise, the state of the lives of Batswana is not improving

correspondingly. The BCP is of the view that despite the growth of the economy the

people‟s lives are not improving because policies at hand are not directed towards

improving the people‟s welfare. Let us take for example organisation of Government

which were established to help the people have a share in the economy. Banks will not

assist low income people. They are not acceptable because they have no collateral. These

people the banks will not consider. Such people are excluded from the economy. If you
30th November, 1998                       35       Response to the President Speech

take the National Development Bank, the policy now is that they make loans of P20,000

upwards. Low income people are automatically excluded. The old system has been

changed ...

MR SEBETELA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Could Honourable Kgosipula

tell us of any country which emerged from poverty and in 32 years has improved the

human development indices used by the United Nations to the same extent as ours or

done better.

MR KGOSIPULA: The question you ask could be begged by a similar question I can

put it to you by saying which country with the same economy as Botswana with a similar

small population, with the same degree of poverty, same unemployment, you will be

unable to name that country. Countries like Singapore, Malaysia have different

economies and bigger populations but they have established programmes that benefit the

people. Which country is reputed to be as rich as Botswana? There is no country as rich

as Botswana, and has people as poor as Batswana. Honourable Sebetela you are

comparing incomparable situations. National Development Bank has excluded people

with low income for five years. It means that in that period a good number of Batswana

had nowhere to go to for help to engage in small industries or small commercial

enterprises. During that period a number of foreigners flocked into the country to fill

those businesses etc. ear marked for Batswana. Even organisations like the Botswana

Development Corporation which is supposed go into partnership with Batswana engage

in big commercial undertaking amounting to hundred thousands of Pula in which

Batswana cannot participate. The investment fund cannot help small entrepreneurs, who

are many in number. We have repeatedly talked about the problem of Financial
30th November, 1998                          36         Response to the President Speech

Assistance Programme and how it fails to meet the demands of the people. Again the

problem is the contribution of the people.

MR SEBETELA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Would the Honourable

Kgosipula say that when they take over Government will they have programmes which

are all perfect without problems. Will Batswana have no complaints; if that is the case

then you can govern because yours will be an ideal government. Please answer me as the

reply will appear in the radio.

MR KGOSIPULA: Honourable Sebetela is aware of the fact that policies are formulated

with an end in mind. When policies are made errors or shortcomings may not be apparent,

but will be revealed during implementation and corrected. When the Financial Assistance

Programme was established in 1980 it was revised twice, but the shortcomings have not

been eradicated.

MR MABILETSA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The problem Honourable

Kgosipula is talking about is that if an applicant wants P75,000 he is given P50,000 by

FAP and the applicant must find P25,000 as a deposit. If the applicant fails to deposit the

sum, the application fails. Our contention is that FAP should give the applicant the

P50,000 and lend the applicant the P25,000. Agreements for the loan can be entered into.

This is the solution. You must be innovative, Honourable Merafhe, this is what we are

saying, if you cannot be innovative, then it is too bad, hard luck.

KGOSIPULA: We shall have policies and if flaws are detected, they will be rectified to

enable implementation. Policies are not useful if they have flaws which are talked about

in Parliament.
30th November, 1998                          37        Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I am sure you are very much interested in what the

Honourable Member for Mogoditshane is putting across. I do not want to speak for him

but it is worrying for consistent point of interruptions or whatever, you ought to do so

rather sparingly because you are interfering with the flow of his contribution.

MR KGOSIPULA: Yes, Honourable Sebetela, policies are formulated which could be

helpful to the people, but we admit that no policy can be 100 per cent perfect, it must

have some faults. Once these faults are discovered they must be corrected immediately so

that the policy can achieve its objective. Some policies are merely propaganda for the

elections. Such policies bear no fruit and people do not benefit from them. When policies

fail, we blame the people for not being industrious. What concerns me is that the

President has not made any mention about changes in the administration of SMME‟s so

that low-income applicants can be accommodated. If the programme accommodated these

low-income or poor people they would contribute to the economy and thus reduce the

burden on Government to support them through other schemes. It would appear

Government is only interested in big businesses amounting to millions of Pula and

ignores the small enterprises. Big businesses lack the skills and thus fail to perform, while

small ones because they are capital intensive are better achievers. National Development

Plan 8 bears testimony to this in that it states that big enterprises using much money do

not perform as small ones. Mr Speaker, allow me to quote from National Development

Plan 8 Page 158, “Small scale projects accounted for 92 percent of the projects but

received 34 percent of the total funds. They planned to create 14,000 jobs. Medium and

large scale projects received 66 percent out of the funds and were projected to create

33,000 jobs. Small scale job creation worked out at over 3,800 per job while medium and
30th November, 1998                         38        Response to the President Speech

large scale projects worked out at over P12,500 per job”. This means that the more the

money is invested in large scale projects, the less the number of jobs created. Admittedly

the large scale projects create jobs and could possibly create other secondary industries -

hence more jobs. Small scale projects should not be ignored. They create more jobs and

hence should receive similar attention. The creation of jobs contributes to the economy

and reduces the burden on government and also reducing unemployment. This is to bear

out my contention that the economy is performing well and yet poverty is rife. One point

commonly discussed is the capacity of government to deliver. Plans are made for projects

but the non - implementation is painful to the people. This implies that no projects are

made for the people. Government is comfortable with this non-delivery. Every time the

President or the Minister of Finance and Development Planning addresses Parliament

they talk about the lack of implementation of projects. Yearly speeches mention problems

of implementation and plans are being made to overcome the problem. This is one of the

problems Government is failing to solve. As a result people are unable to contribute to the

economy of the country. Projects are there but they are not being implemented.

Committees are established every year about implementation but to no avail - no results.

The President on Paragraph 13 states, with the permission of the Speaker, “Some of the

measures include the recent establishment of a Committee of Ministers to oversee the

work of the Standing Committee of officials on project implementation”. This means that

there has all along been a Committee of Officials to monitor the implementation of

projects. Now another Committee of Ministers is established to oversee the Officials

Committee! Last year we were told that there was a High Level Consultative Committee

chaired by the President. Previously we were told that it was intended to start up a Unit of
30th November, 1998                           39         Response to the President Speech

Implementation at the Department of Architectural and Buildings |Services (DABS). At

the end you do not know where you stand. There are several committees on the same

issue. You are not sure whether the problems of implementation are due to shortage of

staff, or the inefficiency of the staff entrusted with implementation of projects. You seem

not to be sure where the problems lies. Why do you not pause and ponder and find where

the total capacity implementation problem is located. If it is shortage of staff, find more

officers, if it‟s resources find the resources, if it is inefficiency of officers, fire them and

replace them. There is no point in establishing committees every year which consume

funds, time with no results in sight. Next year will be the same story as evidenced by

speeches of 1995 to 1998. The same story will be repeated at the budget speech. There

must be a cause for this problem. Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is convinced that the

problem is due to the fact that there is no control from the top. There is no discipline in

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). There is no Government. What is painful is the fact

that funds are made available, projects are not implemented this year, next year and so on.

Should we seek “diviners” to identify the problem. BCP realises that there is no control

from the top, no control from Cabinet and no direction. No Minister knows what is

happening in his/her Ministry. We know the Ministers and sometimes we converse with

them and ask why projects are not implemented and yet funds have been released, they

reply that they have no control/hold on Permanent Secretaries. I cannot mention names.

They say that sometimes you tell a receptionist to call a Permanent Secretary and the

reply is the Permanent Secretary has been in England for the last two weeks. This shows

that the Minister is completely in the dark, about his Ministry. BDP created those

problems. Ministers should be responsible and take responsibility of their Ministries.
30th November, 1998                          40        Response to the President Speech

They should supervise their officers directly. Permanent Secretaries, Chief Executives of

Councils, Directors should all be employed on contract terms and be more responsible.

They should know that if the Minister is not re-elected, because of non-delivery the

Permanent Secretary should know that he has not performed and thus his contract is


HONOURABLE MEMBER: We cannot control as you also failed to control BNF and

you fled!

KGOSIPULA: Yes, but tell the nation that you have failed to control Permanent

Secretaries. Own up and stop deceiving us that you are in control and you are not aware

of what is happening in your Ministries.


MR KGOSIPULA: Excuse me Sir, I do not intend to offend you. It is regrettable that

you Ministers are not in control. I wish to appeal to the press. Focus sees Ministers and

Parliamentarians receiving good salaries and doing nothing. The focus is on you. The

focus is not on people entrusted with the responsibility and paid handsomely and yet not


I was looking at the White Paper on the salaries of Civil Servants. Honourable Nkate will

argue that the Permanent Secretary is paid for his responsibility and skill. The basic salary

of a Permanent Secretary is P16,000 a month, far higher than a Minister‟s. The Permanent

Secretary‟s salary is thrice the Parliamentarian‟s. We do not begrudge the Permanent

Secretary‟s responsibility, skill and salary. The question is, is their salary commensurate

with the service, and to the nation? If this is not the case, they are robbing this nation.

They are paid P16,000 a month plus P2,400 a month car allowance which is 15 per cent
30th November, 1998                         41            Response to the President Speech

of the salary plus entertainment allowance like Parliament used to ....... (Inaudible) .....

people. At the end of the month a Permanent Secretary is paid P19,144 and thus cannot

respect the Minister.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is the Minister‟s folly!

MR KGOSIPULA: Jakes where would you get so much money? Nowhere. When there

are no roads, no water, no clinic, the Permanent Secretary is not answerable. Honourable

Nkate answers, hoping to win the elections. BCP says that some people are entrusted with

responsibility but they are not performing. They are not controllable. You allow them to

do as they please. This may not be all of them who do as they please. This may not be all

of them. However all Ministries are failing to deliver.


MR KGOSIPULA: You have employed them and should control them Honourable

Nkate. You must accept the blame and responsibility. When you mention a civil servant

by name you are told that you may not do that because the civil servant cannot answer for

himself, talk to the Minister. This is what you say. This situation must be attended to and

corrected. If a Law is necessary let it be passed so that a Minister can terminate the

services of non-performing officers. We cannot afford to have people who are not

carrying out his duties; because the Minister is expected to deliver in 5 years. The

Permanent Secretary is not answerable and after the age of 45 years can retire. These

people steal from the nation for services not rendered. I wish the media could address this

issue of people who are not serving the nation. I am not disturbed if the media attacks us.

It is their duty to do so. They must point their pens at those Executives who say to

themselves, when the time comes, my monthly salary is safeguarded. I am not required to
30th November, 1998                         42         Response to the President Speech

make explanations at the kgotla. You never summon these people to the kgotla to go and

answer questions or explain their non - performance.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They just sit in their offices.

MR KGOSIPULA: When you are in trouble, you do not know what to say to them. Mr

Speaker, I wish that this subject be discussed. If our politics goes on like this we shall

have problems. Politics should not cloud performance. Most of the top civil servants like

Permanent Secretaries, Chief Executives, Directors carry BDP membership cards and

cannot be controlled.


MR KGOSIPULA: Honourable Nkate, please wait, you will speak later. You cannot

discipline them because they are members of your party. I am informed that they drop

cards so that people get to know that they belong to your party. Politics is involved and

people are discouraged because there is evidence that some want to serve the nation

regardless of party affiliation. There is an article which depicts government in bad light.

Nobody refuted the article and it can therefore be assumed that the article tells the truth.

The article says that these officials are staunch BDP members, and going to contest

primary Parliamentary/Council seats.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: In the civil service?

MR KGOSIPULA: Honourable Nkate, I say that the media says top civil servants whose

mistakes affect junior officers.


MR KGOSIPULA: Honourable Merafhe please hold your horse. Honourable Nkate

these words indicate that ......
30th November, 1998                           43        Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! you are talking about some reporting in the newspaper

relating to some senior hierarchy of the civil service, the very people we know cannot

refute that in an open forum like this one and I would hope that you would do that with

some circumspection if you want us to know that some paper reported something because

those people will not be called upon to refute what the paper says much as they would

have liked to do so.

MR KGOSIPULA: Mr Speaker, I am not about to quote names. I am pointing out

attitudes which could destroy the morale in the public service. But the Cabinet when

confronted with such articles should refute them, in public, otherwise the articles will be

taken to be true especially if names are mentioned. These articles go unchallenged. Not

even Government will take action of rebuttal and hence articles are taken to be true.


MR KGOSIPULA: What I want to underline is that if it is known that you are a party

member being a civil servant, a fact which should be concealed then your future is bright,

if not you have problems. This makes life difficult for the junior officers, because their

seniors are contesting high political position. These actions demoralise the civil service.

They lack direction, performance goes down. These things happen in front of you and you

take no action. Such acts destroy productivity. The net results are ....


NKATE): On a point of clarification. Mr Speaker, I agree with the Honourable Member

for Mogoditshane in the views that he expresses about the importance of a neutral civil

service. I would like however for him to reconcile these views that he is expressing with

some of the statements that have been reported in the Press over the years, especially last
30th November, 1998                        44        Response to the President Speech

year when I recall Honourable Rantao and Honourable Dingake were quoted in political

rallies, one in Kasane and another in Bobonong saying that the BNF there would take

power in the coming general elections because they are in control of the civil service and

whether the BNF took any trouble to refute those allegations which were widely reported.

MR KGOSIPULA: Honourable Nkate is referring to some words which he alleges were

uttered by some people. I know nothing about those statements. Unless you can quote

words spoken by Honourable Dingake in person, we cannot comment on mere


HONOURABLE MEMBER: Have you got evidence? Have you got a copy of the


MR KGOSIPULA: I have got those paper in my possession and can show them to you

Honourable Nkate. You are merely speculating as we do not control any part of the civil



MR KGOSIPULA: I was about to say ..... (Interruptions) .....

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order!

MR KGOSIPULA: Wait Honourable Nkate, we will talk tomorrow. The result is that

District Councils which are part of the government are failing to perform and effect

developments in the villages. Members including Honourable Sebego admit that Councils

are failing to effect progress and implement developments in the villages. Honourable

Magang, Kwelagobe, Kokorwe and Mokgothu come from my District. They bear clear

testimony that the Kweneng District Council is failing dismally yet funds are available.

An example is the implementation of the Revised National Education Policy -
30th November, 1998                           45          Response to the President Speech

Classrooms have no doors. Educated youth going back to the Council areas will find very

antiquated facilities. The procedures are not effective and out dated.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You found a rusted system at BNF.

MR KGOSIPULA: When they find a rusted system they will improve it like the young

BDP members did with people like Honourable Sebetela despite being strongly

disciplined. So the professionals at the Councils .....


MR KGOSIPULA: Hold your horse Honourable Nkate.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You have tasted good things.

MR KGOSIPULA: When these young professionals serve in the Councils they

displayed their skills, but for lack of co-operation become frustrated. They learn that there

is no urgency in the work place, still and just earn salaries for little work done. In addition

they lose confidence in their seniors. Mr Speaker, something must be done to improve the

performance of the public service. As said earlier, senior civil servants should be

employed on contract terms given targets to achieve, Ministers empowered to discipline

and control Permanent Secretaries. Ministers must take full responsibility and

accountability of their Ministries. Ministers should not hide behind actions of the Director

of Public Service Management. The Minister must lead his Ministry without fear and


My next subject is the working group which the President referred to, in his speech. The

findings of this group will come to Parliament. There was no need for the Task Force, as

the circumstances surrounding these enterprises are well known to us. Everything is

known even during the discussions on Vision 2016. It was an unnecessary waste of
30th November, 1998                           46        Response to the President Speech

money and time to establish the Task Force. There are ways small enterprises can be

assisted, but nothing is being done to realise this objective. We learned from the Minister

of Commerce and Industry about FAP. He made projections that in the last 12 months

small enterprises received P69 million, the medium enterprises P27 million and the large

one P92 million. He also mentioned the number of jobs to be created. Despite his

projections, the problems about FAP are still in existence. What action has been taken to

approve the loans so that the projects may take off altogether. In view of these problems

we can hardly believe in these projections for the next 12 months and approve funds to

support them, because these projects always collapse.

Mr Speaker, I wish now to speak about paragraph 41 - Roads. There is a project in

Mogoditshane, to improve and tar roads.


MR KGOSIPULA: When something is done, it is done, and we show appreciation. The

main topic is side tracked and becomes political issue. Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact

that the Mogoditshane roads are being improved. It is a big project. This is happening in

Palapye, Mahalapye, etc. In Mogoditshane the kilometres we have been awarded,

including Mmopane is far too little because of the time it has .....


MR KGOSIPULA: You talk about 33,000, while the population figure is over 40,000.


MR KGOSIPULA: What are you talking about, we are close on 50,000.

30th November, 1998                        47        Response to the President Speech

MR KGOSIPULA: In Mogoditshane, what are you talking about, check your figures. I

wish to point out that the mileage is too small. As an interim measure, Mogoditshane

should have been allocated 100 kilometres. Mogoditshane cannot be referred to in

isolation. Mogoditshane entails villages like Metsimotlhabe, Mmopane and Gabane. For

the purpose of planning, probably even Kopong, in the very near future should be

included. Developments envisaged for greater Gaborone planning incorporate the whole

constituency of Mogoditshane up to Metsemotlhabe and it is therefore, not wise that the

plans for Mogoditshane should exclude Gabane and Metsemotlhabe as they are

inseparable. Mogoditshane has the potential for investment especially those that cannot

secure plots etc., in Gaborone. Mogoditshane, therefore, requires developments of an

infrastructural nature, and other services. This will enable Mogoditshane to accommodate

many people. I take it that in the non-distant future a second phase of infrastructure

developments will be undertaken. Mr Speaker, we are unhappy about the roads under


MINISTER        OF    FINANCE        AND     DEVELOPMENT            PLANNING         (MR

KEDIKILWE): Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member‟s assertions are not clear. He

contends that they have been given a small mileage for roads construction and it is a wise

move to do so, because planning should look beyond that figure. Does the Honourable

Member feel that all the roads in Mogoditshane should be done at one go or the project

should be done in phases, because there are other villages surrounding Mogoditshane?

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MR KGOSIPULA: Honourable Kedikilwe, I admit that everything cannot be done at

one time. The job must be done in stages. However, this partial undertaking of projects
30th November, 1998                         48        Response to the President Speech

could create problems, because in a short time we shall be forced, under pressure, to

revisit these projects. According to the Department of Statistics, according to the 1991

figures, Mogoditshane had the highest growth rate in the country. Villages like

Metsemotlhabe, Mmopane and Gabane will experience phenomenal growth, because they

have a potential for further growth. Not before long will be part of a Mogoditshane

complex and will complicate the problem I have referred to. Honourable Kedikilwe will

recollect that when planning was done for Tlokweng, Mogoditshane was not considered.

To cater for the gap created by ignoring circumstances at that time means that

development should be increased and speeded up. When I meet the Chiefs and the people,

they felt that developments should be accelerated in anticipation of future growth. To be

precise the mileage is not 40 kilometres but 38 for Mogoditshane and 7 or 8 for

Mmopane. This makes the figure even smaller. This shortage will become evident in a

short time. In two or three years when phase two is implemented the costs will be very

high. This will mean that at that time only one village can be tackled. I am not saying

other villages should be ignored, as they too have their needs. However, Mogoditshane

has a greater need because of its growth. We have several times complained about the

roads which are being constructed as there is no regard for people‟s lives. I have talked

about the road entering Gabane. Although developments are appreciated, unfortunately

some of them are “death traps.” One of Government Hyundai cars capsized on such a

road. Storm drains are constructed on the sides of the roads in a hazardous fashion.

Villagers in Gabane were complaining about these storm drains as many people‟s

vehicles have fallen into these drains. If a vehicle develops a puncher because of the loss

of control, the vehicle will inevitably fall into the drain. This happens regardless of the
30th November, 1998                          49          Response to the President Speech

speed of the vehicle. These drains are like rivulets. These drains are not covered. They are

open ditches. Our roads should be constructed in a way not dangerous to road users.

When storm drains are made they should be made in a less dangerous way. Drains are

necessary to convey storm water. One aspect of the roads in Mogoditshane is the heavy

traffic especially in the morning and evening. The Molepolole/Gaborone roads should be

upgraded to the standard of the Nelson Mandela Highway because of the volume of

traffic. The traffic between BDF and Gaborone is heavy and something should be done.

To overcome the problem, the road should be widened and made into 4 lanes. Some roads

are very dangerous and require traffic lights. Many people have died on these roads. The

junction at the Kanye and Mogoditshane road is a death trap, because many lives have

been lost there. Traffic lights are necessary at this spot. Lights are required at the

intersections between the Molepolole road and BDF, Police, Land board. These

intersections are very busy and need control of the traffic. The only traffic lights in

Mogoditshane have not been working for a long time and there is no explanation for this.

The Council says the lights are the responsibility of the Roads Department while the

Roads Department apportions the responsibility to the Council. The last word from the

Roads Department was that they had gone to tender in order to repair those lights. The

estimate for the work, at that time, was P3,000. After some time the lights will fall into

disuse and will need to be completely replaced .......


MR KGOSIPULA: Infrastructure because of no maintenance deteriorates due also to

vandalism. A tender, we are told, is being sought to erect traffic lights for Mogoditshane

and Kanye. People are forced to lose confidence, in Members of Parliament due to lack of
30th November, 1998                          50        Response to the President Speech

capacity to implement projects and yet funds are not the problem. Nobody knows who is

responsible for these lights and I wish Honourable Magang could give a hand.

MR MAGANG: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. This situation is like provision

of water. Government drills boreholes and Council equip and maintain them. The same

applies to lights. If they have no skilled people to maintain them, they can go to tender for

this work. You have already told us that your Council is the most lethargic of all

Councils. That may be the reason for their inactivity regarding the lights. The same

applies to Kanye.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They also do not know who is responsible for those lights.

MR MAGANG: Who ever said they asked for help!

MR KGOSIPULA: Thank you Honourable Magang. I assume that Honourable Magang

was merely making a comment. While all roads cannot be tarred but some roads are in a

bad condition. Some roads are not easy to travel. Roads need to be maintained all the year

round. In some areas roads are not useable such as the Honourable Nkate‟s.


MR KGOSIPULA: No, I did not say so. You want me to disagree with the Honourable


HONOURABLE MEMBER: Are you scared of him!

MR KGOSIPULA: I am not afraid of him. He is a novice. The roads in Botswana are in

a bad condition. Roads should be made usable until they are tarred in say 20 years time!

Roads have been handed over to Council, because Central Government has abdicated the

responsibility. Councils have no equipment and machinery to maintain roads. At last it is

nobody‟s responsibility. One has nobody to appeal to. You tell people blatant lies (sorry
30th November, 1998                         51        Response to the President Speech

the word lies is not acceptable in Parliament). This situation is embarrassing. Ministers

must accept the responsibility and come out with facts. Roads are used by everybody

including Opposition party Members. We must not pretend that everything is in order.

MR KAVINDAMA: On a point of order Mr Speaker. My point of order                     is that

Ministers are making noise and we are unable to hear.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I have noted your point of order indeed. Honourable

Members can you please lessen the noise? You can see that you are not challenging

anybody, you seem to be understanding each other and therefore please let that not be

spoiled by too much noise.

MR KGOSIPULA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Let us correct this situation. Let us be sure

that, in the process of decentralisation and privatisation, services are not sacrificed and

people suffer. We must equip the Councils with the skills to maintain the roads. The

condition of the roads is unacceptable. When we question the Councils about the state of

the roads, they reply that they have no skilled personnel and have no specialised

equipment. When the Roads Department is disbanded, the skilled personnel and the

equipment should be passed on to the Councils so as to improve their capacity to

maintain the roads. What has happened to the skilled personnel and equipment since the

disbanding of some sections of the Roads Department? Was the equipment sold?

The plight of the Councils is serious as a result a number of projects and policies are not

implemented. If you take the recommendations of the Kedikilwe‟s Commission. ....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You talk as if nothing has been done.
30th November, 1998                         52        Response to the President Speech

MR KGOSIPULA: No, I never said nothing has been done. I was merely giving an

example of the Commission on Education headed by Honourable Kedikilwe. In some

areas the recommendations and decisions, thereof, have not been implemented.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Even drought relief measures.

KGOSIPULA: I am not talking about drought relief. My topic is Revised National

Education Policy. It has not been commenced in some places. You will recollect that my

contention is that, our Council beats other Councils in its incompetence to deliver.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Are You talking about Molepolole Council?

MR KGOSIPULA: Yes, the Kweneng District Council. The Commission recommended

minimum standards for requirements for any school. The Council is not even aware of the

requirements stated in the White Paper which were accepted as early as 1994. This is

evident in all schools except those completed this year. If you take any school in the

Honourable Magang‟s constituency, Honourable Kokorwe‟s constituency, Molepolole,

Mogoditshane, Letlhakeng etc. i.e. choose any school of your choice, you will find

schools in an unacceptable state. An example is the Solomon Dihutso School in

Mogoditshane. The enrolment is 1,003 with only 15 classrooms. This means that

accommodation available is for only 600 pupils and some pupils have no classrooms.

Standard One has four streams, Standard Two, Three and Four get taught in classrooms

once a month! Once a month .....


MR KGOSIPULA: The rest of the time in Botswana! It is unbelievable that children

enter a classroom once a month. There are 33 teachers and 7 teachers quarters. This

means that 7 teachers share a two bedroomed house.
30th November, 1998                         53         Response to the President Speech


MR KGOSIPULA: What an irresponsible question to ask why I was at the teachers

houses? As a responsible person, I must know about the classrooms, the teachers‟

quarters etc. This is a depressing state of affairs because of the shortage of classrooms,

children are taught outside on the sandy ground which is not properly swept ......




KEDIKILWE): Mr Speaker, I move that this House do now adjourn.

                               Question put and agreed to.

The House accordingly adjourned at 7.00 o‟clock p.m. until Tuesday 1st December, 1998

at 2.30 p.m.

                         Tuesday 1st December, 1998

               THE ASSEMBLY met at 2.30 o’clock p.m.

                       (THE SPEAKER in the Chair)



30th November, 1998             54      Response to the President Speech




MR T.D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG): asked the Minister of Local

Government, Lands and Housing whether he is aware of the long

and desperate delays experienced by the village communities in the

Tswapong area of the Serowe-Palapye Sub-District regarding the

provision of new standpipes and water connections; the Minister

should further indicate what action he intends taking to overcome

the backlog in the provision of these necessities given the rate at

which these villages are growing.



During this financial year (1998/99) capital funds were approved

for construction of 16 public standpipes in the following villages;

Malaka (two), Lerala (two), Mosweu (two), Mokokwana (two),

Seolwane (four), Majwaneng (three), and Mokungwane (one).
30th November, 1998             55      Response to the President Speech

Construction of these standpipes has not yet commenced. The

delay has been caused by the construction of the backlog of public

standpipes for the 1997/98 financial year. The last 1997/98

standpipes were completed in September 1998 in the villages of

Mogapi (three), Mogapinyana (two), and Kgagodi (three). In

addition, due to the water crisis that had been experienced in

Ratholo and Lerala villages, we had to execute the following

works which contributed to the delay in construction of the


-     In Ratholo, we want to equip a borehole BH6676, construct a

      500 metre interconnection pipeline from the borehole into the

      reticulation system, and construct three public standpipes in

      the village.

-     In Lerala, we want to equip borehole BH6149 and construct a

      one kilometre pipeline inter-connecting the borehole into the

      reticulation system.
30th November, 1998              56     Response to the President Speech

However, construction of the 1998/99 standpipes in the Tswapong

area will commence in January 1999 and is scheduled to be

completed in March, 1999.

Mr Speaker, regarding the provision of private water connections,

installation is dependant on whether the current water sources meet

the village water demand. The private water connections are only

installed in villages where the water demand is adequately met.

Currently out of the 712 paid up applications for private water

connections, 609 have been completed. Installation of the

remaining 103 will commence on the 30th November, 1998, with

completion planned for March 1999 in the villages of Maunatlala,

Lecheng, Gootau, Seolwane, Mosweu and Goosekgweng. The 21

private water connections for Lerala and the nine for Majwaneng

will be installed after improving the water supply for both villages

by equipping borehole BHZ8126 to which they are inter-

connected. This inter-connection is scheduled for completion in

February 1999. Thank you.
30th November, 1998                 57    Response to the President Speech




Minister of Local Government, Lands and Housing to state the

number of classes that are taught outside classrooms at the

following     primary   schools;     Malaka,   Lecheng,        Mapulane,

Lesenepole,      Goo-Sekgweng,      Goo-Tau,     Seolwane,       Ratholo,

Molebatsi, Kukubjwe, Lerala and Maunatlala; the Minister should

say when the required classrooms will be built at each of these




of 200 streams/classes in 12 primary schools in Tswapong North, a

total of 144 classes are taught inside the classrooms while a

balance of 56 are taught outside.
30th November, 1998                  58       Response to the President Speech

Mr Speaker, I have provided herein some information relating to

enrolment, number of streams, number of classrooms and shortages

by each school as required by the Honourable Member.


School                Enrolme   Stream No.                      of Shortag

                      nt        s         classrooms                e

Malaka                322       14        7                         7

Lecheng               784       23        16                        7

Mapulane              144       7         4                         -

Lesenepole            579       18        14                        4

Goo-                  183       7         6                         1


Goo-Tau               350       13        10                        3

Seolwane              410       14        12                        2

Ratholo               558       19        14                        5

Molebatsi             545       18        13                        5
30th November, 1998                     59    Response to the President Speech

Kukubjwe              771         25         16                     9

Lerala                689         23         14                     9

Maunatlala            544         19         18                     1

TOTAL                             200        144                    56

Mr Speaker, I have also provided herein, some information on the

development programme for the building of classrooms in the said

villages in accordance with the Central District Development Plan


TABLE 2: NUMBER                 OF       CLASSROOMS               TO        BE


SCHOOL                      NO.                   OF PROPOSED

                            CLASSROOMS                PERIOD

Malaka                      2                         2000 - 2001

Lecheng                     4                         1999 - 2000

                            2                         200 - 2001
30th November, 1998              60     Response to the President Speech

Mapulane               0                        N/A

Lesenepole             2                        1999 - 2000

                       2                        2000 - 2001

Goo-Sekgweng           0                        N/A

Goo-Tau                0                        NA

Seolwane               2                        2000 - 2003

Ratholo                2                        2001 - 2002

                       2                        2002 - 2003

Molebatsi              2                        1999 - 2000

                       2                        2001 - 2002

Kukubjwe               4                        1998 - 1999

Lerala                 2                        1998 - 1999

                       2                        2001 - 2002

Maunatlala             0                        N/A

Mr Speaker, that is all I wanted to present. Thank you.
30th November, 1998             61   Response to the President Speech


                        IN LESOTHO

MR P.M. RANTAO (GABORONE WEST): asked the Minister

of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration to tell this

Honourable House the amount of public funds already spent on

keeping and maintaining our soldiers in Lesotho to ensure peace

and order in the Kingdom.



million, two hundred and one thousand, one hundred and eight

Pula (P4,201,108). Thank you.

MR DINGAKE: Mr Speaker, will the Minister tell this House

who is actually paying that amount? Is it SADC because it is

supposed to be a SADC undertaking or is it Botswana


LT. GEN. KHAMA: Botswana Government, Mr Speaker.

30th November, 1998                62    Response to the President Speech





MR P.M. RANTAO (GABORONE): asked the Minister of

Education whether she is aware that one of the admission

requirements at Rainbow, Westwood and Hillcrest English

Medium Primary Schools in Gaborone West is an advance

contribution into the “Building Fund” for school development, if

so, the Minister should clarify the fairness and legality for parents

to pay such monies for private schools in which they are not

shareholders and the schools are neither community nor

government schools.


under the Education (Private Primary Schools) Regulations of

1991, Regulation 7.1 empowers private primary schools to

determine their own school fees.
30th November, 1998               63    Response to the President Speech

The “Building Fund” charged at Rainbow, Westwood and Hillcrest

Primary Schools is determined and resolved by the respective

school    Directors     and   communicated   to   Parents      Teachers


MR GABATSHWANE: Point of order, Mr Speaker. There is a lot

of murmuring here, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Let us listen to the point of order.

MR GABATSHWANE: I say, my point of order is that there is a

lot of murmuring in this House. We cannot hear what the

Honourable Minister is saying.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I think the Honourable Member

for Kanye is right. While a Member is standing and speaking, all

other Members shall be silent.

DR. CHIEPE: Mr Speaker, under the Education (Private Primary

Schools) Regulations of 1991, Regulation 7.1 empowers private

primary schools to determine their own school fees.
30th November, 1998                 64      Response to the President Speech

The “Building Fund” charged at Rainbow, Westwood and Hillcrest

Primary Schools is determined and resolved by the respective

school    Directors      and   communicated      to   Parents      Teachers

Associations and interested parties.

It is, therefore, legal for schools to do so. It is also legal and fair for

any person voluntarily to send his/her child to any of the schools

with admission requirements that include a contribution to a

“Building Fund”. I thank you.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Hm! Tsa beng ba tsone.

                         TABLING OF PAPERS

The following Paper was tabled:




         (FINANCIAL PAPER NUMBER 2 OF 1998/99)

                      (Chairman Finance - Committee)

30th November, 1998              65     Response to the President Speech


                           (Resumed debate)

MR KGOSIPULA: Mr Speaker, thank you. I wish to start by

correcting an error made by Radio Botswana yesterday in

connection with my intervention here.....

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Go and talk to them. You say you

are perfect! Keep quiet.

MR SPEAKER: Order, order please! Shall we be quiet please!

The Honourable Member for Mogoditshane has the floor.

MR KGOSIPULA: Thank you, Mr Speaker.                    I started that

Permanent Secretary‟s salary was P16 000, but Radio Botswana

announced that I said P6,000. This should be corrected when we

adjourned. I cited Solomon Dihutsho School as an example. It does

not matter which school you visit, you will find the same

lamentable state of affairs. When I visited the Solomon Dihutsho

School on 23 October, 1998, I was informed that the school has

been without chalk since July. This means four months without
30th November, 1998               66      Response to the President Speech

chalk in a school. This shows the inefficiency lethargy of those

charged with certain duties. This is most frustrating to the teachers.

May I now comment on paragraph 45 on water. In the areas

Gabane, Mogoditshane and Metsemotlhabe, there is enough. With

the exception of Mogoditshane, the distribution and management

of water is done by the council. The very same council which is

failing to provide services. The council is failing to reticulate water

to the home. This is an outcry by the people at all meetings.

Whenever services are expected from the council, the results are

poor or non-available. This unsatisfactory state of affairs require

urgent attention and correction. The water is available, the problem

is its distribution to the houses. In villages such as Gabane even

metre reading is a problem to the extent of four months and arrears

build up, water is disconnected, people suffer. This is because of

the incompetence of staff. Some people are allocated plots, by the

Landboards outside water areas i.e. areas not in the plan to be

provided with water. Even where water is not a problem, people
30th November, 1998                  67      Response to the President Speech

suffer because they are outside water supply planned area. People

who desire, and are able, should have water connections made to

their homes. Honourable Members may recollect that the Kweneng

Council owed seven million Pula for water, because even

contractors got to the water from the standpipes and did not pay for

that water but the council bore the expenses. Unless people‟s

homes are connected and bear the responsibility for payment,

council will have to bear the burden. If people pay they will be

more careful with the conservation of water as compared to those

whose water is paid for by the Council. Decentralisation is my next

topic. Most of the services go to District headquarters to the

exclusion of satellite villages and settlements. In Kweneng District,

developments          go   to   Molepolole   and      villages     such     as

Mogoditshane, Thamaga, Lentsweletau etc. are left undeveloped.

People have to travel long distances to obtain service at

Molepolole. When they get to Molepolole, there is no assurance

these people will find the relevant officers and receive the desired
30th November, 1998              68      Response to the President Speech

service. This means repeated trips and translates into much money.

One subject which the President did not touch on and which I

repeatedly bring up is the land issue at Mogoditshane. This is

meant as advanced warning before the situation gets worse. The

problem about the land in Mogoditshane requires a decisive

decision. It is imperative that something is done now lest it is left

and then it will worsen. The main issue is the decision about the

usage of land. There are no areas dermacated for various functions

such as industrial, agriculture etc. The decision and determination

of land usage is urgent.

May I now turn to paragraph 49 on sports and recreation. I wish to

thank Mr Temane for taking prompt action following a decision of

the House. He appointed a Commission on sport and it has

produced a report. Hope its recommendations will be implemented

soon. In many a case recommendations and decisions are not

implemented as was the case with the youth policy and todate there

is no draft action plan. I am grateful that there is an increase from
30th November, 1998               69     Response to the President Speech

P50 million to P120 million for sports and recreation. This

provision includes sporting facilities/stadia which will be built in a

few villages. The problem is management. However, I am grateful

that Mr Minister will establish a body to implement the programme

for stadia. Although we tend to have a proliferation of committees,

this one is essential. I wish to remind the Minister, that we need the

second stadium in Gaborone to be built at Mogoditshane. This I

believe is an inadvertent omission. This stadium will cater for

Gaborone and the outlying areas. Mogoditshane is the ideal

location. Please include it in the next plan. We shall, in the

meantime, identify a suitable site for this stadium. May I take this

opportunity to congratulate our youth in the performance in various

sports competitions. We commend the national boxers team for a

splendid performance despite many shortcomings during their

preparations. We wish to encourage them to keep up that spirit.

There is a subject on which Mr Temane can do with an input. This

subject affects workers/employees. Mr Temane feels that when the
30th November, 1998               70    Response to the President Speech

subject is discussed in Parliament the debate tends to favour

workers. This is not true. I have handed over to you two or three

labour cases. There are a number of employers who abuse the

workers and even use insulting, abusive language. An example is

an employer who told his employee to, “go and tell your fucken


Reference to the President is reference to the whole nation of

Botswana. These incidents should not be taken highly perpetrators.

These are demonstrations of how some investors/employees look

down and even insult Botswana. We must not take the matter lying

down because Batswana are employed. The Labour Departments

records abound with such cases.


TEMANE): On a Point of clarification Mr Speaker. Much as I

appreciate what the Honourable Member for Mogoditshane is

saying, I have indicated that other things that are referred to the

Department of Labour such as physical assault in a work place, use
30th November, 1998                71      Response to the President Speech

of insults or racial discrimination, are not labour issues. They are

offences against the Constitution of Botswana and there are

channels for dealing with those issues. I have repeatedly made this

very clear that, that is a prosecutable offence and not a labour

issue. We do take them but we are saying the people offended

should take appropriate action. If there is part that refers to labour

should be referred to us but, if there is part that is racial or criminal

should be taken to the appropriate authority.

MR KGOSIPULA: Thank you. My comments are on paragraph

53 - youth. We accepted the Policy in 1996. The President stated

that there is a draft National Youth Plan to implement the Policy

we accepted in 1996. It could be advisable that when a Policy is

formulated it should incorporate strategies of implementation.

Otherwise     implementation     strategies   become       another     time

consuming exercise and delays implementation. The Policy was

formulated two years ago and nothing has happened ever since.

Some aspects of the policy may be outdated and need revision
30th November, 1998             72      Response to the President Speech

because of the delay in implementation. Hope that in the Action

Programme there will be recreation centres and gymnasiums where

youth could keep themselves occupied and not get involved in

mischief, roaming the streets and crime. These would build them

into failure responsible citizens. This in a small way would reduce

the epidemic as youth will be better occupied. This would, as Mr

Mamela said preserve culture as youth would come together in

sport and drama and not spend time in bars and beerhalls

developing character destroying habits. In the past children

engaged in traditional games. These games have disappeared and

replaced by western games.

I am grateful that the Electoral Commission (IEC) has been

established and is operating. Shortcomings have come to the

surface such as shortage of staff, shortage of equipment. They are

not able to cope with the need and demand for voter education or

cope with all activities prescribed in the Act. They need

strengthening to cope with the immense task. This could account
30th November, 1998             73     Response to the President Speech

for the low registration of voters. The numbers are low compared

with the number eligible to vote. The Human Development Report

of the United Nations 1997, shows that for a long time, there has

been few people who registered to vote. This is a very low number.

Our position with regards statistics taken from 171 countries was

number 146 of the number of registered voters. This figure is very

low. We have to take strenuous steps to encourage people to

register. This may mean IEC should follow people at workplaces,

schools, homes etc. to urge people to register. In a democratic

country this is essential, if our electoral reform are to have a

meaning. The end is not only the establishment of the IEC or the

enfranchise 18 year olds, but also devising wags and practices of

ensuring that registration and voting are more democratic and more

representative and includes marginalised people, such as women

and other groups if the system is improved. We must have a system

whereby the State President is popularly elected. It must not be a

system that because the party is elected, obviously they have
30th November, 1998               74      Response to the President Speech

elected the President. People should elect a particular individual.

There should be provision for the right to recall of elected people

as was discussed during Mrs Kokorwe‟s motion. There is no point

in electing a person and they stay in Parliament for five years and

say nothing, do nothing i.e. not representing the people. People

should have the right to recall such a person instead of them

serving a full term of five years in terms of the Constitution.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Who do you have in mind?

MR KGOSIPULA: Mr Kalake stated yesterday, that he stayed a

whole year without speaking because he was confused....

MR KALAKE: Point of clarification Mr Speaker...

MR KGOSIPULA: Allow me to proceed Mr Kalake. I shall give

you the floor to speak. Mr Kalake you stayed for a year, never

spoke because you were confused.......

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! The Honourable Member for

Ngwaketse South stood on a point of clarification.

MR KGOSIPULA: I shall allow him to speak now.
30th November, 1998              75      Response to the President Speech

MR KALAKE: Thank you Mr Speaker. I presume that the

Honourable Member for Mogoditshane listened to me attentively,

although I suspect that he was not in the House then. What caused

my silence was their attitude. He is wrong to say I am hardly less

than two years here. What he stated is not true and not befitting a

Representative of the people. His words are defamatory and should

be condemned. It is baseless propaganda. He should direct his

remarks to the people who elected him and they will assist him.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Your points of clarification should

be brief and to the point. Honourable Member for Mogoditshane,

you should be careful for the conduct of speeches, we are not here

to cause any quarrels with your colleagues. If you have anything

that you want to discuss with your colleague, you must do it

outside the House. Therefore, we have to address the contents of

the speech. If you want to add something to that speech, do it.

MR KGOSIPULA: Thank you Mr Speaker. We are here to

promote democracy and proper representation. It is a pity that some
30th November, 1998              76     Response to the President Speech

people take offence to words stated here. There is no intention to

offend. However, does Mr Kalake like to restract the words he said

in this Parliament. He said those words with your permission Mr

Speaker. I could read those words. Mr Kalake stated, “His true, I

have been quiet, wondering what is happening to my colleagues.”

The question is what does his electorate think about him during

this period of his silence and confusion? They think they have no

representative. With regards the allowances (money) he was

collecting the money. The voters should have the right of recall in

a constitutional provision to obviate electing confused persons.

What he has just said does not tally with what he said previously.

Enough on that subject......

ASSISTANT             MINISTER        OF      FINANCE              AND


clarification. Mr Speaker, I just want to ask for clarification from

the Honourable Member for Mogoditshane just as to how this right

of recall would work. Is it being suggested that you would receive
30th November, 1998              77     Response to the President Speech

demonstrations saying the Member of Parliament must go or hold

referendum from time to time? Exactly how is the right being

determined, at what stage would you say maybe it is time for


MR KGOSIPULA: If people are elected and do not perform,

there is nothing wrong in telling the truth. This applies to

Parliamentarian and Councillors. As the Law stands, the voters

cannot do anything about such a person even though they are

unhappy and will complain for the next five years. An agreement

can be reached that within an agreed period 2/3 of the voters can be

empowered the concerned person who is unproductive and

therefore not representative. My next point is the funding of

political parties. Even countries like Namibia which got

independent recently finances political parties. They have a special

budget vote for these funds to facilitate democracy. The money is

allocated according to the strength of the parties enhances
30th November, 1998              78      Response to the President Speech

democracy. The idea is not to finance poor parties to the extent of

exceeding their abilities and expectations.

If democracy is to be meaningful, the very same political parties

must practice democracy in their ranks. If this does not happen, it

may come to pass, that a non-democratic party takes over

government. I feel strongly, Mr Speaker, that political parties

should themselves have democratic procedures. I shall, in future

bring a motion to this effect. Last year we agreed that the

President, starting with the 1999 elections, should hold office for

ten years. I shall bring a motion to the effect that presidents of

political parties should not hold office for more than 15 years.


MR KGOSIPULA: Yes, but the principle is the same as far as I

am concerned. Leave out the party. He should not lead the party for

more than 15 years.

30th November, 1998              79        Response to the President Speech

MR KGOSIPULA: We are talking about the country. I am not

talking about Dr Koma.


MR     KGOSIPULA:        Whether      Mr     Dingake       or    Botswana

Democratic Party, because the time is coming when oppressive

tendencies are coming into the country.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Point of clarification Mr Speaker....

MR KGOSIPULA: Please allow me to conclude my point. I am

not through.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: I want to clarify.

MR KGOSIPULA: Please allow me to finish. It is evident, in

Botswana that people are getting power drunk to the extent a

person wants to be a life president of a political party. If this is

allowed, it would mean that should such a person take over

government he will want to be a life president of the country. What

is there to stop him because the first thing he is going to do is to

amend the Botswana constitution on the section dealing with the
30th November, 1998              80     Response to the President Speech

length of tenure of office by the President. He will want a longer

term or a series of terms. This is tantamount to oppression in this


MR ROBI: Point of clarification, please. What about the provision

that those who have been away from the country for 15 years

without interruptions and then they suddenly come to the country,

they should not become party president at all.

MR KGOSIPULA: This has nothing to do with what I am

speaking about. If we as Batswana can ignore (interruptions)...

Please keep quiet.

MR SPEAKER: Order! please.

MR KGOSIPULA: If we ignore non-democratic (oppressive)

parties to exist, knowing fully well that such a party can one day

come to power we shall be counting trouble. If this idea is rejected

by the people, it will mean that the principle of a ten year term of

office for presidency will be practised as a limit because all

organisations, in the country work under government. If the people
30th November, 1998              81      Response to the President Speech

can amend the institution easily this spells disaster. This was my

last point and I end to enable other members to contribute.

DR KOMA: Thank you Mr Speaker. I shall not speak at length, I

shall start by .......... out an error which occurred when Parliament

was opened. It is not a serious matter which will disrupt anything.

It is customary that the President delivers his speech seated. On

this occasion while seated the President said, “I stand here to

address this Honourable House.” He said this while seated and not

standing. This is the mistake.


DR KOMA: Mine is merely an advice. It is wrong for the word of

the mouth to differ from actions. If you blame the civil servants, it

is up to you. But I cannot afford to ignore something improper

done to the President. This is not a serious matter. The other

mistake is that Members of Parliament do not discuss the ........ at

hand, but digress from the subject and discuss other issues.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Do you mean BCP Members?
30th November, 1998                 82       Response to the President Speech

DR KOMA: No, I mean all Parliamentarians including BDP

Members. An example is that BDP Members stand up and say,

“Members of the opposition tell people that FAP is not good.” No

member of any party ever said FAP is not beneficial. It has got

some plans such as poor people cannot participate because of lack

of means. The second mistake is the use of unveil, insulting, vulgar

language in Parliament. Going back to people who make irrelevant

speeches ignoring the topic is like BCP Members who always say,

“Koma did this, Koma did that.” I cannot console them for results

of their actions............(laughter)............. If they need consolation

they should go to the nation. I am not insulting but merely

expressing myself in pure Setswana. There is a story which goes

like this, “a certain man once used an old ............. as a lavatory.

One day passing by the old hut rain fell and he had to seek shelter

in that hut as his home was a long distance away. He started

cleaning the dirt he left in that hut.” This is a Setswana proverb

pregnant with meaning and truth. The fact that we have split with
30th November, 1998                  83   Response to the President Speech

the BCP does not necessarily mean we shall not one day mend our

fences and come together.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Shall we be joining BNF again?

DR KOMA: I never said you should join, but about relationships,

it is up to you to follow your views, but you will end nowhere. It is

distressing that Parliament visited by children, family members etc.

hear Parliamentarians saying......



DR KOMA: “Your excrete.” This is what that means. These acts

cannot be corrected by a person saying, “ I withdraw that remark.”

If it is Westminster of England procedure that such a serious matter

is corrected by a mere withdrawal within the matter is much more

serious. I feel that in such an instance Parliamentarians should

meet and censor the speaker of those words and come to some

binding arrangements.....
30th November, 1998             84     Response to the President Speech

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Why don‟t you say what Sebego


DR KOMA: I am referring to everybody, not an individual.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Are you protecting Sebego?

DR KOMA: I am not protecting. It is your opinion which you are

entitled to since joining Parliament, if BDP does anything wrong I

applaud them to encourage them to keep making mistakes. I am not

ashamed to say if they did anything wrong I did not tell them so. I

said all was in order.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: If somebody used vulgar language

was that in order?

DR KOMA: No, that is wrong.


DR KOMA: I mean that such a person is insulting another

Member who is .......

30th November, 1998               85    Response to the President Speech

DR KOMA: You are used to foul language. I will not allow it. I

any Member can use foul language in the presence of Members in

the gallery, there must be something in Parliament that can be done

to control such person to protect other Members. It is a grievous


HONOURABLE MEMBER: Like you used vulgar language?

DR KOMA: Like you used vulgar language?


DR KOMA: You forget what you said. Did you not hear yourself?

Let me proceed and not get involved in trivialities. Sometimes to

swear is to expose grief.......


DR KOMA: I am referring to you. “Hey Botswana National Front

has done this, hey, opposition parties have done this”, is your cry.

My grandfathers used to tell me that, if you stabbed a Ndebele with

a spear he would shout „mmaebaboo‟. Now people shout “Koma”.

Others shout “Opposition parties.” This does not help anybody.
30th November, 1998              86     Response to the President Speech

People talked about sending soldiers to Lesotho. South African

Value Added Tax (VAT). I did not contribute towards these

discussions. However, it does not mean that when I mention these

subjects which have been discussed such as Lesotho and the



of clarification Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Honourable Leader of

the BNF is suggesting that I also said unpalatable words to my

counterparts on the otherside. I have not. The word „kgano‟ refers

to a little animal, that is an animal, who does not know „kgano”

and it is edible, people eat it all and this saying is very common

especially in the Ngwaketse area. “When you say “o jele kgano”,

you simply mean, you have had it for the last time, it is a common

thing, like an idiom you will be making, please.

DR KOMA: In Setswana spoken by everybody such as the

Bangwaketse, there is no harm if a word is spoken by a “cousin”.
30th November, 1998                 87   Response to the President Speech

However, if you persist in using a word which somebody does not

like then you are insulting them.

With regards the soldiers going to Lesotho, because of my semi-

blindness, I requested somebody to read me a document on the

subject. The document stated a straight forward issue that the

countries of South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe have been given a

mandate to nurse the situation in Lesotho. This was in order. When

soldiers were sent to Lesotho, I was worried because some leaders

from the OAU state that an army should be formed to deal with

opposition parties because they are a thorn in the flesh. The OAU

army would deal with people who are alleged to be troublesome

against any government. I was concerned that the forces would

take sides and assist government only. According to information

reaching us, and the accounts by the soldiers, our soldiers were

very diligent and went there to mediate between warring parties

and not be partial.
30th November, 1998              88      Response to the President Speech

We must applaud this. Our soldiers performed well in Somalia,

because they did not go to Somalia to attack any organisation but

to mediate and reconcile parties which had differences. We must

commend them for this too. We must applaud their behaviour. In

the process, it must be remembered that I brought some issues to

Parliament concerning foreign countries.......

MR RANTAO: Point of clarification Mr Speaker. I once learned

that the leadership of BNF issued a statement through Mr Khan

condemning the step to send soldiers to Lesotho. Is it true the

statement was issued, or did you reprimand Mr Khan?

DR KOMA: No. If a statement was issued by BNF and I was a

party to it, the thrust of the statement was that the soldiers should

not on arrival in Lesotho, be partial but be mediators. They did

exactly that i.e. mediation.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Who issued the first statement?

DR KOMA: Once you have appointed people, you delegate some

responsibilities to them. These people contend that I alone control
30th November, 1998                89      Response to the President Speech

the party. Where were you when I was autocratic? You were in the

Central Committee with me. I advised them against certain actions,

but they persisted.

I said I once spoke in Parliament about foreign countries, I said

that we are a small populated country with good matured people.

This is what other countries can copy from us. We must pronounce

our stand on Value Added Tax (VAT). We have always felt in this

House that our association with South Africa in the Custom Union

is not fair to us, Lesotho and Swaziland. When the Minister of

Finance in South Africa increased taxes, we followed suit. We

advised that if any step is taken in the Union, it should be a result if

consultation and subsequent agreement. This tax is an old issue,

which was not just at its inception and we had hoped that our

delegation to the talks would have pointed this out. They should

have pointed out that it is not fair for one country to make a Law

and other countries should enforce that law in their countries. In

such a case we should reveal our true nature.
30th November, 1998                90      Response to the President Speech

Mr Saleshando said that Minister Kedikilwe is confident and can

speak with anger. Anger is not what we want. It must be clear that

in any issue which could lead to conflict, people should discern

where the injustice lies. This is how conflict should be resolved i.e.

by diplomacy. In our case conflicts are avoided as we look at

differences and resolve them. We should approach our people and

tell them that as BNF such acts are not correct because they create

differences and disagreements.

MR SALESHANDO: On a point of correction, Mr Speaker. The

words I used were that Mr Kedikilwe went to them and talked to

them. Words such as bravery and anger were not uttered by me.

DR KOMA: This means that Mr Saleshando and I agree. If Mr

Kedikilwe went to them and pointed to them how we are not

happy, this is appreciated and is in order. One of my teachers used

to say it is useless to show your teeth if you are not going to bite. It

should be made clear to our neighbours that we want justice and

peace and not conflict in resolving disagreements. We must
30th November, 1998             91      Response to the President Speech

continue to persuade our neighbours to correct this injustice about

the tax.

We agreed with the President and Members here can testify that

small and medium enterprises can give employment to many

people and should be financially assisted. We have talked a lot

about this subject. The President talks about the inability of

applicants to borrow money from the banks. This is not the only

issue, everybody know that borrowing money from banks is a risk.

People do not know how to use the money and when the money

disappears one is in danger.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Like the Kgobati Organisation!

DR KOMA: You bring up frivolous issues Honourable Minister

because you have nothing to say. people who borrow money are in

danger of prosecution if they do not repay the loan. Businesses are

a new concept/occupation to us. Therefore, when a person is lend

money officials should assist him to learn how to run a business

until he is able to do so, lest they collapse. Unless this is done,
30th November, 1998              92     Response to the President Speech

businesses close all the time. People must be guided so that we get

people out of the concept of the cattlepost which is visited one day

in months. We must address this issue earnestly. It is not the only


HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is alleged that the businesses are


DR KOMA: Yes, mine are gone, because I have got too many

irons in the fire as is customary in Setswana. We have to

concentrate on one thing and do it well. Before we split with BCP

we talked that Parliament should allocate funds to assist small

business entrepreneurs. This money would be deposited in a bank,

earn interest and help small people who encounter problems.

Problems in borrowing say P5000 from the bank, you must have

P5000 in the bank. Where will the person get that money? Big men

can get such money from the banks, but the nation cannot. If the

small businessman borrows money or somebody stands security,

these two people are in danger because when the money disappears
30th November, 1998              93     Response to the President Speech

due to lack of skills, both the borrower and the one who stood as

security are in danger. Where there are a few business people in a

village, an Extension should be provided who will teach and guide

these people about good business procedures. If this is not done

people will be in trouble, poverty will increase as is the case how

somebody asked me the extent of our poverty. They say it is to the

same extent as Brazil. But if we become petty like Honourable

Phumaphi and the experts at the Institute of Policy Development

and say there is this kind of poverty and starts this way we are not

serious. Poverty is poverty because the person has got nothing.

Poor people whose huts are made of mud fall and as the huts


MR OTENG: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I have

listened to Dr Koma and agree with him. He says that if you lend

somebody the people‟s money in the bank, because the borrowers

have no skills and save the money this is a wasteful practice. Are

you saying that nothing is being done because course are run at the
30th November, 1998             94     Response to the President Speech

Botswana Training College (BTC). Is something not be done in

view of the fact that we come from the livestock economy. Are we

saying that the banks should lend somebody money without any

security? The money belongs to other people. I seek clarification

on these issues. Please note that the money at the bank belongs to

Messrs Magang, Koma, Saleshando etc.

DR KOMA: You have wasted my time. The banks have been

taking Messrs Magang‟s, Saleshando‟s, Koma‟s money to lend to

the rich people. This has been the practice and worse. People from

foreign countries make pledges/guarantees of property in other

countries such as in South Africa to take Mr Magang‟s and Others‟

money to use. I am saying Parliament should vote some money,

deposit it and will earn interest. This money could be used by

people who have got nothing. Some people started businesses in a

small way such as selling oranges or fat cakes. The Banks could be

“Community Banks: where even a sum of P50 could be borrowed.

Costs of handling such as entries, use of computers should not
30th November, 1998                 95     Response to the President Speech

enter into the transactions as they are too expensive. If a person

borrows P50, P100 he should be lent that sum so that they can have

a small beginning. P20 000 is too high a figure and many a person

cannot participate and the issue is not faced.

MR SALESHANDO: When will you commence the Banks?

DR KOMA: They will be established. The project requires

Extension work. Premises require services such as electricity. This

is costly and this should be investigated. Poverty, as Honourable

Mrs Phumaphi states, is prevalent among certain groups. These

groups include, the disabled, youth, women and a project should be

planned to assist these groups. Unless this is done some people will

not enjoy the fruits of the country while other live well. Those

excluded will be labelled as lazy. There are some people who are

so poor that they use the names of the employers as their own! The

person‟s      father   has     no        name,     they       use      their

employer‟s........(interruptions)........... There are many who do so.
30th November, 1998                96      Response to the President Speech

Poverty in Botswana is so serious that some people behave like


HONOURABLE MEMBER: Is it due to poverty?

DR KOMA: Yes, it is due to poverty.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They are wasting your time,


DR KOMA: I saw Lt. Gen. Merafhe very busy at Mahalapye

during the floods. He did his best. The only draw back was that he

said the people‟s houses were destroyed by the flood instead of

saying the shelters made of mud walls ...........


What you done for them?

DR KOMA: I built Mahalapye Secondary School and the

Community Centre....


DR KOMA: Two children in Gantsi stood up and pointed at me as

their teacher. Your contributions was working and receiving
30th November, 1998              97        Response to the President Speech

payment. I thought you would display concern about the

President‟s speech.....


DR KOMA: You are in power. When Honourable Mrs Phumaphi

suggested certain actions, I said to myself. Why does she not take

these things to Cabinet. To us it is just talk because her role is to

advise Government so that action can be taken. I advise those in

power because I cannot do anything. You hold the purse strings

and I had hoped the President would.....


DR KOMA: Yes, you assisted in having the Makwate road fixed.

it took me a lot of money to build that small shop at Makwate

because I had to mould the bricks. You people know where to get

bricks. The President should have mentioned people who cannot

get OMANG (identity card). We were told that the contractor

given the tender to produce the cards failed and now we have

purchased four machines to produce cards quickly. Ao! Why not
30th November, 1998                 98      Response to the President Speech

buy 20? Why four only? four will not do. If the machines fail many

people will not vote. Of course you will go ahead with the

elections even if some people do not vote. This issue is very

important. I agree with the President when he says he took steps to

encourage people to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. We are happy

that he is doing a good job. We applaud people involved in the

campaign. When one is in trouble, the only consolation is that they

are not the only sufferer. There are others in the same boat.......


DR KOMA: BDP Members have made me forget my last point.

BDP Members promise things will be done and nothing happens.

As the party in power you ought to advise each other in Cabinet.

To make sweet talk by calling a poor man‟s shelter a house is not

helpful. This is the type of talk which........

30th November, 1998                99      Response to the President Speech

DR KOMA: I stayed in a grass thatched hut. People must say that

shelters, grass thatched huts have fallen as a result of floods not

substantive houses. I commend the President for urging the nation

to take responsibility for the fight against the pandemic. Non-

Governmental Organisations (NGO‟s) and others are applauded for

their contributions. We say that to combat this disease is the

eradication of poverty. If a ........ person were to display a placard

with the words, “I am a HIV/AIDs patient” and you told them that

the person was rich, many people would come to this person so as

to live longer by this rich person spreading the disease to them.


DR KOMA: You think these are trivial things because you are

ignorant. If you do not attack poverty you cannot stop the spread of

this disease. We are not belittling the efforts to fight the disease but

our view is that the best weapon is the eradication of poverty.

When you look at youth who had a good life while at school and

later when they leave school their expectations are not realised, we
30th November, 1998               100     Response to the President Speech

are plunging them into a difficult situation as outlined by

Honourable Phumaphi. They get exposed to all evils. All attempts

to combat AIDS will fail unless......

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Do you say AIDS is a result of

being a widow?

DR KOMA: No, I never said so, nor could I. It is Dr Sekonopo, a

BDP member who says so saying. . . (laughter) . . . . .


DR KOMA: He comes from Sefhophe in our area. Honourable

Merafhe knows that he is a big cattle farmer. We know those who

approached him for “herbal” help.........(laughter)......... I meant to

explain. The President urged us to teach people about AIDS. This

subject should be taught at school so that they develop the



DR KOMA: Those are fiddlestick!.
30th November, 1998             101     Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Member, the floor is

yours, and all others are listening. You must not engage in a

conversation between yourself and them. You are only

communicating to them as you make your delivery of what you

want to say. Everytime they interfere with you seated, not rising on

any point, and then you allow yourself to be so engaged. Will you

please take note of that.

DR KOMA: I said earlier that Parliament has become a play

ground where people digress deliberately from a subject under

discussion. Mr Speaker, you allow people to digress and become

irrelevant. If this was curbed time taken in Parliament would be

reduced. The President said AIDS should become part of the new

syllabus and be entered into computers. We have long said that

Form V students should be computer literate. When one questions

them it becomes obvious that exposure to computers is varied and

limited. It is discouraging to find that after taking major steps in

advancing our education, computer illiteracy is still there. When
30th November, 1998            102     Response to the President Speech

you get to the Shakawe Secondary School then are supplied with

computers, but it is called a “pilot project”. This delays

developments. I applaud the BDP for what they have done and am

not ashamed to do so if they have done a good job. The paper on

Science and Technology Policy was well prepared. There was an

impute of non-Batswana. after reading it you notice that BDP made

a mistake somewhere. When we went to school we studied

“physical science”, “physics and chemistry”. The definition was,

An atom is the smallest particle of metal which cannot be divided.

Before long an atom bomb was developed. Education is dynamic.

It is not static. You must realise that even technology is readily

replaced by newer techniques. One must know that.....


DR KOMA: Owaii!

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Ignore them and continue.

DR KOMA: The Speaker will soon say I am having a dialogue

because you are distracting me. Let us not think we are making
30th November, 1998              103     Response to the President Speech

policies for youth. One certificate is not the end of the road.

Education gives them a disposition to continue learning until their

end. Life long learning should be the emphasis. If we do not adopt

this attitude, we shall take somebody with a certificate of the old

studies which are non obsolete. Let us change our attitude. As

mentioned by the President, computer education should not start at

Form V, but at Standard I. Children can even use computers for

games. This will prepare them for work in future, as computer

manufacturers, not mechanics or technicians.

If we do not do this, we are counting trouble. There is a big move

to give Parliamentarians, Councillors, Land Boards Members, big

subsidies to purchase vehicles - to enable them to travel, I presume.

What Parliamentarians need is to be part of the 21st Century.

Internet should be one of the basic equipment. This will be an

important development. Not like what one Member said.......

30th November, 1998                104   Response to the President Speech

DR KOMA: They should use the equipment. BCP could be

entered and people will get to know that at Palapye, Members were

throwing stones at each other! I feel that this is the equipment

every Parliamentarian and Councillor should be in possession of. If

somebody has already got the equipment.....


DR KOMA: If anything a person should fail to use the equipment

due to their laziness. These days you can carry out a conversation

with people at distant places and even get answers to your

questions. You can get information from books at the British

Museum. It is not permissible for the books to leave the Museum.

This information you can obtain whilst you are in Botswana. Such

information will enable Parliamentarians to be better informed as

assist them in their responsibilities.

Privatisation is a difficult project. Developing countries tend to be

oppressive and keep services to Government. Privatisation is not

merely goods/equipment to people as there are some rich people
30th November, 1998               105     Response to the President Speech

who will monopolise. This means the few get richer. Privatisation

must include the poor people as they must also be given a chance.

These poor people can be involved through co-operatives or

communities. If it is a free for all situation property etc. which

belonged to all will be taken over by the select few. this is

unacceptable. Some countries take this route. Somebody talked to

me about China, saying they too.....


DR KOMA: In China, he said, they do not operate as is the case in

developing countries........(interruptions)........ These men, I talked,

despite what I said, they felt that it was nothing. In China services

previously controlled by Government were not passed on to rich

people. They invited foreign companies to compete with and Mr

Temane, who have long been in the service are aware of the

attitude to property where people think that government property

has no owner. We must try to eradicate this attitude. I was found a
30th November, 1998                106   Response to the President Speech

man, living in a Government house with a wooden veranda,

wielding an axe trying to.......

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I have the feeling that you are

addressing yourself to one section of the House. As for the Chair,

you do not even address it. I appreciate because of your problem,

those who are near you are probably better advantaged to

comprehend what you are saying. I wonder if those on the other

side are able to hear you, because I personally have been trying

hard to be with you in what you are saying. So, please endeavour

to address us all, more through the Chair than just face one side.

DR KOMA: Mr Speaker, will then know that I acknowledge his

presence and I will oblige. People take Government property to be

nobody‟s and do not look after it and this is wrong. Let me

conclude by saying that there is poverty, but Batswana are trying to

the extent that our donor countries have not recognised these

developments and think we live in the past when we live handouts
30th November, 1998             107     Response to the President Speech

including a needle which we could not manufacture. We need to

cooperate so that......

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Do we possess a needle now?

DR KOMA: Do you mean a needle? Yes, many Batswana can

now make a needle. Batswana are now able to manufacture many

things including needles and pins. I thought the Customs Union

was meant for co-operation. Somebody said that South African

have gained independence, but the previous masters are still

clinging to power. We should not be surprised about this situation.

Thank you Mr Speaker, even though my fellow Members opposed

me, I said my piece. Some will take my point, others due to

pettiness will say the words came from a BNF member have no

substance. Thank you Mr Speaker.


Thank you, Mr Speaker for giving me the floor to have my say. Mr

Speaker, the Setswana we speak in Parliament, I think needs to be

refined. I am a son of a LMS Church member and therefore I have
30th November, 1998              108     Response to the President Speech

a fundamental difficulty in trying to consume such expressions

such as “relieving oneself in a derelict lut”. If you allow me, Mr

Speaker, I will try and struggle along with the language that I think

is devoid of this ambiguities, until we refine our own and until we

agree in this Parliament to what exactly we are going to say.

Mr Speaker, Sir, I want to deal with issues of substance. I do not

want to indulge in polemics such as “delivering a speech sitting

down but claiming that you are standing in the speech.” Those

issues are not likely to take us anywhere or they will not take us

any further than we are as a nation. So, I think we must try and use

the mandate and the responsibility that we have been given by this

nation to try and advance the course of our people that we are

privileged to represent. I use the word “privileged” guardedly, Mr

Speaker, because all Batswana who are not in this Parliament are

equally qualified to sit in this Parliament. If we have any wisdom,

they do possess that wisdom and therefore it is the privilege, it is
30th November, 1998             109     Response to the President Speech

an honour for the few of us to be in this Parliament to represent

those of our numbers who have not been given this responsibility.

Mr Speaker, let me hasten to express my profound gratitude to His

Excellency the President for his state of the nation address. Of

course, like any other speech, it cannot be said to be all

encompassing, but certainly in my view, it covers most of the areas

of human endeavours as a nation. And I think we need to

congratulate His Excellency the President on this speech and the

very eloquent manner in which it was delivered to this Honourable


Mr Speaker, I will be the first one to admit that there are problems

in this country and these problems will continue to be with us for

many many years to come. Problems are often described as the best

education in life and therefore we in the BDP are proud to say that

we have put in place programmes and projects which are dedicated

to address the problems that afflict this nation. Although many of

us may not readily acknowledge this, particularly the prophets of
30th November, 1998             110     Response to the President Speech

doom whose sole mission in life is to find fault with other people

without offering any suggestions and ideas as to how those

problems can be tackled, I think it is a fact that, as a nation, we

have made a steady progress. To suggest that we are no further

forward than we were on the 30th September, 1966 is an abuse of

the truth. In my view, I think we are making a steady progress in

terms of improving the lives of the lot of our people. And I think

we have every reason to be proud of whatever achievements we

have made. Like I say, I would like to underscore that by saying

that, problems are there and they will always be there. Problems

will not only exist in a world of fantasy. In a real world, you are

bound to come across problems of want, poverty, and all sorts of

problems. There are countries today, whose level of development

are so high. Who will believe me if I told you that Japan,

commands one sixth of the world economy, for every six dollars

that we have in this world, one is owned by Japan.

30th November, 1998             111     Response to the President Speech


HONOURABLE MEMBER: What does your Mathematics


HONOURABLE MEMBER: Is it not one fifth?

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: I am talking in mathematical terms. So,

Mr Selato, Mr Kalake, look please, I do not want to indulge in

arguments with you. There are currently four million people for

four percent unemployment rate in Japan and we are talking about

the population of 120 million people. If you compute four percent

of that 120 million, you will suddenly realise that lots and lots of

people are unemployed in Japan. I am singling out Japan because

the country stands out like a thorn in the flesh, in terms of its

economic achievement. But there are many other examples around

the world. Spain has got an unemployment rate of 22.7 percent. So,

I just thought I should make these points in order for people to

appreciate my statement when I say that we have actually made

some progress and we continue to make some progress. I am aware
30th November, 1998              112     Response to the President Speech

that we have some armchair critics, who will always find fault with

us. That is their mission in life and we cannot foul them for being

prophets of doom, for wanting to believe that we have not

progressed any further than we have. The people of Botswana who

live in this country, will decide as they have decided for the last 32

years, who the responsibility for running this country should be

entrusted with. People of Botswana will decide and they will

continue to decide. I regret to say that, when I look at some of

these Honourable Members, notably Mr Dingake, I come to the

conclusion that there are some endangered species in this


Mr Speaker Sir, as a Party and as a Government, we should proud

ourselves about the fact that we have been able to inculcate a

culture of democracy in this country. Democracy which has eluded

so many countries in our beleaguered continent of Africa. This, in

itself, is an achievement. I know that we have all contributed,

individually and collectively, for the peace and tranquillity that
30th November, 1998              113     Response to the President Speech

currently prevails in this country. And to this extent, I think I

would like to include Members of the Opposition for having

behaved in a responsible manner over time.

Mr Speaker, democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights

and good governance have become part of our culture in this

country. They had become part of our culture in this country! This,

Mr Speaker, in my view, which I am sure I share with my

colleagues, is a remarkable achievement which we should all be

proud of. I believe that we need to occasionally remind ourselves

of these achievements. Because listening to some of my colleagues

when they speak in this Parliament, one cannot but get the

impression that these achievements are taken for granted. In some

cases, even glossed over. When you listen to some of these people

talk, and you say to yourself, are they really talking about the same

country that I have lived in all my adult life since independence?

Sometimes when some of them say, it is Bechuana, you begin to
30th November, 1998             114     Response to the President Speech

say, no, obviously they must be talking about another country, not


Mr Speaker Sir, we are proud to say that, under the BDP rule,

democracy has been moved from the periphery to the centre. It has

become part of our culture in this country. Why aren‟t other

nations democratic as we are. Yes! if you want democracy, vote for

BDP...(laughter)..Thus Batswana will continue to do.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Even those who destroy property at

Palapye? They do not..(inaudible).

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You must say Up Domkraga

(BDP). ...(laughter)...

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: But I am concerned, Mr Speaker, that this

democracy is being taken for granted, is now under threat and

some of us are worried. You know why Africa is currently being

regarded as a continent in turmoil, a continent in distress? It is

because of a culture of political intolerance. It is because of the

culture of political intolerance! And this intolerance is gradually
30th November, 1998              115     Response to the President Speech

and slowly gaining roots within our political system. We are now

degenerating into a situation where we have to have our political

meetings under police protection. This is unheard of. It is not part

of our culture as Batswana. Why? Because of incidents such as the

Palapye saga, where chairs were being thrown all over the place

and where missiles were flying. People sat under a tree and

purported to dismiss a leader of a political party. ...(laughter)...

How     can    democracy   not   be    under    threat    under     these


HONOURABLE MEMBER: That is a shame!

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I hope Batswana are judging

us for what we are.


LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Did you say I protect BNF? I am

defending them. You people have stolen BNF discs. How do you

expect me to sympathise with the thieves? Ah!

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Point taken Boss!
30th November, 1998              116     Response to the President Speech

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: I am a law abiding citizen. I sympathise

with somebody who has lost his property. I cannot sympathise with

somebody who has stolen somebody‟s property. It will not be


Mr Speaker, this is the concern that I have, which I am sure, I share

with my colleagues, political thuggery, which has now become a

character of our politics.

MR KAVINDAMA: Point of clarification Mr Speaker, Sir. My

point of clarification Mr Speaker, the Minister says that we BCP

Members ran away with voters discs. Could he explain where we

ran from and to what place?

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: I am not going to explain Mr Speaker.

His facts, as far as these Honourable Members have done, are so

straight forward that they will hit a blind man in the face. So, I

really have nothing to explain. Everybody knows what you have

been up to and I really have nothing to explain.
30th November, 1998              117     Response to the President Speech

The second concern that I have Mr Speaker, is the behaviour of

Honourable Members in this Parliament. You know, in any liberal

democracy, which I think we profess to be, you occasionally throw

about jokes and Parliament must not be like a church or like a

funeral service, the debates must be lively. You must occasionally

tease with each other but this must be done within certain limits. If

what I read in the papers, because I was not in the country; when I

came back from Paris, I read one of the local papers and some of

the things that were attributed to some Honourable Members of

Parliament in those papers, really made me feel that really it was

not an honour to be a Member of this House. Expressions such as

“bloody shit” (bloody faeces), referring to a fellow Member of

Parliament. This does not refer to me but to your mother. In

Setswana such reference to a mother, is the worst insult that can

ever be conceived.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is these people.
30th November, 1998                118   Response to the President Speech

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: These were the things that are being said

in this Honourable House, by Members who are said to be

Honourable. The word „Honourable‟ implies that you must be men

and women of Honour.

MR GABATSHWANE: A point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The

Honourable Minister is in order.


MR GABATSHWANE: No, I am coming to the point. It is proper

to speak that way because it is wrong to refer to other people in

that fashion. Mr Speaker, I cannot forget the Honourable Mr

Minister when I tried to mediate you were fuming with anger and


HONOURABLE MEMBER: In what capacity?

MR GABATSHWANE: Talking about something else. Not

recently. When he said to Mr Dabutha that, if ever there is an ugly

animal, it is a frog. From there he attacked Mr Mosimakoko.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What did he say about him?
30th November, 1998               119     Response to the President Speech

MR GABATSHWANE: He attacked him. While I was


HONOURABLE MEMBER: He is an imbecile. He is an


MR GABATSHWANE: He is an imbecile. While we were on the

point I said it is not in order, but this is just part of Parliamentary

amusement. This is what we have always said and we should

accept it. A statesman like Mr Merafhe ought not to fume like this.

When he is...(interruption)...

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Are you fuming?

MR GABATSHWANE: Just wait a minute. Just wait a minute.

Mr Speaker!

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I am trying to draw the attention of

the Honourable Member for Kanye that when you seek

clarification, you must be succinct as you possibly can. Otherwise

you are taking the floor from the Member holding it.
30th November, 1998             120     Response to the President Speech

MR GABATSHWANE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. When I tried to

mediate and try to say that it was not proper, he said to me that,

well, I do not know who you are to go and advise me. I said, God!

Mr Masisi restrained me I was also angry. Therefore it is useless

for Mr Merafhe to say this.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Thank you very much. Honourable

Members, indeed it is correct that you should justify your being

called Honourable Members and it is disgracing when sometimes

you lose your senses and you stray into something that is

deplorable, you are using such words to make very objectionable

condemnation of others. This applies to both sides of the floor and

I would like you to take note of that, appreciate what the

Honourable Minister is saying. Some of the things that were said in

his absence were quite unpalatable, but I take it that nobody takes

offence to being asked to try and avoid drifting into the status of

members who will no longer deserve being referred to as

Honourable Members. I do not want you to be seated here as if you
30th November, 1998                121   Response to the President Speech

are in church, because churches today play guitars, clap hands and

make all sort of noises but at least you make reasonable

interjections and heckling but not of the nature that you do at the

freedom square. So let us do that and everybody must accept that,

that is what should be the case.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, my remarks are not in any

way directed at any particular member of parliament. I am

addressing the Honourable Members of this House but as the going

says, if the cap fits you, you were it. People who are guilty of this

kind of conduct are going to find it difficult to tolerate my

intervention on this matter. Now the Honourable Member says, I

told him that he was not fit to advise me. If he must consider the

opinion, the man did not have the necessary intellect to advise me.

I have every right to tell him that he had no right to advise me,

what is wrong with that?       What is wrong with that, is there

anything unparliamentary about that? If I say you have nothing to

offer, you are intellectually bankrupt, that‟s not unparliamentary.
30th November, 1998             122     Response to the President Speech

Mr Speaker, the issue I am raising is that as Honourable Members

of Parliament, we must behave in a manner that reflects credit, not

only on ourselves but on the institution of parliament. There are so

many Batswana, young and old, who would like to come to

parliament and represent the nation to discuss serious matters

affecting the lives of this nation and we as Members of Parliament

must be role models. We must behave in a manner which will make

other people aspire to come to this parliament. I am aware, Mr

Speaker, there are certain Members of Parliament who are

frustrated for one reason or another but I do not think parliament

must be used as a platform for venting frustration. If you have

problems, you go and sort your problems out there. I am talking to

all Honourable Members of Parliament but I know that there are

those of us who are probably Members of Parliament in transition,

they are not going to be here for a long time so they could not be

bothered what happens to this parliament tomorrow. But we owe it

to the people of Botswana to ensure that we leave this parliament
30th November, 1998               123      Response to the President Speech

in the state in which we found it. We must try therefore, to

preserve and bestow the integrity of this parliament. I would like to

repeat that parliament should not be used as a platform for venting

frustration and anger, let us try, Mr Speaker Sir and I plead, try and

preserve the dignity of this parliament. I would like to call upon all

my colleagues to join me in deprecating the conduct of Honourable

Members who behave like the Honourable Members who are

quoted in one of these local papers that I read. I did not have time

to look at the Hansard but since we have all taught ourselves to

believe these papers, I suppose I should also be naive and believe

these papers, that is why I prefixed my remarks by saying if what I

read in the paper is true, then there is a lot that needs to be done.

MR RANTAO: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Is the

Minister aware that the media was prejudiced in that it did not

report what provoked the outburst. Did you know the other side i.e.

what they said or that those were responses to insults.
30th November, 1998              124     Response to the President Speech

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, we have all been taught to

believe that two wrongs do not make a right. I am disappointed that

the Honourable Member is trying to justify or rationalise the

conduct of a certain member because he takes the view that if you

are provoked, you must behave like a rogue elephant in this

parliament. In my view, this is a bad reflection on the integrity of

some of these members of parliament and it is a serious indictment

on all of us who have sworn to uphold the constitution. We all

stood here and sworn on the Bible, I know some people does not

mean anything to them. As I said we the offspring of LMS Church

goers, we know what the Bible means and we took that oath very

seriously it was a serious incitement.

Mr Speaker, I hope Batswana wherever they are, whatever they are

doing, whether in this parliament or at home are going to be

watching us as their representatives and when the moment of

judgement comes they are going to make the right decision in

terms of people. People who behave like these Honourable
30th November, 1998              125     Response to the President Speech

Members that I am describing so fit their right to claim to represent

anybody in this Parliament. Those who fight should go to Palapye

where there is a ring, not here, although I do not think Mr Sebetela

would accept people who fight. I am going to stay here, if these

words implicate you until your blood pressure goes up. If you think

you can drawn me by making this perpetual intervention, you are

just going to make it worse because I am going to sit here and

make a mock of you people if that is what you want me to do.

Mr Speaker, I really have one complaint to make. As Cabinet

Ministers in this government which is currently the government

that is in power, we are the Botswana Democratic Party. We are

the custodians of public policy in this government but there is a

tendency, an attitude, a kind of behaviour which is very common in

this parliament. When Members of Parliament debate, I am sure

they debate because they would like us as their colleagues for the

time being accountable for the ministerial responsibilities that we

hold to give them the version of government. Now when a Member
30th November, 1998              126     Response to the President Speech

of Parliament is speaking and you want to intervene in order to

make some clarification, more often than not, Ministers are

expected to do so at the mercy of the Honourable Member who is

holding the floor. An Honourable Member says to you, no you

cannot answer, I am not giving you the floor and if that is going to

happen, I can tell you Cabinet Ministers also reserve the right to

refuse to answer your questions. We reserve the right to refuse to

answer your questions if you are not going to allow us to make

explanations on public policy. You must know that you are

forfeiting your right to ask us questions on anything.

MR KAVINDAMA: On a point of elucidation. Mr Speaker, I

think there is some contradiction in what the Honourable Minister

is saying because a few minutes ago he just said, when you are

provoked you should not revenge. That is what he said. Now he is

saying the opposite of that, which is a contradiction.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, with the great of respect.

This is the most wonderful discovery that I have made this
30th November, 1998             127     Response to the President Speech

afternoon, to know that Honourable Kavindama is in a position to

make a distinction between a contradiction and something which is

not a contradiction. It is a wonderful discovery and I am glad I was

here this afternoon.

Mr Speaker Sir, I want to make a comment, on a statement which

was perpetually being made by Honourable Dingake about the

presence of General Khama in this Parliament and the fact that he

has joined the Botswana Democratic Party and he says and me. I

know he has occasionally and peripherally referred to me but of

recent, he has consistently and monotonously, even when he took

the floor to make a statement which has been dabbed as one of the

most wonderful presentations of his political carrier, he kept on

harping on this point and said there are chiefs, there are soldiers

etc. Mr Dingake, let me tell you one thing, if you were to go into

the past of so many of us in this Honourable House, there are so

many of us with much to regret about their past and we do not want

to go into these matters. General Khama is a Motswana, a citizen
30th November, 1998              128     Response to the President Speech

of this country with an impeccable record of performance in this


MR DINGAKE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I have

never said General Khama has no right to be here. What I said is

Botswana Democratic Party. I do not know whether you identify

him with the Botswana Democratic Party. I am saying the

Botswana Democratic Party is militarising the Cabinet and I am

not going to withdraw that, that is what I mean. You are in the

Cabinet from the Botswana Defence Force, that is what I am

saying Botswana Democratic Party is militarising the Cabinet.

LT GENERAL MERAFHE: Honourable Dingake, I want to

repeat the warning that I made, that there are some of your political

colleagues who are sitting beside you now, who have got so much

to regret about their past. If being in a military is a stigma for the

purpose of political activity, I do not want to go any further. I want

to tell you this that, if you continue to make these insinuations

which would seem to suggest that being in the military is
30th November, 1998             129     Response to the President Speech

something that people should have a stigma about, then you must

know the (let me explain this to you honourable friend of mine),

the basic principle of natural justice is that if you question the

integrity of other people, you are opening your own integrity for


MR DINGAKE: Mr Speaker, I would like to make another

clarification, I hope the Honourable Member would be able to


MR SPEAKER: Another clarification, I hope it would not

degenerate into altercation that does not end.

MR DINGAKE: Mr Speaker, I hope the Honourable Member can

make a distinction between a party and an individual. I have never

challenged the integrity of the Vice President. I am saying the BDP

is poaching from the public service, particularly from the BDF and,

therefore, they are militarising the Cabinet. That is what I am

saying. Can you not make distinction between the two; BDP and

an individual?
30th November, 1998              130     Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I hope this question of

understanding distinctions will be enough to the point it has been

taken and then the Honourable Minister can proceed. Perhaps you

have said a lot to address issues that you are not happy about, I am

sure you can proceed with your conclusion.

LT GENERAL MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I have no intention of

questioning your judgement in this matter Honourable Speaker but,

when Honourable Dingake stood up in this Parliament and made

these scurrilous allegations, there was no intervention of the nature

that is now being made and I think I am entitled to reply to

Honourable Dingake. This is not a statement of my own creation, it

is a response to what Honourable Dingake said in this Honourable


MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Minister, you will

understand that your intervention to whatever you have identified

as deserving to be dealt with should be dealt with to some

reasonable measure, because we cannot stand here all this
30th November, 1998              131      Response to the President Speech

afternoon allowing very lengthy issues that will create a situation

where the other party would like to respond and so on. My duty

here is to try and ask you people, as you deal with certain matters,

to please understand that it is not intended to hold up the

proceedings of the House. I am not saying you should not say what

you have said, but please say it to a point where it will allow us to


MR ROBI: Point of clarification, Mr Speaker . . . . .

LT GENERAL MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I am not yielding to my

colleague who is a friend of mine and a brother. Mr Speaker, we

spent the whole afternoon listening to Honourable Dingake and I

think we are entitled to spend the whole afternoon replying to what

Honourable Dingake said. I am not challenging the Speaker, I just

want to deal with this matter to my utter satisfaction.

The Honourable Member thinks he is offering an explanation when

he says I am not talking about this Government, I am talking about

the BDP. Who do you think we represent here? Don‟t you know
30th November, 1998             132     Response to the President Speech

that we are the products of the BDP? When you say we are

poaching from the public service, were we not in the public

service? Where do you expect us to get supporters, from heaven? It

is only poaching when the BDP is recruiting and is not poaching

when you are recruiting. Mr Speaker, I hope that this matter can be

laid to rest once and for all. We do not owe an apology from

anybody, either myself or General Khama for being in this

Parliament. If people who have so much to regret about their past

can find their way into this Parliament, people of impeccable

credentials such as General Khama (and I do not want to praise

myself), including myself and Honourable Mothibamele who was a

policeman, have got even more entitlement to be here.

Mr Speaker, so much has been said about the issue of Lesotho.

Honestly, I do not know what you want now. I do not know what

Honourable Dingake and his cronies are looking for, because this

issue has been explained over and over again. I made a press

statement, I made a statement to this Parliament, the Minister
30th November, 1998             133     Response to the President Speech

responsible for presidential affairs, His Honour the Vice President,

at one time or the other explained the circumstances under which

we went to Lesotho. Of course, I know that there is an old adage

that „there is none so deaf as those who do not want to hear‟. I

hope this is not what we are going through. I am happy to say that

Batswana, to whom these explanations were intended, have

appreciated the reasons for our intervention in Lesotho. You are

advocates, I want to know who you are advocating for. Who are

you representing?



MR SEBEGO: You mean the BCP Members in Parliament.


MR SEBEGO: I mean BCP Members in Parliament. Am I

insulting you. Are you not BCP Parliamentarians?
30th November, 1998              134     Response to the President Speech

LT GENERAL MERAFHE: Honourable Sebego, a frustrated

man is an angry man, therefore, you must be very careful. I plead

with you. I would really ask you to hold fire.

Mr Speaker, the world today has become a global . . .

(interruptions) . . . .

LT GENERAL MERAFHE: Mr Rantao, you are frustrated, just

keep quiet. You are frustrated to the marrow.

Mr Speaker, the world has become a global village and, put

differently, global interaction is the only game in town today and

all of us want to create a very conducive environment in our region

and in the continent. We are sick and tired of the negative stories

about Africa, Southern African Development Community (SADC)

and the continent at large and we believe that we cannot really

provide a propitious environment for investment in an insecure

neighbourhood. When Basotho fight and we do nothing and we are

trying to convince the rest of the world that they must come to

southern Africa to invest when the sounds of gun fire are still loud
30th November, 1998              135     Response to the President Speech

and clear in Lesotho, there is no way that these people are going to

come and invest in our part of the world. Africa, Mr Speaker, Sir,

is yearning for peace and stability.

MR MABILETSA: Point of explanation, Mr Speaker. I am

inclined to agree with what the Honourable Member is saying if at

all he means what he is saying. What I want to ask him is that, why

are they not doing the same thing in Angola that has been in

conflict for over 20 years now, and why are they not taking part in

the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) if at all he is genuine in

what he is saying because these two states are member states of

SADC and I know SADC is trying to woo investors to this place.

How can investors come to Botswana when guns are roaring in

Angola, DRC and Lesotho?

LT    GENERAL         MERAFHE:         Mr Speaker, we are not

mercenaries, we are not paid fighters and no situations are the

same. Let us not come to this Honourable House and start making

invidious comparisons about Angola and the DRC. If you want me
30th November, 1998               136      Response to the President Speech

to give you a proper analysis of the situations in these respective

countries, I will do so, but I do not think this is the time to do it.

Anybody who compares our affinity with the DRC and Lesotho

and comes to the conclusion that we have the same level of

affinity, then that individual has a problem.

MR DINGAKE: Mr Speaker, I would like some clarification from

the Honourable Minister. I was expecting the Minister today, on

this question of Lesotho, to be able to explain very clearly to this

House and to the nation what was their basis for intervening in

Lesotho. Mr Speaker, I would like the Honourable Minister to

explain how they came to be involved where fraud was being

committed. Is that how they are promoting democracy? Is that how

they are promoting peace in the region so that investors can come

and invest here? Is that how they do it? If you are going to . . . .

LT GENERAL MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, on a point of order. I

am holding the floor, the Honourable Member has debated, if he

wants to debate, he is entitled to ask for permission from you to do
30th November, 1998             137     Response to the President Speech

so. If he wants an explanation, he must do so concisely and


MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I was listening very carefully to

the Honourable Leader of the Opposition. He started very well,

somewhere in the process as it always happens, he just got derailed

and now he is making an argument. I understood him to put a very

clear question, which is, how did you get involved. That was the

basis of his clarification. Now, he added on to that an argument. I

understand the concern of the Honourable Minister who sat down

in response to your request for clarification. Honourable Leader of

the Opposition, if you would be just specific to what you wanted to

say. Honourable Minister, do you want to rise further or your

question was enough that it should be explained? And I do not like

any debate actually.

MR DINGAKE: If he can answer that part, maybe I will have

some more depending on what he says. Thank you.
30th November, 1998                 138   Response to the President Speech

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, the Minister responsible for

Presidential Affairs, His Honour the Vice President has explained,

if my memory serves me well on no less than two occasions, I have

explained through the medium of a press conference that went on

for a good part of an hour which I hope the Honourable Member

listened. I came to this Parliament, delivered a 22 page speech,

explaining the reasons why went to Lesotho. If you want me to

explain again.....(interruptions)

HONOURABLE MEMBER: No it was two pages.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You do not know how to count.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: So Mr Speaker, this is the reason why

when I refer to this matter in my preamble, I said I could not

understand why. There is a difference between understanding and

disagreeing and I think in your case, you disagree with what we

have done. Let us take our own independent positions, we have

gone to Lesotho, you disapprove of what we did and we went and

the matter will be laid to rest. But if you want to repeat again, you
30th November, 1998             139       Response to the President Speech

know Honourable Koma was telling you this afternoon that

Basotho were entrusted to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

The country has never had any modicum of peace and stability

since 1970 when Leabua refused to hand over after those elections

and there has been one coup after the other and SADC decided that

enough was enough and the time had come when three these

countries should be given the responsibility for monitoring the

democratic process in Lesotho. And ...


LT. GEN. MERAFHE: No, Mr Speaker, I am not yielding I am

explaining and the Honourable Member wants to interrupt, I am

not yielding. The Honourable Leader of the Opposition must sit

down and listen, if he wants me to explain, if he does not, fine I

will sit down or proceed onto the other issues. But he does not

have to be interrupting even when I have not even made an

explanation that he is seeking from me.
30th November, 1998              140     Response to the President Speech

Mr Speaker, these three countries were given the responsibility to

look after the democratic process in Lesotho and an Agreement

was signed with the Basotho to that effect. I remember when you

made your statement you said but this Agreement did not give you

the right to intervene militarily. You have a broad mandate to deal

with these issues, as the custodian of the democratic process in that

country. If you disagree, that is your business. I know that there are

only people who supported our non-intervention, who said that we

should not intervene were the ones who are in habit of trying to

benefit from chaos and we are beginning to suspect even you, if

lieutenants took guns and shot people here, you would have said,

yes, it is in order to kill them as long as BCP has got a slim chance

of coming to power. This is what happened, even in Lesotho, even

the Prime Minister of Lesotho was on the radio, he gave a press

conference, his statement was widely reported, so you cannot claim

that you did not know the reasons why we intervened, what you

should be saying is that you violently disagree with us because
30th November, 1998               141     Response to the President Speech

your friends who are in the opposition in Lesotho stood to benefit

from the chaos that ensued, that is why when you went to Lesotho,

unlike us, instead of bringing all the role players in the political

landscape of that country, you decided that you were going to

consult exclusively with the opposition, you never even made

contact with the Government. So you were partisan in the role you

were trying to play.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They are sneaking out..

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: We are not going to allow in this region a

situation    where     democratically   elected    Governments          are

overthrown by unruly elements and this is why we felt we had a

morale responsibility to intervene in Lesotho.

MR RANTAO: On a point of clarification Mr Speaker. In one of

his statements, the Honourable Minister pointed out that when they

went to Lesotho, there was total chaos, government was in

disarray. Now, can you tell this Honourable House which

Government you went to help because Mosilili was outside there
30th November, 1998                142   Response to the President Speech

across Ladybrand, there was chaos, there was no government and

governments are usually toppled. There are so many governments

that have been toppled, you never walked there, Savimbi is raping

children right now in Angola, why do you not walk there.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Honourable Speaker Sir, I think the truth

is gradually in very small instalments beginning to come out. The

Honourable Member says in a very clear language that

governments       are   toppled,   governments    are    not     toppled,

governments are elected, that is what we believe in. (laughter) We

elect the government, you do not topple a government, this is the

mentality of the BCP, you topple governments!

MR RANTAO: On a point of clarification Mr Speaker. In the

whole of Africa today, we have governments some of them are not

elected, some of them got in there because of coup but they are

governments and you sit with them at the UN and the OAU and

other fora and you recognise them as governments, despite their
30th November, 1998             143     Response to the President Speech

mode of coming into power, not all governments are elected and I

am not suggesting that the government should not be elected.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I think we have got some

very fundamental problems. I am a democrat, here is a democrat

versus a non-democrat, do you think we would subscribe to the

idea of toppling governments just because another government has

been toppled in another country then people are entitled to

overthrow another government, is that what you are saying?

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: That is what he is saying.


LT. GEN. MERAFHE: What are you saying? I hope Batswana

are listening and when the moment of reckoning comes, they will

make the right judgement as they have always done in terms of the

kind of leadership they would like to have for this country. We do

not subscribe to the idea of toppling governments, we believe that

governments are democratically elected and if there is any

toppling, we do not approve of it. I will be the first one to agree
30th November, 1998             144     Response to the President Speech

that there are some military regimes in Africa and other places and

this is a situation that we are very unhappy about actually to the

point of being ashamed as Africans.

Mr Speaker, I hope I have given many reasons, I am repeating it

several times for the benefit of Batswana not for the benefit of

Honourable Dingake because he knows the answer.


LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I am not yielding. I am not

here to play marbles, I am here to debate and I must be allowed to

do so. Mr Speaker, according to the international arrangement, the

Security Council of the United Nations is responsible for the

maintenance of international peace and security, but it is becoming

more and more evident that like with aid there is now fatigue on

the part of the country which always give force to the resolutions

of the Security Council to go out and fight or intervene in

situations away from their boundaries, this is why ever since the

Americans walked out of Somalia, there has been reluctance on the
30th November, 1998             145     Response to the President Speech

part of some of the big powers to come out here and maintain

stability within our African continent. So, we as SADC have

resolved that we are not going to tolerate an overthrow of

democratically elected government by force and we are going to

assume ownership of regional problems.

MR DINGAKE: Mr Speaker, maybe the Honourable Minister is

coming nearer to giving me an answer. He says there is a resolution

of SADC which authorises their intervention in situations like it

happened in Lesotho. I would like to see that resolution, the public

is entitled, we are entitled here to see the resolution whether it

really authorises you to be in Lesotho. If you did that, that will

satisfy me and many people and do not be secretive about things

that the public is entitled to. Thank you Mr Speaker.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Honourable Dingake, I am really trying

very hard to be very polite to you because I know you are not

seeking information

30th November, 1998             146     Response to the President Speech

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: You are not, because in your possession

you have a Memorandum of Agreement which gave Botswana,

South Africa and Zimbabwe the right to police. . .

HONOURABLE MEMBER: I have got it here, it does not.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Dingake, you are not telling me

anything new, So I am not going to yield.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Order! Honourable Minister. The

matter about which the Leader of the Opposition is expressing

anxiety is that of knowing or being given a document that explains

something. I am sure it can be done outside this House. You will

please approach the Minister for further information on that matter

Honourable Leader of the Opposition.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, the Memorandum of

Agreement which Mr Dingake has got a copy of, a copy that he

was attempting to refer to, gives these three countries the broad

mandate to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that

there is democracy in Lesotho and it does not say, if there is to be
30th November, 1998              147     Response to the President Speech

fighting, you must put in black and white, you must go and

intervene militarily, what kind of an Agreement is that?

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Why do you not to Angola.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Honourable Minister, I do not want this

matter to be pursued any further because information can be

supplied if the Honourable Leader of the Opposition needs it.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I have got a whole series of

issues that were raised by the Honourable Leader of the


MR SPEAKER: I do not say, do not deal with those, I say this

particular matter of the document that he refers to, you can give

him that outside the House.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Honourable Dingake says, was it prudent

to intervene in Lesotho, the answer is „yes‟ it was very much

prudent for us to intervene in Lesotho. You say, was it morally

justified, of course it was morally justified to intervene in Lesotho.

You are entitled to your own views.
30th November, 1998             148     Response to the President Speech

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What is the problem, ignore them.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Owai! these are frustrated lot and you

have to be very patient with them Honourable Magang. I told you,

they are very frustrated and they want to blame me for their

frustrations. .......


LT. GEN. MERAFHE: You do not behave like a normal person.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Point of explanation, Mr Speaker.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I am not yielding.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Ahaa, Can you do it? Ao Coo.

Please! No, just one more explanation, the last one, Mr Speaker.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: I am not yielding. The issue of the

constitutionality or otherwise of our intervention; we have

explained this. Nobody has taken us to task in the whole region.

Basotho did not complain except for the friends of the Honourable

Member. The Swazis did not complain Seychelles did not

complain, nobody has complained. You are the only complainant
30th November, 1998            149    Response to the President Speech

and I was really disappointed when you started misquoting the

truth. When you went to Lesotho with the Honourable Deputy

President of South Africa Mr Mbeki, you said he took out this

report and said this report is not explosive. There cannot be

anything far from the truth than that statement. Honestly if

Honourable Mbeki was to hear that you are accusing him or

making these allegations against him, I do not think he will be

amused. Particularly as you have always claimed to be too much

more aligned to the African National Congress (ANC) than all of

us combined.

Lesotho was not invaded and you have heard it from the horse‟s

mouth. The Prime Minister of Lesotho came here, I know you do

not recognise him, we have problems, you recognise us because

Batswana are with us otherwise you would recognise us, because

you feel that he should have been toppled. He was here, and you

said one thing Honourable Dingake in your presentation. You said

the invading forces or the invading army fired first. Were you in
30th November, 1998              150     Response to the President Speech

Lesotho? Let me tell you what happened, these South African

soldiers who incidentally came in before us by arrangements, if

you want me to explain why, I will explain. They took a small

aircraft and flew over one of the barracks, calling upon the soldiers

to surrender, whereupon that aircraft was shot at by the Lesotho

dissidents soldiers. Now where do you get the idea that the army

that went there fired first? Who gave you this information?

MR DINGAKE: Point of clarification, Mr Speaker. What would

you expect the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to do? Okay you

were the Commander of the BDF at one time when the South

Africans came hovering. But what is the natural thing to do for an

army, if another army invades it? Just to say “you do not shot”? I

have been told that it was the South Africans who shot first, but I

want to accept that maybe the explanation that you gave, that there

was a helicopter, South African soldiers hovering there in Lesotho

and you expect these people not to shot....

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Who fired first?
30th November, 1998                151   Response to the President Speech

MR DINGAKE: That does not matter. They were being invaded.

There was an enemy invading a sovereign territory and you expect

them to watch and say, alleluia.

LT. GEN. KHAMA: Point of clarification. I would just like to

seek from the Leader of the Opposition when he states that, “there

was an enemy invading Lesotho”, whether he can supply us with

any kind of information he has at hand that would suggest that

Lesotho and South Africa or Lesotho and Botswana have been


HONOURABLE MEMBER: ....(inaudible)....

LT. GEN. KHAMA: Because you said, “here was an enemy that

invaded....” which then justifies in your mind for the Lesotho

Defence Force to have fired at the South Africans. Now were the

South Africans up to that point an enemy? Have there been a

number or successive attacks by the South Africans on Lesotho to

qualify them to earn the name “enemies” of the people of Lesotho.
30th November, 1998             152         Response to the President Speech

MR DINGAKE: Mr Speaker, I do not know what His Honour the

Vice President wants from me. If soldiers come or cross into your

country armed with armoured cars, do you regard them as friends?

I would like to know, would you regard them as friends?


MR DINGAKE: No, they cannot be just peace keeping. You must

announce yourself or it must be authorised by the King in Lesotho,

for instance, or the Government. Afterall, these two were co-

operating all the time, they were co-operating so nicely but this

time you know the King was excluded completely and here you

have soldiers crossing into a sovereign territory armed to the teeth

without an invitation from the authority.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: It was a peace keeping.

MR DINGAKE: It wasn‟t peace keeping.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: But, Mr Speaker, I think really the answer

to this is for me to resume my seat or deal with the other issues,

because the Honourable Dingake now, buying on his admission,
30th November, 1998              153     Response to the President Speech

says “we must not take him seriously”. He made a statement in this

Honourable House and said the invading army fired first.


LT. GEN. MERAFHE: You said the invading soldiers. Now you

are turning around to say , “no, it does not matter who fired first”.

How can you come to this Parliament and make statements which

have not been substantiated.

MR DINGAKE: Point of correction. Mr Speaker, he is very fond

of distorting, I would like to correct that. Mr Speaker, I said I am

prepared to concede. Even if they did not fire first but they were

being provoked, that is what I am saying. I still stick to what I

learned when I was in Lesotho, that they were the first to fire and

they are people there who can give evidence that they were the first

to fire.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members I am really

in a quandary about this matter of Lesotho and its invasion. It has

been going on for quite sometime even in the absence of the
30th November, 1998              154     Response to the President Speech

Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs. I am really unhappy that

at this point we still want to debate it at length when in fact we

should have left it behind because so many explanations have been

given on it. Whether they were accepted or not accepted, I do not

know. But it really wastes our time to be engaging all on one and

single matter on which explanation has been given. Rebuttals were

made, yes, but why can‟t then we get to the end of this matter and

proceed with other things. Obviously if the Minister addresses

every issue that refers to Lesotho, the other side will be provoked

and would want to reply inspite of the fact that they have replied at

some other time. So I certainly would ask Honourable Members to

try and assist us in dealing with the situation so that our business

can progress clearly. I would hope you understand my problem. I

would not stop you but certainly you should try and do the best

you can in order not to prolong this issue which is not so much our

issue as far as our deliberations here are concerned.
30th November, 1998                 155   Response to the President Speech

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, we have our nationals, we

have our soldiers in Lesotho on a military operation, children who

are likely to have accidents, children who are likely to be killed in

accidents and who are likely to be killed in action. So, we would be

grossly irresponsible if we could allow the sort of distortions that

have been given to this House to go unchallenged. You say this is a

small matter which has got nothing to do with us! when we have

got so many of our nationals there who would run the risk of being

killed? You want some people to come to this Parliament, mislead

the nation through the forum of this House and we are not

supposed to rebut those allegations?

Mr Speaker, Honourable Dingake was not telling the truth when he

made a statement in this Parliament suggesting that it was the

invading army, whatever that means, that fired first. He was not

telling the truth, that is the import of my message. He has just

admitted that it does not matter who fired first. Mr Speaker, the

issue now is that we have not....
30th November, 1998             156     Response to the President Speech


LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Waii, some of you guys, we are going to

miss you, in 1999. Mr Speaker one point which has consistently

been made, even now it has continued to be made, is that we did

not consult. Mr Speaker, on matters of this nature we operate

strictly on the-need-to-know basis. I would like to repeat the

statement which was quoted in one of the local papers, we operate

strictly on the-need-to-know basis. When the country is being

invaded, when you decide to employ your soldiers on a military

operation, you mean you must call a meeting and tell everybody

that the soldiers will be going to such and such a place on such and

such a day.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Point of explanation, Mr Speaker.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I am not yielding. That is

not how to run a country. If this is how the Botswana Congress

Party (BCP) is going to run our military apparatus, God forbid, if

they take over, then God help Botswana.
30th November, 1998             157     Response to the President Speech

We consulted, but you were told when the soldiers were entering

Lesotho and that was the right time for you to be told, now what do

you want? Consultation does not mean getting authority from you.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Point of information, Mr Speaker.

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: No, Mr Speaker I am not yielding. You

spoke here for two days, I never interrupted you. You never

yielded to other Members. What do you know about the BDF?

Even the Honourable Member who has just attempted to interrupt,

made the same allegations that we have not consulted. We

consulted and there was no way we could have gone beyond this.

That is why we have given the President the power, under the BDF

Act, to make decisions on matters pertaining to security. This is

because we do not want to tell every Tom, Dick and Harry about

our decisions and if you are going to say do you call me every

Tom, Dick and Harry, I will say yes. If you can go to Lesotho and

start talking about your friends in opposition, you do not say

anything about the totality of the Basotho Political Actors,
30th November, 1998              158   Response to the President Speech

obviously you cannot be a serious minded person Honourable


We consulted, Mr Speaker, and we owe nobody an apology,

because we consulted very fully and to mount an operation of this

nature, there is no way we could have called a meeting of

Parliament, a meeting of the House of Chiefs, or a meeting of the

Opposition. If a country is invaded, are you going to suggest

seriously Mr Dingake that you must start calling meetings, instead

of ordering the troops into action.


LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I am not yielding I want to



LT. GEN. MERAFHE: And by your own admission you have

said, a lot of time is being wasted and the only way to make sure

we proceed.......

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You are misleading the public.
30th November, 1998              159     Response to the President Speech

LT. GEN. MERAFHE: If the kitchen is too hot, just get out of it.

You are free to go out. Perhaps the kitchen is not get out of it! Get

out of the kitchen! I am replying to the things that you have said. I

am not misleading anybody, I am telling you that in military

operations you give the President who is Commander-in-Chief of

the Armed Forces, the right to deploy troops without reference to

anybody. So this is what happened, so the issue of consultation

does not really arise.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: How was he trained? Ask him how

he was trained.

LT GEN. KHAMA: On a point of clarification again, Mr Speaker.

I think what needs to be pointed out is that consultation was done,

but it was done with those who it was necessary to consult with.

So, I think that point should be made clear, it is not just we just

woke up one day and said we are going to Lesotho. So,

consultation was done with those it was necessary to consult with.

Secondly, on the other point which you mentioned with regards to
30th November, 1998             160     Response to the President Speech

maybe you had wanted information, let me take this opportunity

then to inform you in advance that should such a situation ever

arise again in Lesotho, then there is every possibility that we may

have to do the same kind of intervention. Should this situation

repeat itself, so I am giving you advance notice now. So, in future

you cannot say you were not informed, I am informing you now.

MR DINGAKE: The BDP is in power they have to talk as they

are doing now.

LT GEN MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member has

not been given the floor. On that note Mr Speaker, I will proceed, I

think that really lays the matter to rest. We have told you in

advance what is likely to happen. (Interruptions) That is all about

Lesotho Mr Speaker.

In His Speech His Excellency the President made reference to the

fact that Botswana will continue if I may be allowed to quote

“Botswana will continue to search for opportunities whenever and

wherever we can find them.” Last year we opened a diplomatic
30th November, 1998              161     Response to the President Speech

mission in Tokyo, this year we will establish a mission in Addis

the seat of the OAU and the ECA. I am happy to report to this

Honourable House that we have already implemented the policy

decision that has been taken by this government to open a mission

in Addis, three officials have already been dispatched with the

mandate to open a mission in that country of Ethiopia and I have

been in touch by letter and verbally with my colleague the Minister

of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia and asked them to facilitate to

ensure that these officers are facilitated as much as possible to

enable them to complete the assignment that has been given to

them. So, in the not too distant future we hope to appoint an

ambassador for Ethiopia. This as His Excellency has explained is a

very key location for us because it will also give us the opportunity

to access some of the countries in West Africa which have hitherto

not being able to cover on account of distances. So, the mission in

Addis is going in addition to looking after issues of OAU and ECA
30th November, 1998                 162    Response to the President Speech

will be accredited to a number of countries in that part of the


Mr Speaker, negotiations for the LOME or the successor

arrangement to        LOME have started in earnest. On the 30th

September      when     we   were    celebrating    our     independence

anniversary here, I was in Brussels to kick start the negotiations.

These negotiations are going to last for 18 months. We hope the

new LOME will bring about arrangements which will be to the

benefit of our country.

It is also a source of great pleasure to inform Honourable Members

that I have been given the honour and privilege of representing

Southern Africa on Private Sector Development and Investment as

the spokesman for the negotiations during the next 18 months. This

is in addition to my responsibilities as a Member of the

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, a Commonwealth

Group of eight Foreign Ministers whose responsibility is to look

after Human Rights Issues within the Commonwealth. So, we are
30th November, 1998             163     Response to the President Speech

going to be there and this actually gives meaning to what His

Excellency the President said in his statement, that we will always

be there to ensure that our interest are secured. The LOME

Agreement is very important to us, not only as a region but as a

continent and as the 71 ACP countries. It provides access for our

commodities, tariff free to European markets. Our beef also goes to

Europe under the LOME Convention. We are trying very hard and

we will try. During our negotiations to ensure that the package that

we get will be to the benefit of our group which are the ACP


I should mention that the European Union has played a very

important role in the developments of this country and it is a

partnership which we will like to encourage and foster, very

important partnership. If it wasn‟t for the European Union through

their sessimen arrangement probably we would not have been able

to sustain or to keep Selibe Phikwe going. European Union has

given us huge sums of money to ensure that Selibe Phikwe mine
30th November, 1998             164     Response to the President Speech

continues to operate and although the sessimen is currently under

attack in the proposed post LOME arrangement we are going to do

everything we can during the negotiations to ensure that sessimen

is retained.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks let me bring this excitement to

an end. I thank you, Mr Speaker.


rise to join my colleagues, Honourable Members, who spoke

before me, to respond to His Excellency the President on his State

of the Nation Address and not only to respond but to thank him for

the address and to congratulate him on the address.

Mr Speaker, before I get to issues raised regarding my Ministry, I

want to touch on one or two things. Firstly, may I with your

permission quote a sentence from His Excellency‟s Speech. “In

return I promise to do my duty to the nation, to cooperate with all

and to consult at all times.” We appreciate this Mr Speaker, and I
30th November, 1998            165     Response to the President Speech

can assure His Excellency the President of our co-operation and

our support and we look forward to these consultations.

Mr Speaker, I get to Paragraph 3 where His Excellency says and I

quote. “Progress in the achievement of these priorities is however

threatened by AIDS as more resources are diverted away from

development towards combating the scourge. I have in the past few

months taken it upon myself to lead the campaign against

HIV/AIDS because it is absolutely necessary that Batswana are

sensitised to this pandemic, its dangers and impact on the

economy.” Mr Speaker, I want to support this statement and to

recall what the Honourable Phumaphi said a couple of days ago

which to my mind must have dispelled in this Honourable House

any myth that there maybe a cure for HIV/AIDS. Clearly, Mr

Speaker, prevention is the only weapon available. Honourable

Nkate, Honourable Mamela, Honourable Kalake, Honourable

Seloma and others have said in very clear language that we should

take this AIDS problem very seriously. I am convinced Mr
30th November, 1998             166     Response to the President Speech

Speaker, that we need a non-partisan and concerted approach in

dealing with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. I am particularly pleased

Mr Speaker to note that as of last week and the beginning of this

week, the media are very serious conscientising the nation on the

problems of AIDS. I think as the Honourable Nkate said, and

others, we should speak with one voice. We should not trivialise

this situation and we should stop pointing figures at each other, we

should all support the President who said and I quote “I recently

launched the Second Medium Term Plan for HIV/AIDS prevention

and care, commonly referred to as MTP II. I urge Members of

Parliament and the nation as a whole to adopt the MTP II and join

me in the crusade against this pandemic.” I think we should

individually and collectively rally round the President and do what

we can to save our nation from this disaster. We cannot save our

nation by pointing figures at each other and blaming each other for

whatever. What we can do, what we should do is try and together

see how we can help the situation.
30th November, 1998             167     Response to the President Speech

Today is World AIDS Day and when you listen to radios, whether

it is BBC or CNN, Voice of America what-have-you, Radio

Botswana the talk is about AIDS. We had a lot of people here this

morning and we heard the Honourable Nasha speak saying to the

young people that prevention is better than cure and that they must

be brave enough to resist the temptation of yielding to their piers

who may laugh at them and tell them to do certain things. There is

no cure available yet Mr Speaker, and we should give a very clear

message. The Honourable Phumaphi clearly stated that prevention

is the only weapon available. We should all make this very clear to

the nation. Perhaps, Mr Speaker, at the beginning we did not

believe what we heard, we thought this happened in some other

countries, but it could never happen to us. We thought it was a

foreign disease which we did not understand. Perhaps we were

even superstitious that witchcraft could cure the disease. But now

we know and we must do everything to help resist, to help prevent

this disease. Mr Speaker, the people most at risk are the future of
30th November, 1998             168     Response to the President Speech

this nation, the young people. They are not ignorant people. They

are people who read, watch television, they are people who

understand. What we should try and do is, together with them help

change our attitude regarding this disease. No amount of

preaching, no amount of finding excuses for this disease will help.

Mr Speaker, we should all rally round His Excellency in this fight.

Those people who listened to him launch the MTP II, two or three

week ago, were moved by the information that was given. The

figures are horrendous, and really we should take this              very


Mr Speaker, I was going to say something on the Lesotho issue.

But after this whole afternoon‟s discussion, and in view of what

my colleague the Foreign Minister said last week here and with the

press conference and elsewhere, all I can say is, this was not an

invasion but a peace keeping intervention, peace building. We

have done peace keeping in Somalia, Mozambique and in Rwanda.

In the Lesotho case, we have heard the Prime Minister and the
30th November, 1998              169     Response to the President Speech

people of Lesotho actually acknowledging, appreciating our effort.

Basotho on both sides of this conflict have now asked Botswana to

be involved in the peace building exercise. Surely if they were

against all this, they would not ask us to assist in peace building.

But as I say, so much has been said, I do not want to dwell on it.

Now let me attend to some of the issues which have been raised

regarding my Ministry. The Leader of the Opposition, talked about

vocational education and VTCs. Whilst we cannot assure the

Honourable Leader of the Opposition of doubling the intake within

the VTCs and the Brigades in the near future, we are satisfied that

due to the current expansion of the VTCs, the extensions to ATTS,

construction of New Gaborone Vocational Training Centre,

expansion of the Brigades and the construction of new ones, plus

the new vocational programme, the present enrolment numbers will

increase as follows during 1999/2000 financial year:-

      VTCs enrolment will increase from               4 411 to 6 249

      Brigades enrolment will increase from           4 270 to 5 538
30th November, 1998              170     Response to the President Speech

With the expansion programme and the construction of five (5)

more VTCs during NDP 8, it is expected that, by the year 2003,

Vocational Training Institutions students enrolment will have


The Honourable Maruatona welcomed the re-introduction of three

Year Junior Certification. I would like to inform this Honourable

House that, the first lot of students to write the new JC

examinations did this, this year. We are awaiting their results.

The Honourable Gabatshwane was grateful for the Kanye

Education Centre and requests that we intensify provision of

vocational education. We are aiming at just that. The Kanye

Education Centre is an indication of things to come. It is bigger

and better, and of course, it is going to be available not only to

teachers, not only to people in education, but to the community, to

other organisations who may need to use the facilities. These

Education Centres will have computer facilities, and other facilities
30th November, 1998              171     Response to the President Speech

for use by the people who may be involved in distance education

which we shall be discussing in the near future.

The Honourable Mr Kavindama complained about shortage of

classrooms, teachers quarters, equipment et cetera. Mr Speaker, on

the issue of primary education, especially the issue of classrooms,

teachers quarters, equipment et cetera, I need to point out that this

is the responsibility of the Ministry of Local Government, Lands

and Housing. However, we are in constant touch with our

colleagues in Local Government Lands and Housing and we are

aware of what progress and programmes they have and we will do

whatever we can to assist with ideas.

The question of rentals charged to primary school teachers as

compared to secondary school teachers and other public officers is

complicated by the fact that some properties belong to Boards of

Governors, some to Village Development Committees, others to

the Botswana Housing Corporation, while others are owned by

Councils and Central Government. My Ministry has set up a
30th November, 1998                 172   Response to the President Speech

committee which is expected to report next week to study the

situation and make recommendation for our consideration. We will

discuss and rationalise the matter with other relevant Ministries,

because as I say it is not just the teachers, it is public officers in

general. We want to standardise these rentals. Houses of the same

standard, same facilities should attract the same rentals regardless

as to who is occupying the house, and we are discussing this whole


On issues regarding Sepopa Primary School, my response is as


(i)    The post of School Head is not vacant. The substantive head

is     on a two year study leave.

(ii)   The post of Deputy Head is also not vacant. The incumbent

       was appointed Acting Head in May of this year, and this

       teacher was paid acting allowance in August 1998, effective

       from the time the teacher started acting. Perhaps the
30th November, 1998              173       Response to the President Speech

      Honourable Member got this information before we had

      actually taken appropriate action.

(iii) Two positions of Senior Teacher were created in 1998 when

the school qualified . . . .

MR KOOSALETSE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The

clarification I seek regards the earlier point on acting appointment

when the Headmaster is on a two year study leave. It appears that

in some schools people are actually appointed as Headmasters for

such schools whilst in others people continue to act. I know it has

happened in some schools. What is the correct position and policy

on this matter?

DR CHIEPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. We do it both ways. When

a teacher leaves a school to go on study leave, when the teacher is

a substantive Head Teacher, you can get the Deputy to act as the

Head Teacher and the Deputy will get acting allowance. But where

there was no substantive Head Teacher, in other words there is a

vacancy, then you appoint a Head Teacher straight away. But
30th November, 1998             174     Response to the President Speech

where you appoint an Acting Head Teacher, the Acting Head

Teacher gets an acting allowance. Then where you have the

Deputy acting as Head Teacher, they get the acting allowance, but

they maintain their own post and, therefore, you do not get a third

person coming into it.

Two positions of Senior Teacher were created in 1998 when the

school qualified in accordance with the Scheme of Service, for

these positions. Two teachers were appointed to act, one in April

another in September of this year. They received their acting

allowances in November 1998. I must concede that, we had

delayed particularly with the one who started acting in April, but

financially they did not lose because they were paid from the time

they acted. The people handling the issue had been slow, and we

have corrected that. The two teachers have applied for the positions

and are being considered together with other applicants. They do

not automatically get appointed. They have to be considered with
30th November, 1998             175      Response to the President Speech

other applicants from other schools who may qualify for those


There are 17 trained teachers, three untrained teachers and two

vacancies. The Honourable Member had thought there were only

14 trained teachers out of 19. But there are 17 and there are three

untrained teachers, actually there are 20 teachers altogether, three

of them untrained and there are two vacancies. The three untrained

teachers have been paid and again there was some delay in the

beginning, but I am assured that they have now been paid, and I

looked at the records, they have been paid.

On RASA, Mr Speaker, some teachers, not all, were given wrong

rates in the payment of RASA. Sepopa qualifies for remotest

RASA and they had been paid the least remote rates. This has since

been corrected. A request for payment was sent to the Accountant

General in October 1998, and payments made in November. I hope

everything is all right now at Sepopa.
30th November, 1998              176     Response to the President Speech

The question of a Senior Secondary School at Shakawe, Mr

Speaker, not a Senior Secondary School, but we have promised

Shakawe that they will get a unified secondary school in the

current Development Plan, that is NDP 8. They will get a unified

secondary school.

Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for additional information which

was supplied by the Honourable Member, and I am causing an

investigation into some other issues which he raised.

The Honourable Nkate gave detailed information on Vocational

Education and Training, how we have doubled provision in NDP 7

and tripled intake. I shall not repeat the information as it was very

good and it can be accessed from the Hansard.

The Honourable Kalake asked us to do more in the area of

education for the disabled. As I indicated in my address at the

commemoration of the National Day for People with Disabilities

over the weekend, my Ministry provides required financial support

to NGO‟s for the education and training of students with special
30th November, 1998             177     Response to the President Speech

needs. In addition, it offers bursaries to disabled children whose

educational needs cannot be met locally. The Revised National

Policy on Education has endorsed our approach of integrating

disabled children into the formal school system. This makes it

possible for resources, human and financial, to be put in place to

develop people with disabilities and to ensure that “There is

Ability In disability”. The fact that people have disabilities does

not necessarily mean they have no ability or they are unable. So,

we are integrating them with the normal system.

Mr Speaker, I should reassure Honourable Makgekgenene that (a)

the Revised National Policy on Education recognises sports as an

integral part of the curriculum. For example, Recommendation

14(c), 17 (d), 32(e) and 24(c), all state how sports should be

developed as part and parcel of the education of children. In the

secondary school expansion programme, sporting facilities are

included. My ministry finances the Botswana Institute of Sports

Association (BISA) which co-ordinates sports at secondary school
30th November, 1998             178     Response to the President Speech

level. There is a position of Senior Teacher /Sports in secondary

schools. Mr Speaker, I could go on to illustrate my ministry‟s

commitment to sport. We are aware that more still needs to be done

especially in terms of implementation, but we have started and will

keep on improving our performance.

The Honourable Dr Koma spoke as he always does about the need

for computer studies and computer awareness and that we are not

doing enough. I quite agree that we need to do more, but it is not

only the Form Fives who have computers to study. We have

introduced computers in junior secondary schools. Mr Speaker, if

horses were wishes, we would have computers in all primary

schools, but we cannot at present afford to do so and above all we

do not have teachers qualified to teach. We are training teachers in

computer work in our colleges of education and as and when we

get teachers who can teach this subject we will get more and more

computers supplied to schools. All junior secondary schools have

computer labs.
30th November, 1998              179     Response to the President Speech

Lastly, Mr Speaker, I wish to plead with, urge, exhort, Honourable

Members, please to respect this Honourable House. We are all

Honourable, we should respect each other and respect this

Honourable House. We should not say things which are

unparliamentary in this Honourable House and hope we can retract

them. In Setswana, we say “you can retract a finger but not a

word”. Yesterday, Mr Speaker, I was at Kareng in the North West

District and several people came to see me and they said very

sadly, Mmaetsho, what on earth is happening in Parliament? Does

it mean that when you speak in Setswana it means, seriti sa

Palamentese awa ? That is what they said. Why all these hurling of

insults at each other. I was not here on the particular day when

insults were hurled around, but last night after arrival from Kareng,

I saw in one of the papers and read what had been said and my

heart bled because if we cannot respect ourselves, if we cannot

respect each other, if we cannot respect this Honourable House,

who is going to respect us? What example are we giving to the
30th November, 1998              180     Response to the President Speech

young people who are the future of this nation? It is sad. It is an

embarrassment and it is an indictment to our own integrity and I

am sure we can do the right thing. I know we can and I know we

are adults, I know we are honourable people. We do not have to

agree on everything, but our disagreement should be respectful.

Yes, we can pull each other‟s leg, but we do not have to insult each

other in this Honourable House. We shall be the laughing stock of

people outside and I assure you, the people outside are very

unhappy as to what is happening now since we spoke Setswana. I

had thought Setswana would make things flow so beautifully

because I know in Setswana, you use certain words with your own

group, your own club, your own comrades, but you do not use

certain expressions when there are juniors or seniors. But, if we are

going to behave in this Honourable House, the way we tend to be

doing, then I really do not know if this Honourable House has any

future and it is the most important body in this land. In Setswana,

we say “susu ilela Suswana gore Suswana a go ilele” (do unto
30th November, 1998             181     Response to the President Speech

others as you would they did to you) and really it cuts both ways.

Unless we respect ourselves, people will not respect us and if we

respect ourselves, we will respect other people. I could not agree

more with the Honourable Dr Koma and Honourable Merafhe

regarding hurling insults at each other and we should not make

people feel that because we speak Setswana, we must throw

dignity to the winds. We should be even more dignified when we

speak a language in which we are fluent, a language we

understand. We could not say I used that word because I thought it

meant something else. When you use a Setswana word you know

what it means, so there can be no excuse.

Mr Speaker, I would like to plead with this Honourable House,

with my whole heart that we respect this Honourable House and

respect each other and above all we respect you, Mr Speaker. I

thank you.


30th November, 1998             182     Response to the President Speech

Speaker. I would just like to address myself to one issue in His

Excellency‟s speech and if I may quote, he states that, “In

conclusion, I wish to encourage Honourable Members to discuss

issues which deserve the attention of this House and leave out

those which are not relevant for they only serve to prolong the

duration of the sessions which is costly and unproductive.” Mr

Speaker, being new in politics, I must say I am very disappointed

in what I find going on in this country. I am concerned also by the

quality of debate which sometimes takes place in this House. I

cannot understand why some would attempt to discredit what

others say in the House. I cannot understand why we would use

this House to try to mislead the public by making false statements.

I cannot also understand why we would resort to abusing each

other in the House. I wonder, as it has been said before, what

example to the nation are we providing as leaders, because there is

that expression - you lead by example; that in this House which has

been put up at great expense, people are paid salaries, people are
30th November, 1998               183     Response to the President Speech

paid sitting allowances, that they would come to abuse all that has

been put in by the provision of the Constitution. The leadership of

the nation is under one roof but yet we are abusing that privilege.

Being opposed to each other, Mr Speaker, should not translate into

intolerance of others‟ views and of others‟ opinions. I do not think

it is necessary that if we happen to be on the other side of the floor,

it means that we can never agree with what others are saying. I

think what Dr Koma said was very pertinent in that, if somebody in

the ruling party says something that the opposition agrees with,

what is wrong with them saying we agree with you. Similarly, if

somebody on the opposition says something that we agree or I

agree with, we should stand up and say we support what was being

said. During this debate there are two or three speakers from the

other side of the floor who have found that I agreed entirely with

what they said, even if it was by way of interjection or in terms of

some remarks they made in their speech.
30th November, 1998             184     Response to the President Speech

Mr Speaker, when we discuss Lesotho, the point I would like to

bring up, not to drum up again, is that I remember that the

opposition parties in Lesotho went and joined with the opposition

parties in South Africa; and what I found very interesting was that

there was this particular lady in Lesotho from Lesotho opposition

who was sitting in a press conference in front of the television

cameras and next to her was General Viljoen. General Viljoen said

to the cameras, “the SADC forces should withdraw from Lesotho”.

What I found very ironic was that this was the man who, when he

was the head of the South African Defence Force during the

apartheid era, was sending his South African army into Botswana,

Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola, in defence of

apartheid, which is something that cannot, in any way, be

defensible. But when we go in, in defence of democracy, he says

we should withdraw. Those opposition members from Lesotho

could have the courage or the audacity to sit in the same press

conference with a man with such a background and allow
30th November, 1998               185     Response to the President Speech

themselves to associate with his comments. So, I think some of

these things needs to be looked at in that context. We are,

Honourable Gentlemen, partners in this democracy. There is not

one party which is more democratic than the other. But I should

warn you that multi-party democracy as practised in any country is

not a guarantee for peace, stability and economic prosperity. Just

the point of fact that Botswana is a multi-party democracy is not a

guarantee that we will have peace and stability. We have heard

about other examples in Africa who are struggling to find

democracy, but unfortunately due to the culture of intolerance, it

continues to elude them. We have seen, and I am not trying to

make any kind of political gain from what I am about to say, but

we have seen earlier this year how in a democratic country like

Botswana, we had a slight hiccup in our peace and stability.

Therefore, it is an indication that, democracy must be nurtured. It

must be moulded and developed in order for it to succeed and

provide us with long lasting peace and stability. If politics is what I
30th November, 1998              186     Response to the President Speech

am seeing in Botswana today, if it is what I am hearing, then I

think we need to change to something better. We in Botswana,

need to try to develop our own brand of politics - that is nation

building and not the type that causes unnecessary division. Even if

we have our differences, everybody has differences, we have our

differences within our own party. I am sure the opposition have

differences within their own parties. Families have their own

differences amongst themselves but that should not lead and cause

the type of friction and abuse that we have been seeing.

Developing nations, especially young ones like ours need unity.

We need to work together, especially at this critical time of our age

because politics can make or break a nation. Therefore, I appeal

that in this House, we call ourselves as we heard, Honourable

Members of Parliament, we refer to the Honourable House. What

is the meaning of „honourable‟? It means honesty. Are we honest

people? It means respect for others and ourselves; and it means

loyalty. Those are the three meanings of „honourable‟. If we
30th November, 1998               187     Response to the President Speech

examine ourselves, and we are inward looking, we should ask

ourselves, do we satisfy that criteria in order to justify being called

„Honourable‟? We should not turn this House into a glorified

freedom square. In the coming elections, I would hope that we

would deal more with issues and not with personalities. Our people

out there, do not get any improvement in their qualities of life

when they hear you hurling insults at somebody else. People want

to know what you can do for them and not how good you are at

running down somebody else in another political party. There is,

for example, concern in some quarters of the public about our

salary increase. There is concern about the vehicle subsidy. People

do not think that they are justified. We clearly have not been able

to convince them of our needs. Why? Because we are developing a

bad reputation as politicians from what we say and do in freedom

squares, and in this House. So, let us turn a new page and try and

make real progress in this country.
30th November, 1998              188     Response to the President Speech

I, personally, find it difficult to bring myself to try to harass

Members of the Opposition. Whatever had been said by them to

discredit me in freedom squares, I shall not do likewise. I want to

give you that assurance. I will never be tempted to discredit

another Member of the Opposition. I say this, Mr Speaker, because

really it does not serve any purpose at all. The people want to hear

from us what we can do for them as I had already stated. We

sometimes hear about them saying, oh! Khama does not speak

Setswana well. They say that! He should go back to the kgotla. He

is a soldier. Well, what does that mean? Who cares about these

issues? Let them ride the goal and tell the people in Serowe North

that they should not vote for me at the next elections. I told my

electorate during my first political rally; I said if you do not want

someone who comes from the army, if you do not want someone

who does not know how to speak Setswana very well, do not vote

for me. And we left it at that. But I really cannot understand why

we want to be seen attacking each other in that way. Before me
30th November, 1998                189     Response to the President Speech

here, Mr Speaker, in front of me, all I see is fellow citizens. I do

not see opponents. They are not enemies. The Constitution

provides for political parties. So, we should not behave as if they

do not have a right to be there.

MR MABILETSA: Point of explanation, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Point of what? Explanation? I hope you would

not be long.

MR MABILETSA: It is all very well for His Honour the Vice

President to make that type of speech. In a political atmosphere

where the level of contest is not fair, or is tilted to one side, I will

give a typical example that I want him to actually address. There

was this radio programme, Mr Speaker, Dikgang tsa Palamente,

(Parliamentary News), which we learn has been banished by His

Honour the Vice President, and to make matters worse, he even

took the office that used to be a recording room. I want to ask him

whether when he sees us all as fellow citizens, why should he rob
30th November, 1998               190     Response to the President Speech

us this right that was guaranteeing the level of political grounds to

all of us?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Member, I almost

stopped you from the very beginning of your intervention because

it is irrelevant to what the Vice President is saying. If you have that

in your agenda, you can raise it at some other time.

LT. GEN. KHAMA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I see there are about

two minutes and I shall finish in those two minutes. As I was

saying, there is that constitutional provision for us. Therefore, we

should not act as if the other side, whoever they may be, do not

belong in this House. There are football opponents, we have

business opponents, there are rivalries between all sorts of

competitors, including political opponents. But if all those other

people I have just mentioned, ought to behave towards their

competitive opponents as we sometimes do against each other, then

there would be total chaos in this country. Mr Speaker, I hope that

in the coming election campaigns we will attempt to address issues
30th November, 1998              191     Response to the President Speech

and provide quality leadership to the people of this country. I also

hope that there would be no more political parties that will be

forming before the next elections because we have more than

enough already in this country. ....(laughter)..... And I think we

have covered a wide enough spectrum from democrats to

communists. As we go towards election, you see other parties

springing up, who really do not have much support. I think we

have enough. With those words, Mr Speaker, I thank you very


MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Order! Order! Order, Honourable

Mr Rantao!

MR RANTAO: Let me register, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I note that you stood to take the floor.

MR RANTAO: I have fixed you in this House.

MR SPEAKER: Honourable Members, it is time up. It is already

a minute past seven. I thank the Vice President for his intervention.

I hope everybody will take note of those very relevant educative
30th November, 1998                    192     Response to the President Speech

words of wisdom because they are not coming from Mr Speaker,

but from the Vice President. It is really very good that he saw it fit

to take the floor and speak in the style that he did and we all

listened very attentively to what he was saying.



MINISTER              OF     FINANCE         AND         DEVELOPMENT

PLANNING (MR. KEDIKILWE): Mr Speaker, I move that this

House do now adjourn.

                         Question put and agreed to.

The Assembly accordingly adjourned at 7:00 o‟clock p.m. until

Wednesday 2nd December, 1998 at 2:30 p.m.

                           Wednesday 2nd December 1998

                      THE ASSEMBLY met at 2.30 o’clock p.m.

                           (THE SPEAKER in the Chair)


                        QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

MR T.D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH): asked the Minster of Local Government,

Lands and Housing to say what programmes has been developed to correct the roads
30th November, 1998                        193        Response to the President Speech

maintenance practice whereby the Central District Council authorities habitually turn

roads into shallow canals below ground level through grading instead of continually

upgrading the roads through use of better and more suitable soil materials which would

keep the roads above ground level; the Minister should further say when such a

programme will be implemented.


(MR MOKGOTHU): Mr Speaker, central district has decided to cease the practice of

commencing the excavation of poor surface roads until such time that adequate and

suitable road material was immediately available to complete improvement works.

Therefore, in future work on roads listed for rehabilitation will not begin unless suitable

materials are actually on site.

As for existing incomplete roads, the district will first remove or level the built-up

material on either side of the roads and second proceed with their gravelling programme

of approximately 65 km of gravel road during the next financial year, in keeping with the

ceiling determined by Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

MR T.D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH): asked the Minster of Local Government,

Lands and Housing to say when the newly drilled boreholes for Matolwane and Moremi

villages will be equipped and connected to the reservoirs at the two villages and when the

use of such boreholes is expected to commence


(MR MOKGOTHU): Mr Speaker, I am pleased to inform this Honourable House that

the preparation for connecting the newly drilled boreholes for Matolwane and Moremi is

ongoing. We are currently at the design stage for equipping of the said borehole and inter-
30th November, 1998                          194       Response to the President Speech

connection of the villages. This process is scheduled to be completed by the middle of

December 1998. Construction of the project which includes, equipping of three

boreholes, erection of two storage tanks, laying of approximately 20 kilometres of

transmission pipeline and rehabilitation of the reticulation systems in both villages, is

scheduled to commence in February of 1999. The overall project development is

estimated to be completed at the end of September 1999.

MR MOGAMI: With regard to two storage tanks, may I know if the storage tanks will

be on the site of the boreholes themselves or are these to be located in the villages?

MR MOKGOTHU: Mr Speaker, I am sure it is clear that we will have to local the

storage tanks on the other side of the valley.

MR T.D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH): asked the Minister of Local

Government, Lands and Housing whether he has been apprised of the general state of

deterioration and near dilapidation of some of the Council facilities such as health posts,

clinics, primary schools, kgotla shelters due to inadequate maintenance in the Tswapong

area of the Serowe-Palapye Sub-district; the Minster should further say what programme

has been designed for the renovation and upgrading of such facilities indicating when the

programme is expected to be implemented


(MR MOKGOTHU): Mr Speaker, I am aware of the poor conditions of some of the

council facilities in the Tswapong area of the Serowe-Palapye sub-district.

I must, however, point out that the Central District Council has put in place a renovation

policy which clearly states that council facilities should be renovated after a maximum

period of every five years and a minimum period of every three years. This policy is being
30th November, 1998                         195           Response to the President Speech

adhered to. Most of the facilities were renovated during the past four years. Major

renovation is done every five years on a tender system, while minor renovation is some

on a three year cycle by the council maintenance crew.

Mr Speaker, fifteen primary schools in the Tswapong area of the Serowe-Palapye sub-

district will be renovated in the period between 2000 and 2004 while 12 primary schools

will be upgraded in the period between 2000 and 2003 by construction of 2 to 4

additional classrooms. A detailed report of this renovation programme is attached for ease

of reference.

Mr Speaker, regarding the health-posts and clinics;

Six health posts and 2 clinics are due for renovation in the period between January and

July 1999 while the two health posts will be upgraded to clinics and one clinic will be

extended between 2000 and 2003, a detailed report on this programme is also attached.

With regard to the kgotla shelters, the current situation is that the maintenance will be

done by the community themselves through village development committees. This will

remain so until an alternative arrangement is in place.

As I have said, Mr Speaker, the tables are attached at the end of this answer, and I will

submit them for record purposes. Thank you.


SCHOOL                         LAST RENOVATED                    NEXT RENOVATION

MALAKA                         1996                              2001/2002

LECHENG                        1997                              2002/2003

GOO-TAU                        1995                              2000/2001
30th November, 1998          196    Response to the President Speech

KATHOLO               1996                 2000/2002

MOLEBATSI             1995                 2000/2001

LESENEPOLE            1996                 2001/2002

MAPULANE              1994                 1998/1999

MASUPE                1996                 2001/2002

BORAKANELO            1998                 2003/2004

KUKUBJWE              1997                 2002/2003

GOO-SEKGWENG          1998                 2003/2004

MOENG PRIMARY         1995                 2000/2001

KUKUBJWE TEACHERS     1994                 1999/2000


MAJWANENG             1994                 1999/2000


MOREMI TEACHERS‟      1995                 2000/2001




MALAKA                2                    2000-2001

LECHENG               4                    1999-2000

                      2                    2000-2001
30th November, 1998                  197        Response to the President Speech

MMAPULANE               0                               N/A

LESENEPOLE              2                               1999-2001

                        2                               2000-20001

GOO-SEKWENG             0                               N/A

GOO-TAU                 0                               N/A

SEOLWANE                2                               2000-2003

RATHOLO                 2                               2001-2002

                        2                               2002-2003

MOLEBATSI               2                               1999-2000

                        2                               2001-2002

KUKUBJWE                4                               1998-1999

LERALA                  2                               1998-1999

                        2                               2001-2002

MAUNATLALA              0                               N/A




Malaka health post      General renovation of           January 1999

                        building(maintenance of

                        structural defects, etc.) and

                        erection of security fence
30th November, 1998                      198            Response to the President Speech

Ratholo health post         Erection of security fence         April 1999

Maunatlala clinic           Construction of partition          February 1999

                            walls within the

                            consultation rooms

Goo-Tau health post         General renovation of              May 1999

                            buildings (maintenance of

                            structural defects, etc.)

Moremi health post          General renovation of              July 1999

                            buildings (maintenance of

                            structural defects, etc.)

Lerala clinic and nurse‟s   General renovation of              June 1999

quarters                    buildings (maintenance of

                            structural defects, etc.)

Matlhakola health post      General renovation of              June 1999

                            buildings (maintenance of

                            structural defect, etc.)

Matolwane health post       General renovation of              May 1999

                            buildings (maintenance of

                            structural defects, etc.) and

                            erection of security fence

30th November, 1998                        199        Response to the President Speech

NAME OF FACILITY               NATURE OF WORK                 PLAN PERIOD

Mokokwana/Mosweu health Upgrade to a clinic                   2001/2


Seolwane health post           Upgrade to clinic              2001/2

Lecheng clinic                 Clinic extension               2002/3



                                   (Resumed Debate)

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I understand that last night, His Honour the Vice

President was just about or had just concluded his response and if that is a fact,

Honourable Mr Rantao has the floor.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, allow me to thank His Excellency the President for his

maiden speech as the 3rd President of this our republic. I believe the speech was as usual

intended to help us focus on the major challenges facing the nation.

Before I proceed let me concur with His Honour the Vice President and our elders, Dr

Chiepe and Dr Koma for advising that this Parliament should begin to be a respectable

place to talk from. That Parliament should not be turned into a glorified freedom square.

Mr Speaker, I do concur that we should all try to improve public perception of this

Honourable House because if the dignity of parliament is not upheld, then the dignity of

parliamentarians themselves will sink to the lowest depth. In fact, lack of respect for

parliament can also lead to the undermining of the laws and policies passed by this

parliament because once parliament is not respected how can the laws and policies that it
30th November, 1998                        200        Response to the President Speech

passes be respected. There is need to further tighten the rules. I think we need to tighten

the rules governing the behaviour of members of Parliament.

Again we do have some Honourable Members who keep on trying to turn themselves into

Speakers, trying to persuade the Speaker to favour them or their parties and this is not

fair, Mr Speaker.

When focusing on the speech by His Excellency the President, I would like to say that

when discussing a speech such as this one, nobody should be surprised when some of us,

from this end, express different judgments and perceptions from their own because we are

a different organisation. We have to express different, opinions, views and judgments

from the perception that the ruling party has, including even the Botswana National Front

which has totally being domesticated by the Botswana Democratic Party.

Our colleagues should understand that parliamentary democracy by its very nature implies

pluralism of views, opinions and perceptions. Once we recognise this, Mr Speaker, then

there is need for anybody to get bitter or panicky. I do not know, the way we treat one

another as Members of Parliament, I think degenerated or deteriorated after the formation

of the Botswana Congress Party and we know the reasons why. I would like before I

proceed, Mr Speaker, to try to outline the reasons why this seems to be the case.

It is because as soon as the Botswana Congress Party was formed, which was a legitimate

move constitutionally allowed and legally entrenched, many members started to get jittery

restless and paranoid. We know the reason why this is so. Some have even developed

deep seated hatred for the Botswana Congress Party to a frightening dimension where if

some of them knew how to bewitch, I think they would bewitch. Some members whom I

can point here and there are four of them, who are so obsessed with the formation of the
30th November, 1998                          201        Response to the President Speech

Botswana Congress Party. They will fight if there is fighting as things stand. Yet, Mr

Speaker, it is lawful and constitutionally legitimate to cross the floor from one party to

another in all democratic societies. It is constitutionally legitimate, it is legal and

justifiable to cross the floor and form another party. It is very surprising when in fact

some of us did not come here floating like cocks on top of a dirty wave to this Parliament.

We came here on the mandate of the people and we had the right, as citizens of this

country, to do what we have done because it was within the constitution. Now if someone

comes here with a face like a well kept grave and starts saying that we should be neck-

laced for that, it is very undemocratic. Mr Speaker, I think were there is a great deal of

free speech, there is also an amount of foolish speech. If a member of parliament could

instigate people and incite people to give the impression that what we have done is

unconstitutional and yet knowing, very well that it is the opposite, that is foolish speech.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Go fa kae mo speeching?

MR RANTAO: I am discussing paragraph 60, the last one; and you are one of those

Honourable Nasha like Honourable Gabaake who did not come here with a single vote

and you have the audacity...

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! It is in accordance with our electoral law that specially

elected members have the rights and privileges like all elected members, therefore it is

wrong for the Honourable Member to say that the Honourable Mr Gabaake came here

without a single vote, he was voted in by this Honourable House, representing the nation

of Botswana. Therefore, it is improper to say that.

MR RANTAO: If the BDP thinks they can wish us away as BCP, they are living in

cuckoo land. If they think they can whisk us away like rain drops being whisked away by
30th November, 1998                           202        Response to the President Speech

the wipers on a wind-screen, that is wishful thinking, they will never get it that way. They

are living in cuckoo land. The BCP is not a mickey mouse parties that you have been

tossing around. It is not even somebody‟s personal property as we have had with other

oppositions. If you wish it away, you are like a fool who tries to shut heaven with a single

palm of his hand. The BCP is as big as the blue sky, you can shut it with a single palm of

your hand. You can hate it but you can never stop it . . . . .

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Point of clarification, Mr Speaker.

MR RANTAO: I am not allowing it yet, I am developing a point. You can hate the BCP,

but you can never stop it from growing from one strength to another. I would like to tell

this Honourable House why there is this hatred. All of a sudden you realise that a more

coherent, stable and united political organisation has come into surface in Botswana. It

shocked you. You have now become nervous. You have always benefited from the

weakness of other opposition parties. You have benefited from the persistent instability

and petty squabbles within the BNF. Now you are shocked because this status quo is

changing. You wanted a status quo to remain.

MR SEBEGO: (Inaudible)

MR RANTAO: Honourable Mr Sebego, I do not want your comments because when you

talk about the BCP, your mouth is like an open sewer. This has always been your trump

cards. You have suddenly become a turn-coat. You now romanticise . . . .


Order, Mr Speaker. I object to the expression used by the Honourable Member against

another Honourable Member, to say his mouth is like an open sewer. That is an insult.

When he started, he said he concurred with what His Honour the Vice President said
30th November, 1998                            203      Response to the President Speech

yesterday and if this is the way we start after paraphrasing it that way, to start with insults

like this, this is out of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, the Honourable Minister is right.

You make the work of the Speaker very difficult when you start paraphrasing your

introduction with very good words and intentions and within a very short space of time

you start diverting from what you promised to do. We have agreed and we are expected to

behave like Honourable Members because we are honourable. That is why we hate people

who do not respect us. It is quite improper for the Honourable Member to use such

unacceptable words. Can we please behave like Honourable Members because we are

honourable. We are demonstrating to the nation what we are.

MR RANTAO: I agree with you, Mr Speaker, but you should also be concerned about

Members who interject when another member is talking. It is not honourable to do so . . .

. MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Member, you are not here to direct me what

to say and what not to say.

MR RANTAO: But you are directed by the BDP members.


NKATE): Point of Order, Mr Speaker. You must make a ruling, Mr Speaker, not express

your opinion as in . . . . .

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Are you ordering the Speaker?

MR NKATE: No, I am just following the Standing Orders. The Speaker must make

rulings and those rulings must be complied with. We do not know what the ruling is right

now. Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member must withdraw or the expression he has used

will stand as a record of this Parliament. Is he withdrawing or not?
30th November, 1998                          204        Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, the Honourable Member for

Ngami is right, but I think I can use my discretion where to say you withdraw or you do

not withdraw. I do not think that the Honourable Member for Gaborone West has reached

a point where I should say that he has used unparliamentary word.

MR NKATE: Mr Speaker, further point of order. Mr Speaker, with due respect to you,

what must he say before he withdraws? He has already said an Honourable Member‟s

mouth is like an open sewer. Are we saying that he has not reached a point yet where he

is insulting? Must he go further, Mr Speaker, with due respect?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, I tried to ask the Honourable

Member to refrain from using such unacceptable words. I have tried to do so and my

decision has to stand.

MR RANTAO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will refer to the Law Reform Committee

which is going around the country undertaking what I think, Mr Speaker, is an irrelevant

tour . . . . . . .

MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (MR SEBEGO): On a point of procedure, Mr

Speaker. The Honourable Member for Gaborone West has to withdraw the statement he

made about me. He has got to withdraw . . . . (Inaudible) . . . .

MR KAVINDAMA: Point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, once you have made a

ruling, it stands and no member should command the Speaker to do what he thinks is

right, in terms of Standing Order Number 47.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, we should remember that the

House belongs to the Honourable Members and if Members feel very strongly that the

Honourable Member has used such unpalatable words, he has to withdraw. Therefore,
30th November, 1998                           205         Response to the President Speech

Honourable Member for Gaborone West, you have to withdraw what you said about the

Honourable Member for Barolong.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, with this kangaroo turnaround . . . . .

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! You either stand up and withdraw unconditionally or you

do not.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, for the sake of progress, I withdraw the statement. The

Honourable Member‟s mouth is not like an open sewer when he speaks about the BCP.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Member, I said you must withdraw

unconditionally. Can you stand up and withdraw please?

MR RANTAO: I withdraw the statement I made to the effect that the Honourable

Member‟s mouth is like an open sewer when he speaks about the BCP. I withdraw that.

Mr Speaker, let me continue. I was just about to begin to talk about . . . . . . .

MR SEBEGO: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker.

MR RANTAO: I am not yielding, Mr Speaker, a lot of my time has been taken away . . .


MR SEBEGO: Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member has to withdraw, because he was

referring to Parliament as a kangaroo. This Parliament is an honourable institution, it is

not a kangaroo, he has to withdraw that.

MR RANTAO: I am now referring to the Law Reform Committee which I think is a

waste of . . . . .

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I was disturbed by the Deputy Clerk while the

Honourable Member for Barolong was speaking. I do not know what he was saying. Can

you repeat what you were saying Honourable Member?
30th November, 1998                          206        Response to the President Speech

MR SEBEGO: Mr Speaker, I was saying that, the Honourable Member for Gaborone

West was saying this is a kangaroo Parliament and I am saying he has to withdraw that

because this is an honourable institution, it is not a kangaroo Parliament.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I said, and I would like to repeat, please do not make

problems for the Speaker, behave like elderly people Honourable Members. The

Honourable Member for Gaborone West, at the point he was using the word “kangaroo”,

I stopped him and I said he must not use any other word except to withdraw or he should

say that he does not withdraw. I made a ruling.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the Law Reform Committee tour that they

are taking around the country is a waste of public funds. It squanders public funds

because a consensus has already been reached by all parties that the Kokorwe motion, as

we call it now, should be accepted. All parties and the people are agreeable to this and

consensus has long ago been reached on this. There is no need for squandering public

funds pretending to be soliciting popular consensus on the subject on which . . . . . .

MR BALOPI: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am not quite sure whether the

Honourable Member is honest in himself in saying what the Law Reform Committee is

doing, he perceives that as a waste of public funds when in fact what the Law Reform

Committee is doing is an implementation of a motion that was passed by this Honourable

House. Is he back-trekking from that position that he took?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I do not think that is a point of order, it is a point of

correction, because he is giving the nation a wrong information on a matter that was

resolved by Parliament that the matter be referred to the Law Reform Committee.
30th November, 1998                          207        Response to the President Speech

MR NKATE: Point of order, Mr Speaker. The Honourable Member is challenging a

resolution of this House which, in accordance with the Standing Orders of this House,

must be implemented. In fact, we have a committee whose sole responsibility is the

implementation of the resolutions of this House as in the Assurances Committee. Now,

are we saying that it is improper to implement the resolutions and decisions of this House,

and that implementation whenever it is effected and that whenever is relevant, Mr

Speaker, should be criticised?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I made that decision Honourable Members because the

Honourable Member has never said that the Law Reform Committee was discharging the

duty that was not given to it. I feel very strongly that the Honourable Member was more

or less getting out of procedure, therefore, we have to stop him from referring to the Law

Reform Committee when it is discharging the duty that was referred to it by this

Honourable House. I realise that when the Honourable Member for Francistown East

stated why he stood on a point of order.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, I am at a stand still and confused now as to what words and

phrases I should use, what points I should discuss because all the speakers who discussed

before talked about this very issue at length. I am not saying this is not a resolution by this

Parliament, and not all resolutions are supported by all parties and we talk about them

even in public rallies that this is a waste of money because popular consensus has long

been reached Mr Speaker, that is what I am saying. The Botswana Democratic Party has

always celebrated defections because you were the biggest beneficiaries from defections

in history, you never made any noises or any row about this. Now that the Botswana

Congress Party has benefited more, you are now getting jitters, you are becoming
30th November, 1998                       208        Response to the President Speech

nervous, we have the whole list of defections from 1969. You know what happened with

Mariam Hirschfeld defecting from BNF to in 1969. Again Peter Ferguson of Extension 4

in Gaborone, Councillor Ntshwene and you call them wise people. You did celebrate,

slaughtering goats and cattle in order to celebrate this. Now today you are pretending to

be against the thing that you have always enjoyed. You are getting jitters and you are

feeling pain now that I am telling you the truth, you are hypocrites, that is why you are

restless when I speak.

MR SPEAKER: Order! please. Honourable Member, I would like to appeal to you,

please comply with Standing Orders. Your observations should be made through the

Speaker. On a number of occasions I did say that as soon as you start saying „you, you,

you‟ you are provoking your colleagues. When you have finished, I kindly request you to

comply with Standing Orders. (interruptions) Honourable Member for Okavango, should

I sit down so that you can take the floor? Honourable Member for Selebi-Phikwe, should

I sit down so that you can take the floor? Please comply with the Standing Orders, do not

provoke your colleagues.

MR MABILETSA: On a point of Order Mr Speaker. My point of order Mr Speaker

arises from the fact that in terms of the Standing Order, when a Member is speaking, all

Members must remain silent and they must not impute improper motives. We are not

making progress right now Mr Speaker because a lot of improper motives are being made

against the Honourable Member for Gaborone West holding the floor hence we are

failing to make progress and I am appealing to you Mr Speaker to call Honourable

Members on the opposite side to refrain from making unseemly remarks against fellow

30th November, 1998                          209         Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I have just made a decision that the Honourable Member

should refrain from provoking his colleagues. I have said so.

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (interruptions) ...

MR SPEAKER: I have just made a decision by appealing to the Honourable Member to

comply with the Standing Orders. When the Honourable Member for Kgatleng East stand

on a point of order, he is literally saying that I am out of order and I am in order.

MR RANTAO: Councillor Ntshwene of Ramotswa in 1969, BNF to BDP there was a

celebration, everybody said he was a wise man because it was benefiting the BDP, now

that it is very painful when it benefits other parties and not the BDP. Councillors Sebolao

of Lobatse in 1969, BNF to BDP, Councillor Dube of Bontleng in 1969 to BNF to BDP.

Even in the 1974 - 79 period Robert Maswabi from Ntlhayatlase in Kanye BNF to BDP, I

remember cattle were slaughtered, feasts were made to celebrate defections and then in

1984 to 1989 .... (interruptions) Mr Speaker, I beg for your protection because they are

provoking me, but you keep on saying I should not provoke them, I am merely reading a

list of defections, I am not provoking them, they are provoking me. From 1984 to 89

Councillor Kono of Khakhea BDP to BNF, Elizabeth Bathobakae of Jwaneng BNF to

BDP, she was taken around, paraded around the country, you were parading your vices

and proclaiming them as your virtues with this woman and celebrating the defections.

Now you are inciting people against defections because they have not this time around

benefited you, this is hypocrisy. Albert Mudanga of Francistown BPP to BDP, Robert

Tembo of Maun BNF to BDP. In 1994 to date Kopano Maruping of Tati Siding BPP to

BDP, Joseph Mbalambi of Kalakamate BPP to BNF and there was a celebration as well.

Pius Mokgwathi of Masunga BPP to BNF, Councillor Takubona of Jackalas No.1 BPP to
30th November, 1998                        210          Response to the President Speech

BDP, Councillor Rammokolodi. Councillor Molatlhegi Moitoi BNF to BDP, Isaac

Davies BNF to BDP, Peter Ngoma, the last mayor who was the last stalwart of People‟s

Party you took, you celebrated, slaughtered beasts, and glorified the defections to the

nation. Today you are running a campaign of malice, you are campaign for ignorance, you

are teaching people ignorance, you are giving the people the impression that to defect is


MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! can you be kind enough Honourable Member to co-

operate with me. Can you please. Shall we co-operate.

MR RANTAO: Yes, Sir.

MR SPEAKER: Please do that.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, I will co-operate.

MR NKATE: Mr Speaker, on a point of explanation...

MR RANTAO: No, I am not allowing you, my time has been eaten away. Lamodimo

Olesitse from BPP to BNF also....

MRS KOKORWE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker....

MR RANTAO: Let me complete reading the list and then I ill yield to you. Monnatsie,

Paul Kemoreng, Councillor Komboni, BDP to BNF, BNF to BCP, that is when the

problem started, Bernard Shumo BPU to BNF, BNF to BCP that is when the trouble

started, Joseph Gobela of Dukwe BPU to BNF, BNF to BCP, trouble. Now it is evil to do

so because it is now not the two parties that are benefiting. So you want to incite people

against the BCP by orchestrating hatred and cupidity.

MR BALOPI: On a point of Order Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am really at a loss as to

what the Honourable Member is saying because it is a fact that in the composition of the
30th November, 1998                          211     Response to the President Speech

Law Reform Committee there are two Members of the BCP. Am I given to understand

that they too are on the band wagon of going out to castigate BCP as he suggests, or they

are there by mistake and by default. That is what I am being given to understand.

MR KGOSIPULA: This is abuse.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order!, the Honourable Member for Francistown East stood on a

point of order. Can you repeat yourself Honourable Member.

MR BALOPI: My point of order Mr Speaker is that the Member is out of order by

assuming or making insinuations suggesting that the Law Reform Committee is a body of

people that are meant to go out to castigate the BCP when in fact there are two Members

of the BCP in this Committee who are Members of Parliament, what are they doing there,

are they also in the same campaign and if so, why are they involved, if they are not

interested in coming to the Committee.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They are just imitating you, mind you.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members,                I feel that it is a point of

correction rather than to be a point of order.

MR RANTAO: .......position of the Law Reform committee. In fact at this stage I am not

even discussing the activities of the Law Reform Committee, I am saying what the BDP

people say elsewhere in the freedom squares and other fora, I am saying you are carrying

out a malicious campaign of mass deception. You are giving the people the impression

that what we did as BCP Councillors and Members of Parliament, was in violation of the

constitution and you know that it is totally false. In other words you are spreading

ignorance around the country.
30th November, 1998                       212       Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, I have been tolerant and I think I

am being drawn to a point where I should use one of the Standing Orders. “The

Honourable Member who does not accept the ruling of the Speaker, something has to be

done to him”, therefore I have been tolerant, I once more and finally request the

Honourable Member to comply with the Standing Orders.

MR RANTAO: Hey, it must be very hot hee!. It is now hot. You are donkeying and

intoxicating people with misinformation. You are engaged in systematic mass deception,

some people right now in the country believe that we violated the constitution. Someone

was saying in Mmathethe that we need to be neck-laced and you were sitting there

Honourable Balopi and you did not correct that impression. They said it elsewhere in

Mmadinare, they were saying we should be flocked because we violated the constitution

and you are enjoying this, irresponsible government, you are spending money to spread

ignorance of this nature. How can the whole government sponsor the spread of ignorance.

You are sponsoring massive deception. You have committed the worst crimes against

democracy, you cannot turn around and teach us how to respect popular electoral choices.

In 1969 you were the first when Ra-Gaone, the former president was beaten, people had

decided that they are not voting him to come to Parliament but they wanted Kgosi

Gaseitsiwe, you dragged him here, violating the people‟s choice, violating popular

electoral choice. You started in 1969 and you repeated it again by dragging Peter Mmusi

here after he was trounced by Dr Koma in Gaborone South. You did. Who are you to

pretend to be the champions of popular electoral choice respect. You have never

respected popular choice by the electorate, you have violated it. The Honourable

Kokorwe herself the sponsor of that motion, is a case study of that violation. In the
30th November, 1998                           213     Response to the President Speech

primary elections in Thamaga she was beaten by Kabo Morwaeng who was number one,

number two was Ntsatsi and she was number three

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Where did you get that?

MR RANTAO: You dragged her into this House, completely disrespective of popular

vote, that is what you did. You have committed the worst crimes against democracy, you

have. You have frustrated or ignored the popular electoral choices.

Now on this one Mr Speaker, let me refer to the Botswana Parliament programme.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, I would like to draw the

Honourable Member to Standing Order 46 (5) which reads thus “A Member shall not

impute improper motives to another Member” I have been requesting the Honourable

Member for Gaborone West to refrain from addressing his colleagues directly. Now he

has been addressing them directly in spite of the fact that I had made a ruling and the

Standing Orders do not allow him to continue repeating what he had said after I had made

a decision and I therefore ask him to refrain from addressing his colleagues directly and

imputing improper motives on his colleagues.

MR RANTAO: Thank you Mr Speaker. I will do as you instruct, Mr Speaker, if I went a

little bit out of the way. But, I was however....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: On a point of clarification...

MR RANTAO: I am not accepting it, my time has been eaten away Mr Speaker...

HONOURABLE MEMBER: No, but this is to put the record straight.....

MR RANTAO: No, I am not yielding, I am not yielding.

MR SPEAKER: Let us not be emotional, gentlemen!
30th November, 1998                         214       Response to the President Speech

MR RANTAO: I am appealing to the Government through the Minister of Presidential

Affairs and Public Administration to reinstate the Radio Botswana programme “Dikgang

tsa Palamente” because its withdrawal is not very fair. I think a lot of people are yearning

for it. Most of the Members of Parliament, backbenchers and so forth feel that perhaps

the programme was bringing Parliamentarians closer to the people, I found it a retreat

from openness and transparency.

The programme Mr Speaker, brought Parliamentarians and the nations closer together, it

was the only democratic process that was left in the system of the Botswana Democratic

Party (BDP). It made Parliamentarians more accessible to their electorate directly,

because the electorate could listen to their own representative directly from the horses

month. So its withdrawal, Mr Speaker, I regard it as a set back or a step backward

because already Mr Speaker, there are new democracies that have been emerging in the

region, including South Africa and Namibia and we are far behind others in terms of

democratising our institutions like Parliament. We are far behind others who even enjoy

televised Parliamentary proceeding, for instance, there are live proceedings in the South

African Parliament in Cape Town, and I believe also, in Namibia they are making use of

that. Parliament is not hidden away from the people, there is openness and there is a free


Now, I think Mr Speaker, it could be reinstated in a different format, if you like. For

instance maybe directly recording from here the first 15 minutes and if you do not come

to the point in those 15 minutes, it is up to you. It can be reformed and brought back alive

in a different format, but at least Members of Parliament must be heard by their own

people directly, using their own voices because what is going on with the so called
30th November, 1998                         215       Response to the President Speech

programme of “Tsa Palamente” (About Parliamnt) every evening is a distortion, people

pick up, only Ministers are projected and the rest of the Members of Parliament are

quoted by someone who will select very politically what he thinks Government would

enjoy hearing. And that is a distortion. Even yesterday, there was a distortion, someone

had to say that I said I like coups. I never said so Mr Speaker. I said since the Minister‟s

statement had earlier indicated that when they went to Lesotho, there was total chaos,

there was no government, government Ministers and some branches of bureaucracy were

running helter-skelter, there was absolutely no control, there was no government,

government had been couped..


MR RANTAO: government had been arrested and I was saying which government were

you now going to protect? Which one because Mosilili was in Ladysmith. They had run

away, some of them were in Ladybrand.

Getting to the Lesotho one, I did not say, and I would like to demand correction from

whoever is responsible, I did not say coups are good a thing. I said they occur as a reality

in our world today, Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean et cetera. If there was no

government who were you defending?

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Point of Clarification.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, since I have lost a lot of time with such interjections, I will

not allow this one. Our position in the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is that Southern

African Development Community (SADC) as a regional institution should concentrate on

social economic pursuits rather than military pursuits. That is the primary objective for

which SADC was formed.
30th November, 1998                          216      Response to the President Speech

The question of militarism, the question of political interference et cetera was to be a

baby for the Organisation of African Unity, which thus has a clause in its charter of non

interference in internal matters of another state,.

Now here we are, we have SADC member states carrying arms, we have Mugabe running

helter/skelter somewhere in Angola to defend the business of his son, he is in the

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia is also there. What is happening again, is

that Savimbi is raping, killing and maiming children in Angola and nobody is taking

action because apparently some Member States do not like the socialist inclination of the

Angolan government which is the MTLA. So here we are playing double standards. We

are saying we want to defend a democratically elected government in Lesotho. At the

same time a democratically elected government in Angola is being tortured by Savimbi

and other thugs and for 20 years and SADC Member States have done nothing.

MR NKATE: Point of clarification. Mr Speaker, just to seek clarification. Is the

Honourable Member suggesting that if a democratically elected government has been

thrown out of office by whatever means demonstrations, popular will if you like, the

SADC should just go in there and put in economic measures to support the system. Now

if that is what you are saying, which system in the event of a chaos, such as the

Honourable Member is talking about? And is the Honourable Member suggesting that in

the case of Lesotho, military intervention was inappropriate because this was an unknown

socialist system and it would have been appropriate in the case of Angola, which is a

socialist system.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, my query here is               double standards, that is all I am

querying. In Lesotho there was chaos, but before the military intervention by South Africa
30th November, 1998                        217        Response to the President Speech

and Botswana, not a single Mosotho had died, that is a fact, not a single one. Deaths only

occurred after the arrival of the South African forces. There was nothing, Basotho were

just sitting at the Kings Palace demonstrating, and no death had occurred, there was no

need for panic. Basotho would have resolved their own problems at that stage. No state

has the right to attempt to re-shape another state in its own image or in its own likeness.

That is the basic principle of international relations; non interference in another states

matters. The region should be organised around strategic tenets of co-operative security,

rather than individual states feeling that, who are we? We are a small nation, we are a

small economy, our economy is very fragile, our people are not employed, lot of our

children do not go to school. We have spent four million to go and pretend to be a super

power of Southern Africa. South Africa can afford to do it, they are Europe in Africa.

They are a big economy, we are nothing to try to be some super power of some kind. We

should not show off like that.

The first most important condition for our survival in the region is demilitarisation. We

should not be piling up weapons of war, weapons of destruction, machines of death. We

continue to buy them, right now where is the SADC‟s objective of economic

emancipation of the poor? The people of the region are bleeding from wars, the people of

the region are ignorant, they are hungry, they are starving and they are uneducated. There

is a lot of poverty rampant in this region. Now where do you get the money to go and play

around and interfere in Lesotho, when not a single Mosotho has died at that point in time?

I know the motive, I will tell you why. South Africa had a different motive of going there,

maybe they think Lesotho is in their belly. So maybe they did that for demonic reasons. I

do not know, I am not certain. But I am certain that you wanted to go and defend the
30th November, 1998                        218        Response to the President Speech

rigging of elections which you also do, you did it here in 1984, there was a missing box


MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members I would like to draw the attention

of this Honourable House to Standing Order No. 49 (1), (2) and (3) just to remind

Honourable Members because I have reached a point where I feel I should use those

provisions. The Standing Order 49 (1) reads thus: “The Speaker, after having called the

attention of the Assembly to the conduct of a Member who persists in irrelevance or

tedious repetition of his own or other Members‟ arguments in the debate, may direct him

to discontinue his speech.

(2). The Speaker shall order a Member whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw

immediately from the Chamber for the remainder of that day‟s sitting, and may direct

such steps to be taken as are required to ensure compliance with this order.

(3) If, on any occasion the Speaker deems that the powers conferred under the preceding

paragraphs are inadequate to deal with any Member who has committed the offence of

disregarding the authority of the Chair or contravening The Rules of Procedure of the

Honourable House shall order by persistently and willfully obstructing or otherwise he

may name such a Member.” Honourable Members I am reminding Honourable Members

that this provision still stands in the revised Standing Orders. I therefore once more

request all Honourable Members to refrain from provoking their colleagues, they should

follow Standing Order of this Honourable House.

MR MABILETSA: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You were saying 49 (1) is that

right, because I am looking at 49 (1), (2), (3) it does not say what you are saying. Are we

carrying two different Standing Orders.
30th November, 1998                         219       Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Yes, I was reminding Honourable Members of the

provisions 49 (1), (2) and (3) and I would like once more to remind Honourable Members

of Standing Order 48 and it reads thus. “The Speaker, shall be responsible for the

observance of the Rules of Order. His decision on a point of order shall be final.”

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, I am going to talk about what I read from the report about

Lesotho Elections, that there was serious electoral rigging and fraud. At one stage in that

report a 1,000 people had the same addresses, the same birthday, the same places of

abode, the same names and you call that minor disturbances, minor discrepancies, also ....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Minor irregularities.

MR RANTAO: Minor irregularities. This is very gross. Another instance in Lesotho,

people who voted were more than those who had registered to vote. People who voted

were more than those who had registered to vote. There was one Lesotho lady who stood

against Mosilili the Prime Minister. The lady was said to have been voted by only 1,000

people after the results were announced, 5,000 people carrying their cards and showing

that they voted her and it became very astonishing that we were told that she had lost

elections against the Prime Minister Mosilili. It also indicates Mr Speaker, that the

capacity of the Electoral Commission in Lesotho was completely nil, it was completely

irrelevant, just like ours here. Look at what happened in Nata. At Nata Mr Speaker,

people .....


procedure, Mr Speaker.

MR RANTAO: At Nata Mr Speaker, people were using a stamp ...
30th November, 1998                         220       Response to the President Speech

MR TEMANE: Just procedure. The Honourable Member is quoting from something and

we have not heard what it is he is quoting from and whether he has obtained the

permission from the Speaker, to quote and cite what it is that he is quoting from.


MR TEMANE: Hey you! I know Parliament procedure, let Mr Speaker talk.

MR SPEAKER: I would like to know if the Honourable has actually quoted from any

paper because I thought he was just speaking. Honourable Member, Honourable as you

are can you be Honourable and tell me the truth and the House.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, I was not quoting any paper, I am telling you what I

learned, like I can learn in a classroom at school and pass the examination without

carrying a paper next to me. So, Mr Speaker, let me proceed and say that I was just saying

in our case in Phikwe for instance, people were voting using the ballot paper. The same

Electoral Commission in Nata they were using stamps and we do not have such things.

So, BDP went to Lesotho for a different reason, it is an act of self preservation. You want

to be protected after rigging the next elections. So, your motive was different from that of

South Africa.

Mr Speaker, having now said a lot of responses, now let me allow them to cool down a

little bit. I am now talking about the Citizen Empowerment. I want to be very clear Mr

Speaker, today that this government has totally failed to empower Batswana to business

ownership. There is nothing that any Motswana owns in the Main Mall of Gaborone. You

go to all the malls Lobatse, Francistown, Selibe Phikwe, there is nothing of significance

that a Motswana owns except Dimausu and other things like that and you know that very

well. You know Batswana tried to get into construction industry, all this has collapsed.
30th November, 1998                         221       Response to the President Speech

They are being litigated every now and then at the average of 134 cases per month at the

High Court of Lobatse.

Batswana have not been empowered in terms of housing ownership. Batswana tried to

buy houses through Botswana Building Society. Right now as I am talking to you they

have been repossessed and foreigners ....


MR RANTAO: Botswana Building Society, they have been repossessed up to this

present moment. Commercial Banks, Botswana Building Society, Barclays Bank, all

these commercial banks continue to repossess Batswana‟s property, so that the talk in this

Speech on Paragraph 2 about self-reliance is a loud sounding nothing. It has not benefited

Batswana. Thirty two years after independence we still have our own little inferior mall

called African Mall. Even if you go to the African Mall there you will not find a

Motswana with short hair except in a little corner polishing nails and polishing teeth. This

is serious Mr Speaker, this talk is hallow about empowering Batswana. Now, we have

achieved nothing in this regard. You come up with policies, some of them are good and

sound, but you cannot even implement them, you cannot even implement the programme

Drought Relief, distribution of mealie meal is a problem, you cannot even do that

administer mealie meal. All you have been ......

MR NKATE: (Inaudible)

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member must withdraw, otherwise Mr

Speaker, it will be upon me and him outside. (Interruptions) I would like him to

withdraw, Mr Speaker, he must withdraw. I am a citizen of this country and I am a

Motswana, a Mohurutshe by origin. My citizenship is not determined by fences or
30th November, 1998                         222        Response to the President Speech

boundaries, but by origin. My totem iss a baboon. and for a young man like this to say “I

come from South Africa, what is he talking about”. I am a citizen of this country, so he is

offending me seriously in Parliament and I want him to withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I have several times on several occasions appealed to the

Honourable Member to avoid provoking his colleagues and he is taking the decision on

his own. You are telling me who you are I have not even heard what he was saying, I

wanted to stand up and ask him to repeat what he said and when I was standing you kept

on standing, therefore I decided to sit down.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member said I came from South Africa and

I am saying Mr Speaker, this is a bad insinuation, it is derogatory because it implies that I

am not loyal to this country and yet I am a citizen and Honourable Member of this

Parliament and I pledge that here standing here pledging my loyalty to this country and I

am a citizen, a loyal citizen of this country. I have never committed any crime Mr

Speaker, to be told I am South African. I am not South African, so he must withdraw

because it is not a fact.

MR SPEAKER: Could I ask the Honourable Member to repeat what he said.

MR NKATE: Mr Speaker, I would like to know what I am on record as having said.

That is objectionable, that is what I would like to know. What am I on record as having

said that is objectionable. Is the Honourable Member refuting the fact that he grew up in

South Africa. There are people on this side of the bench who grew up in South Africa are

they offended?

HONOURABLE MEMBER: He is imputing improper motives.

MR RANTAO: He is imputing improper motives.
30th November, 1998                        223       Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members we know the Rules of Procedures,

if there is an argument that the Honourable Mr Nkate did say something and he is denying

that we have to refer the matter to the tape. You remember what happened recently.

MR RANTAO: I do not want this double standard Mr Speaker, I do not want it. The

Honourable Member must withdraw.

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Withdraw what? (Interruptions)

MR SPEAKER: Honourable Members, I do not know what the Honourable Member has

to withdraw is there is anything recorded that he said so that we can refer to the tape

because he is denying what you say he said?

MR MABILETSA: On a point of order Mr Speaker. The point of order I am making is

that it is in the Standing Order and it says that no Member must impute improper motive

against the other. I do not think Mr Speaker, it is in order for a Member like the

Honourable Nkate to consistantly remind Honourable Rantao that he grew up in South


MR NKATE: What is improper about that?

MR MABILETSA: It is very improper because it is being said with derogation Mr

Speaker, and the Honourable Member has been persistently making noise without being

called to order and he must be called to order Mr Speaker. I do not think we can carry on

like this. We have been listening yesterday to elderly Members of this Honourable House

trying to advise us to be orderly and to behave. Now, if Honourable Nkate is going to go

on a free spree to misbehave against other Members I think he ought to be called to order.


KWELAGOBE): On a point of procedure, Mr Speaker. My point of procedure is that
30th November, 1998                            224         Response to the President Speech

there is a technicality here and of course it is up to the Speaker‟s ruling if the Speaker has

heard the Honourable Member but the technicality is that the Honourable Member who

made the remark for him to withdraw it must have been standing and therefore must have

been recorded. That is the procedure Mr Speaker, otherwise it will be your discretion if

you heard him to call him to withdraw, but if you have not heard him Mr Speaker, the

right procedure is that he must have been recorded and he must have been on the floor

making the remark.


NKATE): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is not clear to me what improper motive I

imputed or I am supposed to have imputed or I am reputed to have imputed on any one,

or what insulting language or insulting imputation I might have made in reference to

anyone. It is not even clear. The Honourable Member says, I said he grew up in South

Africa, therefore, that is improper motive. Even if I have said it, and I did not, so, what is

improper about it?

HONOURABLE MEMBER: I grew up at the cattle post.

MR NKATE: Me too, what is the problem. He applied for citizenship, he is a citizen by

naturalisation. He is standing here telling us that, some of us cannot even distribute

mealie meal Our people are living from mealie meal. What is this? Who is he?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, I asked the Honourable Member

for Ngami to repeat what was alleged he had said, and he had stood up to say that, he had

not said so. I said the only evidence that we can get . . . (interruptions) . . .

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You said who I am, you will know who I am.
30th November, 1998                        225       Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, some of the Honourable Members

here want to ridicule me, want to decide not to comply with my decision, and in fact, that

reflects back to them. I, therefore, ask the Honourable Member for Gaborone West to


MR KGOSIPULA: On a point of procedure, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I have asked the Honourable Member for Gaborone West to continue.

MR KGOSIPULA: A point of procedure, Mr Speaker. We cannot just . . . . .

MR SPEAKER: I have not allowed you to talk on a point of procedure.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker . . . . .

MR SALESHANDO: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Let us listen to the point of order please.

MR SALESHANDO: Mr Speaker, we do not agree that another member can ask Mr

Rantao who he is because he knows him.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, I keep on repeating that, you must

behave like elderly and respectable Honourable Members of Parliament. Whatever you

do, it is a reflection on you.

MR GABATSHWANE: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, Sir. We appear to be our

Parliament, Mr Speaker. We are destroying it by allowing minor issues to sidetrack the

main topic.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! If you are speaking on the same point, I have made a


MR GABATSHWANE: I was not speaking. With respect allow me to say something.

The words like, “who are you” are not proper. In Setswana...
30th November, 1998                         226       Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Member I have called the Honourable

Member for Gaborone West to continue.


MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, the people will judge and I will continue. The major

objective of National Development Plan 7 was to promote economic diversification in

this country, and I am saying, there is no tangible evidence to that effect. Despite that

policy being harped on about economic diversification, lots of raw materials of this

country, Mr Speaker, are still exported in large quantities, particularly raw meat products

to other countries. We still export hides (matlalo a dikgomo) to Italy. We still export tail

hair to Holland, instead of establishing micro industries here for our people to get

employment. We still export ox gall to Hong Kong. We still export blood to South

Africa, our neighbour. Horns which can make buttons and glue materials for

manufacturing of furniture, we sent that to the United Kingdom.

MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (MR SEBEGO): On a point of correction, Mr

Speaker. The correction is that, almost all the horns produced by the Botswana Meat

Commission (BMC) is processed for making buttons in the village of Ramotswa, in the

South East District, where the Honourable Member comes from.

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, what the report of the BMC says is that, horns, may be part

of them are sent to the United Kingdom, and that is still a fact, Mr Speaker. The

Honourable Minister is ignorant about his own Ministry. I got this statistics this morning

from an official of the BMC.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Where is the Report?
30th November, 1998                          227          Response to the President Speech

MR RANTAO: No, no, I got the information by telephone. The gall stone is sent to

Holland. Now, as a generation we stand to condemn, if we keep on talking about

economic diversification and fail to reverse this trend, Mr Speaker. If this country is to be

taken back to God, then, Mr Speaker, the BDP Government must be ousted from power,

because we have been independent for more than 32 years, and all these things are still

happening with all the intensity that can really annoy.

Let me now talk about loans for citizens in this country. We all know that it is a

nightmare for a citizen of this country to acquire some loan from both public and

commercial banks. We have the National Development Bank (NDB) whose interest is

very prohibitive to Batswana. We are now being told by this Government that, NDB has

made a profit of P54 million. What for? Was it meant to be a profit making organisation

or was it made to help Batswana develop and own businesses and get on? Because even

people who cannot qualify for loans up to P20 million have been stopped. Who is NDB

for, with 25 percent interest or so? This is very serious.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: P20 000 not P20 million.

MR RANTAO: Ka re P20 000. I am sorry Mr Leader of the House. When it comes to

commercial banks also, Mr Speaker, Batswana are on the leeway side. They are in the

periphery of the economy of their own country, yet the assets of commercial banks have

been reported to be so good, to have developed two-fold, between 1991 and 1996. They

are making excess profit. Now what is happening again with the commercial banks, they

are closing branches, they are now hiring machines to take places of people. They have

retrenched lots of workers in this country. They are not helpful. You go to the bank they

tell you there is a financial scheme. An ordinary Motswana earning about P300 or P400
30th November, 1998                         228       Response to the President Speech

may not get the loan. Even that Financial Scheme it is just a misnomer. These are the

challenges that the speech should have come up with and come up with certain measures

and options that we ought to take, Mr Speaker, to bring this country back to God.

Look at what the commercial banks did, in 1991 they made huge amounts of profit, P1

914 million, in 1996 they made P4 596 million profit, and Batswana are not benefiting

from this. Where in God‟s name is the bank for the people. Why can‟t we create a poor

man‟s bank. Where in God‟s name is an ordinary citizen of Botswana going to get the

loans or in the name of Allah for those who are Islam. You look at the interest rates, Mr

Speaker, they do not facilitate productive investment for citizens of this country. They do

not, because they are too prohibitive. You look at collaterals, they are difficult to come

by. Investment equity contribution, even for FAP, Batswana cannot get anything. They

are expected to bring an equal amount of money or property as they are trying to get a

loan for. Interest rates at the NDB are very prohibitive, Mr Speaker.

The President on paragraph 2 also talk about implementation, that he hopes his

Government will improve implementation. Yes, I do agree with the President here that,

most of the existing policies and programmes are generally well conceived and

justifiable, and that what needs to be done is implementation. But, Mr Speaker, looking at

the past records of implementation, this could very well be a false assumption. Like I

said, somebody got angry when I said, you cannot even administer the mealie meal

programme. All what this Government has been able to do, is to produce chibuku. It is

enough for Batswana. No cucumbers, cabbages, carrots, nothing. You are not self

sufficient in anything. We still import even eggs and other poultry products from

neighbouring countries.
30th November, 1998                        229        Response to the President Speech


MR RANTAO: They are there. What did you say about my chickens?


MR RANTAO: They were eaten by your meercats. You say you possess meercats . . .

(laughter) . . . Ke lona ba bo kgano. Mr Speaker, I am not here to praise the policies that

this Government has in place. Some of the policies have got inherent deficiencies, Mr

Speaker. Some have ambiguous objectives and others miscalculations, based on outdated

data, that is evident if you look at NDP 8, that most of the data was very outdated when

this was put together.

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) believes in stakeholder economy, Mr Speaker, that

our people must be empowered. Again when it comes to wages, some of the wages for

our workers are slave wages, Mr Speaker, and you cannot hope to empower citizens when

we have a huge army of . . . . . .


MR RANTAO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. When we adjourned, I was just about to turn to

alternative suggestions as to what we should do to our country‟s economic development. I

would like to talk about investment opportunities that the BCP thinks should be

exploited. We believe that almost all areas of economic life in Botswana have more

promising investment opportunities and we believe that as a nation, we simply have not

done enough. Areas with under exploited opportunities would include, milk and milk

products. We believe that the country should not at this stage still be importing large

quantities of milk and milk products, 30 years after independence. Given the number of

cattle that we have in the region, we feel that the country should now have developed the
30th November, 1998                          230        Response to the President Speech

capacity to produce and process milk products such as sweetened condensed milk, milk

powder, infant milk, butter, ice-cream, yoghurt, cheese, margarine etc. etc. These are

basic things whose technologies is not all that sophisticated to prevent us from producing

them locally at this point in time, 32 years after independence. The other area opportunity,

as far as we are concerned is the poultry and egg product. Again the country still imports

large quantities of eggs and poultry meat from the neighbouring countries. Even things

like turkey, big bird for family come together Christmas parties, we still imported turkey

from South Africa and Zimbabwe. I do not think our economy can be said to be unable to

produce these things here. Our economy should be able to produce potatoes, for instance,

for the processing of chips and stockfeed. We should aim at those products that can create

employment. We must not just be thinking that we should produce potatoes. We should

think of starting with potatoes then chips production because this will create employment

for our people.

Another rich area of investment would be fruit and vegetable production, so that we could

go into fruit canning, vegetable canning, production of jam, even from water melons.

The other area is horticulture that I think has been under exploited as a potential

economic investment area. We believe that some parts of this country have fertile soils

enough to support and permit horticulture at commercial level. Some agricultural experts

have also said it and advised that if you plan for a year, you should plant a seed, but if you

plan for ten years, you should plant a tree. The reason here is that when you sow a seed

once, you will reap a single harvest, but if you plant a tree, orange or apple trees, you will

harvest many times and many years to come. We have not exploited that area, Mr

30th November, 1998                          231        Response to the President Speech

The other area is fisheries. Of course, I understand here and there in the Okavango area

and Maun, they are trying their luck at fisheries. It is a welcome development that

government must take more seriously. Opportunity for irrigation, Mr Speaker, we believe

for agricultural irrigation, using water from our perennial rivers that flow the whole year...


MR RANTAO: We have the Chobe, Okavango...


MR RANTAO: Have they dried up? The Thamalakane at Maun never dries up. I think

the problem is lack of faith in irrigation farming by our agricultural experts. They are

discouraging the nation from these things and there is no emphasis on irrigated farming

from these experts.

Wood products: Here again we need some feasibility studies to go into saw milling. We

have the Nata bush which can be utilised. Down-stream wood products such as doors,

furniture tables can be made from these things. What is wrong? I mean, we buy cycles

and motor cycles. Are we saying we cannot build a minimum technology that we can

produce bicycles. Just send a few of our students to go and learn this and study this and

come and assemble these things here and begin to produce bicycles?


MR RANTAO: No, that is the basis of technology and industrialisation. You do not start

from the top. You do not produce an aircraft before you produce a scooter. We should by

now be able to manufacture this. I do not know, maybe we are producing buttons


30th November, 1998                         232       Response to the President Speech

MR RANTAO: At Ramotswa. We have always insisted that government should now

think of establishing indigenous business development corporations.

MR SEBETELA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Honourable Rantao, when

you speak about improving the performance of our economy through the programmes that

you have mentioned, do you sometimes think that perhaps as an opposition, you could

help government better by actually giving us a proforma industrial policy or a proforma

commercial development instrument so that, to government, it is not just you can make

bicycles, you can make this and that, but it is a little bit more wholesome so that maybe

government is able to engage with you meaningfully. A shopping list like what you are

describing is very difficult to figure out whether it is something that is feasible or it is

something that you are just giving to us.

MR RANTAO: What you need is a thorough research which can bring out a detailed

picture of the investment regime, that is the starting point. That is what we have

envisaged in our policies, in our manifesto, policy documents of the BCP, that there is

need for some thorough research which can bring out detailed picture of the investment

regime in the country. We must also study our local natural products that I have been

mentioning if we are to revamp the investment climate in that area. We need this

research in accordance with our policies as the BCP in order to confirm the presence of

business opportunities on the ground and I have been mentioning quite a number of them.

But, I was just at the point where I was saying that in order to promote indigenous

enterprenuership, we need to establish the indigenous business development corporation.

That is our suggestion, because we are always accused of not providing alternatives to the

policies the government has in place.
30th November, 1998                          233        Response to the President Speech

We also emphasise that there is need for rural industrial estates in the rural areas to create

employment for the people because business development centres that exist today,

including public and commercial banks, keep Batswana in the periphery at the moment

because credit only goes to those with bankable status. We would call upon this

government to review the price of land. Price of land in this country is very high even

though land is the only natural resource which comes from God, without costs, except of

course when it is serviced. When it is serviced yes, then it can attract an element of cost.

What is the problem, because we have vast tracks of land and land ownership per capita

is favourable to affordable land prices. So we are calling upon this government to review

land price in this country. It is unlike human resource or technology resource or capital

resource, it is there. There is plenty of land per capita in this country for this nation.

Because again, Mr Speaker, the land is the starting point of development, but if its price

is too prohibitive, investors, particularly citizen investors will not afford it. So

development comes to a standstill as it is, once you price the land very high. Serviced

land right now in Botswana lies idle even when the cost that government has incurred is

enormous. If you take the land that has been developed and the infrastructure that has

been put in place in Gaborone West, Block 3, 6, 8 and 9 already government has spent a

lot of money but people cannot develop the land because it is expensive to do so for them.

Even some businesses, big investors are no longer able to go into land development with

that ease.

Mr Speaker, we talk about citizen empowerment, what we are faced with is potential

threat of entry into our market by foreign traders. They enter our market and depress their

product prices, thus making it unprofitable for potential entrance of citizens into the
30th November, 1998                          234        Response to the President Speech

market. You actually enter, then they hike the prices so that locals will not take off easily.

And we think this is a deliberate ploy. If you look at Gaborone, for instance, every corner

there is a filling station which maybe is jointly owned with citizens but there are now

small shops at every filling station and now, as a result, small cafes, small restaurants,

small general dealers that Batswana were owning are closing down because of this influx

of foreign traders in the country. And you allow these things knowing very well that

locals have problems with acquisition of equipment or machinery to develop some of

these things.

On the economy, Paragraph 11, I would like to debate an issue here, that this government

has tended to worship under the shrine of growth-man-ship... Economic growth and

economic development are not the same. This government equates economic

development with mathematical increase in the total output in terms of ...

MR RANTAO: ...... under the shrine of growthmanship. Economic growth and economic

development are not the same. ...(interruption)


MR RANTAO: Yes. This Government equate economic development with mathematical

increase in the total output in terms of Gross National Product and gross domestic

product as well as per capita income. That is not development. It is related to

development. Of course, economic development and economic growth are related but

they are not one thing. They are not one thing! They are two distinct words. They are two

distinct concepts with two distinct meanings and I would like to take this little

opportunity to try to define them to clear their understanding. But of course, as I say, they

are related. „Economic Growth‟ addresses only questions of increases in the Gross
30th November, 1998                          235        Response to the President Speech

Domestic Product, Gross National Product and per capita income, and capital stock. That

is economic growth. When you aggregate those, then you are talking about economic

growth. But economic development is something different. Economic development on the

other hand has to address questions of living conditions, the texture of life of the citizens,

access to social goods and services - that is, food, shelter, education, recreation and the

levels of human survival. Then you are talking about economic development. Now, when

economic growth begins to be transformed into widespread access to social goods and

services, then the combination of economic development and economic growth becomes

something we can cherish and boast about. When the economic growth is transformed

into some level of survival, touching the very heart of the living conditions of the people,

then we are getting somewhere.

Look at Agriculture, I do not know where the Minister of Agriculture is.


MR RANTAO: At the Agricultural level, development is when the society is visibly

moving away from subsistence to commercial production of agricultural goods. This is

certainly not happening. Agricultural production has been declining since independence.

Economic Development involves increasing output in all sectors of the economy, and as I

say, quality of life. Now, I thought I should lay this basic foundation before I proceed on

to economic development and economic growth. Like His Excellency the President points

out, if a country has registered an impressive growth, the questions that are important to

ask are the following: If that has been the case, what has been happening to poverty? Has

it been increasing? Has it been decreasing? Or has it been static? Those are very

important questions to the levels of poverty. The next important question before you can
30th November, 1998                          236        Response to the President Speech

accept what His Excellency is saying here is, what has been happening to employment?

We know that from 1991 up to 1996 unemployment has risen from 14 percent to 21

percent. And at the moment, it is hovering around 25 percent. So, unemployment has

been growing. Then, when we talk about economic development, when these things are

going the reverse direction, then you are lost. The other question is, what has been

happening to income inequalities? They have been worse. Income inequalities are

increasing by all dimensions of expertise. Now, if one or two of these problems have been

growing worse, especially if all of them have been growing worse like is the case now, it

is naive to boast of good economic growth even if Gross National Product has been

doubling or tripling. In other words, if this criteria is not mutually consistent, then we are

not talking about development. That is economics of political economy. What we have

witnessed out of all these talks is, we have witnessed very serious ...(interruption)..

MR SEBETELA: Point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Would the

Honourable Member for Gaborone West accept the fact that, as a young economy, right

from 1965, our emphasis would have been to grow the wealth of the nation? In other

words, focus on those activities that generate income and revenue. And that the

movement from having generated income and revenue, to move from that to the

improvement of human development industries which he has so ably talked about, would

never be at the same speed as the speed of generating money. This analogy is not very

different from what happens in the House. It is easy sometimes to find a job, earn P12

000 a month but to convert that into family benefits normally takes a much longer time

for reasons that I believe, Honourable Rantao would be able to articulate. Would the

Honourable Member agree that the process of generating wealth as a developing country,
30th November, 1998                         237        Response to the President Speech

is always a lot faster than the process of turning that wealth into social benefits because

that is a lot more different activity in any development environment?

MR RANTAO: You have said quite a number of things at a fast breadth and I could not

adapt them all. But what we are emphasizing here is that, there is no point increasing the

money supply which we have, and when that money is not even well distributed. What is

important is, wealth creating capacity for citizens and that has not happened. The

economy as it grew in this country, has deprived our citizens. We are feeding foreigners

like crocodiles. They even call this country „the land of opportunity‟.

MR TEMANE: Mr Speaker, much as I appreciate what the Honourable Member is

saying, most of it is from UNDP Poverty Report of 1998. If I may quote, Mr Speaker,

from this Report. The pages are not marked in the Report itself.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: It does not matter.

MR TEMANE: Whoever wants it can obtain it, this is an UNDP Report but I would like

to quote, Mr Speaker, in the middle of this Report. The title is under various countries. It

says, “Botswana Rapid Development and Human Development. The Government

ploughed mining income into social services and many dimensions of human

development leapt forward. Infant mortality dropped. For example, from 116 per 1 000

life births in 1960 to 55 in 1994.” It is 37 at the moment. “Adult literacy rose from 41

percent in 1970 to 69 in 1994”

MR SALESHANDO: A point of explanation. The temptation Mr Speaker is that, for any

country that attains independence, is to move into mining, if there is a possibility of

mining for example, to exploit this wealth with the hope that you will use this wealth for

development. You will grow initially and then develop. That is the temptation. But what
30th November, 1998                            238         Response to the President Speech

then follows is this, Mr Sebetela, the temptation is, you use this money, plough it into

what we have quoted - social development, infrastructure, schools, clinics and things like

that. That would have the effect of reducing infant mortality as you have quoted. But

leaving poverty itself intact is the problem he is addressing!.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: It means we missed the point.

MR SALESHANDO: You may have clinics, you may have infrastructure, you may have

these things, some of which are empty. But what we are saying is, at the end of the day,

the incidents of poverty will still persist and it is persisting.


MR SALESHANDO: If you do not understand that basic economics, there is nothing

you will comprehend

MR RANTAO: Despite what the Honourable Minster is saying, in the area of social

services, we have for instance, under housing, witnessed depressingly squalid gray and

overcrowded ghettos in places like Mmasemenyenga in Francistown, Botshabelo in

Selebi-Phikwe and other urban areas. Poor medical care where dwellings of people look

like deceased mushroom. Squalid!

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Deceased mushroom.

MR RANTAO: Deceased mushroom, that is dead mushrooms turned black, that is how

from an aircraft some dwellings that our poor people live in look like. Unhygienic


HONOURABLE MEMBER: Because he is listening to you.
30th November, 1998                             239      Response to the President Speech

MR RANTAO: It is not my fault, it is the fault of this government. Unhygienic

dwellings, miserable dwellings, dwellings that are dark, damp and stinking in some areas

because ...(interruption)...


MR RANTAO: No, you are just deliberately distorting.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Who is selling? They can hear you.

MR RANTAO: It is a fact, I cannot come here and pretend that we do not have our urban

areas for instance, littered ...(interruption)...

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You stay in delerict huts?

MR RANTAO: No, I mean sewerage! Sewarage system provided by Councils. You jump

over it in order to get into your house. It is not their fault. It is the collapse of the Local

Government system. You want to derail me. Again you are starting problems. You have

not been listening attentively like responsible people, now you start. ....(noise)...

What do you expect of me? We say ...(interruption)...


MR RANTAO: No that is incorrect. I am saying, Mr Speaker, the speech by His

Excellency the President has failed to inspire confidence in affordable prices for social

needs like food, shelter, health and private medicine is very expensive. This is what I am

saying. Think of workers who get slave wages. In fact, we have the working poor - people

who are poor and yet working. People who are working but are desperate and are destitute

of material comfort. This is what we witness.
30th November, 1998                         240        Response to the President Speech

Poverty programmes that you have are just based on relief approach rather than on

elimination approach. They are not based on improvement of life approach so they are not


Having said that, Mr Speaker, let me move to another area of concern and hazard my

suggestions when it come to labour. The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and Social

Security rises from time to time to conduct labour inspections to ensure compliance with

the labour laws of the country in order to secure effective discharge of duties by

employers or keep close watch on work places to ensure that good relations exist between

workers and employers. Labour inspections are very important undertakings and I am not

very happy about their frequency because of lack of enough manpower in the ministry.

The importance of labour inspections has been emphasized even by the International

Labour Organisation Convention No. 81 which requires that a system of Labour

inspection in industrial black places is always maintained to ensure proper conditions of

welfare of workers, safety, health and to protect them from any undue harassment. They

also help to supply technical information to the ministry, so that they can advise

employers concerning the most effective means of ensuring compliance with the law or

the legal provision. This can also assist government to detect some defference and abuses,

not specifically covered by the law itself. This was also emphasized by the ILO

convention of 1947. Now, I would like to call upon the Minister in this respect to ensure

that now we begin go recruit officers with sole regard to their qualifications. We need

specialists in law, for instance when they do all these things, some of them in chemistry

and engineering so that they can carry out labour inspections with some background

knowledge of chemistry because most industries deal with chemicals and also
30th November, 1998                          241        Response to the President Speech

engineering, alternatively train them if you can not recruit them. We know that, in the

aftermath of apartheid, we had investors coming from our former racist neighbouring

countries who try to apply their oppressive laws here and try to defy even our labour

officers. We need adequate penalties for violation. There are so many employers who

refuse to honour appointments to come and solve their problems with the workers. There

is very clear law on what to do about these frequent refusals, they must be arrested if they

refuse to come.

The other area of concern is frequent underpayment of employees, particularly with

regard to maternity leave.

Gratuity is another big problem, pretexed to circumvent to paying employees gratuities on

completion of five years are so frequent that when an employee has worked for four

years, eleven months, his contract of employment is terminated in order not to pay the

poor employee the benefits. So I think, I will bring a motion here that this thing must be

pro rated. Some of these companies are very rich and making huge profits. If you work

for such a company for five years and you get nothing, I do not think that is fair, really.

We have some discriminations, just one company here all the time when they organise

parties for the staff, it discriminates citizen managers, they go to Bull and Bush,

themselves alone. I have heared of such cases and I have seen it myself where local

managers were excluded. Senior local foremen, senior officials and so forth. There is also

another Christmas party that is coming for that company, for Christmas party they have

excluded all citizens and it is a big company. Only people of European origin are invited

to that party and it is going to be held at the Bull and Bush. If you Honourable Minister

want me to go and show you it happening, I will.
30th November, 1998                         242        Response to the President Speech

There were long service awards in one company; let me name it, Group 5. Long service

awards for 25 years to 30 years respectively, not a single local received anything and yet

LTA Group 5 has been in this country for more than 20 years. Are you telling us that no

local ever qualified to be awarded and it happened. Some maintain separate toilet

facilities, in the shops. Some are Greeks and others Portugues. No problem about their

nationalities, they do not even share cutlery and tea cups with local workers. Some of

them do not even allow their employees even to receive telephone messages even about

death and bereavement of families.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: I know about those practices.

MR RANTAO: I know you spoke about them but this is for the benefit of other

members. We know them. There is a company which consistently searches ladies when

they make face cloths, when they have not stolen some. These things are wrong but they

happen. Mr Swartz why do you always act out of turn. I am reluctant to use Setswana

words, that is why I use the Queens language. So in this respect I am calling for an annual

report on labour inspectorate by the Minister, the latest is 1995. I know, the 1996 is not

yet out and 1997 is not yet out, it is being prepared. Speed it up and make sure that in

future, this inspectorate report comes in time so that we know whether we are progressive

in terms of compliance with the labour legislature of the country or not, whether we are

static or going backwards because this report is very important. I saw the one for 1995

showing statistics of work places inspected, statistics of violations of Employment Act

provisions, statistics of penalties imposed, these are very important because they give us

the picture of progress or lack of it.
30th November, 1998                          243         Response to the President Speech

MR SEBETELA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Thank you Honourable

Rantao. Just as a matter of interest, when we talk about labour relations in a developing

country such as Botswana, would the Honourable Member for Gaborone West, concur

that we need to be extremely careful not to over sansationalise on the things that we know

are wrong that are happening in organisations in Botswana, especially when we are in the

middle of a campaign to diversify our economy that perhaps we need to deal with some of

these issues at a level of the department or even with the minister because when we get to

a point where we even know who is invited to a party and who is not, who is using what

cuttlery and who is not are we sure that by speaking publicly on this issues, we may not

be giving prospective investors wrong information as to how we deal with issues of

labour management relations in our country?

MR RANTAO: Mr Speaker, I do not know what the Honourable Member is saying. We

want foreign investment and we want to handle labour relations because otherwise we

will scare investors away. That we all, as responsible members of parliament know but

we can not do it at the expense of our workers, turning them into sacrificial lambs, or

bargaining through them, that we can not do. We have to ensure that they are well

protected, at the same time. We had some stubborn employers who come from the former

racist regimes, they are still here and they are still having that stubborn attitude. You will

remember one whom I reported here in parliament who had chased the chief of Batlokwa

with tyre lever. At least, Mr Speaker, on this one I am happy that the Ministry of Labour

and Social Security is trying to do its best. All I can say is that let us improve further and

do this meticulously.
30th November, 1998                        244        Response to the President Speech

Looking at the time, Mr Speaker, I will give others the opportunity to discuss the matter

and therefore, I thank you very much.


MAGANG): Mr Speaker, allow me to make my contribution to the debates on His

Excellency‟s address to the nation.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, I am here to inform you that as at

the point Honourable Mr Rantao was holding the floor, 34 members had spoken for all

the long days we have spent here and tomorrow is the last day we expect those who you

expect to reply to your contribution to supplement what you consider are deficiencies in

the president‟s speech as you have said so in some cases will be wanting to reply. I am

saying this because we have tended to be too long in our intervention and it does not help

you in the end, you all have to rush and some fail completely.

MR MAGANG: Mr Speaker, it is my intention to supplement what has already been

said and point out certain areas which I feel that maybe they were not emphasized

sufficiently. First, let me thank His Excellency for emphasizing the fact that we are

proceeding on the right direction in the development of this country and that our economy

is doing well, of course subject to the problems that we have to live with such as

unemployment and the scourge of AIDS. As a country with a vision, even if it is Vision

2020, we can make our country work and it can develop to the stage where most of us in

this country can feel proud if we are determined to do so and I want to emphasize those


As regards the scourge of AIDS, I read in the papers today, I do not mean to criticise them

but one of the editorials in our weekly paper states that no one has said anything about
30th November, 1998                        245        Response to the President Speech

AIDS at least among the parliamentarians except that the President himself is the one

who is on a personal campaign on this problem. I do accept that it may well be that the

reporters sometimes are not available in Parliament. As far as I can recall, a number of

Members spoke about AIDS and the scourge of AIDS inside the House and in our various

constituencies. In fact, there have been seminars and AIDS days such as yesterday. I

think, notwithstanding the fact that leaders may not be as eloquent as people who are

professionals and have the responsibility to explain and educate people about the scourge

of AIDS, leaders do speak about AIDS and if they go wrong it is because maybe they lack

sufficient knowledge about the method of explanation. Certainly our country has been

talking about AIDS for many years. For instance, we were reputed at one stage as using

over a million condoms a month or year, something like that. I once read a paper that

some of the condoms were returned because they were of the wrong sizes. At the same

time, I must say that the media is very important as the fourth estate in any developing or

developed country. To a large extent, the press can change attitudes through their

coverage of anything that is important about the nation. They are our watchdog, they are

our information centres. If there is anything that is important, I think we should rely on

the press to tell the nation as to what problems the nation has instead of pointing fingers

at a few political leaders. This House contains all the political leaders we have, plus, of

course, the councillors, but I think the press has a major role to play in educating our

people about the scourge of AIDS or anything that affects our nation. We must also be

careful that some political leaders can be unreliable because they lack the understanding

and the appreciation of the problems. Three years ago, this country was bedevilled with

the lung disease and one of our political leaders misled the nation or the people in the
30th November, 1998                         246      Response to the President Speech

particular areas in trying to indicate that there were remedies for the Contagious Bovine

Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and that the government was not taking the proper measures to

stop the spread of the lung disease. Because of that Member(s) of Parliament, we were

now faced with a problem where the disease spread and we spent millions. We actually

exterminated the whole head of cattle in the North West in order to stop the disease from

spreading. But because a political leader who did not appreciate the consequences of what

he said, that created a problem for the country.

Now, at the start of this debate, again we had a problem when he talked about AIDS

where the nation was given an impression that there are cures for AIDS; and Government

has had to try to explain. That can destroy the appreciation and the understanding of the

nation because a political leader was reckless in stating something that can mislead the

nation. I think, as politicians, we have to be careful of what we say because we can

influence people away from what we consider to be the correct thing. So, I must say, that

is the warning that I think some of us should have. We have to understand and appreciate

a problem before we can mislead the nation into thinking that we are correct. In fact, one

incorrect statement by a political leader can be swept around the country and be

misunderstood by everybody. That is the warning I can give.

The second point that I merely have to say in few sentences is about the Lesotho problem.

It has been said, and I do not want to repeat it except that I am satisfied myself as

everybody in my government is, that the Prime Minister of Lesotho came here on behalf

of Basotho to thank this country, this government and the people of Botswana about what

they did. Whoever wants to be an advocate for Lesotho‟s misfortune or whatever could

have happened, the fact is that the leader of the Lesotho nation came here to thank the
30th November, 1998                        247        Response to the President Speech

President, this country and the people of Botswana about what they did. That is as far as I

can state the obvious, that we do not have to listen to contrary views by our Members in

this House for whatever views they hold, that is contrary to what Lesotho people say.

The third point that I want to mention, Mr Speaker, is His Excellency‟s assertion,

correctly so, that this country is doing very well. The economic growth rate is continuing

to be higher than most countries. The growth rate is quite good, on average in the NDP 8

we expect a five per cent economic rate of growth. Other countries do not achieve that, in

fact, they hardly achieve up to two to three per cent. Five per cent is certainly to be

commended for this country, particularly that there has been a general recession as a

result of the collapse of currency values in the Far East. We listened to the CNN this

morning that even some of the biggest conglomerates in the United States like Boeing is

laying off 48,000 workers because of the collapse of the East, particularly the currency

collapse in those countries since they can no longer afford to buy big planes like that.

Consequently, the United States has to give in and think about what else to do. Forty-

eight thousand people are to be laid off by one company, we are not even thinking about

the various companies which are affected by that.

Mr Speaker, definitely this country can do better. We can do better if we are determined

to do so. After all, we must look at our country, at the time of independence we had

nothing up to now. Our economic developments were basically developmental in nature,

we had no infrastructure. Therefore, it is not unusual that we emphasized more on the

infrastructural development, the social services, education, health, provision of water,

provision of roads and others. That has been the emphasis since NDP 1, 2 3, and 4, until

we reached NDP 5, that is when we talked about diversification and the diversification of
30th November, 1998                          248        Response to the President Speech

the economy basically ought to be done by the people and the private sector, not

necessarily by government. This is not a socialist government that you are thinking about

where it will even run shops. When we talk about diversification of the economy, we are

looking at the people of this country, not the government. The government has so far

done that which was expected of a government, to provide infrastructural development so

that the diversification of the economy can be effected. We have to open up the country

with better paved roads, that is why we are now talking about 6,000 paved tarred roads in

this country when at the time we had nothing, we had at least about 6 km of tarred roads

before independence. We have provided schools to educate our people. At the moment,

what we are doing is really to make an effort after providing the general education, to

provide the technical education which is based on the Revised Education Policy as a

result of the commission that was set up and in order that we should target our education

towards those areas where we feel we have economic advantage in so far as we have the

natural resources. That is what we were thinking about. At the moment we are reputed as

having the highest literacy in Africa. You read, you will find that. We were the poorest at

the beginning. Education is free so that every child can be educated, the child for the poor

and the rich. We provide health facilities for everybody, almost free for adults but free for

children. This is not done in our neighbouring countries. We have provided that as part of

our infrastructural facilities to assist this country to tick. Although we are an arid desert

country, we have succeeded where most countries that are endowed with good weather

that we are able to provide our people with clean potable water and in most cases

reticulated in almost all our villages. And this water is free particularly if you want to take

it from the stand pipes outside your house, you only pay for it if you bring it into your
30th November, 1998                         249        Response to the President Speech

house. So we have done that. Through government‟s effort, we are now providing

telecommunication system in this country and we have one of the best telecommunication

systems in Africa, we are the second in Africa particularly Southern Africa. Our tele-

density is six people per hundred who are connected to a telephone. In other countries it

will be one or minus one. We have done well in this country. We are now providing rural

electrification system, we are trying to reach out to provide light in the country, those are

where government makes an effort. Basically, with our road network system, we are

almost completing our primary roads infrastructure both primary and secondary and in the

next years at the end of this NDP 8, we will only be dealing mostly with access roads,

tertiary roads. So we are opening up our country, whereas a few years ago government

used to be criticised for development in our cities where there were bright lights,

telephones, schools, water, we used to be criticised for that. Go to any major village in

this country, they have tarred roads, schools and so forth. So any industrial development

can be done in most of our major villages in this country because the facilities are there.

What I think we should be asking ourselves, not so much what government is doing but

what we ourselves are doing. We are prone to criticise that government must do this


HONOURABLE MEMBER: On a point of clarification.

MR MAGANG: I will give you time. I think we should be asking ourselves as Batswana

that, what is it that we are doing because we have facilities in what we used to call rural

areas, we have even promoted our villages into urbanised areas.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Point of clarification Mr Speaker.
30th November, 1998                         250        Response to the President Speech

MR MAGANG: No, I am still waiting for the Member there, you will come later if I

find time. But all I am trying to show is that we should not be waiting for government to

come and open a shop for you in your village or to open up a bakery in your village or to

wait for an expatriate to come from wherever he comes from to come and do business for

you, what is it that ourselves are doing, that is really we should be asking ourselves that

government in the near future will be stopping any employment and will just be doing

replacement of officers in government because government cannot grow and grow. It is

the private sector who have to create employment in this economy. I will ask the Member

for Kanye to ask the question he wanted to ask. Thank you.

MR GABATSHWANE: Clarification. I have listened to the Minister talking about roads

in big villages and glorifying those roads. I have long talked about a death trap a result of

which somebody died recently. Why praise ourselves when in Ngwaketse District nothing

is done. Are we talking to a deaf government or who is unsympathetic? Since I joined this

House I have repeatedly talked about the “death trap” - the valley of death! When will it

be attended to? Would a distance of 5 kilometres be that difficult to correct.

MR SPEAKER: Does the minister understand which one you mean?

MR GABATSHWANE: He knows, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Well, others do not know, can you say what it is.

MR GABATSHWANE: I am instructed to tell you which road it is.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I have caused the confusion because he has been talking

about some „death trap‟. I was asking him if the Minister knows what it is and others also

do know because he did not mention it.
30th November, 1998                        251        Response to the President Speech

MR MAGANG: Mr Speaker, I cannot ignore an older man like him (laughter). The

Member for Kanye has been asking this question and I have tried to answer it as many

times as I could. The „death trap‟ was meant to reduce loss of life, we could certainly

never have undertaken to stop what is likely to happen at various places. These are black

spots Mr Speaker and my colleagues where in Kanye, Mogoditshane and Francistown

there were areas where there were too many accidents most of the time and we provided

the traffic lighting system so as to control that. But the idea could not have been to stop

any loss of life or those traps as you put it but to reduce. May I say to the Member, life

evolves. A few days a ago I was explaining to some people like you Honourable Member

that before....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Further clarification...

MR MAGANG: I am still explaining. Before the development of this country, before we

developed our roads to the standard where they are, where are not only passable but you

can actually fly on the group because you are on the tarmac, we used not to lose so many

people. At the moment per year we lost up to 400 people on our roads because they are

good roads, because you can drive too fast and that is why we have accidents. I am sure

during my time when I was still a young man when we had ox-wagons, we never used to

find ox wagons which killed people, but now because life has charged, the developments

have brought problems which we have to live with as long as we behave ourselves in our

driving manner then of course we cannot lose so many people and the idea is to reduce

possible loss of life, but it is almost impossible to stop it because we are not chasing

everyone all the time.
30th November, 1998                          252        Response to the President Speech

MR KOOSALETSE: On a point of clarification Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the

clarification I am seeking from the Honourable Minister is, he is saying that in Kanye, the

purpose of the road that Honourable Gabatshwane is calling „death trap‟ was to make sure

that it reduces road accidents and deaths. But the question that I want to ask him is, how

do you reduce road accidents and deaths by narrowing the road to the extent that it

becomes difficult even to pass another vehicle particularly with big trucks. How do you

do that because during that construction a pedestrian road was constructed and the likes,

the road actually became narrow.

MR MAGANG: Mr Speaker, the point is taken because it was assumed that any driver

will recognise that the road is narrow. Any driver should be able to see a narrow bridge

from a double lane bridge and that he has to drive slowly. Every driver must see traffic

lights and realise that this is dangerous, that was the assumption because all drivers are

supposed to have good eye-sight. Mr Speaker, .....

MR GABATSHWANE: On a point of further clarification.

MR MAGANG: No, I have been explaining this to the Member for Kanye for the last

three years and I do not know how far I can explain it better.

MR SPEAKER: Honourable Minister can you explain for the last time.

MR GABATSHWANE: Mr Speaker, the Minister talks about traffic lights to indicate

that the road is narrow. I do not get his point. There are no traffic lights. I have long said

there are poles, but no lights. When the road was constructed, it was meant to be an

experimental project. Will it remain experimental for many years, when many lives are

30th November, 1998                         253        Response to the President Speech

MR MAGANG: Mr Speaker, this is the last time that I have to explain. We installed the

lights and a system at Mogoditshane, Kanye and Francistown, the important thing is that

the idea was that having installed that and handed over to the Southern District Council,

they will maintain those lights, handing them over to the Kweneng District Council and

the same with Francistown City Council. From what I gather, your council, yourselves are

still looking up to Central Government to maintain a few lights in Kanye which the

council can maintain. So, that is the problem, if the lights are not working, it is because

there are no globes, the globes are finished. All that it means is to buy a globe and put it

on those things.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Can those issues not be discussed by the VDC.

MR MAGANG: Mr Speaker, the point I am trying to show is that the Government of

Botswana has come to a stand stage where the public infrastructural developments are

being completed and it is up to the Botswana nation to take up from there because they

have water, they have telephones, they have schools, they have hospitals.


MR MAGANG: You are not supposed to agree with me, you are in the opposition. And

that is why government has set up commissions or task forces. It has done that because it

can no longer grow any further than it has. Now, you talk about the government assisting

the people of Botswana with the incentives, be they the tax incentives or financial

assistance incentives, to establish themselves and that is why the Minister of Commerce

and Industry will be presenting to us a report by a Task Force to try to start with the Small

Micro, Business Enterprises. The idea is to encourage Batswana to get into those

businesses which can better be done by the private sector or by individuals. It must be
30th November, 1998                        254        Response to the President Speech

understood that government cannot run small fish and chips shops. It cannot run barber

shops, it cannot run bus services. Those can be done by our people and what is required is

the empowerment, I will explain the empowerment afterwards, you can ask.

MR SALESHANDO: Point of clarification. Mr Minister, you said that Botswana is a

strong developmental state, and I do not want to argue with that. Having been responsible

for growth up to this point, would you concede Mr Minister that your responsibility does

not end there? As a developmental state, you are still responsible and you are still the

major agent for development. Your role now should be to: diversify, empower Botswana


to have effective policies in place and to make sure you will address all other problems

such as inequalities, unemployment, poverty and we are saying you are not effective in

these areas, because you believe your responsibility has come to an end as a

developmental state and that is not the way a developmental state should behave.

MR MAGANG: I do not know how you want me to put it. I said government has done

what any government is supposed to do to create an enabling environment for you and me

and everybody else so that if you are productive enough and you are involved in any

enterprise, whether it is agriculture, whether it is production or industry, you should be

able to do that because there are roads to take your products to the market. There is water

that you and your people can drink, there are schools where you can send your kids, there

are hospitals where you can send anyone who is ill, the government has done that in order

to create that environment for you to be able to do something and government...

30th November, 1998                         255        Response to the President Speech

MR MAGANG: Look, it does not work because you do not listen and you are not doing

anything. That is the problem, there is this syndrome of dependence of our people. They

believe that everything has to be done by government for them. That is the attitude that

you are killing the pride of our people with because you are suggesting to everybody that

government should come and run your brickyard or your shop. If you fail in the brickyard

you say it is because government did not come and run it for you.

So what I am saying is that government can, and should assist you. That is why in the last

three years, we have been talking about the change of attitudes towards smart partnership

between the government, the workers and the investor.......


MR MAGANG: Look when you have failed in life you do not blame everybody, you

must blame yourself. What we are saying is that, and it has been said from different

quarters that government has been spending a lot of money trying to encourage our

people, in some cases spending money unwisely. But the fact is that you cannot deny that

this government has tried to assist the arable agricultural farmers and the cattle farmers or

livestock farmers. This government has spent a lot of money even for your brickmaker.

Government has spent money helping you to start up in business.

Anyway government has tried its best and other people are beginning to feel that maybe

we should try other ways of assisting Batswana. And one of those ways is that recently

government set up a task force consisting of public officers, the private investors and

private individuals to find out the best way to assist Batswana and it has come up with a

proposal which we will discuss here. Every citizen of this country should participate in

his own way, the best he could. The idea is to assist even a street vendor to be able to do
30th November, 1998                         256        Response to the President Speech

the best he could to fend for himself or herself in whatever undertaking he wants to do.

The idea is to assist a small operator, a shop keeper, a small carpenter, or a small textile

designer or dealer. Government wants to assist at the medium level those who want to

embark upon bigger businesses. Government is proposing to create small credit facilities.

If you have read the papers, you will find that the National Development Bank (NDB) is

beginning something which was abandoned some years back because it all went waste, or

people were lent money under small borrowers fund and they never returned that money,

and eventually government was forced to write it off. Now we are beginning something

else in which we can have stricter regulations so that it can be properly run.

We also set up a task force to look at what government is doing and which can be done

better or more efficiently by the Private Sector so that government can reduce its task of

having to run certain areas of the economy which can better be done by the Private

Sector. That report is awaiting to be approved by government and it would be brought

before this Parliament so that people can be assisted or can participate in the economy

which was only the responsibility of the Government.

Other countries are in the campaign of privatising because their governments are without

funds. So they really want to sell off some of the government enterprises in order to raise

revenue. Ours is a different situation because we are not thinking about privatising Air

Botswana, for instance, because it is running at a loss. It makes profit, you are witness to

that. We are thinking about some of the candidates like Botswana Telecommunications

for instance, and similarly it is not because they are running at a loss. We feel that for

efficiency and operational purposes we have to privatise certain organisations in order

that those organisations could be free to club and merge and go into joint ventures with
30th November, 1998                            257      Response to the President Speech

other companies in this technological world. We feel that can be done in partnership with

the public and with other strategic partners. There again, we are going to consider that,

gradually coming to a point where we cannot continue to expect Government to attempt

to do everything for everybody. It is the people of Botswana who must undertake this.

What I think we need to do now and this is proposed and it can be increased in terms of

its broad based intentions to adopt the revised educational policy, where we encourage

technical and vocational training so that we can train our people in the different

disciplines, so that once they have completed their training, they can be able to fend for

themselves. Maybe our educational system in the past or our syllabii were too theoretical

because sometimes you find our kids who have completed at secondary schools or at the

universities, being unable to fend for themselves. They are looking up to government or

up to somebody else to provide and create employment for them. Our intention is to train

our people such that they can be able to do things for themselves. They do not have to be

employed, they can create employment opportunities for themselves. That is the aim of

government and that is the proposal that is being done under the small, micro enterprises

report, the training part is very important.

And I think the Minister of Education will consider these very seriously. I think in our

vocational training or technical colleges, we should target towards those natural resources

that we have in this country, because that is where we can create employment and we are

going to do that. For instance, earlier on the Honourable Member for Gaborone West

mentioned the non production or the non use of our leather, our hides and skin. He is

right, it is just the way he has put it, but he is right, I agree with him. We should therefore

have our technical colleges where we can train our people in leather technology so that
30th November, 1998                         258        Response to the President Speech

they can have skills in the tanning of leather and also in the production of leather goods in

the country. So we must have schools like that because we know that we have those

natural resources which can create employment and add value to our resources in the


We have minerals such as diamonds, we should also train our people here to be able to

basically process our natural resources instead of exporting them in their raw form and

that is going to be done. We should be able to do that, but we cannot succeed unless we

train our people to have the capability to polish diamond, to produce jewelry. We have

gold to be able to produce jewelry in this country and consequently I feel that our natural

resources in training, we should target those areas where we know will have the best

economic advantage in relation to other countries. Other minerals like soda ash for

instance, it is the basic commodity for making various articles of industries like glass,

fertilizers, food additives and so forth or even detergents. Therefore the question we

should ask ourselves is, in our technical colleges are we training people so that they can

fit into that type of industry, that is important. For instance tourism is one of the areas

where we can increase the economy of this country. It is one of the engines of growth that

has not been exploited at the moment and some people argue maybe correctly so, that

tourism is still in the hands of expatriates. They are right, those expatriates have trained

somewhere, they know how to do it. Our people have not trained, therefore we should ask

ourselves whether we are training our people in catering methods, in hotel management

so that they can be able to start on their own rather than depend on other people from

other countries. We can do it, we have the resources, it is a question of targeting our

training system.
30th November, 1998                            259       Response to the President Speech

MR KOOSALETSE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Will the Honourable

Minister conceit that the problem that we have is not for lack of resources or lack of

ideas. The problem that we have is that of implementation. We have had all the

wonderful things that he described the whole afternoon about roads and everything, but

the problem is poverty and other social problems persists, so how do we as a nation

address those. I think we need a political will ......


MR KOOSALETSE: Thank you my President, a political will to address these issues;

MR SALESHANDO: And commitment.

MR KOOSALETSE: Because they will persist even though the resources are there and

the ideas are there, if nobody takes charge and implement those ideas into action . I thank


MR MAGANG: Mr Speaker, it is correct to a certain extent that some people are still

wallowing in poverty not for lack of resources but what I am talking about is about

training in order that those people should be able to use their resources. You know why;

knowledge through training is very important, without knowledge, without the skills,

without the training, you may not be able to see further than your nose. Do you know this

country has been rich in diamonds a million years back? And we did not even know that

we have diamonds in this country because we were ignorant. We did not have the

knowledge. Somebody with knowledge had to come and say, hei! you are kicking about

beautiful valuable gravel here which this country can survive. All I am saying is that I

agree because we are new starters, we are only 32 years old, most of our people did not

have the training and therefore are sometimes unable to fend for themselves. As a country
30th November, 1998                         260       Response to the President Speech

we depended entirely on the soil and the livestock before independence and the only jobs

that could be available to our people is if they went to the mines in South Africa. The

situation has changed, it is changing, I am talking about further changes by providing the

training facilities for everybody so that our people can know how to survive, they can

know how to make bricks or how to build a house. How to make a dress instead of buying

from London or South Africa.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You are merely saying so.

MR MAGANG: I am saying it is true and you know why, poverty I quite agree it is

consistent with lack of knowledge, lack of training, lack of education, it is consistent. Go

to any rural areas and show me someone who has been trained beyond Form Five who is

just wallowing in poverty. If there are people like that it means either they have not been

trained properly or because they themselves are not even thinking about what do with

themselves. Show me any graduate who is running around this country, if you find him

like that he must be useless. If he has been given the tools of education to fend for

himself and he is running around the streets without thinking exactly what he can do, it is

because he is naturally a useless person and we have people like that. It is not over

simplification, there is poverty and this poverty you will always find it with people who

have not been trained in their lives because they cannot offer anything in terms of

employment. Let me tell you when we ask foreign investors when they come here, they

ask what they are interested in order to come and establish businesses in this country, they

want to know tax .......

MR MABILETSA: On a point of explanation, Mr Speaker.
30th November, 1998                         261        Response to the President Speech

MR MAGANG: I will give you time, I want to make this point. The foreign investors

who want to come into this country, they want to know about the tax, they want to know

if there are any incentives available. They want to know if there is water, in fact they want

to know the cost of services. They want to know about skilled labour, that is what they

are interested in and they will make their business decision to invest here because those

things put together will work. Without the skilled labour they will not come and produce

anything in this country. So, labour is very important, therefore, training of our people is

essential in order that we can be able to utilise the natural resources that we have around

us instead of sitting around hoping that government will come and do it for us. So, labour

is an important component that makes any business decision for anybody and when they

say labour they want skilled labour not unskilled labour. So, what did you want to ask?

MR MABILETSA: Minister thank you for yielding to me. The point you are

emphasizing on training is very good but it does not help address poverty to the very

people that are wallowing in poverty. It is only a narrow approach to the entire problem of

the people concerned because you have those that can be trainable, a small minority. You

have those who have for the rest of their lives missed the opportunity to be trained, to

receive formal education, therefore are untrainable. My quarrel and my point of difference

with you is that you are only looking at those that can be trained who are a very small

fraction and you are not addressing those that cannot be trained, that cannot be developed

into a skilled labour force. What are you saying about those?

MR MAGANG: You understand me and you do not disagree with me. We are going

through a transformation of our society, our economy and consequently those who lost

the opportunity or who did not have the opportunities, of course they are disadvantaged
30th November, 1998                           262     Response to the President Speech

and they are poor. Recently a driver of many years who is illiterate cannot be sent to

Gaborone to come and buy wires in the shops here. He is a driver in the rural areas ...

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What are you doing about it.

MR MAGANG: He is not slow, all I am trying to say is we are going through a

transformation that some of our people who did not have the opportunity at a time before

we had this good government to train everybody, then those people of course are

disadvantaged and consequently that is why I am saying the driver that 20 years ago you

used to send to Gaborone to come to the shops to come and buy for you, you will have to

either go and learn what do you call this ......

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Not a driving school.

MR MAGANG: Driving school now you have to write, you have to be literate. The

streets here are named, we have traffic lights you have to read. You have to know where

you are being sent and I can tell you some of those drivers who are illiterate but they are

never-the-less good drivers in the rural areas they come from as far as Metsimotlhabe

now they cannot even get into Mogoditshane. So, I agree with you that uneducated,

untrained people because they did not have the opportunity which the present government

is providing, they are of course at a disadvantage. I agree with you and that is why we

introduced adult education in order to assist and that has improved the lot of many people

in our rural areas who did not had the opportunity to go to school before this government

was able to do so for everybody and some of those who went for adult education of

course they are doing well, they can come and work even in towns here because they are

literate. So, this is not unusual, no country has got up one morning and any of its citizens
30th November, 1998                           263        Response to the President Speech

were educated. It is an evolution, you involve, you train your people, we were not capable

of providing education for our people at the time of independence.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What is evolution.

MR MAGANG: Evolution means a slow process, that is what it is, otherwise it is a

revolution, revolution that is what you change, and you come back violently like it has

happened in other countries in the east.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Or in Palapye, in Palapye it was a revolution.

MR MAGANG: Do you remember the Palapye, we changed it just like that because that

was revolution, it was not evolution. You make parties out of one within a month of

quarrel. So, evolution naturally means a slow process and to educate an individual means

a number of years. To get someone through to university you need 17 years, just to be an


MR DINGAKE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker.

MR MAGANG: At what stage did Botswana became capable of providing free

education because it takes that much long to produce a graduate, 17 years. Post graduate

is still a problem, so we have to look at the situation as it exists in its natural state and we

cannot expect government to have produced trained, skilled educated people in this

country as Japan has done over the years, America or the Europeans have done over the

years. But I can say anyone in this world will tell you that Botswana has done much better

than countries which were economically in doubt at the time of independence. That is

why the literacy in this country is higher than most countries. The standard of living in so

far as the social services are concerned is much better than in countries which are better

endowed. We are providing free education. We are providing free water for those who
30th November, 1998                         264        Response to the President Speech

can pick it up at the stand-pipes. We are providing free health facilities. You go to the

neighbouring countries, you would not see anything like that. Whatever water we have, is

clean, potable drinking water. That is even reticulated to come closer. I can tell you, even

within our villages, our people do not have to walk more than 400 meters to go and fetch

water. Think back as what used to happen. Think back and see what is happening in other

countries, who are better endowed with climatic conditions and, therefore, have rains

from time to time. All I am saying is that, we can turn this country around, although it is

still straightforward. We can create employment, and all that we need is to target our

training method, so that at least we make sure that the natural resources that we have, we

have our people trained, to be able to produce for export because, we will have the

advantage. We cannot just do it as a Government, we must all think as a Motswana that

you ought to make a contribution.


MR MAGANG: We need co-operation of everybody, including yourself. If you are

doing something for yourself, and your family and is good for this country, it is good for

us. I think what we need we should mobilise our local authorities, so that, they do not

look up to Government to provide everything for everybody. Our local authorities must

undertake to encourage investors in their own districts, in their own villages. Our local

authorities must make sure that they do not delay applications for licences, and land

allocations, because in any case in the rural areas the land is free, there are no problems

about getting land. As I say, the important thing is that, we should assist our people.

May I say commenting on what my friend Member for Francistown East indicated in

commenting on privatisation, where the speech indicates that            in our privatisation
30th November, 1998                          265        Response to the President Speech

programme, we should make sure that Batswana do participate, and these companies do

not fall into the hands of privilege few. That is correct. But no one country has ever been

successful in creating entrepreneurs or businessmen out of everybody. It is a few people

who are productive and can produce enough for the benefit of everybody in the country. It

is correct that, in our country our people are poor, sometimes because we lack certain

capital inputs at the initial stage of investment. But the fact is that, it is true that our

country as a country is rich. Perhaps that is why we are able to provide the social facilities

to our people and even provide the incentives and the tax regime which is the lowest in

Southern Africa. But the fact of the matter is that, we cannot delude ourselves into

thinking that, we can make a farmer out of every Motswana. We must look for real

farmers, real livestock owners, not everybody. We cannot do that for everybody.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker.

MR MAGANG: Let me finish I will allow you. We cannot make a businessman out of

every Motswana, it is impossible, therefore, we cannot delude ourselves into thinking that

to be a good Government or a good country, we must make everybody that has two legs

in Botswana a businessman, you can‟t. There are those who have the natural aptitude,

sometimes even without education, to be good businessmen. Some will work for them.

Some will be good in something else. Therefore, as long as the investment in this country

is in the hands of Batswana, it is for the benefit of this country, if those people are rich,

the country is rich. With due respect to the Minister of Commerce and Industry, we did

have a project of BEDU, which was a good programme. But it only looked at the poor

Motswana who cannot really be regarded as a businessman. We avoided people who

could make use of the assistance that the Government started with it. I do not think we
30th November, 1998                          266        Response to the President Speech

should go back to that system. We must look for people who are able and willing to do,

and to make use of the assistance that Government is giving, instead of saying every

Motswana must be a businessman, every Motswana is an arable farmer or a livestock

farmers, some are not. In the privatisation, sometimes we delay our development by

saying no, he will not leave enough for others. Petty jealousy we talk about. He wants to

be the only one to benefit.

MR KOOSALETSE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The clarification I want to

put forward is that, the Minister earlier on talked about the need to educate people so that

they can participate in this development. I assume that, it included privatisation. He now

seems to be going against his earlier argument by arguing for the survival of the fittest,

where he is now advocating for social exclusion, which would not be justice. If you

discuss like you are doing and even going against the very spirit of what the President is

saying here, by calling for transparency and the benefit of all Batswana, then I am at a

loss Honourable Minister. Can you explain your argument? Are you saying that people

who are poor and who cannot participate by virtue of poor education should be


MR MAGANG: What Government should do, and most governments do is to give

everybody an opportunity. When you go to school which is free, every child is given an

opportunity. But, you do not normally stop those who are moving faster than others, and

say you must wait for the rest. Why should you pass with a first class or distinction when

other kids have failed. What is important is an opportunity. What I am proposing is that,

those who are willing, capable and are committed to do what they want to do, whether it

is farming, livestock or business, do not stop, or do not delay that person on the basis that,
30th November, 1998                         267        Response to the President Speech

others will have nothing left. We had a policy in the past in the Ministry of Local

Government, Lands and Housing where as an individual Motswana, you were not entitled

to buy more than two plots. We said, one man one plot. That meant to stop those who are

capable of buying two plots. Then because, there are no other people who are willing to

buy one plot we say, no, these plots must wait until these people have grown up or

someone is born and can come and buy this plot, because the policy is that of, one man

one plot. I am saying that policy is not good. People must be given the opportunity. Those

who can use that opportunity must be given. In any country, and countries like America,

Japan, et cetera, they have done that. When they have talented people, they actually

progressed them through the university, research, other things, because they feel that,

there is the person you can use. In America they sometimes even buy talented people, so

that they can assist them into doing something.

MR ROBI: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. There is a question going around to

the effect that, where is social justice there? Social justice I am sure it presupposes that,

the talented will not be discouraged or held back, because it will not be justice to them to

hold them down, on the talents that they were given by God.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Nobody says you should hold them back.

MR ROBI: So, why are you asking that question? Then it is a dumdum question.


MR ROBI: That is what he is saying. He is saying we give the best opportunity,

everybody is given the opportunity but we are not all going to run as fast as each other.

There will always be the one who wins the 100 metres, whether you like it or not.
30th November, 1998                           268         Response to the President Speech

MR MAGANG: Mr Speaker, if you have ever been an athlete Member for Lobatse, we

level the playing field at the start of a race. Everybody is there at the road, when you say

on your marks, the playing field is levelled. But you are not going to hold those who run

faster. Life is like that, life is a race. I mean the normal life, but not the socialist life. The

normal life is like a race not the socialist one.


MR MAGANG: You behave this way because you are a Parliamentarian to the exclusion

of other people. You cheated others. You drive a Mercedes Benz car, while others at

Selebi Phikwe ride donkeys, and you are in Parliament Where was the level of the playing

field been done.

Mr Speaker, Sir, I earlier on mentioned that, the intention of this Government is to

continue to provide road network, so that, no region in our country is disadvantaged.

Those who are intending to be involved in economic activities, they should not be

hampered by the fact that, the roads are bad, there are no telecommunications, and where

possible there is no power. We have even gone further and said, some of our remotest

areas, where the power grid will be too expensive to reach, we have proposed that there

should be solar power, which can be as effective as ordinary conventional power. We are

saying that, in terms of employment, if I were to touch in my own Ministry, we are going

to build up to 2 500 roads, during this plan period, and that will create more employment.

In fact some of the access roads, for instance in the Tswapong area, we have even

emphasised that where possible or where feasible, in certain of the activities for road

making where labour intensive can be used we should do so to create more employment.
30th November, 1998                         269       Response to the President Speech

In fact, if you look at the road from Kasane to Ngoma, that used labour intensive as well

as mechanical equipment. We will continue to do that.

Our intention is to rehabilitate our North-South trunk-road, for instance, throughout up to

Francistown and that is a lot of kilometres of road building and therefore creating more

employment for this country, and therefore providing enabling environment so that

anyone in any corner of the country cannot have an excuse for not developing himself or

creating economic activities for himself and his community on the basis that there are no

infrastructural facilities.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What about dualling?

To start with, it is a question of affordability as a country. We have already announced

that it is at the design stage to dual Gaborone Pilane. And to open up the congestion that

has been created by the number of vehicles that we buy every year, eight percent per year,

we are to open up from Kudumatse bridge near Naledi right up to Mogoditshane. We are

in the process of planning to dual from Boatle to Gaborone and from Tlokweng border to

Gaborone and Molepolole road from Mogoditshane to Metsimetlhabe so that the traffic

does not congest at peak hours in the early morning and afternoon. That is what we intend

to do.

His Excellency has already announced a number of roads that we are going to built, I

need not to repeat them. The other day when I was being questioned in the radio,

someone asked me about the bridges, when we are going to build bridges. Well, within

the NDP 8, we are going to build 20 bridges across a number of streams and small rivers

in this country which are not perennial anyway, some of them are ephemeral. Bobonong

bridge, Tati Town bridge, Tlhalogang and Kududu, Nata bridge to widen it up, Makwate
30th November, 1998                         270       Response to the President Speech

bridge, Gulubane bridge, Motloutse bridge, Tobane bridge, Kalakamati bridge, Phitshane

crossing, Khudumelapye crossing; I do not know where...


MR MAGANG: Ehe, there is water, in the river occasionally. Bo Notwane crossing,

Pont‟s Drift, Plaatjane, Zanzibar and Tsetsebjwe and Maokatumo. In fact, I went to

inspect Maokatumo the other day, it is almost complete. So, what I mean is we are doing

everything possible.

His Excellency also talked about the telecommunication system. We have rural telephone

infrastructure where we are actually taking up cluster and regional groupings of villages.

We are already at Sefhophe/Tsetsejwe area and that includes Molalatau and Bobonong.

And then we are coming down to Kgagodi and those other villages of yours. We have

already opened up Barolong Farms, those small holdings scattered all over. We have

finished the first phase and we are going for the second phase in due course, I told you


May I also Mr Speaker, because I do not want to take too much time...

MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (MR SEBEGO): On a point of clarification, Mr

Speaker. Will the Honourable Minister say something about the important roads

traversing the Barolong villages.

MR MAGANG: The road that traverses Barolong from here to Phitshane goes across

Barolong Farms. Which one do you mean now?

MR SEBEGO: Along the river villages.

MR MAGANG: Well, you must use your boats. The road has not been done, but...

HONOURABLE MEMBER: The river is dry, David.
30th November, 1998                          271        Response to the President Speech

MR MAGANG: Is it dry? Anyway, the important thing is that, I think we should look at

the National Development Plan 8. We have tabulated how many roads are going to be

built, are being built and that should serve as a guide. If the funds are available and the

Minister of Finance is willing to give us that information at some stage during the

discussion of the Mid Term Review, there may be possibility to include other roads which

at the moment we are unable to do under the present programme because we already have

the programme of NDP 8. For instance, access roads are being built up to 10 kilometres,

but there are areas which are beyond ten kilometres, 15, 20, 30 and we have conceived a

programme under which we can attend to these once we have completed the present


The last but one point which I want to mention, Mr Speaker, I think I answered it but for

clarification when my colleague, Honourable Phumaphi, mentioned the question of radio

licences. I must emphasise that the criteria was established before the tenders were sent

out for any interested companies to submit to the board of BTA as to how they intend to

utilise that licence. What type of business and the companies that were invited are

business companies. Because they are business commercial companies, the criteria that is

used, irrespective as to whether there could be cultural implication within any radio

system, but the fact is that, these are business companies which were evaluated as such.

And we did get consultants from outside the country so as to show a certain amount of

impartiality so that people do not point fingers at us as such, those who are more qualified

and those who are more experienced in the issuing of licences for radio broadcast. And

those are the people who did the evaluation and the company that failed, failed because

the business presentation or commercial presentation by that company did not come up to
30th November, 1998                          272       Response to the President Speech

the mark. I must emphasise first, that these were meant to be commercial companies. My

understanding of culture, culture is not necessarily a business proposition. It requires

subsidies of some kind from government and these companies which applied for radio

broadcast were pure commercial operation and that is how they were...


MR MAGANG: No, I am replying because some wrong impression must have been

created to that.

Secondly, the company or the promoters of this company, from what I gathered, have

indicated their intention to appeal to the High Court against the decision that was made.

Now that is provided in the Act that any applicant for any licence who is not satisfied

with the decision can appeal to the High Court and to that extent that is why I was

constrained from encouraging the discussion of this issue because the promoters of that

company themselves know the rules and they know what to do if the application has been


The last point that I want to make is against...


(MRS PHUMAPHI): Can I seek clarification, Mr Speaker. I just want to ask the

Minister since he supports the action that has been taken by his authority, whether he

realises that the people of this country, through Vision 2016 actually wants us to promote

other languages. I just want to ask the Honourable Minister how he thinks by the year

2016 we are going to achieve this if he is going to condone deliberate suppression of

other languages and support that suppression of other languages in the name of commerce

at the expense of the development of other sectors of the community. How can he
30th November, 1998                          273         Response to the President Speech

condone that, no matter what logic he uses. But he must be aware that whatever logic he

is using, he is actually suppressing the will of the people that is enshrined in this

document that we have adopted.

MR MAGANG: I really do not want to carry this argument any further except to say that

maybe the Honourable the Assistant Minister must be too familiar with this case, I am

not. The responsibility for allocation of licences has been given to an authority

established by this Parliament. They did so and the procedures are such that it does not

really matter whether I condone or not or support or not, the procedures have been laid

down in terms of the Act, that anyone who is not satisfied can appeal. The promoters of

these companies, if they so wish, will appeal and talk about their language in the High

Court, but not me. To me these were commercial business companies, not charitable

companies set up to promote languages. So my answer is that, there are set procedures

under the Act, if you do not understand, therefore it is irrelevant whether I support or not

because the procedures must be followed.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They are both Botswana Democratic Party Members.

MR MAGANG: Yes, why do you say I have not answered her. How do you comprehend

her and yet you are not a Botswana Democratic Party member?

The last point that I wanted to make in support of my Honourable colleague, because she

is the only one who made it, is on the millennium buck or commonly known as the year

2000 problem or the Y2K problem where the whole world including Botswana, including

anybody, anywhere in the country who has adopted the new technology of computer and

telecommunication system, everybody is worried that the year 2000 will create problems

and can affect the ability and economic ability of countries simply because no one up to
30th November, 1998                         274       Response to the President Speech

now seem to be sure exactly what is going to happen. But what the whole world is trying

to do, is to make sure that whatever effect that maybe caused on 1st January, 2000 and

thereafter, we must appreciate; we must understand not only as a Member of Parliament,

as a Minister, as a government, but also as individuals, individual as business people,

because somehow anybody will be affected, whether it is a businessman or public officer,

he will be affected because the world has imbibed this new technology which has become

part of our lives. Consequently, any disruption that may be caused in a shop when you try

to buy something and they give you a change, obviously that means you stop in the shop.

You cannot do anything. I think as Members of Parliament, we must sensitise and be on a

campaign spree to advise our people about the 2000 Millennium Bug. I remember,

recently in a conference on International Civil Aviation, the fear by the developed

countries like America, Japan or European countries is that, because it is expensive to

change to the more compliant equipment or machines, some countries may not be able to

afford to do the change, that is, to either replace the old system which are non compliant

or to upgrade the existing one. Consequently, it may well be that some of the developed

countries will be afraid to come and land in some of our airports because they cannot be

sure if that country‟s flight information is correct. Because they may not have had the

ability to change their system so that it is compliant. It is an expensive undertaking where

the world has been plunged into a system which was not understood some 10 to 15 years

ago. Consequently, some people are even thinking that they will not agree to fly on the

1st of January. And some people say, look, we must avoid going down high building in a

lift. You must go down the stairs because it may well be that when you are on the lift, the
30th November, 1998                            275    Response to the President Speech

lift might well when he gets to the top, realise that in fact he ought to be at the bottom,

and it may run faster than it normally does.

So, I think this is very important. As leaders, I think we should advise our people. You

may be aware that Honurable Phumaphi is the Chair of the National Coordination Forum.

Therefore, this is coordinating the whole country. So, we as leaders, we should not see it

as a problem for government or as a government problem, or that government should see

it as its own problem. It is a problem for the country. Mind you, it is also a problem for

your neighbour. The neighbouring countries with whom you have trade relations or

whatever relations, we will have to make sure that they too are able to comply. In fact, the

international organisations like the World Bank, IATA and IKO, for instance, are willing

to provide money to developing countries which may not afford to do change. So, I would

say that, as leaders, we must be able to understand and we should be able to sensitise our

people. We must also appreciate that, because it is expensive, the resources will have to

be diverted in order that the engine can continue to move. Otherwise, if we cannot spend

money, that is why there is provision for P112 million. We will probably require even

much more than that. If you consider that every bigger parastatal or company in this

country uses more computers than even government. So, there is a law that the


resources or the country‟s resources would be diverted towards correcting the computer

system or information system in this country. This is as far as I can go, Mr Speaker.

Thank you very much.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You have talked at length and we are bored.
30th November, 1998                          276        Response to the President Speech

MR KOOSALETSE: Thank you Mr Speaker. May I mention a few things which I am

unhappy about, The president has delivered his speech, and instead of deliberating on the

speech, the debate has focused on the origin formation of Botswana Congress Party. We

have discussed this subject in June and July and I thought it was over. Eleven people left

Botswana National Front which is owned by one person. This appears to be the problem

with some people. We are not sorry we left Botswana National Front. We were touched

by the press and the radio and labelled as rebels. The whole nation was informed about

our unruliness and rebellion. I commend the leadership of Botswana Congress Party for

being patient and self-restraint, against the attacks of Botswana National Front and

Botswana Democratic Party....(interruption)...

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They are cousins.

MR KOOSALETSE: I commend the Botswana Congress Party for their self-restraint

despite the odds and there were no disturbances in the country like those which occurred

in Palapye. I applaud the leadership of the party....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker.

MR KOOSALETSE: Mr Speaker, I am just beginning to develop my point.. I cannot


HONOURABLE MEMBER: We wish to ask a question on that point.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Please be not be a coward.

MR KOOSALETSE: I applaud our leader Mr Dingake for the way he assumed the

responsibility of the leadership of the official opposition and was the first to speak on the

President‟s speech. He is always present at official functions. Protocol demands his

30th November, 1998                          277        Response to the President Speech

HONOURABLE MEMBER: I said that this person should go to bed.

MR KOSALETSE: I request the private press to be impartial in their presentations. It is

obvious that they are candidates for central committees of certain parties.


MR KOOSALETSE: They are candidates for the general elections. This destroys the

ethics of journalism because they are biased. An example is that there are issues or

motion we bring to Parliament, but receive no media coverage. This coverage would

stimulate Government to take action. When I was a Botswana National Front member, I

raised the issue of the sale of the Central District Council farms. This was a juicy, topic to

report on as Government would have been roused to take action. This subject should have

received a wide coverage. The net result that the sale ended in court where Government

was fighting against commercial farmers. I was asked about the tannery at Botswana Meat

Commission because it creates problems for the people living near the Botswana Meat

Commission. Waste from the tannery was dumped near the teachers Training College

(TTC). I am glad that this has been corrected and waste is dumped outside town.

Previously there was duty water which produced a terrible stench and flies.....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: As big as a head.

MR KOOSALETSE: I asked question number 106 of 1994. Encquring whether that

firm could not be relocated elsewhere. Secondly could something be done about the

smell. Thirdly are the people medically examined to ascertain that the smell is not

affecting them adversely including those who live in the vicinity of the factory. This was

not news worthy of publication by the press. Today seven people have died in the last two

years at the Botswana Meat Commission tannery. I am not sure of the cause of death. The
30th November, 1998                         278       Response to the President Speech

eighth person had an amputation. Two are in sane. These events the press should have

reported so that Government is exposed. Another example is that on 31st July, 1998 I

asked a question in Parliament.


MAGANG): Point of information and clarification, Mr Speaker. Can the Member

explain to us why somebody‟s legs were amputated? What was the cause? Was he

attacked or what?

MR KOOSALETSE: I do not know how the leg was affected but when I inquired, it

became clear that no investigations were carried on employees of the factory.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: No investigations, no press coverage.

MR KOOSALETSE: Even about those close to the factory. I am not saying that the

seven deaths were due to the smell, but bringing these issues up is to stimulate

Government to investigate. We do not ask questions for self pride or to ridicule the

Government or the Ministers but to ensure that things are corrected and taken care of. The

question was on 16th December, 1994. I recently asked a parliamentary question about

the private press. Question No. 179 with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to

read this question, which reads thus, “To ask the Minister of Finance and Development

Planning to indicate the implications of the collection of Value Added Tax by the South

African authorities at the border posts on our exports and imports in terms of (a) capacity

by the Republic of South Africa to collect and redistribute claims to the public and

business community particularly at isolated border posts;

(b) When any public awareness campaign has been carried out to sensitise Batswana

business and the public on how they are going to be affected by this development.” The
30th November, 1998                         279       Response to the President Speech

answer from the Minister was not satisfactory because if he had answered properly he

would not be in present dilemma of chasing his counterpart in America after the South

African legislation was operating and Batswana were ignorant. The media must take

action on these issues, instead of saying Members of Parliament are silent. Our questions

and motions are meant to be warnings and advice. Another example is the current subject

of the orphans of AIDS parents. On 3 August, 1998 I asked a question on this subject.

The question was how are these orphans looked after. The subject was deemed to be not

news - worthy. To be news-worthy. When they are reported, reference should be made to

the time when the subject was first broached. It would appear that reporters have a hidden

agenda. We realise that some are contesting the elections. This attitude tarnishes


Mr Speaker, yesterday the leader of our former party Dr Koma of Botswana National

Front was saying that we are lamenting about him. We are far from that idea. We are

happy to be out of Botswana National Front. There is no jealousy, no spite, no hatred as

people have mandated us to lead them. We are labelled as affluent living in double storey

buildings. I hear it about the Parliament flats when I came for induction after winning the

elections. When I came for the induction was when I learned about these flats for the first

time. I got the information from Mr Dabutha. Some of the information stated about us is

untrue. It is our former respected leader who was lamenting at his congress recently.



MINISTER OF EDUCATION (DR CHIEPE): Mr Speaker, I move that this House do

now adjourn.
30th November, 1998                       280       Response to the President Speech

                               Question put and agreed to

The Assembly accordingly adjourned at 7.00 o‟clock p.m. until Thursday 3rd December

1998 at 2.30 o‟clock p.m.


                            Thursday 3rd December, 1998

                 THE ASSEMBLY met at 2.30 o’clock p.m.

                            (THE SPEAKER in the Chair)



                       SPEAKER’S ANNOUNCEMENT

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, I have a very brief

but important statement to make this afternoon. You will all recall, as it is

common knowledge, that on the 19th November, 1998 in the process of the

exercise of responding to the President‟s speech, the Honourable Member

for Selebi-Phikwe reacted to some statement or something that I did not

hear myself rather nastily. In fact, he used very offensive words of which

you are all aware and my reaction was to ask him to withdraw that statement

or those offensive words, which he did. There were some questions that

were raised by Honourable Members, rightly so, asking whether that was all

that could be done by asking the Honourable Member to withdraw when in
30th November, 1998                 281      Response to the President Speech

fact he has reacted improperly. I said yes, short of naming the Honourable

Member, that was all that could be done and our Standing Orders do not

provide for anything else other than that, although the Speaker has the

discretion to act by naming the Honourable Member who has uttered those

offensive and unprintable words.

I knew that in other Parliaments, Standing Orders were not silent as to that

and I have, after consulting with the Clerk or my staff in the office, found

that I should direct the Clerk to instruct the officer responsible for the

production of Hansard to have those words expunged, that is, taken out of

the record. Obviously, in our minds we know that those words were said and

there is nothing else other than doing that. As I say, in the absence of

anything spelt out in our own rules, and at the same time not wanting to be

seen as acting perhaps out-handedly or acting out of impulse, I have had to

borrow from other Parliaments. I have consulted Lok Sabha, that is, the

Indian Parliament and the Australian Parliament, others have not had

anything to offer me. I thought, to back up my decision, which in fact is my

decision, I am not requiring of this House, I am directing that the Hansard

should not be printed with such offensive words, therefore, I am directing

that they be omitted. The Lok Sabha says: “If the Speaker is of the opinion

that words have been used in debate which are defamatory or indecent or
30th November, 1998                 282      Response to the President Speech

unparliamentary or undignified, he may in his discretion, order that such

words be expunged from the Hansard.” Australia says: “In Australia the

Speaker has also directed in special circumstances that offensive words be

omitted from the Hansard record.”

In those circumstances, I have ordered or instructed the Clerk to expunge

the offensive words spoken by the Honourable Member of Selebi-Phikwe

on the 19th November, 1998 in this House. So, the Hansard of that day will

be printed without those very offensive words.


KEDIKILWE): On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The very first

question is, expunging those words in aid of what? Words have been uttered

in this Parliament that are offensive, and some of us were quick to question

whether this was the procedure that we were now going to follow. And there

has been no answer. We have to be answered. Is this the answer, that words

that are offensive in Parliament, the procedure is that they are going to be

expunged? In other words, if from now on someone says to some other

person “something nasty about a person‟s mother”, all they could do later is

for those words to be expunged. In fact, if we did not have school children
30th November, 1998                   283      Response to the President Speech

in this House, I would be translating into Setswana what the Honourable

Member for Selebi-Phikwe said.

The third question is, whose culture are we following? Is it the Indian

culture, Australian culture or the Botswana culture? Mr Speaker, we run the

danger that we will disagree very violently with you and we want to save

you, as well as ourselves, that embarrassment. Maybe rather than make a

ruling right now, we should discuss this matter outside this Parliament

before any ruling is made because some of us feel strongly that it is the

Botswana culture that we ought to infuse into the debates of this Parliament,

nothing Australian or Indian.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! It is not my intention that we should engage

in a debate on this matter. I had not lost sight of the fact that the words that

were used were not proper. I followed the procedure and when questions

were raised here, I said yes, I could do that short of naming the Member. I

ordered that the Honourable Member withdraw those offensive words and

that is what I have done so far. The import of withdrawing any offensive

words or any utterance which is considered unparliamentary in as far as our

own procedures are concerned, as out of naming a Member and suspending

them from Parliament for a given period, when they have been asked to
30th November, 1998                   284       Response to the President Speech

withdraw and invariably do that, the import of that withdrawal is that it

heals the wound that had been inflicted. That is the purpose.


MR SPEAKER: I am not talking about our culture, Honourable Minister,

you have deliberately brought in our culture. All cultures do not allow

derogatory words said against another Member and I am not at the moment

considering the question of our culture, there is quite a lot in our culture that

would be brought into focus to deal with a matter of this nature. Anyway,

the culture of Parliament will not take kindly to Honourable Members

whispering when the Speaker is holding the floor, it is offending the culture

of this House. I am saying that I am quite cognisant of the fact that

something that is not acceptable...


MR SPEAKER: The Honourable Member, you are doing exactly what you

are complaining about, behaving improperly.

I do not intend that we engage in a debate on this matter, but I am only

expunging words that were so offensive so that they do not become part of

the record of that day; and that is acceptable and that is what can be done

and we should do that. I do not think, Honourable Member for Mmadinare, I
30th November, 1998                 285      Response to the President Speech

would be expecting to be engaged over this matter much as I know how you

feel. I think you should also know that I have a ruling to make, I have made

a ruling that those words be withdrawn and I am also saying much as they

were withdrawn, but they would continue as it is not written. I do not know

how we put this record in our Hansard, “these words were withdrawn upon

the ruling of the Speaker” or something like that, but I am saying that I am

cleaning them out of the Hansard. Thank you.


point of clarification, Mr Speaker. With the greatest humility and greatest

respect to this Honourable House and you, Mr Speaker, I really have no

intention of questioning your ruling on this matter, in fact, it will be

improper for me to even attempt to do so. Having said that, I really want it

to be put on record the concern of this Honourable House about the manner

in which this issue has been resolved. I share the concern expressed by the

Honourable Member for Mmadinare that the expunging of those words will

in effect have the effect of rewarding the Honourable Member who made

these offensive expressions. In other words, one of the senses of this

parliament is that people who behave in the manner in which the

Honourable Member has behaved must have their behaviour reflected in the
30th November, 1998                  286       Response to the President Speech

records of this Parliament. So when you expunge the words, you are

rewarding him for the wrong things that he has done, this is why we are

concerned, we want history to be able to know that there are people in this

Honourable House who are in the habit of behaving in the manner in which

the Honourable Member behaved. (Interruptions)

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Further explanation, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Order! Honourable Members, I am not

allowing any further intervention on this matter. I am not doing that, if it is

the wish of Honourable Members to raise the matter at some other time and

not in the forum as it is now, maybe we can sit to consider that together in

which case we would have to formulate our own rules and the rules are not

formulated in the heat of the circumstances like these. We were just

approving amended Standing Orders not so long ago and obviously in our

exercise to try and improve or beef up our Standing Orders we omitted some

of these things and therefore when it has happened as it has, then all I could

say is that it is incumbent upon you Honourable Members to move that we

sit down again and consider what should be done. We cannot be expected to

consider it in the heat of the circumstances like this. All I am doing, I am

making a ruling in regard to what has happened, that is all. And I do not
30th November, 1998                  287      Response to the President Speech

think I can go further than that. You are at liberty to ask for the convening

of a forum where we can together consider what should be done if our

provisions are inadequate to deal with situations like this. But for the time

being a ruling such as I have made would be acceptable because I do not

think I am wrong in ruling that those offensive words be expunged from the

records. And I have said it is done elsewhere, it is not the culture of any

parliament to allow such words to be used in the House. I am saying that

we can arrange to meet and discuss how best we can grapple with problems

of this nature. We can expel a Member from the House for a specified time,

that we can do. Therefore I said I am not going further than this, I have

explained that we will find that time.

MRS KOKORWE: Mr Speaker, can I ask a question.

MR SPEAKER: I say I am not accepting any intervention.

DR NASHA: On a point of procedure.

MRS KOKORWE: Mr Speaker, can I ask a question.

MR SPEAKER: I am not accepting any intervention.

DR NASHA: Point of procedure, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I am not accepting any point of procedure in as far as this

matter is concerned because I said I am not allowing any discussions of it. I
30th November, 1998                  288      Response to the President Speech

take note that it is the wish of Honourable Members to air out their feelings

about this but I say it should be at some other time not now.

DR NASHA: What about a point of order then, Mr Speaker.


KEDIKILWE): Mr Speaker, my point of clarification is, again we do not

wish to question the Honourable Speaker‟s action or ruling. But if the

Speaker is clearly wrong and protecting a culprit and prejudicing any action

that we might wish to take, I think we have the right to stand up and speak.

And all we can request at this point in time, Mr Speaker, is, with all the

greatest respect, please do not take any decision including expunging any

words because that will leave a bitter taste in our mouths and it will be in

very bad faith.

MR SPEAKER: Honourable Members, I hope it is understood that I am

not entertaining any discussions on this matter and on my ruling. I am

saying that if you have feelings such the Honourable Member for

Mmadinare says you have, let us find some other time not now.


clarification. Mr Speaker. I think the House will be left confused because

the last statements the Speaker has just made now throws us out of gear
30th November, 1998                 289      Response to the President Speech

because we do not know now whether the Speaker is withdrawing the ruling

that he has made or whether he still maintains the ruling that he has made

regarding this matter. As I see the issue, Mr Speaker, the Honourable

Members are rightly complaining that the decision we took was rather

lenient because they are feeling that a more drastic action should have been

taken against the Honourable Member who said certain offending words.

But their feeling is that, that was not done, and you have made a ruling, Mr

Speaker, and I do not think it will be in accordance with the Standing

Orders for you now to withdraw that ruling. All that can happen is that you

have made a ruling and there is sufficient provision in our Standing Orders

as they stand now to deal with any other indiscipline in the House by the

Honourable Speaker. If an Honourable Member insults others, there is

sufficient punishment provided for in the Standing Orders. We do not have

to go and work out some other rules and regulations because the punishment

is already here and the Speaker can impose that but you have made a ruling,

Mr Speaker. I think all we can do now is only regret that in this particular

case the Honourable Member got away with murder, but I think next time ...

(Interruptions) No, but the ruling is made, Am I wrong? But the ruling is

made and the Speaker cannot withdraw that ruling.

DR NASHA: On a point of Order, Mr Speaker.
30th November, 1998                  290      Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I allowed the Leader of the House because

he is my partner in the conduct of business of this House. I did that but that

does not detract from the fact that I said I am not allowing discussions on

this matter. I have perhaps gone further to say something which soften the

rigidity of my ruling to say that perhaps Members may be given an

opportunity at some forum to air their views on this matter because, if our

own rules of conduct of our business are deficient, there might emerge

something that would assist us to deal promptly with matters of this nature.

Honourable Members should know that if we can allow discussions of this

matter we are just really going to end nowhere. I have ruled at that time

when I commanded the withdrawal of those offending words, perhaps

inadvertently not realising that I was falling short of what might have been

the appropriate punishment. It is not unusual that, that happened and that is

why people would go and appeal on some decisions that have been made

and in this case, I ruled that withdrawal be made and I have also decided

that I have given instructions, I thought it would be proper for me to inform

you here instead of reading your Hansard to find that some part is missing.

It is only proper that I should have come to you to say that I have directed

that an expunging of those words be made. I think it is only fair, it is in
30th November, 1998                 291      Response to the President Speech

recognition of your concern that I should inform you of what I have directed

be done. So Honourable Members, I think you better just cool down, we

shall find a way of dealing with this matter, I am not entertaining any

interventions on this matter.

DR NASHA: Is a point of order refused in this Honourable House, Mr


MR SPEAKER: Order! can you sit down, Honourable Members.

MRS KOKORWE: Mr Speaker, please!

MR SPEAKER: Questions....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Are you refusing?

MR NKATE: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order, just one point of


DR NASHA: Is a point of order not allowed in this House any more?

MR SPEAKER: I will not allow any points of orders in a situation of this

nature and where my ruling is over-ridden and I am not prepared to accept

that it should. I have made a ruling and therefore I am not taking any


MR BALOPI: Point of order, Mr Speaker, on the procedure of Parliament.

MR SPEAKER: Question No.1
30th November, 1998                  292      Response to the President Speech

MR BALOPI: Point of order, Mr Speaker, on the questions,not on the issue

you debated for 30 minutes. The House is out of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: If the House is out of order, I can adjourn it if it is, I

would not mind. I think adjourning the House is the only thing I can do.

May you please sit down Honourable Member.

DR NASHA: The time for questions is over, Mr Speaker.

MR BALOPI: That was the point of order I was raising...

DR NASHA: We want to debate and bring up a point of order here instead

of going to questions, question time is over, they can get written answers.

MR SPEAKER: Honourable Members, Order! Order!, we have continued

unnecessarily long that we exhausted time that should have been for

questions and I am going to defer questions to a later date and then we will

take the motion and before we do that, I am asked to inform you that there

are some parcels in our Public Relations Office which should be handed to

Honourable Members individually.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: We do not want them.

MR SPEAKER: They are not mine, you do not want them, where do they

come from! Is this how you behave? According to our Standing Orders,

when Mr Speaker is standing, Honourable Members will keep quiet, will
30th November, 1998                    293      Response to the President Speech

behave in respectful manner. And the Speaker is now standing here to

convey a message that I have been asked to convey to you, I do not think

you heard it, it will be made again at a later date.

I learned that you will assist me, but now you are not assisting but creating


Honourable Members we shall now skip the questions.



                                 (Resumed Debate)

MR KOOSALETSE: Thank you Mr Speaker. the statement by Mr

Mothibamele that a decision has been taken that I should not speak is not

acceptable. Ministers were advising us yesterday that we should conduct

activities in Parliament in a respectable way. We should discuss national

issues and ignore petty matters which are time consuming.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible)....

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Member, Order! If you want to

fight you can go and fight outside.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Yes, I fight here now.
30th November, 1998                  294      Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: You have said something about fighting. Can you listen,

Honourable Member!

ASSISTANT             MINISTER        OF        AGRICULTURE                (MR

MOTHIBAMELE): Point of order, Sir. I rise on a point of order. Sir, with

due respect, I think the Honourable Member must commence the debate of

the speech rather than provoke me. We are very sad about the matter which

was being discussed here. We are very very angry and if he starts provoking

me, I will make sure that I disturb him. I do not want to do that so could he

please debate the speech and leave me alone. Thank you, Sir.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! at the risk of provoking you further, I do

not think that is a point of order. The Honourable Member was hurling some

words at you like you also do across the floor, and if those words were

insulting, I would listen very carefully and make an appropriate ruling.

MR KOOSALETSE: Mr Speaker, thank you and I shall continue. I shall

crave your protection as I want to continue from where I left off yesterday. I

wish there was order. In my speech yestrday Mr Speaker, .....


MR KOOSALETSE: Mr Mothibamele please give me a chance.

30th November, 1998                 295       Response to the President Speech

MR KOOSALETSE: I shall reply back.

MR SPEAKER: Honourable Member, can you ignore the Honourable

Member, he is provoking you, please continue.

MR KOOSALETSE: In my contribution yesterday, I requested the press to

report national issues. They should not await a crisis before they report as

then it is too late and people are not aware of the origin. We are proud of

our Botswana Congress Party       where we come from was riddled with

jealousy, hatred, envy etc. Dr Koma said that we lamented because we left

him. His words received wide publicity even on the Radio. We are not sorry

we left him. He said, at his congress that we went to him to get us posts of

ambassador, Minister of Parliament etc. He even included our wives and

children. These utterings are unpalatable. Did I ever go to him and ask for a

post? I only learned about flats for Parliamentarians after winning the

elections. I was not even aware flats were being constructed. There were

idle talks that we declined to give people lifts on our vehicles as they were

not taxis. We used our own vehicles to support BNF. We should condemn a

statement made by Dr Koma because it is misleading. I believe the words

alleged to have been said by Dr Koma that in Palapye, I chased him carrying

a bottle in an attempt to assault him I was not present at Palapye. I am
30th November, 1998                 296      Response to the President Speech

extremely sore about this allegation. We are happy despite our unhappy exit

due to petty matters. Somebody went to Lobatse accompanied by a fellow

Parliamentarian and on arrvial at Lobatse told the people not to elect their

candidate, not becuase he was not able but because he was known by some

people. People like Mr Merafhe will say that he is going to make sure BCP

is sufficiently destroyed. Hence the noise about us Mr Merafhe because they

are friends with BNF, said that he is sympathetic to the BNF Party because

we stole their discs. Let us face national issues. Mr Rantao detailed the

movements of councillors from party to party and others forming other

parties.Let us make contributions to the President‟s speech. Some Members

have made helpful contributions. These are people who display qualities of

ability and purpose to effect developments. There is no point in coming here

to debate and do nothing. Does the electorate want to hear us debate

eloquently here in Parlianent or expect developments outside which affect

their problems? We are referring to problems such as poverty,

unemployment and lack of housing. Is cheap talking what the nation want to

hear from us. Let our discussions be constructive calculated towards action.

We cannot deny developments which have been done such as those

enumerated by Mr Magang. However the question still remains about

poverty. If you take the Bank of Botswana booklet, if I may quote Sir, with
30th November, 1998                  297       Response to the President Speech

your permission on page 11 it asks questions such as “why has poverty

persisted inspite of Botswana‟s economic miracle? Could government

policies have done more to alleviate poverty, especially given that there is

no immediate fiscal constraint..” The same is echoed by the Botswana

Human Development Report which state that despite our pride on our

achievements, poverty is on the increase. The question is how do we

eradicate poverty? Batswana live in a circle of poverty.Measures taken do

not turn the circle of poverty to the circle of prosperity. Some Ministers feel

that those who are slow should be left behind. We cannot all run at the

same pace. This means that the bulk of the nation who are poor will not

catch up because these intervention programmes are only temporary.

Drought and drought refief have become a permanent emergency. We

engage in emergency programmes such as Labour Intensive Programmes

designed to enable people to earn a little cash to survive. These do not

remove people from poverty. We must take steps to ensure that Botswana

are clearly empowered. Otherwise we shall keep on making people survive

by emergency programmes. This is why....

MR GABAAKE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. We have heard a

lot about poverty and drought. Could the Honourable Member indicate
30th November, 1998                   298    Response to the President Speech

alternative programmes which would be more effective than the present

ones. If so what are they? Please tell us.

MR KOOSALETSE: I understand Mr Gabaake. As he says that what I said

is a song, his reaction is also a song. What I want to know is as

Governemnt, is that all you can do?

MR GABAAKE: What more do we have to do?

MR KOOSALETSE: Is that all you can do?

MR MABILETSA: On a point of elucidation, Mr Speaker. The point of

elucidation which I want to make is what we have already submitteed,

unfortunately Honourable Gabaake was out addressing meetings of the Law

Reform. We suggested that one of the ways that we could do is to

undertake permanent projects such as plantation of crops under irrigation

whereby people will be engaged permanently in those projects; whereby

people will actually work on those projects during drought after drought and

so forth. We have suggested that. We have suggested projects such as

horticulture at cooperative level where you harness the people whom you

are trying to assist to try and develop these projects using competent well

qualified technicians to direct these people under relief programmes to be
30th November, 1998                 299     Response to the President Speech

able ward off the effects of poverty that we are talking about. We have

suggested that.

MR KOOSALETSE: Mr Speaker, I appreciate Mr Mabiletsa‟s

contribution. However I wish to address Mr Gabaake‟s question because he

gives me the impression that they have no other ideas. I wish to quote,

“there is no immediate constraint.” Funds are not a problem and yet drought

persists. Have ideas been exhausted because everytime there is a drought,

the same things are done and people are not relieved of poverty. In

Gaborone people travel long distances to draw water and there is no water

borne sanitation. People use pit latrines. Houses occupied by people are

inhabitable. In the homes people stay because there are no jobs. There are

no bread winners. BDP members just pretend as they have no idea how and

where people live.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Where do you live?

MR KOOSALETSE: One of you should visit Peleng, Naledi or

Mmasemenyenga just for one day and pretend to be a Motswana and also

experience the very things we talk about. In these homes bobody goes to

work. There are no jobs.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: No food in the home.
30th November, 1998                  300      Response to the President Speech

MR KOOSALETSE: No food in the house. Nothing to live on.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Husband and wife talk once at month end.

MR KOOSALETSE: Investigations have been carried out about poverty.

This House has enormous power to do something about the findings of

Botswana Institute of Development Policy Analysis. (BIDPA) and others

which have concluded that 47 per cent or 600,000 people are poor. This

House can take action on poverty. If you say it is the survival of the fittest

i.e. let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer because nobody, as Dr

Koma states is prevented from applying themselves. Let us face the poverty


MR OTENG: Mr Speaker, I do not think we differ regarding problems in

this country. The question is, which country in the SADC region is......

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Mauritius .....

MR OTENG: Okay it may be Mauritius, but our neighbours were richer

than ourselves ...

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They are still rich. You mean South


MR OTENG: ... Let me speak. What are you afraid of? Rich countries like

South Africa have higher unemployment rate than Botswana.
30th November, 1998                 301       Response to the President Speech


MR OTENG: Let me continue and say my piece. We understand there is no

poverty. It is a case of priorities. Should we not have started with building

schools and started by creating employment. We mislead the people. I

believe in .....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Are you debating?

MR OTENG: I am not debating. Let me give you an example ....


MR OTENG: Let me give you an example. In Ramotswa there is a firm

called Steel. It requires 200 employees. You tell people that it is a company

owned by Indians like Somalians and the company has 200 jobs waiting for

the people. Let us face facts.

MR RANTAO: Allow me to explain something. Neighbouring countries

such as Tanzania has by populations such 25 million and yet the economy is

lower than ours. We are about a million in population ... If Tanzania tackles

a million and if the population increases to two million people will die.

Countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa have bigger

populations and yet their economies are lower than ours. Even the mayor of

Bulawayo governs more people that you do.
30th November, 1998                  302      Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order!

MR RANTAO: The mayor of Bulawayo.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Honourable Member;. you stood up to make a

short explanation. Now you are speaking at length.

MR KOOSALETSE: Mr Oteng wanted to know which country has not got

umemployment. There is no point comparing ourselves with other countries.

Let us not hide behind statistics. UNDP reports that our economy is doing

well. We are number 3 in the list of rich countries. Mr Oteng must

understand that statistics can distort facts. Botswana is in the list of First

World Countries.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What should we believe now?

MR KOOSALETSE: We do say you should sibelieve the figures. They are

important and reflect the truth. Mauritius is graded as Number one through

developments. It does not beat industrialised countries employment wise

such as Germany. Does this mean development wise, Mauritius is ahead of

countries in Africa, working at the infrastructure, the human development

and everything. It is not true. Despite the figures which place Botswana

high in wealth, the fact of the matter is that many Batswana are poor.
30th November, 1998                   303      Response to the President Speech

MR BALOPI:On a point of clarification. Are these colleagues doing the

process of making comparisons not deliberately distorting the real facts for

a political gain. We must not in discussing the economy of Botswana

compare it to Mauritius saying Mauritius has done better than Botswana.

Mauritius is as big as Ramotswa. The longest road in Mauritius is 35

milometres. There is no companison area wise as developments in Botswana

cover vast areas e.g. the road from Gaborone to Shakawe.

MR KOOSALETSE: Mauritius is rated high in Africa. If you take the

statistics one might say Mauritius is more developed than say Germany.

From the figures it is a highly developed state.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Member, sorry to interrupt you.

Yesterday I informed you that the Minister responsible for responding to

this debate will be replying today. I now inform you that Honourable Dr

Chiepe will handle that at 6.30 p.m.        I would hope that Honourable

Members will note that time is not that plenty, and instead of talking on

poverty that has been dealt with quite a great deal, perhaps other features

could be addressed and succinctly.

MR KOOSALETSE: I am expected to speak about the High Court,

Botswana Meat Commission which subjects I wished to discuss, but will not
30th November, 1998                  304      Response to the President Speech

due to the time limit. I will talk about unemployment which the President

talked about. The firms in Botswana are not assisting towards this problems,

because they are retrenching workers. Government cannot stop the

retrenchments. I wish to reguest Government to set standards with regards

restructuring, so that there should be transparency. This would justify

retrenchments. BMC has retrenched workers during the last two years. It

would appear that when this is done.....


MR KOOSALETSE: I am sorry, Honourable Minister, I have a question

tomorrow and do not know your answer. When retrenchments are done no

investigations are done to ascertain the number of workers required at a

workplace. It has now a motivational tool. If somebody does not perform

well, they are retrenched.Later petty jeolasies, hatred,tribalism and even

politics come into play . Could Government, through the Ministry of Labour

and Home Affairs issue guidelines like BDC did the other day so that

workers can clearly see that they are candidates for retrenchment because

the firm has been transparent. Criteria should be used. People should clearly

see how they will be affected. People work for years and, suddenly lose

their jobs in an unfair way. People do not work peacefully. There are
30th November, 1998                 305       Response to the President Speech

clashes. I do not want to dwell on BMC as Mr Sebego is still to answer my

question. In addition I have a motion which I will bring to this House. There

should be guidelines for industries so that people can see why they have to

be retrenched in the interests of the company. This is my request to this

Honourable House.

The President spoke well about the fight against the epidemic of HIV/AIDS.

We have been following this subject as Members of Parliament. We attend

workshops even at workplaces to discuss this disease. There is interaction

between employers and employees on this subject. We discuss and ask

questions. I asked a question here and the way the Minister answered

appeared that the question was irrelevant unless we have a united front we

shall not succeed. The subject should transcent party politics. To some

people can be an inspiration and regard me as a role model and will imitate

me in everything I do or say. With regards Small Medium and Micro

Enterprises (SMMEs),      I wish to confess that I have never made a

submission to the Task Force which went round the country collecting

evidence which when placed before us we criticise despite the fact that we

made no submissions. Some times we are drawn to our views by the press.

Even after investigations and submissions which were invited, people still

made noises and criticised. The same applies to privatisation. People should
30th November, 1998                 306      Response to the President Speech

make submissions to all these commissions so that when nothing happens at

least their views were presented especially if Government takes no action.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Do you mean that we are uncooperative?

MR KOOSALETSE: I never said so. The report on this subject will come

to this House. I wish to discuss shop-keepers and retailers. Batswana as a

whole are ignorant about industry. I am not discussing Mr Sebetela‟s motion

being noticed. My discussion is on industry which we associate with loans

and manufacturing for which we have no knowledge of. People should be

taught about these industries such as retail, manufacturing, before they

borrow money from Shemes like FAP.


MR KOOSALETSE: It is a good industry. I had an argument with Mr

Magang about privatisation saying we cannot make everybody a business

person. We need transparency in our dealings so that no fingers can be

pointed at individuals for monopolising.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Let things be done in the open.

MR KOOSALETSE: Things should be done in the open. I asked Mr

Sebego about the fencing and use of several Government farms such as the

BLDC ones which have gone to the Land Boards some are used for
30th November, 1998                   307       Response to the President Speech

guarantine purposes. He selected a few surrounding farmers and put them

into these farms. Farms are later sub-divided and allocated. An example is

Ga-Masiatilodi. If you carry on like that Mr Sebego, allocating and fencing,

ultimately the farms will be fenced. I mean that .....

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) (interruptions)

MR KOOSALETSE: Take Sunnyside. when the farm was empty it got

fenced. It is so simple. Mr Oteng agrees with me, with rgards drought I said

we should perceive projects which should not be a permanent emergency.

Let us consider permanent projects such as boreholes which can be used

after the drought. Thank you Mr Speaker.

MR MASISI: Thank you Mr Speaker and Honourable Members. The

President said that we should discuss the speech and give our views on it.

The last speaker agrees with me on views about joining hands to fight

HIV/AIDS. We are elected by the people even if we come from different

partries. Once we are in Parliament we should act as one Parliament because

we are Parliament of the whole country. When we speak in Parliament we

should be objective and not petty and resume our responsibility.

MR KAVINDAMA: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. My point of order is

that, the Honourable Member is not facing the Speaker.
30th November, 1998                   308       Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Oh! thank you. He will face me.

MR MASISI: Mr Speaker please adjudicate if I am at fault.

MR SPEAKER: I am sure I just dismissed it as not really worth of


MR MASISI: Some people do not understand that speaking through the

Speaker is not the same as literally facing so as not to point fingers at

Honourable Members. In this country we adhere to our policies. Our

policies, we maintain are founded on our culture and traditions mainly

consultation and to share ideas. It is not good to render advice with

unpleasant words especially in Parliament we are leaders. We should act

responsibly. Democracy is in our blood. If somebody is given an order to

carry it out, failure means punishment. We agree to do something in

Parliament, the following days some Members renegate. Let us respect our


MR MABILETSA: Clarification Mr Speaker. I agree that people should

not renege from agreements. This is the truth and I support him. It would

appear that certain agreements are pleasant to Government and they are

implemented while those apparantly less pleasant are not implemented. An

example is in Mr Mfa‟s comments on paragraph 77 amd 78 of the
30th November, 1998                   309      Response to the President Speech

Constitution which was agreed upon here, this has not been implemented.

The newest one has been called upon. This is wrong. We had an agreement

on Mr Mfa‟s motion.

MR ROBI: Clarification, Mr Masisi please.



MR MASISI: Mr Speaker, we had no quorum, now we have it.

MR SPEAKER: I counted nine Members.

MR MASISI: No, the quorum is made by 13 or 14 Members.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! The Honourable Mr Deputy Speaker, the

position now as it stands is that there has been no change, the constitution

has not been amended. It is only the Standing Orders that were amended and

were are awaiting for the constitution to be amended.

MR MASISI: Thank you Mr Speaker. When we adjourned I spoke of

certain acts, we perform in accordance with democracy and our culture. We

talk about development which some allegations are not done and yet they

are visible to everybody such as roads, buildings, water, hospitals, clinics,

schools etc. Because they are not sufficient please speak with scorn that

there are none. We shall accomplish everything at the same time. There will
30th November, 1998                   310      Response to the President Speech

be shortcomings here and there. Sometimes certain projects are not

implemented because certain urgent matters crop up. As leaders we should

explain these shortcomings to the people. I agree with the President about

the epidemic of HIV/AIDS. We should fight against the disease and urge

others to do so. We get distracted by notions that there is a cure for the

disease and then people lose confidence in their elected Government. I wish

to associate myself with paragraphs 6, 7 and 8 on the achievements by

Batswana. Setswana says “setlhora se a tle se bolae tlou” (a squirel

sometimes kills an elephant). I commend Botswana as a small national for

its achievements in international affairs. We have set an example to be

followed. There is no distraction nor any way or disturbance in this country.

I wish to comment on our children who were sent to Somalia, Mozambique

and Lesotho. Some refer to the as our proper children. These children acted

responsibly, diligently, honourably and with good conduct. They acted like

proper mediaters. We should be proud of our children because when given

an arrand they carry it out meticulously. I do not wish to comment on what

some people said that we should do nothing when there is trouble in

Lesotho. You will recollect that Basotho settled in Tlokweng and have

become our burden. We will be forced to share our meagre resources such

as education, health with them. It is proper to share with our neighbours.
30th November, 1998                  311      Response to the President Speech

I wish to comment on small businesses. I have got a complaint. Government

saw it fit to look into small business and to improve them. Then the report

will be further scrutinised for further comments. Government gave these

people some orders as a way of starting then. Later Government became a

bad payer and people suffered. People had to rely on Government because

there were no markets.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members, I want to draw the

attention of Honourable Members Standing Order No.47 with respect to the

behaviour of Members when another Member or other Members are

speaking or holding the floor, in particular (c), which says “Members shall

not read newspapers, books, letters or other documents except such matter

therein as may be directly connected with the business of the Assembly”. I

can see quite a number of Members in the front row in particular reading


MR MASISI: Thank you Mr Speaker. Government agreed to assist these

business people. There are still some problems. Some are awarded contracts

to prepare meals for schools at Gantsi. They are given contracts by different

departments to sew uniforms for school children, nurses etc. The problem is

that after being awarded these contracts they are unable to pay their workers
30th November, 1998                  312      Response to the President Speech

at the end of the month, because the business people, themselves have not

been paid. Government has decided to award contracts to locals. As

mentioned these entrepreneurs are given jobs by Government. They in turn,

engage workers. These workers are not paid at month end,because

Government has not paid the business person. Some produce goods and

deliver them on the 15th of the month; right in Gaborone, that month will

end without any payments being received. Some of these business people

appeal to the Heads of Department because their workers are not happy. The

main culprit is the Department of Supplies. Some of the officers, at this

Department are most unhelpful to these small business people. The problem

is that the workers for these enterprises are not paid in time, because of the

delay in Government‟s payments.

MR KEDIKILWE: Explanation Mr Speaker. I wish to know whether there

is substance in this statement because we wish to assist. We, as the Central

Committee of BDP took a decision that payments should not be delayed

once services have been rendered. This practice should also be investigated.

It was found that the problem was not be with the Ministtry of Finance and

Development Planning. Those who complete the documents for payments

do not complete them properly and delays ensue. Some Departments who
30th November, 1998                 313       Response to the President Speech

order goods delay in processing payments. My instruction is that any people

who are affected should ring me at telephone number 369808 or my Deputy

at telephone number 350252. We shall circulate the telephone numbers so

that the affected parties can receive prompt attention. We have to be careful

that funds belonging to people do not fall into the wrong hands. Sometimes

people come in haste and demand payment for services not rendered and

Government funds are lost. I am sure Honourable Member was no referring

to such case. Thank you Mr Speaker.

MR MASISI: Thank you Mr Speaker. I also thank the Honourable Minister

for this explanation. I was not aware that this issue was addressed by the

Central Committee of BDP. It is news to me. The Report has been produced

and is due to go to Cabinet and will ultimately come to Parliament. My

point is while still waiting for the report could the concerned Departments

take action. I gave an example of people in Gaborone. What about people in

Gantsi and far afield, because payments are only made in Gaborone. Their

workers will disappear and Batswana will       be labelled as incompetent.

Could Mr Kedikilwe, who appears to be active on the matter, take steps to

have payments made promptly so as to keep the businesses alive. If 100
30th November, 1998                 314       Response to the President Speech

businesses each employs 10 people. What is the total? Arithmetic, Mr



MR MASISI: This means a thousand homes, because each of the

employees supports a lot of dependents. Please give your officers a shake.

The second on...(interruption)...

MR KEDIKILWE: Thank you Mr Speaker. We do not appear to be on the

same wave length. The decision has been taken. This is why I have

furnished my phone number so that any disgruntled persons can contact us

so that we may take action. Those are our phone numbers in Parliament.

MR BALOPI: Point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I appreciate the

Minister‟s comments and that he has sacrificed to take the calls. The

difference between Mr Masisi‟s concern and the Minister‟s reply is that this

Cabinet decision should be implemented by the Civil Service and not by the

Minister in person. His place is full. It is a known fact that these Civil

Servants do not take action. They delay implementation. Is it incompetence

or some hidden agenda such as possible bribery! Unless the Civil Service

performs, this is no task for Mr Kedikilwe.
30th November, 1998                  315      Response to the President Speech

MR MASISI: Thank you Mr Speaker. I appreciate the Minister‟s comments

with some reservations. My views are those expressed by Mr Balopi. We are

embarking on Productivity and performance. Leaders have been appointed

but according to what I heard on Radio Botswana the project is not making

headway. Please shake these Civil Servants. I ring them when people

approach me, but no action is taken. Please blame Government when the

fault lies with the servants of Government. People complain that civil

servants, regardless of whether they have performed or not during the month

receive their salaries. On the contrary these business people will get a

reward for work done. Let us be serious. I have some 34 000 people I

represent in my constituency. It is impossible to answer all their phone calls

or to relay their phone calls to the Civil Servants. It is a mammoth task. If

these civil servants do not perform action should be taken against them, not

against the Minister.

My next comments are on “Decentralisation”, i.e. taking the services to the

people. We agreed that services should go to the people and not vice versa.

The progress is not in order. In 1988 the Village Development Committee

(VDC) Moshupa requested an increase in responsibilities and power. This

was agreed and the Ngwaketse District Council also agreed. It would appear
30th November, 1998                 316      Response to the President Speech

that the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing also agreed.

This happened in 1988. After this agreement you inform the people

accordingly and alas!

HONOURABLE              MEMBER:      Tying    a    noose      around      your


MR MASISI: You become an unrelieable person to the community. When

we ask the Council, they refer us to Gaborone. Gaborone refers us to Kanye.

It is a see-saw!

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You are going too far.

MR MASISI: The responsible people know who we are referring to. It is

not necessary to attack responsible people. Could the responsible people

inform the nation where the problem is. Nothing has been done. I shall

blame the Ministers and it is for them to take appropriate action with their

officers. It was agreed by Government that hospitals will be built at

Moshupa, Tonota, and other areas. The matter has been pending for some

time. Could it be expedited.

MR KALAKE: Clarification, Mr Speaker. The Honourable Member said

that in 1988 there was some agreement about the status of some District

Councils. If I recollect the Honourable Member was a Minister together
30th November, 1998                   317      Response to the President Speech

with the Ministers he is pointing at. What steps did the Honourable Member

take as a Minister, and telling the people, that the status of Moshupa was

increased and implemented?

MR MASISI: Thank you Mr Speaker. As a farmer you are fully aware that

if you say your cow has been served by a bull, you do not expect a calf

tomorrow! The same applies to this situation. It takes time hence my

reminder. Still on the subject of hospitals and clinics, could the programme

please continue. I do not blame Government for the delay but the civil

servants who handle these projects. Civil Servants delay the programmes by

deliberately misleading the Ministers. Find out what the problems are, and I

shall be happy to be invited during the interrogation. constitutents are

giving me a hard time hence my plea.

We agreed as a BDP Government to invite able investors to come to this

country. The President, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Councillors, and

everybody echo the song of inviting investors to come and develop this

country. We have provided the infrastructure. The President repeated this

recently in Cape Town. We agreed in 1972 to develop the rural areas. The

idea was to invest in enterprises which would employ people, so as to keep

the people there. In my constituency, the Land Board is not supportive of
30th November, 1998                     318      Response to the President Speech

this programme. It was agreed that Land Boards should subdivide the land

into plots for industrial purposes, and to be ready for allocation. This has

not been done. I recently met a person who wanted a plot at Moshupa. I took

him to the Land Board after he had indicated the plot he had in mind. The

Land Board refused to allocate that plot to that person. I asked to be shown

the land to be allocated for industrial usage and was shown a heavily

wooded piece of land. They advised the applicant to approach Water Affairs

about the provision of water. It is time steps were taken by Government it

impress it upon Land Board Mmembers to assist people. In desperation I

took this person to the civil servants under the Assistant Minister Mr


When we got to Kanye nothing happened. The reason why there are no

developments in the rural areas is because the Land Boards do not help the

people. Some areas have electricity, others none. Sub-divided plots for

industrial developments are far from services such as water and electricity.

Thereafter it is the responsibility of the applicant to find those services. I

was under the impression that Land Board members as servants of the tribes

are there to make sure that developments took place and hence they should

help applicants and adivse them accordingly. Let us as leaders make sure

that these people help the investors.
30th November, 1998                   319      Response to the President Speech

I am happy about comments from my colleagues on drought, arable farming

and pastoral faming. I do not necessarily mean that everything is in order.

We must not give up despite the criticisms. There are four points which

worry me. I appreciate Mr Kedikilwe‟s comments and request him to

delegate to your Assistant Minister to check whether civil servants perform.

There is no supervision in the Police or any Department. There is no

discipline. ?You go to the Police station and complain about a junior officer

to a senior, nothing is done and indiscipline increases. We need action

because the voters have lost confidence in us. Thank you Mr Speaker.


KEDIKILWE): Thank you Mr Speaker. I wish to start on the view that the

President has abdicated his responsibility and said nothing. The President

spoke on national issues. The words of criticism are from cheap politics,

coming from people who never appreciate anything. The President said that

he has paricipated in many issues such as democracy, developments, self-

reliance, unity and several othes. He said that his predecessor has retired

and he will continue the good work. He never said he will do nothing. He

stated that we have not completed those projects which we had planned and

we should improve on implementation. The President has not abdicated his
30th November, 1998                   320      Response to the President Speech

responsibility. We have already made arrangements that the Israelis should

investigate and assist us in improving agriculture. This demonstrates the fact

that the President is actively engaged in making sure that agriculture is


The President has talked about the epidemic. He said we should put plans in

place to assist the orphans. This action does not indicate a sense of

irresponsibility or words which are meaningless.

The President appointed a Commission of men and women including

Messrs Ibrahim and Neo Moroka to look into ways which can assist low-

income people to borrow money.This action, done publicly indicates the

keen interest of the President and does display the lack of zeal to help and

lead the nation. This is a way to combat poverty. Mr Ibrahim said that the

problem is not that people cannot borrow money. The problem is that people

lack the skills to use that money properly in their business enterprises. They

need to be educated on the skills of trade and industry. This is what the

President has done and does not show lack of interest.

MR KOOSALETSE: Point of clarification, Mr Speaker.When the Minister

talked about the National Master Plan for Agricultural Development nothing
30th November, 1998                  321         Response to the President Speech

is mentioned about livestock. Please explain to us that the terms of reference

of this consultancy include livestock farming.

MR KEDIKILWE: My recollection is that there is no emphasis on

livestock farming, but dairy farming is included, because mention is made

of fodder crops we can grow in this climate to feed livestock. In a way

livestock is mentioned. The President mentioned that a proper use of the

land will improve livestock. I support the President. The Ibrahim report is

being considered by Cabinet to see how Batswana can be assisted. What

should be borne in mind is not only to impart skills to Batswana to engage

in trade but also to ensure that those in business are nurtured until they are

efficient. This is to ensure that people donot borrow large sums of money

when they failed to use small amounts efficiently. These are ways of

combating poverty.

Mr Moroka‟s view is that Government got involved in projects nobody

could undertake and yet were not the responsibility of Government. We

have to sit down and investigate what action should be taken to improve the

economy of the country. Government has to be careful about “too many

irons in the fires” lest important development vital to the economy fall by

the wayside. Mr Moroka says he will look into ways to improve the
30th November, 1998                 322      Response to the President Speech

economy. Some projects cannot be undertaken by Government efficiently

and swiftly and alternative methods should be found. The primary objective

is to fight poverty. By appreciating the confidence entrusted on him he will

do his best, consult with everybody and work with everybody. This is what I

mean when I say his speech is pregnant with meaning and full of facts. One

problem is the distribution and provision of water especially in the capital

city. The President could not ignore such an essential service, because

without water this city would die and disappear.

There are plans to electrify a number of villages. In doing so we should

embark on rural electrification so that we go from the figure 14 villages to

more depending on the availability of resources. This will improve people‟s

lives and eradicate poverty. The President has not ignored the fate of

women. They must be included in the developments and improve their lot

thus contribution to the economy. Laws should be revised so as to improve

the situation of women.

The President, not ignoring rural areas, has embarked on decentralisation by

increasing funds, increasing skilled officers with the view to their

improvement. The President does not overlook education. He has urged his

Minister to do all in our power to ensure sound education. He has urged us

to provide housing for the people. Youth he has also born in mind. When
30th November, 1998                  323      Response to the President Speech

provision was made for recreation facilities P50 million was earmarked. But

the President instructed that the money be increased and thus cater for more

villages thus hasten implementation of th project.

The Presdent said that National Development Plan 8 (NDP 8) must be

implemented. He has not abandoned the Plan. He stated that more effort

should be devoted to the already approved projects of the Plan.

He mentioned Vision 2016 on the road we have mapped to follow. These

are not words of somebody who lacks interest and responsibility.

Mr Speaker, I was perturbed that the President in person talked strongly

about the epidemic which is upon us and neighbouring states - HIV/AIDS

which has no cure. The President led the way so that we as leaders,

representatives of the people, people who have sacrificed, people who are

expected to show the way to the people can follow so that people can

understand this incurable dreadful disease and be discriminated. What again

disturbs me is that we on whom the people invested their trust, should

mislead them. There are of course, some people who drift aimlessly without

direction and hope by this method they can mislead people and be elected.

Misleading people is not a problem to them and we should not be suprised.

What concerned me is that, even after misleading the nation about the

availability of a cure for AIDS, this Honourable House failed to censure this
30th November, 1998                  324       Response to the President Speech

Member. I suggested that because this Honourable Member spoke in

Parliament and his words recorded, the record should be produced so as to

verify what he said. This was turned down. This refusal was not in order,

because the nation was entitled to hear whether there is in fact, a cure for

\HIV/AIDS. The media would have had the story.Mr Speaker, I have in my

possession a copy of Mmegi newspaper of the 20th to 26th November,

1998. There is an article by Dr E. T. Maganu a former Permanent Secretary

in the Ministry of Health who now works for the World Health Organisation

(WHO) in Pretoria. The heading which I wish to quote with your permission

Mr Speaker is, “response to AIDS must be focused.” People were misled

and yet we wonder why Dr Maganu decided to write that article, despite the

fact that what we wanted corrected was declined. With you permission “Mr

Speaker, I wish to quote from Dr Maganu‟s articles, “A Member of

Parliament is reported to have stated very confidently that there is a cure for

AIDS and that it is being used by some doctor in the country resulting in

three patients going back to work, their health having been restored. A

statement about a drug or a cure issued by an authoratative source like the

Ministry of Health or a Member of Parliament can only serve to destract the

public from those measures that need to be taken to bring about a significant

slow down in the transmission of the virus. The people of Botswana have
30th November, 1998                   325       Response to the President Speech

still not come to terms with this epidemic,there is still a lot of denial and any

pronouncement that deflect the people‟s attention from the fundamental

issue of HIV/AIDS control can only do untold harm to the control effort.

My second concern regards the subject of cure raised by a Member of

Parliament in the House the word “cure” in the medical sciences has a

specific meaning. It means the elimination of a disease process from the

body and in the case of a disease caused by infection agent such as AIDS, it

means the elimination of such an infectious agent in the case of HIV. The

Member of Parliament therefore needs to go back to the people and disabuse

those who might have believed him of the impression that there is a drug

that cures AIDS.” My advice is let us render a good service to the people

because Honourable Dabutha denies ever uttering those words. Why should

we blame him if he did say those words? How do we free him? The only

way is to listen to the tape and the nation should also hear his words.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: They are scared of evidence.

MR KEDIKILWE: His words must be heard in Parliament. There is

something they are concealing, because they are against this step. I am

against any words spoken in Parliament being listened to in camera.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Who is stopping you?
30th November, 1998                  326      Response to the President Speech

MR KEDIKILWE: The tape must be listened to in Parliament in the

presence of people because if it is done in camera people will not believe us.

There is something they are hiding, or else they must be in the habit of

misleading people. Now they are ashamed.

Mr Speaker, let me comment about our conduct in Parliament. I was

disappointed to hear Members using vulgar language in Parliament. I want

to associate these words with paragraph 50 which deals with “Culture”. In

our culture there is the use of vulgar/insulting words and we have a way of

dealing with this. I was perturbed to find out that in Parliament a Member

may use vulgar language against a Member and then just apologises or

withdraws. Because of colonisation we have lost our culture/custom and

adopted foreign concepts. We were surprised when the Speaker said that

those words should be expunged from the Parliamentary record after one

Member referred to another as “blood shit”. Now these must be erased.

HONOURABLE MEMBER:That person is called Saleshando.

MR KEDIKILWE: Were those words uttered by Honourable Mr

Saleshando Member for Selibe Phikwe. We are really surprised. Those

words should be deleted. How do you expunge them?

30th November, 1998                   327      Response to the President Speech

MR KEDIKILWE: How are these words expunged because to do so is

tantamount of giving praise to the person who uttered them. It is the ruling

of Mr Speaker that the words be expunged. Instead of condemning the

person who uttered the words now he is glorified as a good person who

uttered kind words. Maybe some people were offended and the words

should be erased.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: That was criminal.

MR KEDIKILWE: Is this the procedure we desire? The result is that in the

future unsavoury words will be uttered against a Member and the ruling will

be that the words be expanged or perhaps ........

MR KOOSALETSE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You were absent, sit down!

MR KOOSALETSE: It is true, I was absent. however what disturbs me is

that the Minister appears to be challenging the integrity of the Speaker.


MR KOOSALETSE:Is he challenging it?

HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Yes(interruptions)

MR KOOSALETSE: Yes, well, okay.
30th November, 1998                  328      Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Honourable Minister, you note what the Honourable

Member has said.

MR KEDIKILWE: Thank you Mr Speaker. The question is “Am I

challenging the ruling of the Speaker.” The answer is “yes”. I think that as a

representative of the Mmadinare people and a Member of Parliament in

Botswana, I am entitled to point out something which is out of order. . .


MR KEDIKILWE:I am referring to the President‟s Speech Paragraph 50

which refers to culture.

HON. MEMBER: Is Mr Saleshando‟s culture?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order!, Honourable Members, I hope you will

respect Standing Orders 47(d) “whilst a Member is speaking others will

remain silent and no unseemly interjections”. Mr Minister you continue but

I would request you to briefly go through this hurdle because we have had it


MR KEDIKILWE: Thank you Mr Speaker. With your advice, I leave this

issue with the statement that Members of the new BCP party feel it is

jealousy if one of their Members is deemed wrong to have referred to a
30th November, 1998                   329     Response to the President Speech

fellow Member of Parliament as “bloody shirt”. When we want these words

recorded they feel it is jealousy or envy.

HONOURABLE MEMBER:You are repeating yourself..

MR KEDIKILWE: I am repeating the spoken words, I want to show you

that ...

MR RANTAO: Clarification MR Speaker.

MR KEDIKILWE: You have forgotten that you refused to yield yesterday

Sit down. You denied me a point of clarification yesterday. I am expressing

myself in pure Setswana and perhaps you do not comprehend.


MR KEDIKILWE: Let us not be sorry. I was aware that when we exposed

what         you         said,        you       will         deny,          you

will be restive.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You are being very frank.....

MR KEDIKILWE: Yes, I am exposing things. If one does not conduct

themselves properly I do likewise. If one behaves I will do the same.

Mr Speaker, I wish to comment on agriculture, particularly the new idea of

carrying out investigations ....

HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) ...It is disgraceful.
30th November, 1998                  330          Response to the President Speech

MR KEDIKILWE:            Are you the type of people to be disgraced?

(laughter)..... These are words uttered by you.

MR SPEAKER: I have said you remain quiet, Honourable Members.

MR KEDIKILWE: I wish to refer to paragraph 30 on livestock farming

and thank the President on his words that the Minister of Agriculture, his

Assistant and officers will shortly be addressing the farming community on

the implementation of the requirements regarding the sale of beef and also

how we can subdivide land to improve livestock farming. I urge them to

carry out this campaign next year without fail, so that people are aware soon

and problems can be solved without delay. In their campaign they must

emphasise the need to bear the carrying capacity of the land in mind. The

nation needs to be educated on this aspect of farming. We have to face the

people regardless of the number of cattle they possess or even the creed, and

tell them the carrying capacity of the land is paramount in livestock

production. The subdivision of farms must also be borne in mind. Attention

must be focused on existing farms and cattle posts to ascertain that the

livestock in these areas is not too heavy and thus harmful to the land by

causing overgrazing with its resultant evils. If this is not done, no amount of

importing semen from overseas countries such as Germany will improve our
30th November, 1998                  331      Response to the President Speech

livestock which will remain scrub and poor in quality. We must be bold to

approach any farmer and tell him that his farm is registered, the area is so

much, you have so many cattle, the farm can carry so many cattle, you are,

therefore, advised to reduce the number of cattle.

Another subject which is a sore point in Mmadinare and possibly other areas

is the commercial use of boreholes. Mr Speaker, you are aware that water is

scarce in Botswana. Some people are lucky, by sinking boreholes and

obtaining water. They then invite many cattle owners to water their cattle at

these boreholes at a stipulated fee of one herd per month. Such borehole

owners invite many cattle owners without             consultation with their

neighbours and enriches himself with the borehole water. The neighbours

livestock suffers because the garazing is overused and destroyed. There

should be a law to control this practice bearing in mind the carrying

capacity of an area. The law must also control the offering of watering

rights by borehole owners to those cattle owners less fortunate. When such a

transaction is undertaken the Conservation Committee must be involved to

control the number of livestock around a borehole and thus bear in mind the

carrying capacity of the land to avoid overgrazing. If this is not done, the

land will be ruined.
30th November, 1998                  332      Response to the President Speech

I am grateful for the distribution of telephones in the country. I am so happy

that a parastatal like Botswana Telecommunications is realising profits in

this way assisting Government. The provision of telephones will continue in

the whole country. I refer to pragraph 39 and thank the President for his

remarks although he did not mention the provision of telephones at a place

where the biggest dam in Botswana is being built. Places to be provided

with telephones include Polometsi, Robelela, Moletamane, Mathathane,

Semolale, Kobojanko, and Tobane. I am grateful for this development.

The President talked about roads at paragraph 41 and wish to associate

myself with Mrs Phumaphi about her concern on the high accident rate on

our roads. We, as a nation should make a decision. Should we spend so

much money on the constructon of roads, fence them or should the money

have been used for other projects/developments? Is the money used on

costly fenced roads well spent? Or should the fencing be removed and then

the roads become TLGP ranches? Do you get my point., Honourable


HONOURABLE MEMBER: Your point is appreciated.

MR KEDIKILWE: Many people lose their lives due to accidents caused

by livestock grazing along the roads. Cattle come to the roads because the
30th November, 1998                 333       Response to the President Speech

adjacent land is bare due to overgazing. To reduce accidents should we

remove the fences because cattle will now graze close to the road! This

means that nobody will wonder why cattle are on the road as there will be

no fences. As a nation we must find answers to these questions.


MR KEDIKILWE: If we continue to fence the roads, then cattle found on

the roads should be impounded. This exercise will cost money, because

kraals will have to be constructed, boreholes drilled, people employed to

look after those cattle. This is a serious political issue. As a nation we

should seek a solution.

I have repeatedly talked about the maintenace of roads. As the Honourable

Member for Boteti also said that there is enough money for the maintenance

of roads. In this financial year the provision is P64 million, but the roads

remain in a shocking state with potholes and are not repaired before they get

worse. Otherwise we shall be like other countries where the roads are so bad

that one asks the question which side of the road do people drive on. The

answer is we drive on the side where there are no potholes! this is a serious

situation. I always advise my colleague that we should keep trying. Trees

along the roads should be removed. Trees must be cut in such a way that
30th November, 1998                    334   Response to the President Speech

stumps are removed. The Roads Training School should be improved so that

graduates thereof can do a good job.

Developments must continue with the Tswapong roads programme.

Recently a contractor came to sign a contract for the Gantsi-Sehitwa road. I

hope that next year the road from Motsoswane to Damochojena will be

tarred. This is good news. Roads like Sefophe, Tsetsebjewe it is hoped will

be compoleted in 1999 with the remaining P54.1 million remaining on the

project.. What is disconcerting is the fact that gravel roads such as

Tsetsebjwe/Sefhophe roads are not properly maintained. The repairs merely

entail dumping loose soil on them. These gravel roads serve an important

purpose until better roads are constructed. These soil dumps are very

dangerous because it is difficult to control a vehicle on loose surface.

Accidents and human lives loses abound. We hope that the design will

produce a better road, with good supervision during the construction stage.

HONOURABLE MEMBER:The Barolong should also be rememberd..

MR KEDIKILWE: Yes Barolong should be remembered. This is all I

wanted to say about roads.

With regards to the provion of water, I wish to say that the Letsibogo Dam

is 8 per cent full, although there are reports that the figure is now 32 per
30th November, 1998                  335      Response to the President Speech

cent. This I donot believe because I doubt that rainfall in the catchment area

could have made that big difference. The situation improves if the rain has

fallen in areas such as Serule where the rivers which feed the dam come

from. We should at this early stage decide like in the case of the Shashe

Dam decide how the dam will be used. If cattle are going to be watered

there care must be taken to ensure that livestock does not get stuck in the


Toursism must also be catered for. There should be no confusion or ill-

conceived arrangements. With regards to tourism, it would be useful if

planning could include Selibe Phikwe. A road from Mmadinare to Tonota

would be shorter and helpful and it would branch to Robelela where it is

hoped that in say three years a very big dam will be constructed. These

measures will combat poverty and as the shortage of water does not

encourage developments.

Mr Speaker, before I conclude, I wish to allude some fairy tale told by Mr

Rantao, Member for Gaborone West that the new BCP party has put a scare

on BDP. When we were at the secondary school ......

HONOURABLE MEMBER: are you not scared?
30th November, 1998                  336      Response to the President Speech

MR KEDIKILWE: Scared of what? One of the subjects we studied at the

secondary school was ........

HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) ...(laughter)...

MR KEDIKILWE: I repeated somebody‟s statement. Does that scare you?

I am happy somebody has become uneasy and scared.


MR KEDIKILWE: You say that if somebody swears at another one it is a

joke. This is on record. One of the subjects we studient at secondary school

is biology. The subject taught us that there is a microscopic called an

amoeba. To reproduce the amoeba does not require the mating of two

different sexes. Instead to reproduce it subdivides into two halves like when

you tear a piece of paper into two halves. Each of these divisions of the

amoeba grows into a fully fledged adult. The lives of these people are like

those of an amoeba, which subdivides to produce its young. What should

scare me? This is how this party behaves and exists. At this stage the

amoeba has subdivided to produce a young.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Bosele Party is like Lesedi Party...

MR KEDIKILWE: Bosele Party does not know of its origin. It created

itself. If these parties are created because they broke off from other parties
30th November, 1998                   337      Response to the President Speech

what would one be afraid of? An amoeba has subdivided into two small

amoebae. These small amoebae once fully grown will subdivide also and

produce small amoebae. Because of this situation, the party makes noises to

attract the public. BDP helps the other parties hence they create small


HONOURABLE MEMBER: How does it help?

MR KEDIKILWE: Aha! that is what we are surprised about! How does it

help? You have fallen into the trap my friend! It is the system of instability

where people change associations and stand unnecessarily. BDP made sure

that BNF ultimately split and people explain it away by saying that Dr

Koma was a poor leader because he made the party his personal property

and hence we left. Dr Koma, on the other hand maintain that BCP people

had no cause to leave the party. This came on the radio .....


MR KEDIKILWE: The reason is that these people are inconsistent. They

change their strategies and hence the people get confused as to what to

believe or what to follow. He says what a desire for Cabinet posts in 1999.

BDP is silent. He says they want to leave poverty and not to annoy other

countries by preaching equality while other members desire the fruits of
30th November, 1998                      338     Response to the President Speech

Cabinet posts! Dr Koma states that when Mr Dingake was confronted, he

stated that Dr Koma was too complacent. The question is who should we

believe? BDP had no hand in these events.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: What are you talking about?

MR KEDIKILWE:               I am repeating the BCP and BNF Members‟

allegations. Different stories are fed to the public to such an extent that they

have no idea where the truth lies. However in Botswana......

MR KGOSIPULA: I request an explanation, Mr Speaker .....

MR KEDIKILWE: Allow me to conclude. Batswana are anxious to know

the truth.

MR KGOSIPULA: Than kyou. Mr Kedikilwe has touched on a point of

concern. It is not true that we wrote; .......

MR KEDIKILWE: I never said so.

MR KGOSIPULA: Mr Kedikilwe alleges that people do not know the

reason for our split with BNF. This is not true. BNF wrote to the BDP and

included our pamphlet. We never wrote to you using pigeon holes. What Mr

Kedikilwe alleges is untrue.

MR KEDIKILWE:Mr Speaker the Honourable Member has engaged

himself in a matter, the origin of which he has no idea. Sir.....
30th November, 1998                  339      Response to the President Speech

HONOURABLE MEMBER: He has got your point.

MR KEDIKILWE: He has missed the point. Honourable Kgosipula is a

good listener. If he got my point he would not be saying this. It is alleged

that we had a stake in the division of the amoeba. Did you understand what

an amoeba is?


MR KEDIKILWE: He was absent and yet he involves himself. Did you

not understand the reason for your amoeba? BDP had no involvement in

your amoeba. You and BNF have no constant statement.

MR DINGAKE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I believe the

Honourable Minister was here when the Leader of the House said in this

House during the debate on Honourable Kokorwe‟s motion that since 1995

he has been talking to Dr Koma and asking him whether he trusted me. Now

if that was not creating division within the BNF what was it.

MR KEDIKILWE: The truth is BCP members have long wanted to leave


MR DINGAKE: You have not answered my question..

MR KEDIKILWE: I am coming to the point. BCP has long wanted to

leave BNF. This is the reason why immediately the split took place, BCP
30th November, 1998                 340      Response to the President Speech

had its own anthem and election sysmbols. These words were said by the

Honourable Member for Gaborone Central. You had prepared, in advance to

depart. There was talk that the Law Reform Committee was going about

wasting time and money and yet the trip was an agreement. After an

agreement in the Constitutional amendment, I was despatched to addresss

two meetings on each constituency. Sometimes I addressed three meetings

in a constituency. Yes, I spent money on trips which had been agreed to.

MR KGOSIPULA: A correction, Mr Speaker.

MR KEDIKILWE: No, I am not yielding. At my conclusion, Mr

Mokgothu will take the floor.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! The Honourable Minister is refusing; would

you sit down please .....

MR KGOSIPULA: That is a serious mistake.

MR KEDIKILWE:I am not yielding, but, ......

MR KGOSIPULA: It is not the same.

MR KEDIKILWE: It was agreed upon and Mrs Kokorwe and the House

have the right to....
30th November, 1998                  341       Response to the President Speech

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Members I take exceptions of

any remarks by any Member. Whilst a Member is speaking others will

remain silent.

MR KEDIKILWE: Mrs Mma-Kokorwe, Member for Thamaga has every

right to introduce motions,ideas to Parliament calculated to bring about

reforms like the ones we have just been engaged in, including amendment to

the Law. There is no problem. During my speech, in February one of the

subjects I shall bring up is economic diversification which will include how

people can borrow money as well as the report of Mr Ibrahim. At that time

steps will have been taken about the matters raised by the President

regardingthe way against poverty and the involvement of Batswana in the

economy. The question of the cure for AIDS must come out. People must

know the truth./ The other issue of the use of vulgar terms , the ruling by the

Speaker is not in order. We have to take a definite step. Thank you Mr


MR ROBI: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: You have less than 20 minutes, so you must just confine

yourself to the speech.
30th November, 1998                  342      Response to the President Speech

MR ROBI: Thank you ever so much, Mr Speaker. I will try my best to be

as brief as possible. In my maiden speech, I stood before this House to thank

my God and the people of Shoshong Constituency and I think I should

repeat it and I know that whenever you talk about God the ungodly will

laugh and they have no reason not to laugh because they are ungodly. I am

not ashamed to thank my God that in those four years all the issues that we

raised about their political party and all the matters and the predictions and

our intentions and our objectives of ensuring that the BNF is distracted were

achieved. They stood up to say it was unachievable, they stood up those

ungodly people to say it was not possible to see to it that the BNF as an

obstacle to democracy as stated in this Speech by His Excellency, would be

dealt with and put before the people of this Republic and be shown for what

it is in terms of instability it could bring to this country and in terms of

destabilizing the democracy, and in terms of bringing disrepute to the

democratic principles of this country. I therefore thank the President for his

speech, Mr Speaker, for putting up these issues and restating them in one of

the most summarised speeches that we have ever seen in this Parliament.

Today, Mr Speaker, this speech has 60 paragraphs, normally we deal with

120 or more, but this summary is a proper and adequate summary of what
30th November, 1998                  343       Response to the President Speech

has taken place not only in the last four years but also of course he has said

in his last six years as the Vice President and his last nine years as Minister

of Finance and Development Planning. Therefore, we have to know that it is

a summary as well as a projection of what could come up and what we

should be planning for the next millennium. It is not as if he states a

complete and comprehensive coverage of all the issues that have been

debated before this House before or are due to be debated in due course, but

it is a recognition. If you go to Paragraphs 11, Mr Speaker, it says that this

country in the last four years has laid down both the macro and micro

economic policies that are now proving to be viable; that monetary policies

also are paying off and physical restraint is paying off. Corporate

restructuring has paid off, examples are many in the form of Air Botswana,

Botswana Railway, National Development Bank etc. We realise also that

growth in terms of employment is projected within the plan period to grow

at the rate of five percent, Mr Speaker. We project that the population

growth will be around three percent. Therefore, the effect of five percent

growth in employment is to say that, we are going to be cutting all the

people who had been unemployed and therefore we are going to have more

employment being generated through the process. Some of these figures are

very important to be recognised by the opposition parties. Because you are
30th November, 1998                 344       Response to the President Speech

saying the population is growing and you have passed the Population and

Development Policy in this House and you are projecting under 3.5 percent,

and then you are projecting economic development over five percent, and

they do not seem to see how we are going to be reducing the joblessness

that is already indicated under paragraph 3 by His Excellency the President.

Mr Speaker, the other issue that I feel it is time I said something about,

because it has been repeated in this House even during this session and

several times, is the issue concerning the amendment of Sections 77 and 78

of the Constitution. A question was raised as to whether the Government

has ignored the motion that was put forward by Honourable Mfa, which

called for the amendment of Sections 77 and 78. The most important thing

about this issue, Mr Speaker, is that His Honour the Vice President made a

statement in this Parliament this year. But the most important fact about it,

Mr Speaker . . . . .


MR ROBI: Section 77 and 78 of the Constitution.


MR ROBI: I am talking about the Constitution. What we should now start

asking with regard to that issue is whether our intellectuals, media, legal
30th November, 1998                 345      Response to the President Speech

practitioners, and even our legal advisors within Government ignored the

fundamental issue about the construction of a Constitution. And whether or

not we have allowed our people to talk about these two sections as being

discriminatory without taking into consideration the history of this country

and, as at paragraph 50 of this speech, the culture of this country. And

whether or not, therefore, this particular Section 77 and 78 we should be

ashamed of. I am of the full opinion, Mr Speaker, that the sections were

never intended to be discriminatory. None of the people that I know right

from the beginning, from His Excellency, our late President Sir Seretse

Khama . . . . . .

MR MABILETSA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The point of

clarification I am seeking is that, the Honourable Member appears to be re-

opening the debate when we are calling for the implementation of that

resolution. Is he opposed to the approval of the motion, or is he for it. We

want to know his views because, trying to talk about the intellectuals or

something like the sections are not intended to be discriminatory is neither

here nor there. We just want action, amendment of those as the motion

called for.
30th November, 1998                   346    Response to the President Speech

MR ROBI: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Yourself and this House have been

informed that the matter is subject to negotiation and discussion country-

wide. As to whether or not a motion could be effected by this House is

going to be subject to discussion and the views of the citizens of this

country. I consider myself not only as a citizen of this country but as a

representative of a constituency and a spokesman for the nation too on

issues of this nature and so are you ,Honourable Mabiletsa, if you are not

aware of it. Therefore, Mr Speaker, I would have been happy if the Attorney

General was here, because I believe in all honesty that when we talk about

the history of this country, when we talk about our culture we are trying to

ignore one of the fundamental issues about how this country came about.

MR SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Sebina/Gweta, will you

please take your rightful seat.

MR ROBI: We are trying to ignore how this country came about. This

country came about by form or mode of consensus and compromise . . .

MR SPEAKER: I repeat, the Honourable Member for Sebina/Gweta, will

you please take your rightful seat.

MR ROBI: You are instructed to go away from me and not disturb me.

MR SPEAKER: You will not come back.
30th November, 1998                     347       Response to the President Speech

MR ROBI: We have to understand that the very territorial integrity of this

country comes about in terms of the recognition of those particular sections,

or those particular entities or representatives of this country that asked for

the protection for this country and define its borders. To try to depart from

that particular basis is to deny the very existence of this country as a nation.

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot say we are a country, and then at

the same time, we did recognise the basic contract that was entered into.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You are debating a motion which was


MR ROBI: I am not debating a motion. This thing has been talked about

here in this Parliament. I am talking about . . . . .

MR SPEAKER: Ignore the Honourable Members and continue with your


MR ROBI: I am talking about paragraph 50, it talks about culture too and

history. Whenever you look at any Constitution, Mr Speaker, you look

beyond it, you look at its root, you look at its groomed norm. What gets it

to suffice. What gets its validity. It is inaccurate, Mr Speaker, to say the

fundamental law of the land is its root. The root is in the contract that was

entered into by the Chiefs (Dikgosi) when we got independence. That is the
30th November, 1998                   348      Response to the President Speech

groom norm of this country. And to recognise them, as under Section 77 is

to recognise the fact of the existence of this country. To try to deny it any

other way is to try to go beyond the limits of any jurisprudence It is like

trying to say to the American public for example, that their Constitution is

not valid, because the Declaration of Independence was signed by 13 States.

No American will ever say it is invalid because it was signed by 13 states,

or that it is discriminatory because it was signed by 13 states, or that even at

the time of independence there were no 13 states. And that others got into

this operation on that basis. Then Section 78 is being used on the basis that

the four crown lands were mentioned separately. That is an invalid

argument. Whenever you resign a contract, and you revert to the original,

the original must revert to the basic owners, (restutio in integrum) Mr

Magang, you will correct me if I go wrong. The basic thing about the

territories is that it is a compromise based on the basis that those territories

were either going to go back to the Chiefs or to be recognised as a form of a

compromise at independence, as districts. The four districts as mentioned

therein are mentioned in that context. I am saying this, Mr Speaker, so as to

open a debate on this issue, by our intellectuals, so that, by the time any

consultation takes place, this matter should not continue to bedevil our

country, and to put us in a situation where our national unity could be put at
30th November, 1998                   349       Response to the President Speech

stake. This is one of the issues that have been put across by His Excellency

the President in his speech. If there is one point of danger, it is the debate

about these particular two sections of the Constitution, Mr Speaker. I

believe that it is high time that these issues and our intellectuals, when they

talk about the African renaissance, they should start now looking at the

premises of jurisprudence and constitutionalism. There is no other way we

are going to say we are going to be a developed country, a civilised society,

and we are ready to get into the 21st century and catch up with the other

countries without recognising that we have also to recognise the principles

that apply in jurisprudence and in common practice of law and

constitutional practice.Mr Speaker, there is a lot that I could say about this. I

have no time, I have got five minutes now, and I want to tackle a few things.

Mr Speaker, the other thing that I would like to talk about is that many

projects in my constituency have been left behind. The Kalamare road is far

behind schedule. Not only from NDP 7, but it was promised that it was one

of the roads that were going to be provided for within the first year of NDP

8, that has not happened. Many requests have been made with respect to the

Mookane Mmutlane roads, and we are still awaiting a reply. I am sorry, Mr

Speaker, I have got less than six minutes now. I am hoping that, those

promises will be adhered to. I will be visiting Honourable Magang‟s
30th November, 1998                   350      Response to the President Speech

Ministry to ensure that those things take place. Mr Speaker, the telephones

also are a nightmare in my constituency.

The other thing that we should talk about, that is necessary for the country

to talk about, is that we are saying we are going to be developing and we

want to become part of the global economy, but for some reason or another

as a nation, a spirit of xenophobia has actually started to arise, both parties,

especially the opposition parties talk about the Chinese and the Indians. In

other words, we want to develop this country of Botswana to a developed

country without having a cosmopolitan environment. Let me put it much

more vividly. The Indian community in this country competed against the

Anglo-Saxon South African community. That was good for the consumer.

The Chinese community is doing the same thing now vis-à-vis the other

communities. If you are thinking you can ever get to any other big cities in

the world where you won‟t have China town, and where they will be

operating and having a market and you are thinking we are never going to

have Chinese, Indians, Americans and all the other nationalities, and you

want to be part of the global economy, that is wrong. We should start being

fair about it. Protection for local industry is not exclusive to having other

nationalities entering our country. That will be doing our country an

injustice, Mr Speaker. Anybody who goes about sayingthe Indians, Chinese,
30th November, 1998                  351      Response to the President Speech

are so many, it is not only sowing the seed of discrimination in this country

but also forgetting that the moment you talk about industrialisation and

being part of the global economy, it is part of the creation of a cosmopolitan

environment. And only under this cosmopolitan environment are we going

to have development and become part and parcel of the developed countries.

Tell me any country that has not done that without being cosmopolitan. Mr

Speaker, I am asking the policy makers now to start addressing this matter

and ensure that people like Honourable Saleshando, who are behind the

pace, should not plant hatred, xenophobia and racism in our country. Mr

Speaker . . . . . . .

HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is about inequalities.

MR ROBI: Mr Speaker, the man is saying it is about inequalities. The truth

about poverty in Botswana is this, Mr Speaker, that we as a Government

recognise our poverty as a people to 47 percent of our people who now live

below the poverty datum line. But, as I told the people of Tlokweng, the

truth is that most of our people are no longer servants. Part of the reason

they are now jobless is an explanation as to why they are not servants. It is

not an explanation to the fact that they are worth of. It is an explanation as

to what extent they have been liberated and put into being part and parcel of
30th November, 1998                 352        Response to the President Speech

the mainstream of our society. Let us not talk about our society as if we

forget who we are. Our people do not do menial jobs for other people.

They are not servants. Do you get the point.

MR MABILETSA: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I want to know

from the Honourable Member whether he is implying that liberating people

leads them to poverty.

MR ROBI: Yes, Sir, Go back to the book of Exodus and you will see how

the people in the desert cried to go back to Egypt. It is exactly the same



MR ROBI: Ee, the book of Exodus, they were liberated, they crossed the

Red Sea, they went into the desert, they were out of food for sometime and

they wanted to go back. It is an old answer. Part of reason why the people

who migrated from the rural areas came into towns and became poor, and

are poor urban people, it is because they are free now from the people who

were their masters and they were liberated from those people by this

government. We should not be ashamed of it. Nobody should be ashamed of

it. What is at issue is how we are now going to create employment for them
30th November, 1998                   353      Response to the President Speech

and how we are going to create jobs for them, and how we are going to cater

for them now as part of a new . . .

MR SALESHANDO: On a point of information, Mr Speaker. I would like

to inform the Honourable Member that globalisation, basically, is an

American project, it is an unending search for cheap labour, to make your

people even more poorer. No trend for hegemony.

MR ROBI: Mr Speaker, America itself was built on the basis of ability to

produce cheaper goods on cheaper labour. There is no country that has ever

been built and constructed on any other basis. It is an antithesis of

economics to say that you are going to build and have a prosperous

economy when you are going to over-price your goods. I do not understand

which economics he did, because if he did anything...

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! It is now time to call upon the Acting

Leader of the House to reply to the debate.


come to the end of a lively debate, useful in its own way, if occasionally

punctuated by intemperate language. I am grateful to my Minister

colleagues who have ably responded to issues raised regarding their

portfolio responsibilities. I am also grateful to other colleagues who have
30th November, 1998                  354       Response to the President Speech

made very useful constructive contributions. This has made my task easy,

therefore I shall focus my comments on those responses to His Excellency‟s

address which have not been dealt with and maybe one or two others,

simply for emphasis.

Question on the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).

The Honourable Mr Saleshando, Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe,

raised some doubts concerning the effectiveness of the Directorate on

Corruption and Economic Crime in dealing with corruption irrespective of

the status of the person involved. Mr Speaker, the Directorate on Corruption

and Economic Crime was established in 1994 by Act No.13 of 1994 to

combat corruption and economic crime in Botswana. Part 3 Section Six of

the Act, sets out the functions of the Directorate which include among other

things investigation, prevention of corruption and public education on the

evils of corruption, whilst Section 7 to 17 set out the powers of the Director

which inter-alia include powers of arrest, seizure and powers to demand the

production of records, answers and require details of assets. These powers

compare favourably with powers of any other law enforcement agency in

the world charged with the difficult task of combating corruption and

economic crime. Mr Speaker, the powers I have described are for now

sufficient to deal with any acts of corruption practised under any
30th November, 1998                   355       Response to the President Speech

circumstances. I wish to point out that the Department on the Directorate of

Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) constantly evaluates itself by

publishing the results of performance through the press and the medium of

its annual report, copies of which have been distributed to all Honourable

Members of this House. They must be in their pigeon holes.

Mr Speaker, it is true that the former director and indeed the current deputy

have previously worked for a similar organisation in Hong Kong. Whilst

overseas experience had to be taken into account in the development of the

directorate, I want to stress that its work, practices and strategies have been

designed to meet Botswana‟s unique needs and position. I am confident that

the DCEC will continue to discharge its functions without hindrance, fear

and or favouritism.

The Independent Electoral Commission: Honourable Mfa called for

intensified voter education. He also said that the ballot paper should reflect

contesting parties only for any given ward or constituency. Mr Speaker, the

Independent Electoral Commission appreciates the Honourable Member‟s

concern that voter education should be intensified. The IEC has also

recognised the need for voter education. It is in view of this that the

Commission has, through its secretariat, already started addressing local

authorities, political parties, civic societies and public kgotla meetings to
30th November, 1998                    356       Response to the President Speech

educate the general public on elections. The media is also being used for the

same purpose. Beyond this, I urge all political, civic and traditional leaders

to take an interest and assist in voter education.

Mr Speaker, it would be very costly and time consuming to print ballot

paper for each polling district. The printer would have to develop a film for

each polling district and/or constituency. The Honourable Member‟s

suggestion would work if we knew parties that are to contest in any area up

to a year in advance and the Commission was assured that there would be

no changes whatsoever, either new parties wishing to stand at the eleventh

hour or one wishing to drop off the race at short notice before elections. As

the law stands now, the Commission only gets to know parties that will

contest in any area after nominations. This would leave very little time to

print the ballot papers.

The Honourable Saleshando, MP for Selebi-Phikwe was concerned about

the refusal to register an electorate whose Omang (identity cards) had

expired. Mr Speaker, the Independent Electoral Commission has to

implement the Electoral Act Cap.02:07 as it is, because it does not have the

power to amend an Act of Parliament nor does the Commission wish to be

seen to be acting ultra-vires in any way. It therefore only acts as directed by

the law. There is very little room for discretion, if at all. Statutory
30th November, 1998                    357       Response to the President Speech

Instrument No.7 of 1998 demands the production of Omang for voter

registration purposes. The Commission is only doing its work when it

demands a valid Omang (identity card). An expired Omang will not be valid

for this purpose hence the applicant the Honourable Member is referring to

had to be turned away and advised to re-apply after obtaining a new

registration card, Omang (identity card). This is a requirement of the Act as

of now. All concerned, that is all of us, must co-operate to ensure that

nobody is disenfranchised by lack of Omang. Those who produce Omang

cards (identity cards) should do so timeously so that everybody can get their

Omang before the elections start.

MR SALESHANDO: Point of clarification on that one. I would like to

know whether the Act requiring a candidate who wants to vote to produce

Omang is not in violation of the spirit of the Constitution itself. Is it not

disenfranchising a person who is given the right to vote by the Constitution?

DR CHIEPE: Mr Speaker, the Constitution has it that the Act will assist

and what I am saying is that the Electoral Commission itself has no

authority to violate the law as it stands. It is this House that makes the law

and that must amend the law if it sees that the law in fact violates the spirit,

not the Commission, but we in this Honourable House. Therefore we have
30th November, 1998                    358      Response to the President Speech

to amend the law which we made and we made the law that for election

purposes people must produce Omang. That is all I am saying.

The Honourable Kalake was concerned that there was little voter education

especially in view of the new ballot paper. My comments in response to

Honourable Mfa cover this concern.

Mr Speaker, the attendance at kgotla meetings addressed by the Independent

Electoral Commission with the intention to educate Batswana about the new

voting system is not pleasing. I therefore wish to request that all of us

should educate our voters and make them appreciate the importance of

attending kgotla meetings for it is at the kgotla that they are consulted about

the issues affecting their lives. In recognition of the need for voter

education, the Commission has decided to use every available forum such as

political parties, civil society, religious, youth or local authority meetings to

reach the electorate. The Commission appreciates that seminars can be used

for voter education but other strategies as well must be employed to increase

coverage of voters.

Mr Speaker, politicians are key stakeholders in the electoral process, I

therefore wish to implore them to complement the efforts of the IEC. They

should be actively involved in the voter education exercise, moreso because

they have been assisted in some ways for them to reach the electorate.
30th November, 1998                  359      Response to the President Speech

Dikgang tsa Palamente: Mr Speaker, Honourable Members have

complained about the change in presentation and format of the programme

“Palamente Gompieno”. As we are all aware, previously the programme was

a live presentation by Honourable Members themselves about issues they

purportedly raised whilst debating in Parliament. The programme lost

direction because instead of reporting on issues they debated on at the floor

of the House, Members took the opportunity to use the programme for

politicking, attacking each other and even saying things they had not said in

the House. There was animosity and mudslinging expressed through the

programme by Honourable Members. Mr Speaker, it is in view of the

aforesaid that the programme presentation and format has been changed. At

present, Honourable Members are still being reported over Radio Botswana.

The reporter does not have the latitude to make subjective analysis,

additions, or interpretation to the Members‟ contributions. They are to

report concisely on each Member‟s contribution.

HIV, AIDS: Mr Speaker...

MR SALESHANDO: On a point of clarification. Is it not logical, now that

we use Setswana in this House, that we be reported direct; in other words,

be given the fifteen minutes that we used to be given in the past and have
30th November, 1998                   360      Response to the President Speech

our contributions aired as presented in the House for only fifteen minutes.

Is it not logical that way, rather than ask someone to summarise what you

were saying in one minute?

DR CHIEPE: Mr Speaker, I have indicated that the programme lost

direction, because Members themselves abused it by mudslinging and

saying things they did not say in this Honourable House. It is not because

they spoke English in the House and spoke Setswana on the radio; it is what

happened and so the programme was changed to what it is now and we hope

because the reporters are under instruction not to be subjective, they are not

reporting their own words, they are reporting what somebody said.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible interruptions)

MR SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Selebi-Phikwe will remain

silent whilst the Minister is speaking.

DR CHIEPE: Mr Speaker, it is in view of the aforesaid that the programme

presentation and format has been changed. At present Honourable Members

are still being reported over radio Botswana. The reporters do not have the

latitude to make subjective analysis, additions or interpretation to the

Members contributions. They are to report precisely on each Member‟s

30th November, 1998                    361      Response to the President Speech


Mr Speaker, HIV/AIDS is a concern which the government is doing

everything possible to address. In fact His Excellency the President of the

Republic of Botswana, Mr Festus Gontebanye Mogae, takes a keen interest

in the matter. His Excellency recently launched the Botswana HIV/AIDS

second mid-term plan. The plan outlines the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS

epidemic and the strategies government is putting in place to address the

scourge or at least alleviate its effects. Let us all join His Excellency the

President, the media, the private sector, government and non-governmental

organisations to conscientise the people against this scourge and prevent the

disappearance of our nation.

Vision 2016

Honourable Sebetela, Member of Parliament for Palapye proposed that all

developments should be Vision 2016 compliant. The Vision 2016 report

identifies 7 goals that the people of Botswana aim to achieve towards

building a prosperous nation by the year 2016, when Botswana celebrates

50 years of independence. The 7 goals of Vision 2016 are therefore national

aspirations with the aim of transforming Botswana into:
30th November, 1998                   362      Response to the President Speech

1.    An educated informed nation, that is, strive to become a learning

      society by constantly acquiring knowledge and skills required to

      succeed in the modern world.

2.    A prosperous, productive and innovative nation, that is, to be

      innovative and actively contributing towards transforming Botswana

      into an economically dynamic nation, that is, alleviating or even

      reducing poverty.

3.    A compassionate, just and caring nation, that is, to work to improve

      ourselves but ready to care for others as we are doing now with AIDS

      and AIDS related suffering.

4.    A safe and secure nation, that is, to create a society for ourselves that

      is confident and secure.

5.    An open democratic and accountable nation, that is, to commit

      ourselves towards creating a politically mature state, I repeat a

      politically mature state.

6.    A moral and tolerant nation, to cherish high moral and ethical values

      founded on the principle of „botho‟ tolerance. We need to be tolerant.

7.    A united and proud nation, to be proud of our achievements and

      determine to build a united nation, not a fragmented nation.
30th November, 1998                  363       Response to the President Speech

This is a challenge that will require the forging of smart partnerships among

all stake-holders in Botswana, represented by the government, the private

sector, labour, the non-governmental organisations and the civil society.

Accordingly government is now in the process of consultations with the

view to establishing a vision council which will serve as a national co-

ordinating mechanism to facilitate the involvement of stake-holders in

vision related activities so that Vision 2016 becomes a reality. Every

Motswana will therefore have the opportunity to play a role in the decisions

and processes involved in ensuring that all developments are Vision 2016

compliant. Indeed the success of Vision 2016 will depend on the

contribution of everyone to the common endeavour and this can only

happen if all Batswana can own the vision and its implementation.

Regarding the recent tours of the Law Reform Committee, Mr Speaker, on

the issue of Parliamentarians and Councillors who leave parties on whose

tickets they were elected to join other parties or form new ones, the

Honourable Member for Gaborone West alleged that the Law Reform

Committee went around inciting people against the BCP. I wish to point out

that the Law Reform Committee categorically denies doing that at any of the

kgotla meetings they addressed either directly or by implication. I believe

two Members of that party, that is, BCP Members, are Members of the Law
30th November, 1998                  364      Response to the President Speech

Reform Committee and cannot confirm the validity of such statement. In

any case, all deliberations were tape recorded and what was said can be

verified. That the concerned Members leave one party for another was not

unconstitutional. There was nothing unconstitutional about that. But this

Honourable House agreed to the motion by the Honourable Kokorwe to

have things changed and this is why the Committee is going around talking

about it. Not that moving from one party to another is unconstitutional, no,

that is not the case.

Mr Speaker, as it always happens, Honourable Members take their time at

the beginning of the debate and the apparent disinclination to take the floor

encourages those who do take the floor to go on and on resulting in a

desperate rush at the end. Whilst we are free to speak as long as we wish,

we should take cognisance of the fact that others too may wish to

participate. Mr Speaker, it has become a tradition for Honourable Members

to sit around and sometimes even cause an adjournment a few minutes

before time. This is not fair, and some people say ministers should speak

right at the beginning. The whole point is, ministers do wish to respond to

issues raised by Honourable Members of the House. If they are the first to

stand and speak, then what the Honourable Members raise as very important

issues will not be responded to. This is why ministers usually sit back and
30th November, 1998                  365      Response to the President Speech

wait for the back bench and the opposition to speak first so that they can

genuinely respond to their concerns. But people just sit around and those

who are encouraged to speak go on and on, and then at the end there is a

rush and some people do not get a chance. I know for instance the Assistant

Minister of Local Government, Lands and Housing was ready to respond to

some of the issues raised regarding his ministry, but he could not because

time was short. The Australian who once said, „for a speech to be immortal

it does not have to be eternal‟ had a point. You can say everything in a very

short time and somebody can go on for hours and days and say very little.

Mr Speaker, may I end by once more appealing to Honourable Members to

respect themselves, to respect this Honourable House and to respect the

Honourable Speaker. Let not the introduction of Setswana in our

proceedings result in degrading our discussions and bringing down

standards. Remember, Honourable Members, we, and I mean all of us, are

under the microscope. Our words and deeds get magnified. The youth of

this country must look up to us for guidance and we must lead by example.

Sometimes I wonder, when I look up the gallery, just what these young

people think of us.

Mr Speaker, I now move that, we the National Assembly of Botswana, here

assembled, respond to your address. I thank you.
30th November, 1998                  366      Response to the President Speech

                          Question put and agreed to

                      Financial Paper No.2 of 1998/99


MR MAMELA: Thank you Mr Speaker. Although we accept that...

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! Honourable Member. I think the Minister of

Finance has to present.


KEDIKILWE): Mr Speaker, I have the honour to present Financial Paper

No. 2 of 1998/99 containing supplementary estimates of expenditure from

the consolidated and development funds.

Mr Speaker, the supplementary estimates contained in this Financial Paper

amount to P510,151,600.00 from the consolidated fund and P57,500,000.00

from the development fund. The notes on pages 36 to 44 and 48 of the

Financial Paper provide justification for additional resources. For the

benefit of the Honourable Members, I would like to highlight some of the

requests starting with the consolidated fund expenditures.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the former President appointed a salaries

commission to review the salaries and conditions of service in the public

service at the end of 1997. The report of the commission, which was
30th November, 1998                   367      Response to the President Speech

submitted in June 1998 recommended inter-alia salary increases ranging

from 25 percent to 34 percent. These recommendations were approved by

government. In addition the government also approved salary increases of

35 percent for Honourable Members of Parliament, Councillors and Chiefs.

Salaries of land-board members were also increased by 30 percent. These

increases took effect on the 1st July and 1st October with respect to the first

two categories and last category respectively. Various allowances pertaining

to the three categories were also increased by varying percentages.

Consequently, most government departments have requested additional

funds under personal emoluments sub-head to augment their budgetary


The Department of Student Placement and Welfare under the Ministry of

Education continues to place Botswana students in overseas universities for

courses that are not available locally and regionally. The Department has

experienced an increase in number of students transferred overseas due to

the number of Bachelor of Science students transferring from the University

of Botswana, resulting from the increase intake of Science students at the

University of Botswana. The Ministry has also decided to engage agencies

like the Academy of Educational Development, International Development

Programme and British Council to assist in student administration processes
30th November, 1998                   368      Response to the President Speech

in the United States, Australia, United Kingdom respectively, as well as the

World University of Canada.

The implementation of the Grant/Loan Policy for training at tertiary level

has also resulted in an increase in the number of students enrollment at that


Further, the Department appointed a committee early this year to review

various allowances of students at the tertiary institutions. the allowances

were also reviewed in 1994. The Committee recommended, and

Government approved increases in these allowances to compensate for the

effects of inflation since the time they were last reviewed.




this House do now adjourn.

                         Question put and agreed to.

The Assembly accordingly adjourned at 7:00 o‟clock p.m. until Friday 4th

December, 1998 at 2:30 o‟clock p.m.

                          Friday 4th December, 1998

                       THE ASSEMBLY met at 2.30 p.m.

                         (THE SPEAKER on the Chair)
30th November, 1998                          369        Response to the President Speech



                          QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER



MR T. D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH): asked the Minister of Local

Government, Lands and Housing whether in view of back-log of cases in dikgotla

country-wide, he would consider reversing the order prohibiting a tribal police officer

below the rank of sergeant from undertaking prosecution duties.


(MRS PHUMAPHI): Mr Speaker, in terms of Section 7 of the Criminal Procedures and

Evidence Act (Cap.08:02) the Attorney General is vested with the right and entrusted

with the duty of prosecuting in the name of and on behalf of the State in respect of any

offence committed in this country.

Section 8 of the same Act provides that the Attorney General may appear in person or

have any person delegated by him prosecuting any case before any court in the country.

I am therefore without power or authority to decide who should prosecute cases in

customary courts. This is a matter that falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the

Attorney General.

However, in view of the case load at the customary courts, and the fact that some of them

do not have sergeants to prosecute cases, my Ministry is currently seeking a solution with

the Attorney General‟s Chambers.
30th November, 1998                          370        Response to the President Speech

The Ministry assisted by both the Attorney General and the University of Botswana, shall

train tribal police below sergeant level in order to prepare them to prosecute cases. Thank

you Mr Speaker.

MR MOGAMI: It is merely whether one can have an appreciation of how soon this

training may yield results given the back-load of cases. Thank you.

MRS PHUMAPHI: Mr Speaker, I am not in a position to say how soon, but the course is

available, it is not that it is something that is going to be arranged. The course is already

in place. Thank you.


                       TSWAPONG NORTH CONSTITUENCY

MR T. D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH): asked the Minister of Local

Government, Lands and Housing whether he is aware that many assistant headmen in the

Tswapong North Constituency have served in that capacity for periods between 10 and 20

years without any remuneration or recompense; if so, the Minister should indicate when

the review of the

practice governing assistant headmanship would be carried out.


(MR MOKGOTHU): Mr Speaker, assuming that by assistant headmen, the Honourable

Member refers to headmen of arbitration, I wish to inform him that there are eight

headmen of arbitration in Tswapong North who are paid salaries. Those are headmen of

arbitration at:


30th November, 1998                        371        Response to the President Speech







In order for headmen of arbitration to receive any remuneration, posts have to be

established based on the work-load. Creation of posts is also dependent on manpower

ceilings. At present Tribal Administration is facing serious shortage of officers who

perform day-to-day official duties. Under such constraints it would not be possible to

create posts for headmen of arbitration at the rate that we would like to. Thank you Mr



                                 MEAT COMMISSION

MR O. M. KOOSALETSE (LOBATSE): asked the Minister of Agriculture to confirm

whether there is an ongoing retrenchment/restructuring exercise at the Botswana Meat

Commission; the Minister should state:

a)     whether any study by a professional body has been done to assist with the


b)     the number of employees likely to be affected and whether all the affected

       employees would get retrenchment packages; and
30th November, 1998                        372        Response to the President Speech

c)    whether the previous retrenchment/restructuring exercise was carried out after a

      detailed study, if not, the Minister should say what criteria was used to retrench

      workers during that exercise.


a)    There is no formal retrenchment/restructuring exercise which is ongoing at the

      Botswana Meat Commission. It should however be appreciated that the Botswana

      Meat Commission (BMC) markets 90 percent of its beef production in the highly

      competitive markets in South Africa and Europe. In order to remain competitive,

      BMC has to continuously upgrade technology and equipment to improve

      efficiency in order to meet customer, animal welfare, hygiene and safety

      requirements. The upgrading in terms of modern technology and equipment

      sometimes results in redundancy of certain posts. For example in the Engineering

      Department a lot of electronic equipment has been introduced which requires

      people with at least a High National Diploma (HND) certificate. Whenever this

      happens, BMC normally endeavours to redeploy or retrain affected employees.

      Retrenchments are only made in situations where employees can neither be re-

      deployed or retrained. Since this is an ongoing exercise and management is in a

      position to handle continuous staff adjustments, no outside professional body has

      been engaged.

b)    I am not in a position to say how many employees are likely to be affected by the

      latest staff rationalisation measures as a result of technological and efficiency

      improvements. As I have already indicated, this will depend on whether the

      affected staff can be retrained or re-deployed. The BMC Management and the
30th November, 1998                          373        Response to the President Speech

       Employees‟ Trade Union have agreed on an exit package for the employees who

       may have to separate with the BMC.

c)     The previous retrenchment/restructuring exercise resulted from the closure of the

       Maun Abattoir following the outbreak of CBPP and the slaughter of all cattle in

       the Ngamiland District. A Task Force comprising of both Management and Trade

       Union representatives was formed to consider and recommend various methods of

       restructuring at all the three abattoirs. Among others, a voluntary exit package was

       approved. In the case of employees who did not opt for the voluntary exit

       package, the principle of first in last out together with consideration of ability,

       skill and qualifications was used in the exercise.

Mr Speaker, during the exercise, 276 employees opted for the voluntary exit package

leaving only 49 redundancies. I thank you.

MR KOOSALETSE: Mr Speaker, will the Minister concede that the magnitude of the

exercise requires that a thorough study be carried out so that such an exercise will

eliminate any possible doubts of fairness. Would he concede that?

MR MOTHIBAMELE: Mr Speaker Sir, I have said the exercise is ongoing and

therefore at this particular point in time it is not easy to measure the magnitude of the

exercise because it is ongoing and therefore it can be measures when we are in the middle

of it. But just for now it has just started and we only can look into the future and think

that it may not be a very big thing and therefore there would not be any programme if at a

later stage as we see the thing rising to proportions which we did not expect to go for, but

at this particular point in time, I do not think I would concede to going for an extensive

study as the Member wants me to do.
30th November, 1998                          374        Response to the President Speech

MR KOOSALETSE: Further supplementary. Mr Speaker, is the Minister satisfied that

there is no subjectivity in terms of any of the retrenched or affected employees, because it

seems like the way the exercise is done, it is just a decision of an individual.

MR MOTHIBAMELE: Mr Speaker, I have said the principle of last in, first out, is

being applied. But if the Honourable Member knows of any under-hand activities going

on, I am prepared to sit with him, discuss and take appropriate action. Thank you Sir.


MR R. M. RANTAO (GABORONE WEST): asked the Minister of Labour and Home

Affairs to say why an employee of Bader Enterprises in Gaborone could not be paid two-

thirds salary for four weeks sick leave after sustaining some injuries at work despite an

advice from the Commissioner for Workman‟s Compensation dated 13th October, 1998.


Mr Speaker, the two-thirds salary for sick leave that was due to an employee of Bader

Enterprises who sustained an injury at work was paid to the Commission of Workman‟s

Compensation by the company on the 2nd December 1998. The Commissioner is in the

process of contacting the said employee. Thank you.


MR T. D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH): asked the Minister of Finance and

Development Planning whether in view of the severe impact of drought in some area such

as Eastern Tswapong, Government would conduct an assessment of the drought situation

country-wide and adopt a selective approach to allow the relief programme to continue in

some places after general stoppage, especially where ploughing could not be undertaken

in a large scale because of the recent decimation of drought power.
30th November, 1998                        375       Response to the President Speech

MINISTER        OF    FINANCE        AND     DEVELOPMENT            PLANNING         (MR

KEDIKILWE): Mr Speaker, as part of the drought monitoring routine, my ministry

plans to undertake a country-wide assessment of the drought situation in

January/February 1999. To this end, the itinerary for District visits has already been

circulated to all the District, including Serowe/Palapye Sub-District, under which Eastern

Tswapong falls. Serowe/Palapye Sub-District is scheduled to be visited on the 6th

January 1999.

The assessment team is expected to complete its assignment during the month of

February 1999, after which they will produce a report. My Ministry will therefore be in a

position to consider what appropriate action take, if any, with respect to all, or some

districts, including the Eastern Tswapong areas referred to by the Honourable Member.

Thank you Mr Speaker.

                        FINANCIAL PAPER NO.2 OF 1988/99


                                   (Resumed Debate)

MINISTER        OF    FINANCE        AND     DEVELOPMENT            PLANNING         (MR

KEDIKILWE): Mr Speaker, may I make a request before I begin. The request is of the

four and half or five pages of the document that I was reading yesterday, I had only done

two and a quarter, so it seems to me that for completeness, I would rather start from the

beginning, particularly for Honourable Members who were not in the House yesterday.

And also for the purposes of the hansard it would be one piece there, the other piece over

30th November, 1998                        376        Response to the President Speech

Mr Speaker, I have the Honour to present Financial Paper No.2 of 1988/99 containing

Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure from the Consolidated and Development Funds.

The Supplementary Estimates contained in this Financial Paper amount to P510 151, 600

from the Consolidated Fund and P57,500,000 from the Development Fund. The notes on

pages 36 to 44 and 48 of the Financial Paper provide justification for additional

resources. For the benefit of the Honourable Members I would like to highlight some of

the requests, starting with the Consolidated Fund expenditures.

Mr Speaker his Excellency, the former president appointed a Salaries Review

Commission to review the salaries and conditions of service in the Public Service at the

end of 1997.

The report of the commission which was submitted in June 1998 recommended inter-alia,

salary increases ranging from 25% to 34%. These recommendations were approved by

Government. In addition, the Government approved salary increases of 35% for

Honourable Members of Parliament, Councillors and Chiefs. Salaries of Land Board

members were also increased by 30%. These increases took effect on 1st July and 1st

October 1998 with respect to the first two categories and the last category respectively.

Various allowances pertaining to the three categories were also increased by varying

percentages. Consequently, most Government Departments have requested additional

Funds under personal emoluments subheads to augment their budgetary provisions.

The Department of Student Placement and Welfare under the Ministry of Education

continues to place Botswana Students in overseas universities for courses that are not

available locally and regionally. The Department has experienced an increase in the

number of students transferred overseas due to the increased number of Bachelor of
30th November, 1998                         377       Response to the President Speech

Science students transferring from the University of Botswana (UB), resulting from an

increased intake of Science students at UB. The Ministry has also decided to engage

agencies like the Academy of Educational Development, International Development

Programme and the British Council to assist in student administration processes in the

United States, Australia and United Kingdom respectively, as well as World University of


Mr Speaker, the implementation of the grant/loan policy for training at Tertiary level has

also resulted in an increase in the number of students enrolment at that level. Further, the

Department appointed a Committee early this year to review various allowances of

students at the Tertiary Institutions. The allowances were last reviewed in 1994. The

committee recommended and Government approved increases in these allowances to

compensate for the effects of inflation since the time they were last reviewed.

Mr Speaker, Government has established a new Institution called Botswana Export

Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA), the mandate of which is to promote

investment and export of goods manufactured in Botswana. BEDIA started its operation

in September 1998 following recruitment of its Chief Executive. It has therefore become

necessary to provide the start up financial and manpower resources for the new

organisation. The bulk of the financial resources required under Ministry of Commerce

and Industry Headquarters is for this purpose.

Mr Speaker, it may recall that fire broke out at the Department of Printing and Publishing

Services offices in September, 1998 resulting in destruction of machinery, equipment and

printing materials. In addition, printing paper and other consumables have experienced

significant price increases during the course of this year. Additional funds are therefore
30th November, 1998                            378    Response to the President Speech

requested to meet the cost of replacement and repair of the items destroyed by fire as well

as the increased cost of printing materials.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to turn to the Development Fund Supplementary

expenditures. Due to the shortage of accommodation in major villages and towns,

institutional housing for staff, storerooms and offices will be constructed or purchased in

most villages and towns like Maun, Kanye, Gaborone and Francistown.

In addition, boreholes for wildlife and domestic use, tourist facilities, game viewing

roads, and demarcation of boundaries will also be provided. The project will provide a

variety of other facilities like a quarantine camp to hold wild animals and veterinary

laboratories to support wildlife health investigation needs, breeding facilities for

endangered species management programme, demonstration game ranch near Matlho-a-

Phuduhudu wildlife management area, and educational game reserve in Francistown,

Gaborone, Maun and Otse. Vehicles for new stations, plant and additional aircrafts will

also be provided. It is therefore important that the Department‟s personnel and facilities

are adequately equipped to enable the officers to perform their duties effectively. Due to

escalation of construction costs, the Total Estimated Cost and the 1998/99 provision of

the project need to be increased by P35 million and P15 million respectively.

Mr Speaker, the North South Carrier Water Project which commenced in 1995, was the

first step in implementing the recommendations of the National Water Master Plan. The

project provides funding for Government‟s contribution to the project. The project, which

consists of the Letsibogo dam and the transfer pipeline of about 360 km from the dam site

to Mamashia, north of Gaborone, is estimated to cost P1,200 billion of which government

will contribute one half and will give guarantees for an additional P150 million. Due to
30th November, 1998                        379        Response to the President Speech

the depreciation of the Pula against the United States Dollar, the currency in which most

payments are denominated, the total estimated cost of the project and the 1998/99

provision need to be increased by P100 million and P25 million respectively.

Mr Speaker, this concludes my presentation of Financial Paper no. 2 of 1998/99. I

therefore move that “the Revised Total Estimated Cost of Development projects included

in Part II of Financial Paper No. 2 of 1998/99 form part of the National Development

Plan, and that the Supplementary Estimates of expenditure for the Consolidated and

Development Funds as contained in this Financial Paper be approved”. I thank you Mr


MR MABILETSA: Mr Speaker, I rise to support this paper by making some

observations. Mr Speaker, it is a practice in this House to expect a supplementary

estimates request to be done, but sometimes it brings to question the capacity of

government officials to budget to the extent that some supplementary estimates requests

are just too excessive to come as supplementary estimates. For example Mr Speaker, if

you look at the request for the Department of the Ministry of Education, where they are

asking for some supplementary estimates of P63 million, against an authorised

expenditure of about P147, you get the impression that really the request is roughly just

about 45 per cent and one wonders whether really our officials are well empowered to

plan financially and to come up with almost accurate figures. Mr Speaker, I do not have

problems for example, with the request that falls within a range of 10 to 15 percent. I

believe that is a reasonable leeway for one to expect figures to be out with. But when they

go to the extent of coming near 50 percent, such as this item on Part III, Students
30th November, 1998                           380      Response to the President Speech

Placement and Welfare, I begin to wonder whether really we believe we can run

government revenues through supplementary estimates.

What is even more puzzling, Mr Speaker, is the fact that even when you listen to the

Minister‟s explanation saying there has been an increase of students who are placed

outside, especially those in the Bachelor of Science courses, there is not even any

quantification of that increase. As Parliament being expected to approve these

subventions, we are not too sure whether the increase is ten percent, 15 per cent, or 20 per

cent, all that we are told is just an increment.

Perhaps one would expect a select committee dealing with these estimates to be better

informed about these things. But when you sit in that Committee, like I do, all that you do

is to go and sit there, be presented with figures such as are in this Financial Paper and

may be wait to hear the Minister reporting in good faith, things that government actually

has to do. Like in this particular instance, I would have expected Honourable Speaker,

that the Minister would have come up with such figures to demonstrate or to prove that

there has been a justifiable need to this increment of 63 million.

I am saying Mr Speaker, I am a little bit uneasy with this type of request, when they are

going to be allowed to go to this magnitude. That is one area.

The other point Mr Speaker, that I wish also to draw the House‟s attention to is Part nine,

Botswana Defence Force. The other day Mr Speaker, the Honourable Paul Rantao,

Member for Gaborone West, asked what it cost Government to maintain our soldiers in

Lesotho. All that we got was just one figure; P4 million, that is it. Whether that P4

million is per week, per month, per day, per annum or for the duration of the BDF or until

the end of this financial year, we do not know. We have not even been told for how long
30th November, 1998                          381        Response to the President Speech

that P4 million will be expended. What is even more puzzling Mr Speaker, is that when

you take the whole subvention request for BDF, under Part eight, the entire subvention

request is P66 million, The first item under note No.1 which pertains to personal

emolument; at least this one, we know it has been caused by the massive increments that

were given the Civil Service in general.

But when we are being asked for example, on the item of maintenance and running

expenses and equipment, which appears twice on Subhead 906 and Subhead 907 to

release the funds and we actually find that half of the amount that is being requested as

supplementary is not related to salaries and we only receive a round figure like one the

Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration gave us the other day, one

begins to wonder whether that figure is really the correct one. Apart from the personal

emolument there is a figure in the region of about P31 million that is being further

requested. We do not know really what that is entailing. Mr Speaker, I am expressing

very serious reservations about the types of requests that are made like this, without

giving us the actual facts and figures to demonstrate that indeed the request is justified. I

thought Mr Speaker, I should raise this serious concern because the other day as I

indicated, we were told it costs P4 million to maintain soldiers in Lesotho, but the request

that is really being made here is for P32 million. Now, what is it being made for? We are

not told really what that P32 million is really going to cover, other than being told this is a

shortfall in the BDF expenses and things like that and I have actually, even in the

Committee Mr Speaker, expressed these reservations to the Assistant Minister, twice

already to say they must always quantify at least to the Committee if they cannot do their

requests to the House. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
30th November, 1998                            382      Response to the President Speech

MR SEBETELA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I stand to support the Paper as presented by

the Minister with first a correction on Page 36 on note No. 2, that the Committee

appointed to review the Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament actually

never recommended a 50 percent subsidy for Members of Parliament and Chiefs, this was

not in the report. I think for purposes of correction maybe this must be reflected

accordingly that that was actually outside the report. Note 2 states that the amount being

requested is to cover something that was requested by the Committee appointed to look at

our salaries.

Otherwise Mr Speaker, my general comments are first on page 37 on that National

Development Bank subsidy. Maybe Mr Speaker, out of ignorance NDB is a government

parastatal and my understanding is that they lend government money, they are not very

different from Water Utilities Corporation, Botswana Power Corporation and others. I

understand the essence of the subsidy but I wonder whether through this subsidy we are

not setting a precedence that we cannot repeat for water, electricity power. I do not know

what else that the private sector in Botswana for its development is asking for. However,

if we are confident that it is something that we can emulate elsewhere, then I am satisfied,

but I think that it is extremely important that . . .

MR KEDIKILWE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Would the Honourable

Member care to say what item he is referring to, repeat that again, I got lost. Thank you.

MR SEBETELA: Thank you, Mr Speaker, I am referring to Page 37 item 18. It is just a

principle of the subsidy. I understand the idea of boosting private sector development but

I am wondering whether Mr Speaker, from the history of high utilities that the private

sector in Botswana has complained about, whether doing something like this will not
30th November, 1998                         383        Response to the President Speech

automatically get other parastatals in the same situation to ask government to give a

similar subsidy in order to relieve basically similar pressures of finance because from a

private sector perspective whether it is interest or expensive utilities, there is no

difference you are still asking for them to pay money. So, I am just wondering whether

the precedence we are setting in Paragraph 18 we will be able to repeat in other

parastatals that are also up to now are being accused by the private sector of charging

them very high rates and I would like the Minister to briefly just help me on that one.

I also notice that there is a word called “inadvertently” it is becoming very common in

these Supplementary Estimates and just to plead with the Minister that perhaps we are

beginning to confuse poor planning and other things with this word, it is becoming very

common. In the last Financial Paper this word also appeared fairly commonly and Mr

Speaker, saying a point just to emphasise the fact that if we have short comings in

planning and whatever else, perhaps we should address them because we will not always

have this comfort zone or this cushion or being able to go for supplements. Times are

getting difficult and sooner or later we will be like other countries where when money is

distributed in February you cannot go for supplements because there won‟t be any. So,

maybe we need to look at that.

Paragraph 30 on Page 39, it is a lot of money that is being asked for and a paragraph is

enough to ask this Honourable House to sanction this amount. I think it is P60 million

that we are being asked to authorise at Paragraph 30 and this paragraph is all that we have

as Honourable Members of this House to say to government go ahead, spend P60

million.. I would propose Mr Speaker, that maybe in future we can make more

information about available on details that are not of a security nature. Like for example
30th November, 1998                         384        Response to the President Speech

this one of Student Replacement Department. I would feel comfortable as a Member of

Parliament nodding yes, having seen some information that explains the P60 million not

just this paragraph and I am expected to read through it and be able to assist.

The same on Paragraph 34, this is BEDIA. It is also a lot of money and we do not have

details of what this huge sum of money is going to do, so the same comment applies Mr

Speaker, that perhaps in future we can have these notes abridge like this in a little bit

more details for some of us who would want to nod knowing what they are supporting.

Paragraph 38 is the one that I find most encouraging, it is a development that Mr Speaker,

I would like to hale and hope that we can have more of these developments taking place

where capable Batswana are elected or given positions elsewhere. It gives me a lot of joy

that government goes out of its way to support these developments. This is extremely

good for Botswana as we enter the new millennium that Batswana go into these

international organisations and I hope it will not be just this isolated case, we can have

even more.

My last comment Mr Speaker, is on item 51, that similarly or this assistance to Non-

Governmental Organisations is most welcome, but similar to the other comments I have

made Mr Speaker, I wish there was a little bit more information so that we know which

organisations, what activities they are into so that as we nod yes we do so, with full

details. With these remarks, I would like to say I support the White Paper and I thank you,

Mr Speaker.

MR SALESHANDO: Thank you Mr Speaker. It is not easy for a Parliamentarian to say

he agrees or disagrees with an issue. The reason is that nobody knows the origin of these

figures except ...
30th November, 1998                         385        Response to the President Speech


MR SALESHANDO: Even some of the Ministers. I have always advocated against

incremental budgeting. It is problematic because the action is just increasing. One

wonders why Dr Masire then had P23 million and it was the only money available. What

would happen now if the same figure was the whole budget. What would happen if that

situation occurred in Botswana? These days supplementary estimates amount to a billion

Pula ...


MR SALESHANDO: It is over a billion Pula. When we agree and pass the estimates

what does that mean. This is my concern, because Parliament and Parliamentarians just

become a rubber stamp on a piece of paper. I do not appreciate this. This Committee is

not different from all other Parliament Committees. Do these committees, Mr Speaker,

serve a useful purpose.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: If they can succeed.

MR SALESHANDO: They should have the ability. However, before the figures and

estimates are accepted, at least a fraction of the House should be satisfied that the figures

are genuine. These days these figures are not satisfying. With regards to the Botswana

Defence Force expenditure it is worse. Equipment is bought and everything is shrouded

in secrecy. Our role is merely to allocate the funds to go and buy bullets to be shot into

the air in Lesotho. This is not fair for Parliament to vote funds quickly and to be told that

it is for security reasons. Mr Speaker, I do not agree with this arrangement and therefore

cannot be a party to decisions I do not understand. Some of the funds will not be
30th November, 1998                        386       Response to the President Speech

expended. Without being a prophet of doom, I do doubt if, in 50 years time, some of the

equipment owned by BDF will be of any use to this country.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Where will you be?

MR SALESHANDO: We seem to take pride in purchasing equipment because we have

diamond money. The equipment is meant to scare people little realising that that

equipment is not of any use to the country. Mr Speaker, I do not agree with the allocation

of funds to be spent carelessly. A government will come which will be more vigilant.

Some of these people will be answerable for their deeds. The arrogance we encounter

when we ask questions will end. It is the arrogance of Lieutenant Generals who enter

Parliament all the time. This will come to an end, and we shall wish to know what

happened to funds budgeted for. I thank you.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I would like to request Honourable Members and advice

that it is improper and according to the rules of debate in this Parliament, we have to

respect all Honourable Members who have been elected as Members of Parliament. I do

not think that it is proper to refer to other Honourable Members as Lieutenant Generals or

what. We have Members of Parliament. Shall we allow ourselves to refer to those who

were in prison and call them people who have been in prison. Is that to be allowed? That

should not be allowed in this House . . . . (interruptions) . . . . Order! You are really

degrading the status of this Parliament.

MR ROBI: Thank you, Mr Speaker, I support the appropriation, primarily on the basis

that it is under five percent of the total budget we passed on the 31st March. And that,

that five percent is below the rate of inflation. Perhaps the Minister should be
30th November, 1998                          387        Response to the President Speech

commended, that in terms of the quantification of the entire budget, he has gone below

even the rate of inflation in its adjustment of the request for this supplementary.

Secondly, Mr Speaker . . . . .


MR ROBI: It is about five percent out of P10 million. How do you get it? Can‟t you

calculate? Didn‟t you go to BAC or something? I heard you went there.

MR KOOSALETSE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. I would like to put it

down to the Member holding the floor that, his figures are wrong. If you take Paper No. 1

of 1998 and this one, they give you over a billion Pula, which is not five percent of the

budget. It is more than five percent.

MR ROBI: I am talking about this particular Paper No. 2. I do not know why you are

going to that one. If you want to compound all the other increments, this particular

appropriation is less than five percent.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: You are looking at the recurrent budget and not others.

MR ROBI: I have included everything, we are appropriating P550 million today, and that

is what we are talking about.

Secondly, Mr Speaker, remarks about the BDF, which are of course from Honourable

Saleshando who is always misguided, Mr Speaker. We do not build the BDF army in

order to go for war. Primarily, that is not our intention. It is to be a defence force, not to

go to war. It is an insurance policy. We have never ever dreamed that, the reason for

buying weapons is so that we can get into a war. If there is any other absurdity, that we

should think about our characters as a nation, as a peaceable nation, that will be the
30th November, 1998                         388        Response to the President Speech

reason we will be buying equipment for the BDF, then you are in the wrong country and

talking about the wrong people, the wrong nation and the wrong army.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, there have been all these remarks you make about our members of

the BDP who come from the profession of the army. If you want to be on record, that

members of the BDF should be precluded, and discriminated against, after their

retirement from joining politics, then tell them that they will never be Councillors,

Members of Parliament, anything that you are elected into office. You better tell us

because, if you want to discriminate against them as Batswana, on the basis of their

profession, then please do so. Tell the nation, so that you can be very clear.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! The subject before the House is supplementary estimates.

MR ROBI: Mr Speaker, the assumption is that, these supplementary estimates are being

asked for because, members of the BDF who are in the BDP, somehow imposed it upon

the ignorant member who says, he does not know where it comes from. Therefore, we

have to tell them that, we believe that the BDF, for example, is a microcosm

representation of each and every department in this country. Whether you are thinking

about construction, hospitals, anything that we are doing in this country, they do.

Therefore, they are probably the most trained profession in terms of looking at the entire

breadth of this country, in terms of what this country is to carry out. Even in terms of

knowing every piece of soil and piece of land in this country, they are more qualified than

all of us half the time. Some of us come from Maun and go to Selebi-Phikwe, smell the

smoke there and come here. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

LEADER OF OPPOSITION (MR DINGAKE): Mr Speaker, thank you. I have only

two points to refer to in these supplementary estimates. First of all I want to support what
30th November, 1998                         389        Response to the President Speech

was said by Honourable Mabiletsa here, except that I am not going to call it observation

as far as one item is concerned. But I want to start by note 5, Mr Speaker, which says that,

“funds requested are to meet the shortfall in the provision for this item. It has proved

difficult to determine the exact number of officers who will become eligible for leave

travel concessions in any financial year . . . . .” I do not understand why it becomes

difficult to determine the exact number of officers. That can be easily determined if the

Ministry would like to determine that. In any case right now, I do not know how they

have determined these supplementary estimates, if they cannot determine this item at any

given time.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning should plan very

carefully in making estimates . . . . . .

MR KEDIKILWE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The Honourable Member is

making a very good point, and he said he could indicate how easily the estimation can be

made. But he fell short of indicating how easily that easy estimation can be made.

MR DINGAKE: Mr Speaker, is it so difficult to find out before the financial year starts,

how many officers will be going on leave? Is it all that difficult? Do not laugh. It should

be as simple as all that. Why must it always be difficult?

I want to come to Note 12 on the BDF. I cannot understand, Mr Speaker, that this

Parliament can be overlooked, ignored, when the BDF is deployed in Lesotho or in any

country. I cannot understand and yet, Mr Speaker, it is this Parliament that must approve

the money that must sustain the army where it is. I cannot understand. This is truly

making this Parliament a rubber stamp. That is what it is. Because the ruling party has got

a majority, they think they can do anything they like. They can commit the army to all
30th November, 1998                        390       Response to the President Speech

sorts of engagement without informing Parliament and then come back to say, you

approve estimates to sustain the army where it is.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: We are not in government with you.

MR DINGAKE: Now Mr Speaker, there you are, you do not rule with us. But you have

to ask us here to approve the estimates. When the question was asked how much has been

spent in Lesotho by Honourable Rantao this week, we were informed P4.2 million has

already been spent. I asked a supplementary question, whether this amount was going to

be paid by SADC since this was a SADC exercise. I was told, no, it is the Botswana

Government that is going to pay it. Indeed, we have to approve these estimates, so that

this is undertaken, which is not ours, which is SADC, it is going to be paid by Botswana

Government. When the army was deployed in Somalia and Mozambique for peace

keeping missions, we were informed that the expenses were going to go to the United

Nations because, that was a United Nations mission. Now here we have got SADC

which resolves to commit our army and we must pay for it. There must be a big question

mark here, whether indeed this is a SADC undertaking or whether we have been hiding

under the pretext that this is the SADC undertaking. Mr Speaker, I really hate that this

House has to be taken for a ride, and also that we must become a rubber stamp for public

funds here.

With those few words, I would like to say, the other reasons given as far the Salaries

Commission was concerned, that is understandable. We can all understand that, we need

supplementary estimates for that sort of thing. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MR MAMELA: Thank you Mr Speaker. It is in order that government in its operation

spends money and in the process there are shortfalls and supplementary estimates are
30th November, 1998                         391       Response to the President Speech

requested. We are concerned that in July we allocated P512 million and 4 December we

are expected to allocate another P567 million i.e. from July to December we have to

allocate half a billion Pula. This indicates a shoddy job somewhere. We wish to ask the

Minister of Finance and Development Planning to advise his officers that this type of

performance is unsatisfactory. They carry out projects without care because they rely on

supplementary estimates. Some cases are not clear and not acceptable for instance, note

54 reads as follows, “District hospitals, health staff, travel frequently in the process of

taking health care to the community. Funds are, therefore, requested to meet the shortfall

in their provision for subsistence costs.” This is not understandable, because the health

authorities should have anticipated the frequency of the trips to the villages. Yes, we can

accept emergencies. Thank you.

MR GABATSHWANE: Mr Speaker, I wish to comment on the Department of Justice,

despite my question. There is a backlog of cases at the High Court and I think this is due

to shortage of staff. Could more staff be engaged to reduce the backlog. English says,

“Justice delayed is justice denied.” My request is directed to the Minister of Presidential

Affairs and Public Administration and the Attorney General. Cases have been reported at

the High Court and no action is forthcoming. Thank you.

MINISTER        OF     FINANCE       AND      DEVELOPMENT             PLANNING        (MR

KEDIKILWE): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the comments made by Honourable

Members in support of the supplementary estimates.

I should start with the Honourable Member for Kgatleng East, Rre Mabiletsa, with

respect to the increase reflected in the supplementary estimates. The question of the P63

million for the placement of students and other charges; we are saying, it is because of the
30th November, 1998                          392       Response to the President Speech

increased number of students which was not anticipated by the University. The upsurge in

that kind of number is something that came much later and of course, the allowances that

go with that, particularly when students are placed overseas and in the region. The

increase is also as a result of the technical institutions that we are building. It is this

Parliament that said we must place emphasis on vocational training and technical

education. We could not but accept this situation even if we wanted to place a break on

the level of expenditure that we are now faced with.

I do take the point that the Committee is not furnished with enough details on the

increases. I had hoped that at the Finance Committee level, a number of details would

have been provided. I suppose Members also at that point should ask as many questions

as they wish to ask. But we shall attempt to put before this House and the Committee as

many details as are desirable and acceptable, but we cannot do so on the BDF item.

Regarding the P4 million that we were talking about, His Honour the Vice President was

responding to the question as asked. The Member who asked the question had wanted to

know the amount that had been spent to-date; that is how I understood the question.

And then on Sub-heads 906 and 907...

MR MABILETSA: Before proceeding Honourable Minister, as Minister of Finance, are

you able to say how much it costs the country at least to keep BDF in Lesotho for one

month. Are you able to say that right now?

MR KEDIKILWE: My estimation is that it must be roughly half of the figure that we

are probably talking about here. The breakdown on those items, the P31 million, I thought

that was the reason why His Honour the Vice President took the All-Party Caucus to
30th November, 1998                         393        Response to the President Speech

make the briefing in the House of Chiefs the other day. The reason was such that we do

not go into details in this House; so, an All-Party Caucus was taken into confidence.

The correction on the 50 percent, Honourable Sebetela, that is true. The 50 percent was

decided not by the Committee but was decided outside of that Committee. I would hope

on the precedent that we would not do that, because our policy basically is one that relates

to cost recovery and that is the way we would wish to proceed. But otherwise your point

is taken because it is dangerously bad for parastatals to depend unduly on the public purse

because the way of the public purse is unpredictable, at least the sources thereof.

MR MABILETSA: Further clarification, Mr Speaker, on that point...

MR KEDIKILWE: On the point of precedent, inadvertence... or the 50 percent.

MR MABILETSA: No, no, the one of the NDB.

MR KEDIKILWE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I do agree that the question of

inadvertently, although the question...

MR MABILETSA: On a point of clarification. Mr Speaker, my question is that NDB is

a venture which is realising profits to the value of P54 million. NDB is co-owned by

Government. Why is it necessary to take funds from Government and pay it to NDB

instead of using he profit?

MR KEDIKILWE: NDB is in a state in which it was not a while ago. Therefore our

relations and interactions with NDB will be constantly reviewed so that we revise our

activities. The money from NDB comes as a dividend and we cannot pay that money

there. If we have to pay for something we do so, and the dividend shall get paid to

Government. The funds from the dividend is put to use for national activities such as

provision of water to Kgatleng East.
30th November, 1998                          394        Response to the President Speech

Yes, the question of inadvertence, I was simply saying, indeed we should not hide behind

that word, but in the history of human development and of course in a work situation, in

some cases it is inevitable. But I do take the point that we should avoid it as much as

possible and not use it as a substitute for poor planning.

The question of providing details in future, I agree. We shall attempt to do that similarly

with respect to BEDIA. Of course, Botswana Export Development and Investment

Authority (BEDIA) is a new organisation that we have just set up with a new chief

executive, new staff, virtually new everything but that is not to say that in future we

should not provide details. Honourable Members have applauded the secondment of our

people to organisations such as the Council of the International Civil Aviation (ICAO),

much as it is extremely expensive, but I suppose on a selective basis, we shall do so. But

it is an expensive exercise. Similarly we will in future attempt to provide the necessary

details that Members require in respect of such organisations.

The Honourable Member for Selebi-Phikwe with respect to whether or not people should

agree or disagree with this type of presentation, I suppose it is a matter of opinion and one

cannot be faulted for one‟s opinion. But the question that was asked as to whether,

because we are now dealing with a billion Pula           or so or half a billion Pula      of

supplementaries, if we were to go back to a situation where if we had a budget of P23

million contextual, can we be able to afford. I would have thought that it is a question of

relativities. I am sure in terms of percentage and relativities, some of the supplementary

that we sought, when the budget was P23 million in relative and statistical terms could

very well have been the same percentage as what is being sought now. This is not to say
30th November, 1998                         395        Response to the President Speech

that therefore we should not attempt to ensure that the supplementaries are as slow as

possible so as not to be equal or be of too high a percentage of the original provision. I

am sure we do understand each other, but the question of relativities or so applies. In fact,

I do recall some Members of Parliament were making exactly the same point with respect

to supplementaries and we ought to be attempting to keep within the provision provided.

This is why in some cases virements are not even allowed, for example travelling, so that

we make sure that there is financial discipline.

The question of Members of Parliament suggesting a different approach as to how the

supplementary ought to be handled, yes, that is acceptable, particularly the Finance

Committee. If there are any ideas as to what else we should do to improve upon the

method of submission now, I would be quite happy to consider that including a private

meeting with any Honourable Member that wishes to suggest a method of preparing the


The Botswana Defence Force (BDF): I do not know what other countries do with respect

to their military expenditure. In this country, there is a Defence Council, apart from a

special Tender Board that considers matters dealing with the BDF. But as I am sure

Honourable Members appreciate, the question of your opposite number elsewhere not

knowing or simply guessing what you are doing, that is part of the defence that we are

talking about because knowledge of what is taking place simply gives away the show and

therefore gives away the security and the defence. So in our quest for transparency we

must appreciate that it must not be transparency you are talking about, because the

knowledge of what is taking place simply gives away the show and therefore gives away

the security and the defence. So in our quest for transparency we must appreciate that it
30th November, 1998                           396         Response to the President Speech

must not be transparency for or at our own expense, or to our own detriment. To say that

ultimately these appliances and equipment will go up in smoke somewhere, isn‟t that not

what defence is all about. Whether or not Members have not liked the idea of intervention

in Lesotho is a different matter, but in the final analysis whether it is in Lesotho or in this

country or anywhere else, the way to use that equipment by definition is that ultimately it

will go up in smoke. And the Honourable Member was saying is this type of expenditure

sustainable, because some of the equipment will not be in use in the next fifty years. I do

not know what hardware necessarily is kept for fifty years. I am not aware that,

particularly in these days of technology, whether it is the information technology, let

alone the military hardware or military software, I am not so sure that there is any

equipment that is kept for fifty years. By that time you cannot fight anyone, it is so out of

date, even five years sometimes. Unfortunately this is the nature of things in this day and

age. The equipment, in fact it does not even have to be military equipment, all sorts of

equipment, or even gadgets even computers, the personal computers for example. The

personal computer that you buy today you cannot be sure that in the next month it will

still be in use. So unfortunately this is the price that we are paying for sophistication,

development, science and technology. So, to talk of fifty years in this day and age really is

to be living outside of this planet. May be you should be asking to be let off. As has been

said, in any case military expenditure is an insurance policy, it is a deterrence. Okay, you

may not always quantify or see the extent to which even if you were to quantify what you

consider to be the benefit, it is really not quantifiable strictly speaking.

30th November, 1998                             397    Response to the President Speech

MR KEDIKILWE: No, we do not wish to scare anybody, we are simply defending

ourselves. That is our aim. The Honourable Robi answered the question of deterrence and

the question of insurance fully. That is what we are all about.

Of course the derogatory references to other Members of Parliament. We must not forget

that all of us, being the small numbers in terms of population in this country, virtually

everyone else knows what is in everyone else‟s cupboard, so we should stay clear of

derogatory references. I think the Honourable Member has answered that.


MR KEDIKILWE: No, the point we are making is that we do have them, and they are

not Lieutenants by the way, they are Lieutenant Generals, there is a lot of difference. So

the constant reference to that is derogatory.


MR KEDIKILWE: No, they are not ashamed. Even you when we talk about your own

backgrounds you do not like it, I am sure. And we are saying, all right if that is the way

that we want to go, it is not the way that would be appreciable.

The Honourable Dingake, with respect to leave travel concession, I wish it were as easy

as the Honourable Member says. Leave travel concession, is an arrangement for all public

officers to go on leave after every two years or so, and in any given period, short of saying

to each and every officer, are you going to be taking your leave travel concession. Then

you have to estimate on the basis of probably what happened before, allowing for some

inflationary adjustments. Sometimes even those who had planned to go do not go in the

first place. Others who had thought that they would not go, they go and if they make up

their minds at the last minute, there is no way that you can deny them the leave travel
30th November, 1998                        398        Response to the President Speech

concession, unless the Honourable Member does not appreciate what leave travel

concession is.

MR DINGAKE: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker. Honestly I do not see what the

problem is here because you do not have to go asking each one of them. If you send out a

notice to say those who will be going on leave this year, I am sure the response will be

there and in any case there may be changes as you say. Some who might have said they

will be going on leave not going or some who had not indicated they are going to be

going on leave now going on leave. But that is the basis of estimation. You are estimating

and that won‟t be that wide, the discrepancy won‟t be as wide as we see now.

MR KEDIKILWE: Mr Speaker, the problem is that we are probably talking at cross

purposes, first an appreciation what leave travel concession is all about, and the number

of officers involved, and the extent to which people, we are talking about people, often

change their minds one way or another. This is part of the difficulty. So looking for

precision here is really something that cannot be. We are not able to do the type of

precision that the Honourable Member has in mind, given the nature of the activity at


The question of BDF - The Honourable Member says that this Honourable House was

overlooked when the army was sent to Lesotho. I thought quite eloquently, quite

competently the Honourable Member for Mahalapye and Minister of Foreign Affairs

explained this matter quite adequately and indeed flawed the Member even in spite of the

fact that the Member spent some two months or so in Lesotho. He did not even come up

to the situation to demonstrate that he had spent some time in Lesotho.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: That is not sustainable.
30th November, 1998                         399       Response to the President Speech

MR KEDIKILWE: It is sustainable. Quite honestly I was disappointed that, here is a

man who had gone out of his way to go to that country and get the facts for himself and

then when he comes here, he really was not able to even demonstrate that he knew half of

the facts relating to the situation that he had gone to investigate. This question has been

answered, I think adequately, basically, among others to say, in terms of our laws, there is

the President of the country who is Commander -in -Chief of the armed forces, and that

judging on the situation he can only indicate to the nation on the basis of how he

appreciates the sensitivity of the situation. I know I am simply scratching the surface,

really deep and adequate answers were given on this question. May be the Honourable

Member should use another forum to get at it because I suspect that he is smarting under

the collar because he was not able to demonstrate his prowess on the basis of information

that he had gathered. So let us use another forum.


MR KEDIKILWE: Honourable Mamela simply repeated. I have answered that the half

billion is no good. Of course the allowances also had to be increased on the basis of the

commission or the committee that we are talking about. That in fact for the Personal

Emoluments which include allowances, it is over P240 million and part of that is the

allowances. The point that must also be made when Honourable Members say, but this is

poor estimation because the 500 million we are talking about is a very high figure. What

must be appreciated is what I have indicated, personal emoluments. There is a committee

that was appointed, and this very Parliament agreed that the adjustment ought to be made

and they have to be made.
30th November, 1998                         400        Response to the President Speech

BEDIA is a new organisation, and on the question of student placement, I have indicated

why we are faced with the situation that we are faced with. In fact the three, the Personal

Emoluments because of the salaries commission, BEDIA                    (Botswana Export

Development and Investment Authority) student placement come to P316 million. Surely

anyone should be able to appreciate that, that figure in relation to the P500 million is a

very high figure, but it is understandable why. If we did not have a salaries increase, if we

did not have BEDIA and if we did not have student placement adjustment in the manner

that it was, we would be talking about P200 million or so. So that figure of P500 million

should be looked at in that light, to appreciate the true context. Of course that includes

adjustments for Members of Parliament.

Delays - that point is appreciated, this is why in the year 1999/2000 at least ten judges, I

think that is the number, Attorney General. We are going to have additional judges and all

the other assisting staff. At least ten, I think that is the number for the additional judges

that we are going to have for the year 1999/2000. But in any case the number is going to

be increased. I checked that because I called the Attorney General the other day and said I

was worried about delays ...


(LT. GEN. KHAMA): On a point of clarification Mr Speaker. I just thought I should

clarify the point on the backlog. The situation is quite as espoused by the Honourable

Member, that there is this big backlog and already the Chief Justice has embarked upon

recruiting more judges. In fact, I think in recent weeks, in the last couple of months or so

he has already recruited two judges. We are about to get the third one. In addition to that,

to engage temporary judges and magistrates to clear the backlog. I do not have the figures
30th November, 1998                         401       Response to the President Speech

off-hand, as to how many judges are going to be recruited in the years that the

Honourable Minister of Finance was referring to. But so far he is actively pursing the

issue of recruiting more judges and magistrates to attend to the issue of the backlog, and

once having attended to it, to ensure that we never again have that situation arising.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order!

MR KEDIKILWE: Mr Speaker, I move accordingly.


MR KEDIKILWE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was simply making the point that the

Chief Justice, together with the Attorney General, as indeed, I spoke to the Attorney

General the other day expressing the same sort of sentiment that the Honourable Member

for Kanye was expressing, that everything possible is being done to address that situation

in order to redress the situation that we are talking about. I cannot be held to the figure

that I quoted ....(interruption)....

MR BALOPI: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, when we adjourned for tea,

the Honourable Minister with due respect, had moved and I thought he had concluded his

response, unless we are resuscitating the debate. Had you not moved?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Order! I do not think that the Minister is out of order. He is just

winding up.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Aaii! ....(laughter)....

MR KEDIKILWE: Thank you. Mr Speaker. I had in fact, moved but I was out of order

because the Speaker had already ruled that it was time to adjourn for tea.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Oh! I see. ...(laughter)....
30th November, 1998                         402       Response to the President Speech

MR KEDIKILWE: Mr Speaker, I was making the final point that, I could not be held to

the figure that I quoted but that what I thought I had extracted from the relevant officials

at that point in time. The point simply being, we are making every effort to ensure that

indeed our justice system does not fall to pieces. I therefore, move accordingly, Mr


                               Question put and agreed to.



                             TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

MR MFA: Later date Mr Speaker.

                             Motion deferred to a later date.


                         CONSUMPTION AND ITS IMPACT

MR MFA: Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member for Palapye has requested me to

postpone the motion on his behalf to a later date.

MR SPEAKER: The same motion? Could you repeat yourself, Honourable Member? I

did not follow you.

HONOURABLE MEMBER: Somebody is not telling the truth about you.

MR MFA: I defer the motion to a later date, Mr Speaker. ...(laughter)...

MR SPEAKER: Since the Honourable Member for Palapye is here, can we hear from


MR SEBETELA: Later date, Mr Speaker.

                             Motion deferred to a later date.
30th November, 1998                    403       Response to the President Speech



MINISTER OF EDUCATION (DR. CHIEPE): Mr Speaker, I move that this House do

now adjourn.

                            Question put and agreed to.

The Assembly accordingly adjourned at 4:45 p.m. until Monday 7th December, 1998 at

2:30 p.m.

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