Monday 30th November, 1998 THE ASSEMBLY met at 2.30 p.m. (THE SPEAKER in the Chair) PRAYERS **** QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER DEVELOPMENT OF NEW SHHA AREAS IN BLOCK 3,6,8 AND 9 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (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 ALLOCATED 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. PROVISION OF SUITABLE ACCOMMODATION FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN TSWAPONG AREA 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (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 project. 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 INSTITUTIONAL HOUSE 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. NUMBER OF INSTITUTIONAL HOUSING UNITS BUILT UNDER THE DISTRICT HOUSING COMPONENT DURING FINANCIAL YEARS 1996/97 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (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 Boards. 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. RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH Motion (Resumed Debate) 30th November, 1998 6 Response to the President Speech ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (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 (Interruptions) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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, ........ MINISTER OF WORKS, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS (MR 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 authority. PROCEEDINGS SUSPENDED FOR APPROXIMATELY 25 MINUTES. 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 Minister. 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 ...... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 small. 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! HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 unhappy. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 ...... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 stoppage. 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 ....... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 ..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is true. MR KGOSIPULA: That is the statement in English. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Did you ever . 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 . . . HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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? HONOURABLE MEMBER: You are rude! 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 - - - HONOURABLE MEMBER: Who? 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 terminated. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 delivering. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Even the Chiefs. 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 .... ASSISTANT MINISTER OF FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR 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 speculations. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Have you got evidence? Have you got a copy of the paper? 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 service. HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is about BNF. 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 ..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 interference. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 ..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) MR KGOSIPULA: You talk about 33,000, while the population figure is over 40,000. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Where? MR KGOSIPULA: What are you talking about, we are close on 50,000. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Where? 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 construction. 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 ....... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) MR KGOSIPULA: No, I did not say so. You want me to disagree with the Honourable Nkate. 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 ..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: Oh! In Botswana! 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 HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 ...... MOTION ADJOURNMENT MINISTER OF FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR 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) PRAYERS **** QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER 30th November, 1998 54 Response to the President Speech DELAYS IN THE PROVISION OF STAND PIPES AND WATER CONNECTIONS TO TSWAPONG AREA COMMUNITIES 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (MR MOKGOTHU): Mr Speaker, 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 standpipes: - 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 NUMBER OF CLASSES TAUGHT OUTSIDE CLASSROOMS AT SCHOOLS IN THE TSWAPONG AREA MR T.D. MOGAMI (TSWAPONG NORTH): asked the 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 schools. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (MR MOKGOTHU): Mr Speaker, out 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. TABLE 1: NUMBER OF CLASSES TAUGHT BY SCHOOL 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 Sekgweng 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 5: TABLE 2: NUMBER OF CLASSROOMS TO BE CONSTRUCTED BY VILLAGE: 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 AMOUNT OF PUBLIC FUNDS SPENT TO MAINTAIN BDF 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. MINISTER OF PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (LT. GEN. KHAMA): Mr Speaker, four 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 Government? LT. GEN. KHAMA: Botswana Government, Mr Speaker. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Ga se SADC? 30th November, 1998 62 Response to the President Speech JUSTIFICATION OF MAKING PARENTS PAY DEVELOPMENT FUND TO DEVELOP SCHOOLS WHICH ARE NEITHER COMMUNITY NOR GOVERNMENT OWNED 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. MINISTER OF EDUCATION (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 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 ....(interruption)... 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: REPORT OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE ON SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES OF EXPENDITURE FOR THE CONSOLIDATED AND DEVELOPMENT FUNDS (FINANCIAL PAPER NUMBER 2 OF 1998/99) (Chairman Finance - Committee) MOTION 30th November, 1998 65 Response to the President Speech RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT’S 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 president”. 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. MINISTER OF LABOUR AND HOME AFFAIRS (MR 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 DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR NKATE): On a point of 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 recall? 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Aa! 30th November, 1998 79 Response to the President Speech MR KGOSIPULA: We are talking about the country. I am not talking about Dr Koma. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (inaudible) 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 country. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Tell them off. 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...... HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Bloody shit. RP/TAPE 211 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 said? 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. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) DR KOMA: I mean that such a person is insulting another Member who is ....... HONOURABLE MEMBERS (Inaudible) 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 mistake. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Like you used vulgar language? DR KOMA: Like you used vulgar language? HONOURABLE MEMBER: What did I say? 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....... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 tax...... MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (MR SEBEGO): On a point 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 issue......... HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is alleged that the businesses are gone. 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 fall........... 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 animals.......... HONOURABLE MEMBER: Is it due to poverty? DR KOMA: Yes, it is due to poverty. HONOURABLE MEMBER: They are wasting your time, proceed. 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 ........... MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (LT GEN MERAFHE): What you done for them? DR KOMA: I built Mahalapye Secondary School and the Community Centre.... HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Aa! 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..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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....... PROCEEDINGS SUSPENDED FOR APPROXIMATELY 25 MINUTES 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........ HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible). 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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) . . . . . HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible). 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 awareness........ HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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....... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (LT. GEN. MERAFHE): 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 House. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: One sixth. 30th November, 1998 111 Response to the President Speech LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Yes. HONOURABLE MEMBER: What does your Mathematics indicate? 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 Parliament. 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 Botswana. 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 circumstances? HONOURABLE MEMBER: That is a shame! LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I hope Batswana are judging us for what we are. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (inaudible) 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 ....(noise)... 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. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Yes. 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 foaming. 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 saying...(interruptions)..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: He is an imbecile. He is an imbecile 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 government.... 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 questioning. MR DINGAKE: Mr Speaker, I would like to make another clarification, I hope the Honourable Member would be able to understand. 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 Parliament. 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 proceed. 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? HONOURABLE MEMBER: Batswana. LT GENERAL MERAFHE: Which Batswana? MR SEBEGO: You mean the BCP Members in Parliament. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible). 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 precisely. 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 ... HONOURABLE MEMBER: Mr Speaker... 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. (laughter) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (inaudible) 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 HONOURABLE MEMBER: I am. 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 Opposition. 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. ....... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 enemies..... 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? HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) 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 Member. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) LT. GEN. MERAFHE: Mr Speaker, I am not yielding I want to debate....... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 world. 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 countries. 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. MINISTER OF EDUCATION (DR CHIEPE): Mr Speaker, I 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 seriously. 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 doubled. 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 situation. On issues regarding Sepopa Primary School, my response is as follows: (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 positions. 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. MINISTER OF PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (LT GEN. KHAMA): Thank you, Mr 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 much. 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. MOTION ADJOURNMENT 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) PRAYERS 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT LANDS AND HOUSING (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 ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT LANDS AND HOUSING (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 ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT LANDS AND HOUSING (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. TABLE 1: PRIMARY SCHOOLS FOR RENOVATION 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 QUARTERS MAJWANENG 1994 1999/2000 TEACHER‟S QUARTERS MOREMI TEACHERS‟ 1995 2000/2001 QUARTERS TABLE 2: PRIMARY SCHOOLS FOR UPGRADING SCHOOL NO. OF CLASSROOMS PROPOSED PERIOD 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 TABLE 3: HEALTH POSTS AND CLINICS FOR RENOVATION NAME OF FACILITY WORK TO BE DONE COMMENCEMENT OF WORKS 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 TABLE 4: HEALTH POSTS AND CLINICS FOR UPGRADING 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 post Seolwane health post Upgrade to clinic 2001/2 Lecheng clinic Clinic extension 2002/3 MOTION RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH (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 . . . . MINISTER OF LABOUR AND HOME AFFAIRS (MR TEMANE): On a Point of 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR 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 Members. 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 unconstitutional. 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 choice. 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.. HONOURABLE MEMBER: arrested. 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 here.. 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 ..... MINISTER OF LABOUR AND HOME AFFAIRS (MR TEMANE): On a point of 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 .... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 Africa. 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. MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (MR 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR 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 continue. 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 ruling. 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 GABATSHWANE: All right! 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 HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) MR RANTAO: They are there. What did you say about my chickens? HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible). 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 . . . . . . PROCEEDINGS SUSPENDED FOR APPROXIMATELY 25 MINUTES 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 Speaker. 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... HONOURABLE MEMBER: They dry up. MR RANTAO: We have the Chobe, Okavango... HONOURABLE MEMBER: They dry up. 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? HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) 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 somewhere... HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Where? 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) HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible). 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: Is he present? 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. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) 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 dwellings. 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)... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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)... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible). 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 helping. 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. MINISTER OF WORKS TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS (MR 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 points. 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 ...(interruptions) 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 lost? 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. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) 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 and 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... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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....... HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) 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 country. 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 ...... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 you. 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 undergraduate. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 discarded? 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible). 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible). 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... HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) 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 that. 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 programme. 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... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 rejected. The last point that I want to make is against... ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (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 government 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 stop. 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 presence. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: The Sanjis. 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. MINISTER OF WORKS, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS (MR 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 journalism. 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. MOTION ADJOURNMENT 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. PM241 Thursday 3rd December, 1998 THE ASSEMBLY met at 2.30 o’clock p.m. (THE SPEAKER in the Chair) PRAYERS **** 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. MINISTER OF FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (LT. GEN. MERAFHE): On a 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. MINISTER OF FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR 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. LEADER OF THE HOUSE (MR KWELAGOBE): On a point of 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 Speaker? 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 order. 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 questions. 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 problems......(laughter)...... Honourable Members we shall now skip the questions. RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH MOTION (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, ..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) MR KOOSALETSE: Mr Mothibamele please give me a chance. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 problem. 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 Africa..... 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 HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 .... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 anything. 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 culture. 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. PROCEEDINGS SUSPENDED FOR APPROXIMATELY 25 MINUTES 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 newspapers. 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 Balopi? HONOURABLE MEMBER: One thousand. 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 neck...(laughter)... 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 Mokgothu. 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. MINISTER OF FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR 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 improved. 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? HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Yes. yes. 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. . . HONOURABLE MEBER:(Inaudible) 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 before. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 Member? 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. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (Inaudible) 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 mud. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 amoebae. 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 ..... HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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? HONOURABLE MEMBER: He was absent. 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 BNF.... 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 Speaker. 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 . . . . . HONOURABLE MEMBER: What is that? MR ROBI: Section 77 and 78 of the Constitution. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 passed. 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 debate. 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 problem. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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. MINISTER OF EDUCATION (DR CHIEPE): Mr Speaker, we have 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 contribution. 30th November, 1998 361 Response to the President Speech HIV/AIDS 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 MOTION 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. MINISTER OF FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (MR 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 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 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 level. 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. MOTION ADJOURNMENT 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 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 PRAYERS **** QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER REVERSAL OF THE ORDER PROHIBITING TRIBAL POLICE BELOW THE RANK OF SERGEANT FROM UNDERTAKING PROSECUTION DUTIES 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (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. REVIEW OF THE PRACTICE GOVERNING ASSISTANT HEADMEN IN THE 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. ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LANDS AND HOUSING (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: Lerala Mokokwana 30th November, 1998 371 Response to the President Speech Mosweu Matlhakola Manaledi Goo-sekgweng Moremi Malaka 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 Speaker. RETRENCHMENT/RESTRUCTURING EXERCISE AT THE BOTSWANA 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 exercise; 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. MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (MR SEBEGO): Mr Speaker, 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. SICK LEAVE PAY FOR AN EMPLOYEE OF BADER ENTERPRISES 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. ACTING MINISTER OF LABOUR AND HOME AFFAIRS (MR MOKGOTHU): 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. COUNTRY-WIDE ASSESSMENT OF THE DROUGHT SITUATION 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 MOTION (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 there. 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 Canada. 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 Speaker. 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 HONOURABLE MEMBER: Even us. 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 ... HONOURABLE MEMBER: It is over ... 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 . . . . . HONOURABLE MEMBER: (Inaudible) 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 supplementaries. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (inaudible) 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. HONOURABLE MEMBERS: (inaudible) 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 hand. 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. HONOURABLE MEMBER: (inaudible) 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 ... MINISTER OF PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (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. PROCEEDINGS SUSPENDED FOR APPROXIMATELY 25 MINUTES 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 Speaker. Question put and agreed to. MOTIONS LIMITATIONS OF ALL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC MR MFA: Later date Mr Speaker. Motion deferred to a later date. NATIONAL STUDY TO ASSESS THE EXTENT OF ALCOHOL 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 him? MR SEBETELA: Later date, Mr Speaker. Motion deferred to a later date. 30th November, 1998 403 Response to the President Speech MOTION ADJOURNMENT 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.
Pages to are hidden for
"Monday 30th November_ 1998"Please download to view full document