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Ex-MPs form association

Publishing Date : 14 May, 2018


Former Members of Parliament, who feel they have been left in the lurch, have resolved to form an association, whose objective is to ensure they are recognized by current leaders as originators of Botswana’s economic development, WeekendPost has been informed.

The Association of Former Members of Parliament will act as an advisory body to the government of the day on matters of national interest, a source has revealed. The former MPs, it is said, are disgruntled by decisions taken by both the former administration of Lt Gen Ian Khama, and currently, Mokgweetsi Masisi’s.

The decision to form the association was championed by mostly Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) erstwhile members like Ray Molomo, Shirley Segokgo and Daniel Kwelagobe who are also sitting in the provisional committee. Other BDP MPs like Margret Nasha and Pono Moatlhodi who had a fallout with Khama have also warmed up to the idea. It is nonetheless not going to be a BDP centred association but will include other former legislators across the political divide.  

The members have met before at a location known to this publication to sell the idea to their comrades and invited President Mokgweetsi Masisi where a proposal was presented to him. “We informed him about it and he came to one of our meetings and he spoke like a leader, warmly endorsing the idea to found this association,” an informant told this publication.

While the association is yet to be signed and stamped at the Registrar of Societies, former Minister of Education, Ray Molomo has been elected as the chairman with Shirley Segokgo taking up the Secretary General position on interim basis; other positions are yet to be filled, according to sources. By far, it is said the association has managed to attract around 80 ex-parliamentarians and the interest continues to grow with each passing day.

The association’s secretary Segokgo could not be drawn into discussing further details about the newly formed association. “We are still in the process of registering but we will be launching it very soon and that is when we can reveal much of the information,” she said.
Meanwhile, former MP Daniel Kwelagobe has confirmed the developments. “It is true, we are forming an association for former MPs, and everyone who has been a legislator before can join regardless of the party colours or the duration of the term.

The fact that you were once an MP allows you to join it.” He added: “We want to contribute to the national development of this country, we were once leaders and we shouldn’t be redundant as it might appear, we have brains and experience to use for the betterment of Botswana and this association will help us to speak from an authoritative perspective.”

While sources were still cagey to reveal much about the association, it is expected that at the launch of the association, former Presidents Festus Mogae and Khama will also be unveiled as members. “For you to be a president you first become an MP and we expect them to join. But don’t press me to say anything as yet, because we are still to register,” Kwelagobe said.

Past legislator and deputy speaker of the national assembly Pono Moatlhodi has hailed the move. “It is very important to have this association because as former legislators we are poor; there is no pension or any benefits. When you lose elections you are thrown out and forgotten but as former MPs we are lifetime members of the commonwealth parliamentary forum,” he said.



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