Controversy over Tshekedi’s seat

Daniel Chida
SEROWE NORTH MP: Tshekedi Khama

I can contest again and win – Tshekedi

Member of Parliament for Serowe West, Tshekedi Khama, who is in self-imposed exile in South Africa, has rubbished suggestions that he was no longer MP for his area.

On Wednesday, Deputy Speaker, Pono Moathodi, told the media that Tshekedi was automatically disqualified from his seat as MP as per the Parliament Standing Order 16.2. In his interview, Moathodi said that Standing Order 16.2 states that should a member fail to attend two consecutive sessions of parliament, his/her seat automatically becomes vacant. “This is clear and Tshekedi is not above the law. He missed the sessions. During my time as Acting Speaker for two months, I tried to reach him through MP for Serowe South, Leepetswe Lesedi, but I never got any feedback. The constituency does not have an MP and necessary steps like going for a by-elections will be put in place,” declared Moathodi.

However, Tshekedi dismissed Moathodi’s assertions, saying he followed the procedure by notifying the Speaker about his absence. “On the 23rd March, 2023 I wrote to the Speaker notifying him of threats to myself and my family and unlawful detentions by the DIS, which forced me to stay outside the country. I asked the Speaker to guarantee me that when I return, I will be able to attend parliament. His office acknowledged receiving my letter but never responded, so what wrong did I do?”

Tshekedi said that Moathodi was not referring to Section 6.1, which says any member who is unable to attend a meeting of the Assembly shall acquaint the Clerk as early as possible of his or her inability to attend, because he knows that it was done.

Tshekedi said that it was surprising that Moathodi, who used to call him to facilitate for a meeting with his brother, the former President, Ian Khama, in Mosu, does not have the decency to call him now but chooses to address him through the media. “I am not surprised because he came crying asking for help and promising to remove BDP from power but, after he got help, he defected to the same party he promised to remove.”

Tshekedi went further and said that he was not bothered by a call for a by-election because he can still contest and win. “The law doesn’t exclude me from standing again. If they call a by-election again, there are many capable people in the BPF who can stand and win any day in Serowe, unlike the BDP,” he added.

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