Ministers were in a hot seat Monday afternoon as Members of Parliament (MPs) demanded answers on various issues during oral question and answer session. The debate was heated so much that the Speaker of the House, Margaret Nasha had to protect the Ministers at some stages. FRANCINAH BAAITSE covered the debate
MP of Tswapong North Prince Maele asked the Minister of Education and skills Development to state the number of schools with and without guard rooms in the Tswapong North constituency. He also wanted to know if the Minister was not considering constructing guardrooms for all schools without given that night watchmen face unfavourable weather conditions particularly during the rainy season.
Assistant Minister Patrick Masimolole: All Junior secondary schools in the Tswapong North Constituency have guardrooms, which have no doors. We will install doors during the current financial year in order to ensure that these structures are fully enclosed.
Maele: He is very aware that he is not telling the truth when he says all schools in Tswapong North have guard rooms. I would therefore want him to tell us which school has a guardroom without doors because as far as I am concerned the schools do not have the guardrooms!
Masimolole: I said all the six schools. I do not know why you did not tell me about these problems when I visited your constituency.
Nata MP, Ryner Makosha: On a point of procedure, it appears the Honourable Minister is actually asking questions instead of answering questions.
Speaker, Margaret Nasha: Sit down, sit down, you are wrong. Lets proceed. Look, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration has requested to make a statement this afternoon and I shall call upon him.
Minister Mokgweetsi Masisi: I need to correct my response to question number forty-two as asked by Honourable Phillip Khwae, MP for Kgalagadi North. Madam Speaker I wish to correct my denial that the strike by employees in Health services was illegal. Indeed the participation by essential service employees including health personnel in an otherwise legal public employees strike was illegal.
Shoshong MP, Phillip Makgaleme asked the Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Minister to confirm the accuracy of his answers to a Parliamentary question that was asked during the second session of the tenth Parliament on the projected rains for the 2010/11 ploughing season based on assessments by his Ministry.
He further asked him to state the geographical areas where most rains are expected and say if there has been any rain pattern changes in Botswana brought about by climate change.
Minister Kitso Mokaila: According to the seasonal rainfall outlook for the 2010/11, the entire country was expected to receive average to above average rainfall. The forecast was 87 percent accurate since most areas attained rainfall as predicted.
Variations from the forecast were observed in the Kasane area of the Chobe District, northern parts of the Kgalagadi District, Western parts of the Central District and Good Hope area. These areas experienced dry conditions.
According to the seasonal rainfall outlook of 2011/12-rainfall season, the whole country is expected to receive average to above rainfall.
The geographical areas where most rains are expected are in the northern and the South Eastern parts of the country. The analysis of the country’s rainfall statistics over the last 50 years shows a tendency towards slight decrease of rainfall especially over Maun, Ramatlabama and Kasane. The rest of the country does not show any statistically significant changes in rainfall trends.
The frequency of extreme events such as severe storms, high temperatures (Heat waves) and droughts seem to be on the increase. These extreme events are attributed to natural climatic variation as well as signatures of climate change.