Fear Of Disunity May Explain Govt’s Hesitation With Constitutional Review

  • Discussion fails to add impetus to commencement of process
  • Minister says process should be approached with the utmost caution


The Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Dumezweni Mthimkhulu, yesterday shared some insights into the government’s thinking regarding embarking on its long promised review of the Constitutional of the Republic.

In a discussion themed “Towards a People-Driven Constitution,” Mthimkhulu sought to assure the nation that the government’s commitment remains as steadfast as ever but did not shed light on when the process was likely to begin.

“At the appropriate time, the process of consultations on the review of the constitution will commence,” he said.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s repeated expressions of his desire for a constitutional review and an undertaking of this in the elections manifesto of the BDP in 2019 galvanised the nation’s interest in the matter but there been no action in that regard.

Mthimkhulu said the government is pleased that it has caught the attention of many of our countrymen and women, Batswana but warned that “the constitution is a sensitive document and should, therefore, be reviewed with the utmost caution and sober minds”.

He continued: “I am certain that nobody in Botswana wishes for this envisaged process to be a cause of untenable divisions among us. Thus far, we have been a united and proud nation, and we must maintain the status quo. So, once the process commences, this attitude must inform us every step of the way. We must all aspire to come out of the process just as united, if not more united, than before.”

In his 2020 State of the Nation Address, the President again reiterated the government’s commitment to a constitutional review but also cautioned that the process is sensitive and ought to be handled with care.

In the discussion, the head of Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (BOCONGO) and the Democratic Governance thematic group, Pusetso Morapedi, said she could not understand what the government’s fear was all about and called on the government to expedite the process.