- Speaker of Parley in the dark about Guma’s whereabouts
- Police say no case has been lodged by Guma
The Speaker of National Assembly Gladys Kokorwe says she is still unaware of Tati East Member of Parliament (MP) Guma Moyo’s whereabouts, but should he remain longer than he should in his self imposed exile his seat in parliament will soon become vacant.
Last month, the former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairman fled the country under controversial circumstances. The MP left a note with the Speaker of Parliament informing her that he was leaving the country after a tip off from security agents that his life was under threat. Moyo claimed that there was a plot by the Director General of Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) to assassinate him. However, the government through the Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupusi dismissed Moyo’s claim with ‘great disappointment’ adding that some members of the ruling BDP continue to create an atmosphere of political uncertainty in the country by falsely claiming that they are being targeted by the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) and other law enforcement agencies.
It was later revealed by Guma’s political ally Venson Moitoi that Moyo had sought for refuge at an undisclosed hiding place in South Africa. This week, Kokorwe told The Botswana Gazette that there has not been any communication from Moyo since his controversial exit from the country.
“Just like everyone who goes absent, I received a note from Honorable Moyo informing me that he was leaving the country since his life was under threat. We don’t know why he left, because he never really explained anything in his note. Since then, we have never heard anything from him and we do not know where he is,” said the former Thamaga constituency MP.
Kokorwe informed this publication that Moyo’ is still earning his full salary without any interruptions.
“If he remains absent from parliament for longer than he should, we will definitely take the necessary measures. If its over the set period, his seat in parliament will become vacant,” she said.
According to Parliament Standings Article 16: 1&2 an MP’s seat in Parliament can only become vacant if they miss two consecutive meetings without notice. The Article reads “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. 16.2 For the purposes of section 68 (1) (b) of the Constitution it is hereby prescribed that the seat of any Member shall become vacant if, without the leave of the Speaker obtained in writing before the end of the last of the meetings referred to in this paragraph, that Member is absent from the Assembly for two consecutive meetings occurring during the same session.”
Meanwhile, the Botswana Police Services have told The Botswana Gazette that Guma has not lodged any case regarding his assassination claims. BPS Public Relations Officer Near Bagali said, “We have not received any report. We have only read about in the papers and from our side there is nothing to talk about.”
Furthermore, the South African High Commission in Botswana says they have no information on Moyo’s reported asylum in SA. Bulelwa Kiva, SA Deputy High Commissioner, last week Wednesday referred this publication’s enquiries to the Ministry of Defence Justice & Security after she revealed that she was unaware of the matter.
The Office of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence did not respond to our questions before going to press.
Last week this publication also revealed that Moyo is facing revolt in his constituency as electorates threaten to vote for the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) should his party fail to recall him from office. Members of Tati-East constituency are said to want Moyo recalled from his candidacy and replaced by Sean Sebele who lost the primary against him last year.
Guma has not responded to all questions sent to him by The Botswana Gazette.