- Says the President wants to supervise the choice of his security
The Leader of the Opposition, Dumelang Saleshando, says he intends to sue President Mokgweetsi Masisi for failing to afford him the security detail that he is entitled to at his residence.
Addressing the media in Gaborone on Monday, Saleshando – who is the president of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and MP for Maun West, said legally the Leader of the Opposition is officially entitled to provision of security at his or her residential place.
“I enjoyed this privilege when I was Leader of the Opposition during my time as the MP for Gaborone Central,” he pointed out. “Duma Boko enjoyed it as well when he served as the Leader of the Opposition.
“However, since I regained this seat in November 2019, this administration has refused to afford me what I am entitled to, which is security paid for by the government.”
According to Saleshando, the procedure is for the Leader of the Opposition to choose his preferred security company with the approval of the Speaker of the National Assembly. However, he said, this time around the government is opposed to this and instead President Masisi wants to oversee which company is engaged to provide his security.
Saleshando said he disagrees with this because it is unlawful and will therefore take legal action against to compel the President to comply with the official arrangement.
The Publicity Secretary of the BCP, Dr Mpho Pheko, told the press conference that Saleshando has already prepared papers to sue the government for failure to provide security at his place of residence.
“This is provided for by the law,” Pheko said. “Basically, other Leaders of the Opposition have been allowed to identify and secure providers (of security) at their places of residence, and government, as per the law, paid for the services. However, since Saleshando took over, contrary to the law and practices of past administrations, President Masisi has demanded that he wants to choose security providers for the Leader of the Opposition.”
She added that Saleshando has been footing his security bill because of the President’s intransigence and disregard for the law.