Botswana: Minister of Finance Delivers Budget Speech

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Gaborone — Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Kenneth Matambo will this morning deliver the national budget speech in Parliament.

Through the Budget Speech, the minister is expected to give the nation feedback on the performance of the economy and how priority areas for the 2017/18 financial year went.

In his previous Budget Speech 12 months ago, Mr Matambo said government in 2017/18 was going to prioritise the development of diversified sources of economic growth and revenue, development of human capital, social development, sustainable use of natural resources, consolidation of good governance and strengthening of national security, and monitoring and evaluation.

Members of Parliament will then have approximately two weeks to debate the minister's speech.

Afterwards, Parliament will spend four weeks debating budget proposals for each government ministry for the 2018/19 financial year.

The last two weeks will be spent on legislation business before the budget session of Parliament ends on April 13.

Meanwhile, this session will see some operation developments, which include the introduction of Leader of the House Question Time.

National Assembly Speaker, Ms Gladys Kokorwe stated recently that a new provision in the amended Standing Orders allows Members of Parliament to ask their leader, usually the Vice President of the country, questions on selected issues.

The current Leader of the House is Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi.

"We amended the Standing Orders last year for smooth running of Parliament. The amendments will come into effect in this sitting and one of the new things we agreed is the Leader of the House Question Time. We will have it every other Thursday," she told reporters in Gaborone.

Ms Kokorwe explained that another amendment concerns a requirement for candidates for Specially Elected MPs to provide their written acceptance to avoid repeat of cases where people were nominated without their consent.

She further said the amended Standing Orders limit every MP to a maximum of two motions per a meeting, observing that it will give more legislators a fair chance to have their motions debated.

"We used to have a scenario where the Order Paper had many motions belonging to a single Member of Parliament and would go on for two consecutive Fridays. Now the Standing Orders have been revised for Members to have two motions per meeting," she said.

She also said the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Justice, Defence, Security and Governance Assurance has been renamed Committee on Governance Assurance.

Ms Kokorwe also confirmed that Gaborone North MP, Mr Haskins Nkaigwa has notified her office that he was crossing the floor from the Botswana Movement for Democracy to the Alliance for Progressives.

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