Even more, it tends to avoid the bloodshed that accompanies some presidential elections in Africa as seen in the Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe previously. What it fails to do, though, is become more democratic in allowing a seating President/Prime Minister to access the pool of citizens outside parliament for talent into Cabinet positions.
Looking through parliament, many people are having a difficult time coming up with a list of five people who would become great Vice Presidents. This is a blemish to the system. A President should be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking his Vice President. He should not do it ‘because there is little to choose from’ as it appears in this case. Under the current scenario, even the most likely, least controversial and most deserving Hon. Kedikilwe is a stop gap measure since he will be retiring from politics in 2014.
This is menacing. The parliament has 57 elected members. This 57 was not elected on the basis of whether they can make great cabinet Ministers or Vice Presidents. Given this, the people voted for those they believed would best represent their constituencies-not those they thought would best manager government Ministries. As a result, out of the 57 very few often come out as capable of running organizations, let alone complex government departments. If you say the technocrats are there, I agree. However, as the head of a Ministry, a Minister must provide strategic guidance/direction and supervision of his Ministry. If the Minister fails to do this adequately, the bureaucrats could easily slack or work without clear guidance hence fail to achieve the objectives that Government has set out. Besides, Ministers are more than symbolic figures occupying positions of privilege. They make decisions at cabinet level that impact on the well being of Batswana and people across the world. Such decisions ought to be made by the best persons we can get, or at least some of the best of the talent a country has to offer.
Under our system, as it is elsewhere where it is in place, the best of the talent our country has to offer is left out because they are not interested in running for parliament. Even if they wished to, there are only so many seats in parliament. We should open up entry into cabinet to people who are not in parliament. Our constitution needs attention on such clauses.
Our President is ready for such changes even if it means direct election of the President, our opposition parties have been calling for some of these for some time, civil society too. What then is holding us back? Why can we not reform our system; we do not have to throw everything out, we keep the good aspects and cast away the bad ones like I have just pointed out. In the process, we can develop our own hybrid combining the good aspects of a presidential system like they have in the USA with the good aspects of a parliamentary system like the one in the UK, Australia and most of the British Commonwealth.