Residents of Chobe have pleaded with government not to demarcate their constituency, which they said has a small population and can easily be managed by one Member of Parliament.
The residents expressed their views during the delimitation commission consultation meeting held in Kasane on Wednesday. The mandate of the commission is to look into the possibility of increasing constituencies and council wards in the country.
It also aligns boundaries taking into account population density, boundaries of tribal territories and administrative districts, natural community interests, means of communication and geographical features. The last delimitation which is held after every 10 years was conducted in 2013.
In Kasane one of the residents, Timothy Samunzala posited that the Chobe constituency consists of a small population, as such dividing it into two may hinder developments in the area. Samunzala is of the view that most important advantage is that single-member parliamentary constituencies like Chobe provide a direct link between voters and their representatives.
He said it also helps voters to hold their representative accountable if they do not act in accordance with voters’ interests and also vote them back in office if their performance merits.
Satau resident, Kenneth Kasane also buttressed that Chobe constituency is too small and consists of only seven villages as such one member of parliament can easily manage the area. He believes that increasing the number of members of parliament within the constituency would not be a reasonable decision.
Mbambi Kashweeka a resident of Plateau also argued that their constituency is still manageable as it is made up of less than 20 000 people, “So it is upon the residents to find out how they can increase their population to allow for the division of the constituency in the next coming years,” he noted.
He further argued that developments are not only determined by the number of people noting that in some instances the geographical location of the region is also considerable in the implementation of developmental projects. Kaswheeka has emphasised that a geographic link also facilitates the exchange of information between voters and their representatives and promotes community services on behalf of constituents.
The commission which was appointed by the Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission on May 13th this year is on doing country wide consultations to get views from Batswana on the delimitation process.