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Governance Structure

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Parliament of Botswana

Parliament of Botswana is the supreme legislative authority. The National Assembly is a representative body elected by universal adult suffrage and consists of men and women from all sections of society. Parliament was established on the 1st March 1965 as constitutional provision Chapter V part I Section 57-76. Even though the Parliament of Botswana comprises of two houses, National Assembly and Ntlo ya Dikgosi, it is only the National Assembly that has the powers to make laws that governs the country. According to Chapter V part III Section 77 of the Constitution, Ntlo ya Dikgosi was established as an advisory body to the National Assembly in matters of constitutional, customary, cultural and land issues.

The National Assembly

The National Assembly comprises of 65 members of Parliament, including the President and the Speaker being ex-officios, 57 members being elected by the constituents and 6 specially elected by Members of Parliament.

Roles and Functions:

  • Legislative role – Parliament debates and passes bills (proposed laws)
  • Oversight role – It watches over and checks the activities of Government through Parliamentary Committees, asking and answering questions, particularly during Questions Time.
  • Representative role – Speaking on matters of public importance, in which Members of Parliament discuss important current issues. Presenting petitions on behalf of citizens, among others.
  • Approval of the National Budget – National Assembly has the power to approve or reject the National budget put before the House by Government through the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

According to the Constitution of Botswana, there are three arms of government, namely :

  • The Executive
  • The Legislature
  • The Judiciary

Each of the above arms of state has its own functions which are independent from others. However, these three arms ensure that power is divided so that no arm has all the powers. This division of power is enshrined in the constitution and it is called “the separation of powers”.

Arms of Government

The Executive

After election, the party that wins the majority elects its President. The President

The Legislature

The second arm of state is th Legislature or Parliament. The responsibility of Parliament

The Judiciary

The Judiciary is different from the other two arms of state because its members are not