Members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi convened this week to deliberate on the Constitution Amendment Bill which seeks to increase the number of Members of Parliament from 57 to 61.

The Bill reaches Ntlo ya Dikgosi after Parliament approved a Motion by MP for Gaborone North Mpho Balopi in April this year. The urgent Ntlo ya Dikgosi meeting will consider the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill.

In the Motion brought on urgency, MP Balopi had requested that "Parliament resolves as a matter of urgency to allow for the amendment of Section 58 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Botswana to increase the number of Elected Members of the National Assembly from 57 to 61.”

Parliament agreed to increase elected Members of Parliament and by extension constituencies from 57 to 61. This means that in the next general election scheduled for 2024 there will be additional four constituencies.

The constituencies might however increase further depending on the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission which has been set up by President Mokgweetsi Masisi. The decision to increase the MPs was adopted by Parliament.

Tabling the motion Balopi argued that Section 58(2) (a) should be amended to allow the increment as there is an indication that Botswana's population has increased. He added that the number of elected MPs was done 20 years ago.

“Even though the outcome of the population census is yet to be released, it is indisputable that the population of the country has increased. This increment, therefore, calls for the increment for the MPs because as things are today some MPs are overwhelmed because the number of constituents has outgrown representation,” Balopi said when tabling the motion.

Balopi argued that although he appreciates that the delimitation of constituencies should be guided by the population census outcome, Parliament is compelled to adopt the amendment on an urgent basis as delimitation will be conducted when Parliament is on recess