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I知 politically neutral, Kokorwe vows

ONALENNA KELEBEILE
Kokorwe says she is even-handed in Parliament
MMADINARE: Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe says she is never partial when conducting parliamentary proceedings and will use her powers to take action against misbehaving MPs on both sides of the floor.

Addressing a kgotla meeting held to “take Parliament to the people” on Tuesday, Kokorwe dismissed comments by one community member who insinuated that the Speaker uses certain sections of the standing orders to put ‘opposition MPs’ at a disadvantage.

Martin Goitsemang said many MPs had expressed concern over the way Kokorwe conducted proceedings. He said the fact that Parliament sessions were not aired on national television was a disadvantage as the nation could not appreciate for itself how proceedings are conducted.

In the winter sitting of Parliament, the Umbrella for Democratic Change and Botswana Congress Party legislator, Dithapelo Keorapetse mounted legal action against Kokorwe saying she was abusing her powers.

In response Kokorwe said she was not a politician, arguing that impressions that  she was biased against the opposition were untrue. “I do my best to be impartial when conducting parliamentary business. However, I am going to continue using the standing orders to take necessary action against those elements of misconduct.

“I fully support the nation’s call

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for parliamentary proceedings to be aired on television because the nation would bear witness,” she said.

She said she supported proceedings being aired as Parliament had “nowadays changed completely with the peace that used to prevail in the past no longer there”.

“There used to be peace in the House in the past. Incidences of riots were only heard of in other countries. Nowadays it is tough. We try our best with my deputy to be impartial mathata lefatshe le a senyega as evidenced by incidents of missiles flying during sessions,” she said.

Kokorwe appealed to Mmadinare community to pray for the august House and said the standing orders would be used to take action against MPs who disrespect the National Assembly.  Leornard Mosweu, a community member said it was worrying to hear about instances of missiles flying in Parliament.

“We need true representatives not wrestlers and boxers in Parliament. You must make sure that whoever enters Parliament is thoroughly screened including legislators,” he said.



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