The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chief whip Liakat Kablay has expressed disappointment in minister Kabo Morwaeng, who on Friday refused to update Parliament on issues of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine roll-out and suspension of online permits.
Kablay told The Monitor he deemed Morwaeng’s refusal as a dereliction of duty to Parliament matters and a clear indication that some ministers do not take the August House seriously.
“Issues regarding the COVID-19 vaccination and travel permits should be taken seriously as they affect people’s lives. Questions or queries that people raise concerning the matter must be addressed whether good or not.
Members of Parliament represent the people’s views and therefore ministers must be in a position to answer them. Morwaeng (the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration) should have prioritised addressing Parliament rather than telling the speaker of the National Assembly that he would [not] address it (the House) on the matter,” Kablay called out Morwaeng.
The chief whip said he will raise the issue at the parliamentary caucus so that some ministers can explain their actions. He said the caucus is the one at which he could ask
We all need to take Parliament seriously because our acts at times might backfire on us. Parliament is live and some Batswana believe that we are not serious or do not take their concerns seriously,” he added.
However, Kablay said the reason why some BDP MPs were in support of members of the opposition was that people have complained to them about the travel permit issues as well. In addition, he said the minister should give people alternatives on what they could do, especially those who want to bury their loved ones if movement is blocked.
He advised that since COVID-19 cases or deaths have increased, then applications for permits should each be assessed differently, looking at the merits.