Kokorwe accuses MPs of thievery

Unproductive truant MPs: Kokorwe is concerned about the lack of quorum in Parliament
Unproductive truant MPs: Kokorwe is concerned about the lack of quorum in Parliament

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe, yesterday came short of labelling legislators thieves.

Kokorwe said she is tired of MPs who have tendencies of coming to register and sit for 10 minutes in Parliament before walking out.

“Golo moo ke go utswela sechaba madi a sone. Re tshwanetse go gakologelwa maikano a lo a dirileng le batho. Ba ikitse Mapalamente a teng le nna ke a ba itse. (There are some MPs who have a tendency of walking out of Parliament, especially if issues they are uncomfortable with are discussed. They know themselves as much as I know them),” she fumed.

Kokorwe also accused MPs of failing to attend the general assembly meetings where they are expected to air their grievances.

“Parties’ chief whips should talk to their members to address this problem. I know you want these issues to be addressed at the general assembly, but at times we should speak about these issues here,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chief whip, Liakat Kablay said the reason Parliament is failing to form a quorum is because MPs are busy with the Goodhope/Mabule by-election campaigns.

“Failure to form a quorum usually happens around 3.30 pm. I do not want to comment on the issue of general assembly because I believe they do attend it. I think some MPs have grievances about the way Parliament is run, but they fail to tell the Speakers,” he said. 

Dithapelo Keorapetse of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) said the Speaker of the National Assembly should run Parliament by the book.

“MPs are not prepared to discuss this Income Tax Amendment Bill. We have told ministers to always give us time to consult with our electorates on certain issues but they do not want to do that,” he said.

Keorapetse said other Bills had to be researched before the MPs debate them.

“I do not agree that MPs don’t take the general assembly seriously. They do attend meetings, especially those from the opposition,” he said.

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