- Say voting to pass it would be political suicide
- Describe bill as a threat to the moral fabric of society
MPs of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) have vowed to vote against the controversial LGBTQI bill in order to save their political careers and protect society from moral decay, Chief Whip Liakat Kablay has said.
Following threats by Christian organisations to target MPs who will vote to pass the bill that seeks to outlaw discrimination against lesbians, gays and bisexuals and protect their rights, Kablay says he and his fellow MPs of the BDP are worried about the moral impact of such a law on society.
“I feel for the mover of this bill because the majority of our MPs have vowed to vote against it,” he said in an interview. “Most of those who have approached me raised concerns about the bill.
“They are against it because they feel it threatens the moral fabric of society and goes against religious beliefs. Significantly, it is an impediment to our population growth.
“How can we promote homosexuality when our population has been stagnant for so many years? We should be blaming our low population growth rate on this kind of moral decay.”
“I feel sorry for Shamukuni”
Kablay took advantage of the interview to warn the Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni, that tabling the bill has the potential to harm his political career.
“I feel sorry for Shamukuni because he is only doing his job as the minister upon whom this duty falls,” he said. “I wish people would not judge or crucify him because of this bill.”
The Chief Whip said MPs of the BDP share the views of Botswana’s Christian community about the bill and consider it a disgrace.
Kablay’s remarks come against the backdrop of a recent march organised by conservative Christian groups to demonstrate their displeasure and opposition to the bill.
The bill NO: 29 of 2022 follows a High Court of Appeal ruling that recognises the LGBTQ+ community and protects them against discrimination.