- Chief whip accuses unnamed ministers of sponsoring his challengers
- Says he will stand his ground and fight
Government Whip Liakat Kablay has accused some ministers of sponsoring a campaign to remove him as MP for Letlhakeng-Lephephe ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Although he prefers not to reveal their names yet, Kablay says he is fully aware who these ministers are and what their mission is. “I am aware of their plans,” he told The Gazette in an interview this week.
“I understand that they want to punish me because they believe that I am always against them in Parliament. They have even gone as far as pledging campaign funds for those who want to challenge me in primary elections.”
According to him, more than four people are preparing to challenge him in the primaries of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) next year. “The most unfortunate thing is that they are now playing the tribal card,” Kablay said.
“They are telling voters that I am not one of their own. This constituency was a Botswana National Front (BNF) stronghold for a very long time until I decided to challenge Gordon Mokgwathi in 2009 and I won it for the BDP.”
The Chief Whip has vowed to stand his ground and fight against the ministers whom he says think themselves “too powerful” for any MP or backbencher to call to account or offer advice to. “This is one of the biggest problems with the 12th Parliament,” Kablay said.
“Each time you differ with some of them, they see you as an enemy. As Chief Whip, I have the authority to speak up when things aren’t going well. My duty is to protect the image of this government and I will continue to do so without fail.”
Kgotla meetings without MP
Kablay added that he has received similar complaints from fellow backbenchers decrying sabotage by some ministers. “Some of these ministers actually have the guts to hold Kgotla meetings without even inviting the MPs,” he charged.
“When Parliament reconvenes, I will discuss all of these issues at our next Parliamentary caucus. I will even make sure that I reveal the names of these ministers before the Leader of the House (Vice President Slumber Tsogwane) and HE (President Mokgweetsi Masisi).
BDP spokesman Banks Kefentse’s phone rang unanswered on Tuesday afternoon.”