BY THOBO MOTLHOKA
Member of Parliament for Letlhakeng-Lephephe Liakat Kablay has called for corrupt leaders and government officials to be sentenced to death. In his response to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s State of The Nation Address (SONA) Kablay expressed his frustrations about corruption, calling it serious “disease” that needs to be dealt with. He said it was disheartening that public funds meant for developments are appropriated by a small group of people for their own selfish needs.
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chief Whip accused corrupt leaders of using public funds to enrich themselves and loved ones at the expense of the taxpayer. He said currently the punishment corrupt individuals receive for their looting is just a mere slap on the wrist.
“Under the current legislation ‘I know I only get to pay a small amount and enjoy the rest of the money while continuing to drive the Mercedes Benz I bought with the loot’,” Kablay said.
“We should come up with new legislation that will ensure that anybody found guilty of corruption gets capital punishment. Firing squad. Corruption kills, it destroys lives.” The MP said young people are roaming the streets jobless because corrupt leaders are busy stealing from the government coffers, funds that should be directed at improving the lives of citizens.
“Even if there are some within my party who are involved in corrupt practices we should do all we can to condemn such practices to let the public know that the BDP government is against corruption.”
Responding to Francistown South Member of Parliament Wynter Mmolotsi’s question on how many (should Kablay’s call for capital punishment on corrupt individuals be taken into consideration) of BDP Members of Parliament would be left standing, Kablay insisted he would still stick by his sentiment nonetheless.
Member of Parliament for Selebi Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse expressed his support for Kablay’s call for death sentence. “While I generally do not support capital punishment, I would if such a punishment was handed to corrupt individuals,” Keorapetse said. He said Botswana could learn a lot from China, where corrupt leaders are sentenced to death.
Kablay’s remarks come in the midst of possibly the biggest corruption scandal to hit the country, that of the National Petroleum Fund (NPF). The Directorate on Public Prosecution (DPP) has charged Bakang Seretse and Kenneth Kerekang with money laundering after former Director of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Isaac Kgosi had requested P230 million to be transferred from the NPF to a company called Khulaco and later transferred into international bank accounts. Initially the money requested by Kgosi was to be used for the spy agency’s fuel storage facilities but he later requested that the purpose for which he had taken the funds be changed to purchase national security equipment to fight anti-poaching and human trafficking.