On Monday a media colleague posted on social media, a picture of Members of Parliament going through a metal detector machine before entering the National Assembly house. Parliament has forthwith introduced a detecting machine that MP’s are required to go through to ascertain they do not have any dangerous weapons such as knives in their possession. Since independence, and fifty years later, no one would have ever thought such security measures would be necessary at parliament. The ruling party executives say they have introduced such screening of MP’s because they fear for their security in light of the hostility currently prevailing in parliament. You see I have a problem with how the BDP executives are addressing the issue. Instead of addressing the cause, they have opted to address the symptoms and that, to me, smacks of utter stupidity. What they have done is more like concentrating on giving people ARV’s while neglecting the encouragement of sex safe. Anarchy in parliament is not caused by the easy access to weapons in parliament. It is rather caused by the frustrations that MP’s endure on a daily basis from the speakership. Our parliament has become a war-zone, a platform for hatred and anger, all thanks to Madam Speaker Gladys Kokorwe and her deputy, MP Molatlhegi. Instead of addressing MP’s accessibility to weapons, the BDP executives must first deal with why there is a lot of anger from the opposition MP’s.
We are told that these new security measures came about following Mogoditshane MP Sedirwa Kgoroba’s frustration which resulted in him throwing a water bottle at a BDP member of parliament. Surely Kgoroba didn’t launch that attack just for the fuck of it. He must have been pushed to a point of no return where he lost his cool after the now systematic mistreatment at the hands of Kokorwe and Molatlhegi. Perhaps before I go any further, let it be known I do not condone any form of violence in parliament or anywhere else. I must however hasten to state that in the same breath, I do not condone provocation to other people because I know how it can easily lead to the provoked venting out in retaliation, in the manner devised by Kgoroba. I don’t understand how searching MP’s will stop them from getting frustrated when mistreated by Kokorwe and Molatlhegi. I don’t foresee any MP getting into parliament with a knife, with the sole purpose of butchering another colleague. A bottle was used to hit another MP and I don’t understand how MP’s will be stopped from having bottled water inside parliament. Without planting any ideas on the MP’s, perhaps Kgoroba should have slapped the other MP so we could see if they would now be handcuffed the entire time they are in parliament. Weapons are not a problem at this juncture. The problem is the biasness at which Kokorwe and Molatlhegi conduct parliamentary business. You can stop them from bringing knives but can you really stop them from spitting saliva at their opponents? Can you stop them from throwing diaries at their opponents?
You can’t stop them from throwing shoes at other MP’s. There is however one thing that can be and must be stopped if at all we need sanity to prevail in our parliament. The speakership must treat all legislators with equal respect and consideration. Kokorwe and Molatlhegi have reduced themselves to BDP puppets where it has become a norm that all the nonsense that comes from the BDP side is tolerated while opposition MP’s are not given the right to freely contribute to the deliberations. Opposition members continue to be humiliated and treated as second citizens in the house and surely it is not surprising that they are now expressing their frustrations physically. It’s a pity that Kokorwe has reversed all the gains that were being made by her predecessor, Margaret Nasha. Nasha was fighting for the independence of parliament from the executive and she was slowly but surely winning. Unfortunately her efforts rubbed the BDP executives the wrong way and they made sure to remove her and vote in someone they could control. Kokorwe now feels she owes her allegiance to the BDP executives who brought her back to parliament after appeasing her with a diplomatic post in Zimbabwe after she lost the elections. It is very interesting, or should I say annoying, that while they refuse to beam parliamentary proceedings on national television, citing lack of funds, the same people were quick in acquiring a detector machine that surely doesn’t come cheap. They can’t deploy just two camera operators from BTV but they have enough money to deploy DIS agents to man the detector machine at parliament. Talk of skewed priorities. Batswana have long called on televised parliament sessions and this would have given us the opportunity to see how Kgoroba ended up losing his cool. We would have had the opportunity to see if he was provoked or if he just chose to be an ass. For as long as Kokorwe and Molatlhegi frustrate other MP’s, violence will forever remain the hallmark of our parliament. Let us address the cause and not the symptoms.
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