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The backbench is a blessing- Kablay

DETERMINED: Kablay

I am not quitting anytime soon- Kablay

Member of Parliament for Letlhakeng/ Lephepe, Liakat Kablay is delighted to have retained his position as BDP Chief Whip.

Although there have been allegations that he was disgruntled after he was yet again overlooked for a ministerial position, Kablay has dismissed such allegations in an interview with The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA.

Congratulations on your nomination.

I am very delighted by the re- election to the role of Chief whip by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

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It shows that I did things right in the last parliament and I promise to keep working hard for the country and for our party.

I have been criticised before for speaking to the media and being open minded and I thought I was not going to make a comeback as Chief Whip.

The nomination has motivated me to whip the MPs even more so that they do what is right in parliament.

There have been allegations that you were upset that you didn’t make it into cabinet.

I know those allegations but I was never upset. I was just happy that I retained my seat as an MP.

I worked hard for that. I worked under former President Ian Khama for 10 years and he never considered me for a Ministerial position.

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One thing that you have to know is that being overlooked for a ministerial position can be a blessing in disguise.

Majority of former Ministers lost elections because they focused more on their Ministerial jobs and forgot about their constituencies, so maybe it is a blessing in disguise that I was left out.

If the man who chooses cabinet does not see that I deserve to be included, then there is nothing much I can say except to help in building our party.

Is there a particular Ministry you had wished to lead?

Yes, I want to be a Minister for Local Government, it is close to my heart.

I come from an impoverished constituency and from that ministry I could effectively push for more developments in the area.

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What has been your first assignment as Chief Whip?

I have been in meetings with the backbench discussing our issues and our expectations.

We don’t want a situation where we don’t have answers for poor or no service delivery by government

What do you mean?

We want a good working relationship with Cabinet because we are from the same party.

Ministers are not supposed to undermine us.

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Have you been undermined before?

Yes in the past, Ministers brought motions to parliament without even consulting us and then expected us to keep quite as if we were in the know.

We were then labeled as rebels who wanted to oust some from their positions but we could not just agree for the sake of agreeing.

What was happening in the 11th parliament should not happen in this sitting.

I have spoken to the Vice President about our concerns as the backbench.

Ministers must brief their Permanent Secretaries about the BDP Manifesto so that they see that it is implemented.

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People voted us into power because of our manifesto and we must walk the talk.

Are you prepared for the motion of no confidence on HE if tabled again?

That motion is dead! People lied saying the opposition was asking support from us the backbench because we are disgruntled for not making it into cabinet. That’s a big lie.

If we remove Masisi then it gives opposition a chance to take over government and that is something that we don’t want.

We have confidence in Masisi and MPs must know that some of us were voted because of him, people were voting for Masisi not us and therefore we can not turn our backs on him.

There is talk of motion on floor crossing, what is your take?

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Opposition should not rely on us for their motion on floor crossing.

I told the BDP MPs that those who will connive with opposition should kiss BDP goodbye.

We are certain that no one from our side will cross.

What about BDP getting members from opposition?

Yes it is possible.

Are you referring to Pono Moathodi?

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Of course, I can bet with you, we are getting him before the end of next year.

Why do you say that?

He is one of us, he likes Masisi very much and every time the President makes his way into the house, Moathodi’s face lights up with joy.

He smiles, cracks jokes and even consults him more than us.

When are you retiring from politics?

I haven’t considered quitting maybe I will contest for the last time in 2024.

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