The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has defended its councillor in the Kweneng District Council (KDC) who allegedly assaulted another councillor outside the council chambers early this week.
On Monday this week Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Councillor Tona Selala of Thamaga North laid assault charges against the Molepolole/Lentsweletau Sub-district Council chairperson, Botokanyana Motoroko. A special KDC meeting had been convened to discuss the tragedy that befell Matsha College students last week.
BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane said the issue involving the two councillors is in the hands of law enforcement and as BDP they are restrained from saying much. “But from what our councillors report, councillor Motoroko reacted to insensitive taunting and ridicule from the earlier session where some UDC councillors were provocative and behaved as if they are more aggrieved than all other Batswana by saying things like ‘BDP ke babolai’. It is unfortunate that those UDC councillors behaved in a manner meant to generate political capital out of a national tragedy,” Ntuane stated.
The secretary general said although as the BDP they cannot and do not condone violence, people must know that acts of provocation lead sometimes to unpleasant counter reactions. As for disciplinary action against Motoroko, he said that is a non-starter given the levels of provocation BDP councillors were subjected to on Monday. “By doing that we would be rewarding those who were provocative and making mileage out of the loss of those school children”.
Ntunae wondered if the UDC would take disciplinary action against them (UDC councillors) for what he termed 'misbehaviour'.
“In fact, given that we are a majority in KDC hadn’t our other representatives showed restraint, the situation would have turned out worse. Going forward the lesson we should all draw from the incident is that national tragedies are not occasions for political grand standing and opportunism”.Selala dismissed Ntuane's claims as baseless. He said Ntuane’s utterances are very disappointing to be coming from a leader of his stature. Selala told this publication that no UDC member uttered words of provocation. He said the BDP councillors might have misled their party leadership on the issue.
The brawl between the two councillors came about after the KDC Chairman Jeffry Sibisibi briefed a special full council meeting about the Matsha students’ tragedy. Selala said he clashed with Motoroko when the latter objected to the chairman’s speech being debated by fellow councillors.