Member of Parliament for Tonota Thapelo Olopelo has dismissed as “hogwash and electioneering” claims that residents of his constituency were forced to make contributions for President Ian Khama’s presents.
On February 2,Tonota tipped all the scales of presents so far when it contributed 85 cattle, 35 goats, 22 sheep, and money, chicken and many other households items as well as cash of P100.000.00.
Speaking to BG News, Olopeng said those saying BaKhurutshe were forced to contribute are being economic with the truth. The MP is supported by Kgosi Goitsheka Hetang who was responsible for receiving livestock and money.
“The response and excitement from the residents as they were told the president is coming to bid them farewell was very high from the onset. BaKhurutshe decided that we are going to raise presents to give the president as our token of appreciation; they agreed that their presents will range from cash, livestock both small and many others as one would have been led by the spirit,” said the minister.
He added that, “When we met on Thursday a day before the visit around mid day, we had recorded that the number of cattle was 68. I then proposed that we should round the total number of cattle to 80. By that stage I personally had not contributed because all the cattle that I brought had been coming from my brothers and friends.
“I then offered to contribute 12 herds in order to round the figure to 80 cattle. But the following day, I got a call from the Council Secretary informing that there are five (5) more cattle contributed to make it 85”. Olopeng argues that this is evidently clear that Bakhurutse willingly contributed contrary to the allegations that people were forced to contribute, which is utter garbage.
“The response really humbled me as it is concrete evidence that if you have a constituency led by a united leadership from all the sectors then you cannot fail. We went all out working together leading our people to host our president. But what I want to make crystal clear is that, this is not a competition, we are not in competition with anybody. All that we simply did in Tonota was to try and thank the president because he served us well from the time when he was Inspector of the Botswana Police up until the presidency.
“He served this nation and country very well and Bakhurutse form part of the nation that he served”.