Opposition party councilors in Francistown have accused the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of usurping the control of Council Committees thereby unfairly benefitting.
BDP has a majority of 18 (eight nominated) councilors in Francistown while Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) have three councilors each. The selection criterion for membership to Council Committee was vehemently opposed during a full council meeting on Tuesday by six opposition councilors who said it was carried out without consultation. BDP councilors eventually backed down and agreed to a reselection and reshuffle.
First on the offensive was Ben Mpotokwane of Donga Ward who said the first draft was biased in favour of BDP councilors. “It is nothing but daylight robbery,” he lamented. In response to the disgruntlement nominated councilor Peter Ngoma suggested that there should be a reelection of the committee members. “There has not been any dictation if they want to propose against the list that has been already selected I think it will not be wrong for the list to be reshuffled,” he explained. Another nominated councilor Zazambe Tuelo echoed Ngoma’s sentiments. After the adjustment was made, Nyeku said that the first draft was unfair as some councilors were selected twice while others were never selected at all.
“We are all councilors representing different ward,” he said. After reselection Kgalajwe said as the selected committee they had made adjustment in favour of all councilors and they managed to agree on all the changes. “Some will be in three committees and some will be in two committees we had to compromise I too even compromised as I was taken out in one of the committees,” he explained.
Ikageng ward Botswana Congress Party (BCP) councilor Matsoo Sennye replaced Godfrey Kaelo of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) on Education committee; Mpotokwane of BCP replaced Themba Mbambo of BDP on Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) committee, Kgalajwe was taken from Education to Audit committee and replaced by Miketso Sambona of BCP and lastly on Liqour committee Mpotokwane replaced Mbambo.
However there was not any changes made in the Finance, Physical and Twinning committee. The newly-elected Mayor Slyvia Muzila urged councilors to elect chairpersons so that in the next council meeting the council should move forward. She said what remains is to serve the people that voted for them and they should bear in mind that whatever happens in the city it is their responsibility.