Specially elected councilors must not expect to get any preferential treatment from their area members ofparliament, says Ben Mpotokwane, a Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Donga ward councillor.
The remarks follow a bitter feud between specially elected councillor James Kgalajwe and MP for Francistown East, Buti Billy.
Kgalajwe accuses Billy of an “unfair and cowardly” tendency demonstrated in a large part by Billy’s failure to invite him (Kgalajwe) to his political meetings.
“Since the MP took office, I have never received any invitation letter from his office inviting me for any consultative meeting which he frequently holds with other councillors including those from the opposition,” lashed out Kgalajwe, adding that the MP is insecure because he suspects that “Peter Ngoma and I are going to wrestle the constituency from him in 2019.”
But Mpotokwane finds nothing amiss with Billy’s conduct. In fact he reckons that specially elected councillors must not be invited to meetings because unlike others, they are not attached to any ward.
“Billy is very cooperative as he invites all councillors to his meetings irrespective of party affiliation. If he was biased, he could be leaving the opposition councillors out of his programmes but he is not doing that as he is a leader of the people,” said Mpotokwane.
He said that specially elected councillors should smell the coffee and start attending constituency meetings without expecting to be formally invited. Another BCP cadre, Ephraim Maiketso concurred with Mpotokwane. “I have absolutely no problems working with Billy as he normally invites me and other councillors to his office when it’s necessary,” he said.
For his part Billy reiterated that nominated councillors should come to his meetings without any fears as they represent Francistown City Council. “No one will stone them when they feel like attending any meeting I have arranged since they are also part of us.
They should just forget about complaining and attend meetings irrespective of whether they have been invited or not. When I call other councillors who were elected at their respective wards, there is no point for me to extend such invitations to specially elected councillors since they do not have any ward to represent,” he said.