Councillors plot to overthrow Deputy Mayor

Peter Madiya
Thursday, 21 January 2016
Francistown City Council Deputy Mayor Lechedzani Modenga Francistown City Council Deputy Mayor Lechedzani Modenga

Francistown City Council (FCC) Deputy Mayor Lechedzani Modenga who has been missing from office since November 24th 2015 will allegedly face a rebellion from his fellow Councillors upon his return.

This is according to information gathered by Northern Extra. The councillors say there is no option but to topple him from his position to pave way for a better candidate. A BDP councillor who didn’t want to be named accused Modenga of neglecting his duties as deputy mayor.

“During the November session, he was only present on the 23rd only to return the next day to drop a sick leave application. We have not seen him since that day and as councillors we are worried as there is no explanation given to us as to where he is,” said the councillor.

Mayor Sylvia Muzila admitted to have last seen Modenga during the November full council meeting last year. She however denied knowledge of any plot by BDP councillors to topple her deputy. She said that Modenga has not violated any rules or regulations by not sitting in his office at the Civic Centre. “Action can only be taken against a councillor who misses three consecutive full council meetings and in the case of Modenga he is currently free from any blame from FCC. He is not compelled to report at his office on a daily basis as his main area of focus is his ward where he is needed most by the electorate,” she said.

But the mayor’s assertions were quashed by an insider who said that the deputy mayor must also do mayoral duties. He was worried that Modenga’s phones are never answered. “In fact, on many occasions they are off air,” the insider revealed.

Muzila said that the city clerk can always locate the deputy mayor and inform him whenever there is need for him to be in the office. Muzila distanced herself from the rumours that her deputy might be in financial difficulties hence avoiding those he owes money by staying away from the office. Councillor for Kanana ward, which shares a boundary with Modenga’s ward, Cornelius Gopolang also admitted that for a long time the deputy mayor has not been seen in public.

“His sudden disappearance from the public is cause for concern since he is mandated to help Francistown residents in his office. If he is on sick leave, then the councillors have to know instead of speculating endlessly,” Gopolang said.

Gopolang could neither confirm nor deny knowledge of the looming motion of no confidence on the deputy mayor. Efforts by this publication in the past two weeks to contact Modenga’s mobile numbers hit a snag as none was available.

Another BDP Cllr feared that if Modenga continues with his absence, the party could lose the ward to the opposition in the next election. He said that even his position of deputy mayor was also not safe. “
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) councillor Gaone Majere did not hide his displeasure at the way Modenga is neglecting his office.

“I used to think that the city mayor Sylvia Muzila was selfish when she did not delegate her deputy. He is always absent. The man does not take his position seriously hence the need to give him the boot,” said Majere.He said that Modenga should be assisting the Mayor but that Muzila finds herself having to do everything all alone.

“We should put friendship aside and kick him out for the benefit of the residents of Francistown. He has an office which is forever vacant,” he said. He revealed that sometime in December 2015 he called Modenga to inquire about his whereabouts and that he said he was not feeling well. “I then advised him to resign and hand over the reins to someone capable and he said that he would consider that around March 2016. I am not even sure if he was serious,” he said.

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