Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) specially nominated councilors in the Maun East Constituency have accused their area MP, Goretetse 'Cut' Kekgonegile of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) for snubbing them on constituency affairs.
Kekgonegile has reportedly vowed that he will not engage the two nominated councilors on any official constituency issues during his five years political term in parliament disputing their appointment. With this emerging allegations it then means that Kekgonegile has chosen to differ with his own political comrade, Dumelang Saleshando who recently indicated that he will work with all councilors in his constituency including those who were specially nominated. The Maun West Member of Parliament who is also Leader of the Opposition said he saw it important to work with the councilors even though they do not agree with the procedure that was used to appoint them. Saleshando capitulated that the nominated councilors at the end of the day are councilors like any other.
Confirming their grievance to this publication the councilors, Keebonye Mphoyamodimo and Nico Folae claims to have been informed by those close to Kekgonegile that the MP has not yet made peace about their return back to a political office. The two were nominated back to the North West District Council after they lost the 2019 general elections to the opposition. Mphoyamodimo was councilor for Boseja North while Folae was councilor for Boseja South from 2014 to 2019.
The councilors alleges to have heard how Kekgonegile does not want anything to do with them as he reportedly regards them as, ‘makhanselara a bo tona’ loosely saying the two only belongs to the Ministers. Mphoyamodimo and Folae have always been known to be blue eyed boys of Former Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Kostantinos Markus who is also known to be a close associate to Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane. The opposition believes that the appointment of the two democrats was as a favour from the alleged relationship something which they have however denied.
The two councilors revealed that Kekgonegile has already started to sideline them in planning of the government’s introduced Constituency Community Projects programme. Councilors, Village Development Committees as well as Members of Parliament are key players in planning of the 10 million constituency fund that seek to economically empower communities and also create job opportunities.
According to Mphoyamodimo, they started to realized that they were being snubbed by their MP after they were not invited to partake in series of meetings meant to discuss the Constituency Community Projects (CCP) programme. The councilors according to Mphoyamodimo did not have a say in the proposed 20/21 Maun East Constituency Community Projects that were this past week endorsed by the Maun Sub Council as they were closed out. “When he was asked why he has not invited us to the CCP meetings that were held at his office, Kekgonegile is said to have responded that we are not his councilors,” claimed Mphoyamodimo. Folae also shared the same sentiments adding that Kekgonegile has boasted about how he does not know and recognize them.
Though they believe this to be part of politics the councilors have however expressed concerned that the decision and route that Kekgonegile is taking will have an negative impact in developing the Maun East Constituency. “This is a serious drawback and i do not see any sense in all it,this it,” Folae criticized.
Folae indicated that some of the projects which were part of the CCP programme in Boseja South are already suffering because of Kekgonegile’s decision. He highlighted that some them which were supposed to be completed in this financial year have since been abandoned. Mphoyamodimo also added that Kekgonegile and his new team seem to be misinformed about some of the projects in Boseja North because they have chosen not to ignore him though he could have been of great assistance to them. He highlighted that Kekgonegile treats some of the projects which were already on the pipeline from the previous years as new projects claiming to be the one who has established them.
Despite being rejected the councilors have however indicated that they are willing and open to assist Kekgonegile where ever possible on issues that intend to develop their constituency. The councilors also added that they will attend all of Kekgonegile’s events that will be open to the general public.
When reached for his comment recently Kekgonegile denied ever rejecting the nominated councilors. He briefly explained that the only reason why the two were not invited to the CCP planning meetings was because they do not represent any wards in the constituency.