Residents of Kgalagadi North have complained bitterly about their area Member of Parliament, Talita Monnakgotla, following her dismal performance at a special session last week to consider ammendments to the Covid-19 Regulations.
The residents’ concern arose after Monnakgotla’s contribution to an emergency Parliamentary meeting held at Boipuso Hall last week. The debate was characterized by majority of Members of Parliament from both side of the aisle not pleased with the way COVID-19 food hampers are distributed in their constituencies. Monnakgotla however, adopted a different angle by praising the government for fighting the pandemic in her constituency. In her presentation, she pointed out that even small scale businesses were awarded tenders to supply residents with food hampers. She cemented her presentation by informing the Parliament that everything concerning COVID-19 response is running smoothly in Kgalagadi North.
Her words infuriated residents and shortly after that social media was awash with complaints. Residents' main concern was that Monnakgotla was too economical with the truth about the COVID-19 response in Kgalagadi North constituency. Sources in a Kgalagadi North BDP WhatsApp group informed this publication that even Monnakgotla’s closest allies did mince words in their criticism of her. They feel embarrassed by her contribution in Parliament. As the late political commentator, Log Raditlhokwa once observed that BDP is built on politics of stomach, it is alleged that some within the BDP family are enraged demanding their share of tenders. Therefore, Monnakgotla’s assertion that they were awarded tenders rubbed salt to an injury.
Meanwhile, The Patriot on Sunday has it on good authority that to date some people have not been assessed by social workers, which creates uncertainty and anxiety about ever receiving relief food hampers. The issue threatens to create animosity between the vice Chairperson of Kgalagadi District Council, Moratwa Lekolori and social workers. Councillor Lekolori has repeatedly complained about the assessment rocess and the criteria used by social workers in the area.
Although Monnakgotla claimed on the floor of Parliament that small-scale businesses were awarded tenders in her constituency the reality is that only big shops are beneficiaries. The has escalated tension between Lekolori and Senior Assistant Council Secretary(SACS) for Hukuntsi Local Authority Joseph Banyatsang. Lekolori had advocated for priority to be given to small-scale businesses when awarding tenders for the supply of food packages but his advise was disregarded.
Even before she was elected Kgalagadi North MP, Monnakgotla failed to show leadership qualities or at least ability to effectively ventilate issues about her constituency. In different platforms such as political rallies and Radio Botswana debates, she struggled embarassingly. Clearly she is still wet behind the ears. Her political ambiguity has been fuelled by her followers who treat her like a cult figure due to her philanthropy.