Thursday, March 4, 2021

BCP top man runs for elections while holding civil service job in Selibe Phikwe

Speaker of the National Assembly, Margaret Nasha has said she will on Monday sack Selibe Phikwe West constituency administrative officer, Nzwalingwa Nzwalingwa from his job.

Nzwalingwa will lose his job because his name appears among the Botswana Congress Party candidates contesting in the primaries for Selibe Phikwe.

By law as a civil servant Nzwaligwa is not supposed to be active in politics.

Nzwalingwa has however defied the law and went ahead to contest party elections while keeping his government job.

In an interview with the Sunday Standard, Nzwalingwa said that there are some members of the BCP who have been campaigning for him. He denied ever submitting his name to the party central committee for purposes of the elections.

“I am not involved in the campaign, there are some people who have decided to campaign on my behalf, they are saying if my names win, then I can resign from the civil service.”

Asked how his name could be submitted to the party without his consent and not supported by an application made by himself, Nzwalingwa laughed and claimed ignorance of participating in the primary elections.

Speaker of the National Assembly said she had not been aware that Nzwaligwa was a BCP candidate.

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have just talked to BCP leaders and they have confirmed that he is indeed a candidate,” said Dr Nasha after saying she had to cross check.

The Speaker also confirmed with the Clerk of National Assembly who confiremed that Nzwalingwa still has a job as constituency administrator.

Contacted for comment, BCP information and publicity secretary, Taolo Lucas said the party has no rules that govern public servants who are their members.

“The issue of him being a civil servant is an issue between him and his employer. Those who apply for primary elections, we process their names; there is nothing that bars any civil servant from contesting. Maybe these are grey areas,” he declared.

Lucas said t his party has taken a position that issues of civil servants are between them and their employer.

Last year, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Babra Dithapo wrote a letter to all constituency offices warning administrative officers to desist from active politics. This was after administrative officer for Ngwaketse West constituency had declared that he was a Botswana National Front (BNF) member despite that his Member of Parliament (MP) Mephato Reatile had joined the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

If he wins the primaries, due this week, Nzwalingwa’s dismissal may prove to have come a bit too late to be of any consequence on him personally.

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