Two Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary aspirants for Tonota constituency are alleged to have nearly engaged in a fist fight as Sekoko Primary School celebrated its tenth anniversary last Friday.
The duo, incumbent and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Pono Moatlhodi and Thapelo Olopeng, are alleged to have nearly turned the event into a boxing ring as they exchanged unsavoury words with each other.
Although Olopeng dismisses the whole episode as something intended to tarnish his image ahead of the primary elections, Moatlhodi on the other hand confirmed the incident saying had he not walked away from the charging Olopeng, a different story would be in circulation.
“Olopeng threatened to beat me up. He said he was going to box me up. I walked away from him as he came charging in a fighting mode. He nearly assaulted me. If I had not walked away from him, he would have assaulted me. His gripe is that I have written a letter of complaint to the central committee. I am eagerly waiting him to come and see where he intends to land his punches,” said Moatlhodi.
Asked what his complaint to the central committee is all about, Moatlhodi declined to divulge saying, “I can’t discuss the issues I raised in the letter of complaint as the Central Committee will deal with the issues.”
Moatlhodi also confirmed that he had not reported the matter to the police.
An eye witness said there was a circus at the event officiated by Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) Chief Executive Officer, Godfrey Mudanga, as the two sized up each other
On the other hand, Olopeng maintains his innocence explaining that this is a fabricated story intended to discredit him ahead of the coming primaries.
“I have never had any misunderstanding with Moatlhodi. Not a single day have we ever crossed paths.
Mind you, I am not a boxer. So how do you buy a story that I threaten to box people up. It is not true. Maybe┬áyou have misunderstood Moatlhodi if you say he confirmed the incident. There is nothing like that.┬á I just saw Moatlhodi as I left the event towards lunch,” said Olopeng asking if he looked like a boxer.
“I don’t know where they get this fabricated story from. They just want to taint my name,” he said.
Tonota Police Station Commander, Robson Maleka,┬áalso confirmed that no report of the incident was made at his policing jurisdiction.
Tonota sub-district chairman, Peter Williams, also denied knowledge of the incident.
This is however not the first incident to engulf the ruling party ahead of its primaries.
Similar incidents were reported in the Nkange constituency where Edson Woto is alleged to have threatened to assault a councillor who is understood to be in Edwin Batshu’s camp. The councillor, Ishmael Mokgethi, confirmed the incident in an interview with this publication early in the year.
Another incident was also reported in Ramokgonami village in Tswapong South constituency where a sitting councillor in Dorcas Makgato-Malesu’s camp, Semela Kolo, confiscated Oreeditse Molebatsi’s smart phone.