After their failed attempts to remove the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Mayor, Haskins Nkaingwa, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillors in the Gaborone City Council (GCC) have resolved to reject the mayor’s speech as a way of frustrating him.
The resolution was made yesterday when the council resumed for a full council meeting that will last for three days. The BDP councillors argue that Nkaingwa’s speech is full of politics and that he addressed issues beyond the council’s jurisdiction.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one BDP councillor said that they won’t move any motion to overthrow Nkaingwa but will frustrate him by rejecting his speech and stalling council business since they have majority numbers in council.
The BDP councillors had in the past tried in vain to remove Nkaingwa from his seat but he (Nkaingwa) never entertained their motion as he argued that there was no provision in the new Local Government Act that allows for removal of a mayor in a manner that the BDP councillors tried to do.
He argued that the new law does not allow motions of no confidence against sitting mayors.
The BDP has 18 councillors while the opposition combined has 17 councillors. BDP councillors’ number increased to 18 following Village Ward’s councillor, Seabelo Thekiso’s defection to BDP.
“We have resolved to reject his speech and we will frustrate everything that he wants to do, that will be a way of pressurising him to step down, we have the numbers after all. If you read his speech it was full of politics and he is campaigning for parliamentary seat using mayor’s position by addressing issues beyond his reach,” said one councillor who prayed not to be identified for fear of not being authorised to speak on behalf of councillors.
Delivering his speech, Nkaingwa decried the deportation of prophets and investors, saying it won’t take this country anywhere.
“From a spiritual point of view, every word that has been spoken against this country becomes a curse to the country and curse needs to be spiritually broken. We need God to be the leader in this country and therefore I call upon for unity of the body of Christ to pray for God fearing leaders to lead this country,” he said.
On land issues, Nkaingwa declared that he support those who call for land audit, he said in Gaborone, he has witnessed developments by big businessmen in some open spaces which he was initially informed that it belonged to GCC.
“The question then is, how did they acquire these open spaces? I want to call on the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) to make investigations around such open spaces mostly in Block 8 and Block 10,” he said.
He also called on government to review its policies in relation to freehold land. He said it was unacceptable to have undeveloped land adjacent to Gaborone when there is shortage of land.
“Let us sit down with stakeholders like Roman Catholic, Phakalane, and Gaborone North Farms and come up with policies that will inform developments in those areas,” he advised.
Now touching on the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC), Nkaingwa said it was unfortunate to hear reports that negotiations between unions and government have stalled. He said Botswana was experiencing the unhappiest public service than ever before and this has compromised service delivery.
“It is almost 5 years since government employees received a meaningful salary increase and this has affected their livelihoods and families. Batswana have now resorted to debt and they live from hand to mouth. I therefore call upon parties involved to resume these negotiations for the best interest of this country.” He said.