Thursday, January 21, 2021

BNF leadership crisis deepens in Gaborone South

Old Naledi councilors and almost the entire Village Development Committee on Thursday evening boycotted a Kgotla meeting addressed by the area MP, Akanyang Magama, sparking fears that the polarization, currently weighing heavily on the Botswana National Front leadership, has eventually spiraled in the under-developed area.

Predominantly a BNF area of influence, none of the seating councilors attended the Kgotla meeting addressed by Magama at Tshwaragano Primary School with only a handful of VDC members showing up.
Even the Old Naledi Central ward councilor, Ezekiel Dube, whose area of responsibility the address fell under, never bothered to attend, indicating a serious standoff.

Information reaching The Sunday Standard suggests Magama and Dube do not see eye to eye, with the former belonging to the anti-Moupo group, while the latter is in the pro-Moupo axis.

The two warring groups have, since the Molepolole congress where Moupo was voted as the BNF leader, been at each other’s throats with the anti-Moupo group demanding that the party leader relinquish power.

At one stage, Magama himself was reportedly eyeing the BNF party presidency.

Also, Dube’s loss in the primary elections is attributed to Magama because he had campaigned for Dube’s challenger and eventual winner, VDC chairperson Lister Mandendu.
Mandendu is seen as Magama’s batman who does the leg work during Magama’s meetings.

According to a close source in the party, the Old Naledi situation is worse than meets the eye.

Addressing the small group that attended, Magama lamented the slow implementation of projects in the area, saying some projects dated back to 2003 and still remained unimplemented. He, however, said this was a disease doing the rounds in all ministries.

BNF sources fear the current standoff playing dominance in the Committee because of political views will hamper the area’s development.

“Look, the MP wanted to share with the public and the entire Committee some important messages pertaining to developments in the area. But only a handful is in attendance,” said one source. “To add insult to injury, none of the sitting councilors, including the area councilor, is present. This is a disaster.”

He added that though Magama wanted to play down these absurd developments, the differences are plainly on the wall for everybody to see.

“The desertion of the meeting by these councilors and VDC members is nothing except the result of the polarization currently gripping the BNF leadership,” the source revealed, adding, “They think they are expressing their disgruntlement with the MP.”
Magama, however, spoke about the absent councilor.

“Do not ask me the whereabouts of the area councilor. I have not seen him for sometime. Even yesterday, I was alone when announcing the meeting.”

According to the norm and culture associated with such meetings, the area councilor and the VDC members are supposed to prepare for the meetings, including the announcement of the meeting by mega phone.

But, instead, the Gaborone South MP admitted announcing the meeting with the mega phone himself the previous Wednesday evening.

Currently, thirty members make up the Committee in Old Naledi. Attempts to reach the incumbent councilor were unsuccessful.

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