Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Bulela Ditswe candidates feeding off Gov’t project

Some members of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) are accused of using government institutions such as the Local Entrepreneurship Authority and Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture for political office campaigns.

In an interview, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture Kago Ramokate stopped short of describing the latest development “nonsensical.”

He said as a Ministry they found themselves caught up in political campaigns as they are used by some aspiring political candidates claiming to help the country address the topical issues of unemployment while in fact they are doing that for political mileage.

As a public servant Ramokate would not be drawn into disclosing the names of some individuals from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) who are claiming to be representing his Ministry through their private companies and their social movements for political campaigns.

It has emerged that the individuals in question claim to be representing the ideals of the ministry such as job creations by targeting the youth, the elderly and underprivileged communities while in actual fact they are propping up their political ambitions.

BDP’s Gaborone South constituency hopeful Monametsi Kalayamotho is one of aspiring candidates accused of using government institutions to prop up his political ambitions.

Ramokate said he was not aware that Kalayamotho conducted some workshops with an intention to campaign in Gaborone South under the disguise that he was promoting the Ministry’s ideals and policies.

 “People should help government in finding a solution to youth unemployment and they should come on board for the benefit of the society but not to further their political interests,” said Ramokate.

He said he was not aware that Kalayamotho went behind the Ministry by claiming that he was advocating for youth unemployment.

 “I think this matter will be investigated because the timing and the manner in which the workshops were conducted raises some eyebrows. We shall in future as Ministry and interested stakeholders try by all means to avoid such unfortunate practice where our Ministry is being used by some political leaders to campaign,” he said.

When contacted to comment Kalayamotho denied campaigning for elections using the Ministry’s logo.

“I know some people are threatened by my presence in Gaborone South and are rushing to the media to try tarnishing my image. I’m not using my private company but using my Movement called #get Lifted Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Summit which was conducted at Old Naledi (Ko di swinking) and Bontleng Halls on the 17 May 2018 to reach out to the unemployed and I will continue to do that in some parts of the country in future,” he said.

Some Wards Secretaries in Old Naledi, Bontleng and White City have since written some letters of complaint to BDP secretary General Mpho Balopi accusing Kalayamotho of using underhanded tactics to campaign for elections.

The leaked letters accused some BDP hopefuls of using government institutions like LEA. They accused Kalayamotho being engaged in an early campaign and distribution of campaign material.

One of the letters states that Kalayamotho was seen at White City on the 18th April 2018 at around 17:30 pm in an open space around white city residential houses unlawfully carrying out campaign and distribution material specifically red T-shirt bearing the Botswana Democratic Party symbol inscribed with motto” get lifted” as well as his aunts plot number who used to reside in Extension 14.

But Kalayamotho has since distanced himself from the allegations leveled against him.

“I used “Get Lifted Movement” to mobilize and create awareness about youth unemployment in Gaborone South and the country at large. This initiative came after I was invited as a guest speaker early this year during Unemployment Pitso organized by LEA so I wanted them to come to Bontleng to be hands on and stop preaching the word unemployment from offices but rather they should see and feel how it is to be unemployed, ”said Kalayamotho.

When contacted to comment Balopi warned that action would be taken against any party member who violates BDP constitution.

He said the party constitution is against early campaign especially when members are using any electronic medium like radio, social media like Twitter or Facebook to campaign.

Kalayamotho and attorney Meshack Mthimkhulu will battle for the soul of Gaborone South Constituency in the upcoming BDP primaries.

It is understood that Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Member of Parliament for the constituency Kagiso Molatlhegi has endorsed Mthimkhulu claiming that he is better placed to represent the BDP in the constituency since he has long been campaigning and is a former candidate in the area.


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