Tuesday, March 5, 2024

But why should Lotlaamoreng’s health be UDC’s burden?

I know very well that I risk to be accused of being insensitive for asking this brutally honest question but some questions need to be posed if we are to set things into proper perspective. First of all let me put it out there that I just hope the media is being malicious and untruthful in their reports about the health situation of Member of Parliament for Goodhope/Mabule Kgosi Lotlaamoreng. I read in one of the weekend newspapers that Lotlaamoreng has been hospitalized in Mafikeng, South Africa. The report indicates that Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Secretary General Ndaba Gaolathe is the one who personally took Lotlaamoreng to Mafikeng and that the UDC will be footing his medical bill, reported to be around P25, 000.  I was really touched by Gaolathe and the UDC’s gesture of benevolence towards their comrade. It is very commendable of Gaolathe and the UDC to be there for one of their own. What they did epitomizes a caring and compassionate nation. It was also reported that Lotlaamoreng stays alone at the Parliamentary village with no one looking after him. Here my eyes welled up. I couldn’t hold back my tears. I was imagining how difficult and cruel life must have turned out for the Kgosi after ditching the Kgotla for parliament.

It appeared to me Lotlaamoreng’s people must have forsaken him so much he is now left at the mercy of his political colleagues. I mean, firstly it was his political colleague, Gaolathe, who reportedly took him for medical attention in South Africa. Gaolathe has no blood relations to Lotlaamoreng. He is not even his tribesman so his help must have been merely triggered by his inborn generosity and good-heartedness. I may be wrong but I want to believe the UDC too, just like its Secretary General, is not obliged to pay medical bills for its members, including members of parliament. I don’t think MPs are part of the party secretariat staff who may be entitled to such benefits as employees. It was therefore pleasing to learn the party has, despite no obligation to do so, resolved to settle Lotlaamoreng’s medical bill. I only started to worry when I read further and learnt that Lotlaamoreng actually has a family who somehow feel it is the UDC’s duty to take care of Lotlaamoreng.

I wondered, so Lotlaamoreng has family members who have left him to stay alone while they expect his party to care of him? Hawu madoda! The family is said to have raised concern that the UDC has taken too long to fulfil its promise of taking care of his health situation. If this is true, then it was wrong for the UDC to have made such a promise to Lotlaamoreng. It was also very wrong for Lotlaamoreng to have joined the UDC solely on that expectation. I don’t know of any medical doctor whose sole mandate is to take care of UDC members and as such the promise to take care of Lotlaamoreng’s medical needs was deceiving and uncalled for. Lotlaamoreng is a Motswana who is entitled to medical attention from public health facilities regardless of his political affiliation. He needed not to join the UDC to receive medical attention because he had that entitlement as a Kgosi and as a citizen. Lotlaamoreng as an employee of parliament, and knowing his medical needs, ought to have joined a medical aid scheme for assistance in instances where he needs to acquire medical attention from private medical institutions. I am not aware of any medical aid scheme that is run by the UDC to guarantee such financial assistance. Credit must be given to his mother who is reported to have called on his son to resign from politics and go home.

That is the only plausible option for anyone whose health is affected by their work. You simple step down and go home to rest. You don’t cling on to your position and demand assistance from your colleagues who earn the same salary as yourself.  Lotlaamoreng’s colleagues and members of his political party can be asked to assist but failure by them to extend such help should never become a concern to his family members, who themselves do not seem to show any concern about his situation as it is alleged no one has volunteered to stay with him, let alone contribute towards his medical bills. It is also appalling to learn that the ruling party is also watching closely and waiting to use his health situation as bait. They want to use UDC’s failure to take care of his health needs to their advantage. The BDP wants to give him the same promise that he is said to have received from the UDC. It is sad how now political recruitments target the vulnerability of people. The sick are being recruited with promises of better health care. The poor are being recruited with the promise of instant wealth. The horny are being lured with sexual favours. How sad!


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