District Commissioner Sylvia Muzila was last week dealt a damning blow when the Party Liaison Committee resolved to remove her from the chairmanship of the committee and appointed her immediate subordinate, District Officer Kolobetso Sekwababe.
Muzila chairs the PLC as an ex officio member by virtue of her position as District Commissioner. The committee, which has representatives from all political parties, the DC’s office and the Independent Electoral Commission, serves as the umbilical cord between the IEC and political parties in Francistown. It organizes regular workshops and facilitates consultation between political parties and the electoral commission.
On Wednesday, a routine PLC meeting was disrupted and turned into a freedom square squabble after BCP parliamentary hopeful, Vain Mamela, tabled a motion seeking to remove Muzila from the chairmanship of the committee as she has recently been embroiled in issues of a political nature.
Muzila has recently been involved in controversy after Francistown West MP, Tshelang Masisi, together with former mayor Ignatius Moswaane, launched a tirade of attacks on her, accusing her of using her official position as DC to campaign in Masisi’s Francistown West constituency and challenging her to quit the civil service and join politics. At the height of the controversy, Muzila’s husband, also a BDP councilor, appealed to the BDP Central Committee asking that they intervene and caution Moswaane to desist from making personal attacks on his wife. Despite all the accusations leveled against her, Muzila chose not to comment as she said she was a civil servant who could not comment on issues of a political nature.
But the issue has once again cropped up, with the PLC unanimously voting to oust Muzila from the Chairmanship and, instead, appointing her deputy.
Sources close to the PLC told The Sunday Standard that the fact that the committee has made such a decision does not mean that they are accusing Muzila of any political affiliation but that they are concerned that her continued chairing of the committee while such allegations are made against her casts aspersions on the credibility of the PLC to effectively represent the interests of all political parties.
“The PLC is supposed to be chaired by a neutral entity and for her to continue chairing the committee while she is accused of wanting to oust Masisi amounts to political posturing,” said the source.
The Sunday Standard is reliably informed that the motion passed through after limited resistance from the DC and her supporters.
Asked to comment on the issue, IEC representative, Mariam Sebego, who also sits in the PLC, referred the paper to Muzila, saying that she could not comment on the issue as Muzila was her immediate supervisor.