Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nkaigwa defies councillors’ resolution that he should resign

Gaborone City Mayor, Haskins Nkaigwa on Friday defied a full council resolution urging him to, ‘resign until the Gaborone City Council alleged corruption practices by his worship are investigated and cleared.’ The resolution followed a motion tabled by Botswana Congress Party (BCP) councillor for Moselewapula ward, Ndiwaani Kenosi on Thursday.

In a brief interview after 15 councillors voted that he should step down against 11 who opposed the motion, Nkaigwa said, “Resign? Why should I resign over petty utterances motivated by witch hunting? I cannot resign over allegations that do not have evidence. This is just a moment of storms in the life of a child of God. Opposing forces are always out to destroy you. These people are just dragging my name in the mud. ”

Emotions ran high during the debate, forcing the Deputy Mayor; then chairing to the session to adjourn the Thursday debates. Presenting the motion, councillor Kenosi explained that in the past couple of years, the private media has been abuzz with information revealed by the Mayor, showing corruption within the Gaborone City Council. “Now things have changed. The Mayor himself is reportedly involved in corruption. Because I know that he does not condone corruption, and now his name is linked to corruption, he should clear his name,” said Kenosi. He said when a committee on the city council visited a company in South Africa last year; there was an argument over who should go. It was not advisable for both the Mayor and his Deputy to travel together leaving the council without a head.

It was ultimately the mayor who went. When the committee reached South Africa, word made rounds that the Mayor had met the company before. The Mayor is now appearing in newspapers with reports alleging that P30, 000 was deposited in his account by the South African company. The company PRIMEDIA once took the council to court. Kenosi said the mayor did not declare the gift, if ever it was a gift. “I am also informed that the Mayor confessed to some of the executive members that he received a gift from South Africa for marriage.

It is improper for the mayor to have accepted that gift without declaring it, Kenosi said. It would therefore do the Mayor a lot of good if he stepped down, allow investigators to go on, and then re-take his seat if proven innocent. Seconding the motion, specially nominated councillor Rupert Hambira said, “there is a very thin line between what we call corruption and receiving gifts. During election periods like the one we are in, we go around scouting funds. The Mayor should have declared the gift. I therefore ask that he should recuse himself until investigations are done,” explained Hambira. Councillor Oabile Mafunga of Naledi Central dismissed the motion saying there are institutions like the Directorate in Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) who are best suited to handle corruption cases. “This council is for the developments of the city, and not for investigating corruption. Take the issue to DCEC if you have proof. If I were the mayor I would say, Ke a gana, he said.

Councillor Tshepho Moloko said the motion would be appropriate is the mayor had a case before the courts of law. Without it then, “Ke ditlontlokwane, Khansele ya Gaborone e dirilwe mantlwane (its petty talk, Gaborone council has been turned into circus).” Edwin Mabengano said he would agree that the Mayor should recuse himself if he had a case to answer. Marang ward councillor, Chanungwa Mphusu said“the company in question once litigated against this council. I am one of those who advocated for the termination of the six months contract the company was left with when it took such action. We cannot leave this issue hanging. I first heard about this issue when the Mayor was exchanging bitter words in the radio.

I took it lightly then. The Mayor should recuse himself,” charged Mphusu. Councillor Nunu Lekau asked the Mayor to step down because he got tempted by Satan. As a qualified Accountant he could not have let the company deposit the money into his account. Instead they could have given him cash.

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