University of Botswana lecturer, Reverend Dumie Mmualefhe, caused political tensions and furore on Monday as he fumed at local political leaders for fuelling poverty in the country.
Invited to give an opening prayer and message of encouragement on the commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Reverend Mmualefhe diverted his attention from his official duty to ostensibly attack politicians for exacerbating poverty in the country.
Under the cloak of the Lord’s Prayer, Mmualefhe decried “politicians who solicit votes from the poor and unsuspecting individuals during election seasons with all sorts of promises only to turn away from the electorates after assuming power.” They ditch the electorates in abject poverty, he said, and disappear only to emerge to re-solicit for another term.
“They are only interested in our votes and not human life,” said Mmualefhe. “We pray together under one roof asking the Lord to give us our daily bread but when the bread is delivered, it is shared unequally with politicians getting the lion’s share and leaving the electorate in the lurch. They forget it is through our votes that they were elevated into such positions. Worse still they forget we, together, are siblings before God.”
Mmualefhe said individuals live in abject poverty not because they are responsible but mainly because it was the government’s fault.
“Individuals live in abject poverty not because of their omission but mainly because of the government formulated structures. It is a sin against the Lord for individuals to live in deplorable conditions because of the unscrupulous and corrupt leaders.”
The maverick reverend implored Mosolotshane’s embattled councilor, Mogalakwe, to continue living by his promise saying that the electorate stood by him during his difficult days.
Mogalakwe was expelled from the BNF by the central committee for alleged insubordination. But in the subsequent days, he reportedly held political meetings in his area under the BNF banner with a considerable number of constituents rallying behind him.
It is reported the constituents are indebted to him because he delivers his promise.
When the Ministry of Education sent home pupils whose parents were unable to pay school fees in his area, Mogalakwe paid for them out of his own pocket.
Mmualefhe informed those in attendance that Mogalakwe’s case was a classical example in the right direction in fighting poverty.
He lambasted a BNF official, Lemogang Ntime, whom he said was quoted in the local papers accusing and criticizing Molotshane electorates and Mogalakwe’s political maneuvers.
On compassion, Mmualefhe maintained that people should give to the poor wholeheartedly and without strings attached.
He said the privileged people only give to the poor because they wanted to been seen on TV.
The commemoration attracted elites from all walks of life, including academics from the University of Botswana, who criticized the government for sidelining the impoverished people.
They accused the government of organizing the event without the ‘real poor persons’ at the front.
“Today the commemoration is organized to meet the challenges facing the poor. But the meeting is saturated with the elites who eat three or more times a day,” one participant said. “The committee should have brought in the people who feel the pains of poverty.”