Sunday, May 22, 2022

UCCSA responds to the BCPYL attack over blankets donation

UCCSA Botswana’s Secretary General, Reverend Mokwadi Basele, has dismissed Botswana Congress Party Youth League’s accusations that the church’s decision to donate blankets through the Office of the President shows they are taking a political side.
 
The BCPYL had said in a press statement that it “…seeks to condemn the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) for their roguish gesture of blankets donation to President Ian Khama for later distribution to the poor.┬á The BCPYL wishes to reiterate that blankets distribution by Khama is vote-buying; consequently, by donating blankets to Khama, the church is abetting this political corruption and in so doing taking a political side.”

 
However, in an interview, Reverend Basele could not agree less.

“It is true, we donated not just blankets, as people like to imply, but also toiletry to the Office of the President. In theology we have what we call Mission and Ministry, where we talk about God and our responsibility to care for the needy. It has always been our mission to share with the less disadvantaged, regardless of affiliation whether political, religious or any other form. The church has been doing it since 1795,” he said.
 
Basele says they always hand out donations to other organs of the society.

“We are not involved in partisan politics,” he insists. “We like to extend a helping hand to the nation as a whole so we were merely handing those donations to Khama as chief accountant of the society of Botswana, not as president of the Botswana Democratic Party,” Basele said.

The BCP had said in their statement that UCCSA ought to know where poor people in need of blankets can be found in the country.

“We expect the church to go directly to the poor people or to the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in need of such assistance, for instance the Botswana Red Cross Society.”

 But in his response Basele said Khama can delegate one of his government ministries to distribute the donations to the relevant organs or people.

┬á“We always hand out donations directly to the needy or to the responsible organisations. It is only that the media is never there to cover such events. Just last year, through our Shoe-a-Child Project we donated 200 shoes to children in Lobatse,” he said.

Basele said it has become a norm for them to make donations whenever they hold conferences and this time around they were in Mogoditshane where they invited president Khama but due to other commitments, he could not attend to officially receive the donations.

┬áHe said opposition leaders always visit their churches where they usually extend to them what they term “the hand of fellowship” by introducing them to the congregation.

“Ironically”, he says, “the latest visitor to one of our congregations is the leader of the BCP. But no one complained that we are supporting the BCP”.

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