Sunday, February 28, 2021

Will the opposition councilors be given chance to debate?

Gaborone City Council opposition councilors fear that Mayor Veronica Lesole will not give them a chance to debate the motion tabled by Botswana Congress Party councilor, Ndiwaani Kenosi, of Moselewapula ward.

The motion is for a vote of no confidence on the mayor.

Full council meeting resumes tomorrow (Monday).

Legal opinion from Attorney General’s Chamber is also expected to be addressed.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, Councilor Ndiwaani Kenosi said that it will be intimidating for opposition councilors to debate on the motion tabled.

He also stated that it is unfair to the mayor to seek advice from Attorney General Chambers while the Council Attorney is available to advice council legal matters.

Mayor Lesole is said to have adjourned the council meeting after the motion was tabled.

“Rule of natural justice states that no one should be a judge in their own case,” said Kenosi.

He stated that he finds it difficult for the legal opinion of the mayor from Attorney General to bind the council meetings. He said the opposition wants the right procedures to be followed whether his motion is defeated or not. Currently there are 22 Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councilors and 13 opposition councilors at the City Council.

According to Kenosi, it will be against the Gaborone City Council (GCC) standing orders, which guide the proceedings of council meetings, to not give opposition councilors a chance to debate the motion.

The GCC standing orders on the adjournment of council meeting state that the chairperson may adjourn any meeting of council for a period not exceeding 14 days, and any business of the council conducted after the meeting has so adjourned shall be of no effect.

Four councilors were appointed by the Minister of Local Government, and they are not supposed to vote on the motion of no confidence on the mayor tabled before the council. Township Regulation 6 (4) states that “appointed members of a council shall enjoy all rights other than rights voting rights of a member of the council”.

Kenosi stated that what led him to table the motion of no confidence in council was the way the mayor was running the council, which he labeled unfair and dictatorial.

There are also speculations that some BDP councilors held caucus on Thursday at the BDP head office in preparation for the council meeting which resumes tomorrow.

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