BDP primary elections wars gain speed
With the date for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections where the party holds incumbency fast approaching, Councillors in the Bobirwa Sub Council have started to show their colours – taking the silly season of primary elections to new heights.
Eight councilors from the Sub Council have written a letter to the party headquarters calling for disciplinary action against four other councilors of the BDP. The Secretary General of the party, Mpho Balopi received a letter from the eight councillors on 13 December 2017 accusing the four councillors of sabotage and discrediting Members of Parliament, Shaw Kgathi and Kefentse Mzwinila. The four accused councilors are Kgomotso Mmereki, Sylvester Masweu, Thatayaone Segona and Victor Mphee.
“On the 22nd November 2017 in a Full Councill meeting held at Bobonong, a nominated Councillor, Kgomotso Mmereki stated that the Member of Parliament for Bobirwa, Honourable Shaw Kgathi and Member of Parliament for Mmadinare, Honourable Kefentse Mzwinila are in the habit of instructing a certain Education Official to tell School Heads to stop inviting certain inndividuals with political ambitions in the area to school prize giving ceremonies,” reads the letter.
The aggrieved councilors who are said to be pro-Kgathi and Mzwinila are concverned that the statement was made in the presence of civil servants and members of the public. It is said that the issue, at the instruction of Vice Chairman of the day of the deliberations, Victor Mphee was taken to the All Party Caucus on the 23rd November 2017.
At the All Party Caucus the two MPs were publicly criticized for the allegations against them. “…the debate was carried in an unprofessional and biased manner with clear indication that the motive was to discredit the two MPs and score cheap political points on behalf of their alleged political opponents,” further reads the letter of complaint to Balopi.
The communique further allege that the discussion was “spearheaded and facilitated by the four councilors in a malicious manner, aimed at discrediting and removing the incumbent BDP MPs.” The complainants allege that the four councillors contravened the party constitution and Disciplinary Ruules of the party by uttering defamatory and untrue statements against the MPs, facilitated defamatory discussions, and further put the name of the party into disrepute.
Kgathi is expected to be challenged in the BDP primaries by Francisco Kgoboko, hence the four councilors are seen as pro Kgathi’s challenger. On the other hand Mzwinila is expected to be challenged by former Debswana employee, Barulaganye Mogotsi. Agrrieved councilors include N Moribame of Molaltau ward; MT Marole of Kobojango; Semololale and Mabolwe wards; B Malemenyane, a nominated councillor; E Basinyi of Moletemane ward; M Tshebedi of Mathathane; D Sebuseng, a nominated;Moses Seeletso of Mmadinare South; and D Mosweunyana of Tobane/Tshokwe.
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Malawi appeals for help over Cyclone Freddy at PAP
As of yesterday evening, the death toll from the Cyclone in Malawi had risen from the initially reported 190 to 225 in a short period of time, over 20 000 people have been displaced, and the worst of fears are yet to come as the fatalities continue to mount. This was reported by a Malawi Member of Parliament attending the Pan African Parliament session in Midrand, South Africa, Hon Steven Mikiya.
Mikiya was giving a statement on behalf of Malawi as the ongoing Pan African Parliament in South Africa.
Mikiya said the Cyclone has wreaked the most havoc in our country’s Southern Region. “The Southern Region, has been hardest hit with widespread heavy rains and strong winds. This caused a rapid rise in water levels and subsequent flooding. Meanwhile, power supply has been disrupted, roads blocked off and rendered impassable and mudslides have also been widely reported,” he said.
He made a special appeal to the PAP: “Where I come from, there is a parable which I would like to share with you which says, “mzako weniweni umamudziwa panthawi ya mavuto.” Simply put, a friend in need is a friend indeed or put loosely, a person who helps at a difficult time is a friend you can rely on.”
Mikiya continued: “Yes! Misfortune has knocked on our door and left in its wake a trail of death and destruction that may take years to fully recover from. However, amidst these difficulties, I have every reason to believe that sometimes when you are in a dark place and think you have been buried, you have actually been planted. My belief, Mr. President, arises out of my faith in this gathering and out of the conviction that it is not coincidental that Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi and Mozambique while the delegations of both countries are here.”
According to Mikiya, the level of destruction, the loss of life, property and the decimation of the entire fabric of established communities has been unprecedented. He noted that all this, is coming at a time when Malawi was starting to show signs of recovery from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that also came hard on the heels of Cyclone Ana and Cyclone Gombe that left a similar trail of devastation and destruction in Malawi and neighbouring countries.
As of Sunday, this week, from the 12th of March, Malawi and Mozambique have been facing the devastating effects of Cyclone Freddy that made a landfall over Mozambique on Saturday the 11th and reached Malawi by Sunday the 12th of March.
The Malawi legislator said he has absolute faith in the Pan African Parliament, which he described as “a league of nations brought together by a shared ancestry, history, identity as well as our beloved continent which we inhabit”.
Meanwhile, Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, has declared a State of Disaster in the affected areas effectively appealing for local and international support for the affected families.
Mikiya appealed to the Pan African Parliament drawing “positive” inspiration from Europe which rallied around Turkey after the destructive earthquakes to bring the much-needed relief and humanitarian aid to the people of Turkey.
He said Africa should demonstrate to the world that the African Union and its Organs are not mere talk shows, but effective institutions which stand up when it matters most.
“Alone, it may take us a lifetime to fully recover, but together, in the Pan-Africanist spirit of Ubuntu, our lives and livelihoods will return to a semblance of normality in record time. This is the time to live by our operative mantra, “One Africa, One Voice.” Mikiya concluded.