Member of Parliament for Francistown East, Phandu Skelemani is likely to face hurdles ahead of the 2014 general elections as his constituents are accusing him of abandoning them. They feel that he is rather, giving preference to his duties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, North Cast has established.
The Francistown East constituency is one of those that have brought divisions within the ruling Botswana Democratic Party with some scores of the constituents now favouring aspirant, Councilor Buti Billy of Satellite South ward for the parliamentary seat rather than the incumbent.
In fact, the constituents who spoke to North Cast revealed that they no longer want an MP with dual responsibilities as they compromise his commitment to the constituency. “I think the MP is failing because of a lot of responsibilities from his ministry, so our advice to the winner of the seat is that he should not take dual roles as they end up compromising what he promised during his campaigns. Ever since he took the reigns as Minister, he never answer our grievances but will rather brief us about his ministry,” revealed some of Skelemani former loyalists.
Some of the constituents who North Cast interviewed were Botswana Defence Force employees who said that after they were transferred to work in Francistown, they voted Skelemani because he made a lot of promises but has not accomplished them. “So we have realised that those were empty promises. Truly speaking, it seems like we do not have an MP,” they lamented.
Reached for comment, Skelemani said that having dual roles does not affect his constituency, adding that whenever his constituents had concerns he raised them to the relevant ministers at cabinet seatings. He said some of the concerns that they raise do not necessarily need his involvement but the Councilors’.
He said that those who question his credibility are the ones who do not understand the procedure of raising an issue in Parliament. “Maybe they are accusing me of failing because I never ask unnecessary questions when I know that I met relevant people at the cabinet seatings,” he stressed.