BDP public servant activist caught “red handed”
- The administration officer says a video of a BDP campaign, showing someone who looks and speaks like him is not him
- Boatile says if indeed he is active in politics, then appropriate measures be taken
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) youth wing chairperson Andy Boatile says if indeed one Chomie Letlole, an administration officer at Minister Vincent Seretse’s Letsweletau-Mmopane constituency office is active in politics , then appropriate action ought to be taken against him. Letlole who is said to be linked with the BDP is purported to be Ronnie Kgathi’s campaign manager for the position of youth wing chairperson .
Boatile was reached for comment by this publication due to his previous complaint written to the Clerk of the National Assembly in which he raised concern regarding Botswana National Front youth league president Khumoekae Richard participation in active politics while a civil servant. Boatile’s push for Richard to be fired from his employment escalated to the High Court culminating in his subsequent dismissal.
With the same issue manifesting itself nearer to home, Boatile stated that; “No one is above the law. If indeed Letlole is active in politics as some say, then appropriate action ought to be taken just like what happened with Khumoekae.”
Asked if he will be writing a similar letter to the Speaker he replied that, “I do not have evidence to do so, but whoever does have such evidence, they can build a case against Letlole.”
This publication in in possession of a video and photos in which Letlole is seen wearing a red t-shirt and addressing some youth members of the BDP also clad in BDP regalia last week. The video was filmed at Tonota where the youth were electing delegates for the upcoming BDP youth elective congress to be held at Tsabong on the 9th-11th February 2017.
In the video, Letlole appears to be campaigning for Kgathi saying the candidate understands youth related issues. He is heard saying, “ malatsi a o kare morale wa wa banana o ile ko tlase, ke tsone dilo tse Kgathi a di telang; go tsosa morale wa banana ba tomokoraga . Tse dingwe di di ntsi batho betsho. Political education ya banana ba ga tomokoraga e sule. Ha o leba hatshe je o re o leba gore makhanselara a banana a kahe, o ka tlhomoga pelo. Mme rona re le banana re le palo dintsi. Jannong e bo o kare phathi ga e na banana, banana ba ile opposition. Jaanong ke gore ba ba ileng re ba ngoke re le banana ba ga tomokoraga ebile ba tshwera boeteledipele. Ese boeteldipele fela bo go buelelwang hela jwa bokhanselara le bo palamante, le ba dikomoti le distructura ; go simolola hela ka central committee go ya go wetsa ko di celleng. Mme ke seka ka bua thata ka tloga ka senyetsa yo nthumileng mahoko. A e jeke dromkrag!”
Reached for comment, Letlole rubbished all allegations that he was into politics saying he was a public servant and was not involved in active politics. Asked about the video, he said he was aware that it was been circulated around, but that the person said to be him was not him. Asked who the person was as he looked like him and sounded like him, he said he did not know. Asked of his whereabouts on the day in question he said, “I was at a funeral in Molepolole. I have never been to Tonota in the recent past; actually I cant even remember the last time I was there,” he said. Further probed why there was such an uncanny resemblance between himself and the person in the video he said; “I really don’t know, I know they are playing dirty tricks but that is not me at all.”
When asked of his Sunday afternoon’s post on Facebook, where he said “ke digela pelo re tla bolawa ke udc,” he denied knowledge of such a post. Asked if then his Facebook account could be hacked he answered thus; “they once tried it but I am the only one who uses this account,” he said, still avoiding the question. He however could not state who the ‘them’ was that he kept referring to.
He said he was however aware that there were some people who were out with their dirty tricks to discredit him. “ There is however a group of boys who came to me saying they needed my vote. I told them I was a public servant and was not active in politics, they went away.”
When this publication asked him of his link to Kgathi he said; “people know that we are friends and now start making up stories.” According to him, the last time he spoke with Kgathi was beginning of the year when they were complimenting each other for the New Year. “If at all I will join politics, maybe it will be in 2024, not now,” he concluded.
For their part, BNFYL secretary general Osenotse Mabote stated, “If BDP MPs clerks are caught “politicking” and no action taken against them, it will not be surprising since we have always known that the dismissal of Richard was apolitical move by the ruling party to silence and frustrate his robust voice.” According to Mabote, they are aware of various cases where well known BDP activist’s hold the same position but without action being taken against them “as he is BDP and above the law. “
Mabote reiterated however that the BNF YL was consistent with its stance, that Section 37 of the Public Service Act was too broad and should be revised; “Our position is that that all clerks at MP offices are politically appointed hence their contract is attached to the MP which they serve. Therefore, our position is clear that section 37 can not be used against them,” he said, explaining that they can not be separated from politics.
Section 37 (c) of the Public Service Act lists engagement in active politics by public servants as a misconduct. It reads thus “It is misconduct for an employee to engage in any activity outside his or her ofﬁcial duties which is likely to involve him or her in political controversy or to lead to his or her taking improper advantage of his or her position in the public service.” Section 40 states punishment for misconduct to include, (a) a reprimand, (b) stoppage of increment, (non payment for a specified period on an increment otherwise due), (d) with the written consent of the employee, reduction of salary, (e) demotion (f) suspension from duty without pay for period not exceeding one month or (g) dismissal.