Embattled Francistown mayor dodges 3rd coup attempt

  • Adjourns council session for 14 days
  • Councillors wanted her to resign or face a motion of no confidence


FRANCISTOWN: Embattled Francistown Mayor Sylvia Muzila saved herself from being overthrown from her position when she shockingly adjourned a full council session in its first day for 14 days to avoid the impending move.
This follows a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) cloak and dagger caucus this past Sunday that sought to dethrone her and replace her with Deputy Godisang Radisigo,  while Councillor for Kanana ward Cornelius Gopolang was expected to deputize Radisigo.
It is alleged that at the Sunday caucus that was held at the regional office, the councillors agreed to give Muzila an ultimatum of voluntarily resigning from her position today (Monday) or face a motion of no confidence. According to insiders, eight councilors supported the move to oust the Mayor while five were against and two abstained from the vote.
However, in a turn of events Muzila caught the councilors off guard by adjourning the council for 14 days and immediately walked out without stating any reasons.
BDP councillors furiously charged that the Mayor is applying delaying tactics by adjourning the council despite contradicting the standing orders that guide a full council seating.
“The standing order 21 on adjournment of a council meeting states that a meeting may be adjourned upon giving reasonable grounds and through a vote of the majority of members present. Surprisingly the Mayor did not state the reasons before walking out leaving us guessing,” said one frustrated BDP councillor who wanted to remain anonymous for of fear of victimization.
He also stated that Muzila is adjourning the council in order to seek the intervention of the party leadership. BDP Regional Chairperson Baemedi Medupi confirmed the Sunday caucus but could not disclose which decision was taken. “I can only confirm that we have indeed caucused but what we discussed and resolved remains confidential,” he said in an interview.
Muzila could not be reached for comment as her phone repeatedly rang and cut.
This is not the first time Francistown councillors have tried to topple the Mayor. Last year she survived two motions of no confidence which were masterminded by the opposition.