Member of Parliament for Molepolole South, Dr Tlamelo Mmatli is having sleepless nights as his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) nemesis Kabo Morwaeng is making inroads in the constituency through his family organisation, the Good Samaritan Foundation.
Through the Foundation, the Morwaeng family has been donating to schools, football clubs and the underprivileged in the constituency, something that has not gone down well with the incumbent area Member of Parliament who feels Morwaeng is campaigning to wrestle the constituency from him in the 2019 general elections where Morwaeng will contest under the BDP banner.
While the Good Samaritan Foundation has been donating to schools for quite some time now, it appears the recent donation at the Sedumedi Junior Secondary School is the one that left a really bad taste in Mmatli’s mouth. Speaking to this publication in an interview after the event that was held two weeks ago, Mmatli did not hide his anger as he accused Morwaeng of undermining him and colluding with his party colleagues in Cabinet who are always invited to officiate at Morwaeng’s events. ‘‘Ministers are always reluctant to officiate at our events but with Morwaeng there is always a Minister officiating at his donation ceremonies and as such ensuring that BTV and Daily News cover his events’’, Mmatli protested.
He said while he was supposed to receive an official invite through writing, Morwaeng only phoned him on the eve of the event at Sedumedi Secondary School and asked him to come and welcome the Minister. ‘‘The event was supposed to be addressed by Assistant Minister of Basic Education Thato Kwerepe but instead, we just saw Assistant Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Philip Makgalemele being ushered in as the guest speaker’’, Mmatli said. He said Makgalemele went on to discredit him in his speech and portrayed him as a representative who did not have the interests of his electorates at heart. ‘‘I had told the parents to be wary of donations that come with political strings attached and Makgalemele responded that unlike Morwaeng who is willing to give to the community, I am against it’’, he said. Mmatli said his bone of contention was that just a week before Morwaeng came to donate at the school, there was a prize giving ceremony where serval people and organisations made donations but the event was not as hyped as the one of Morwaeng which enjoyed government media coverage.
Reached for comment, Morwaeng laughed off Mmatli’s concerns and said the Good Samaritan Foundation is a family initiative that is meant to assist where it can. ‘‘This Foundation will continue to run even after I die because it was not established for me only as there is my wife and our children and our Christian values dictate to us that while we are still blessed with a little that we can contribute and share with our community, we should find no stigma attached to doing that’’, Morwaeng defended his donations.
He expressed shock that instead of being happy that the Good Samaritan Foundation is extending a helping hand in improving the education of students in the constituency, Mmatli was instead complaining about such good deeds. Morwaeng explained that just like any organisation, when they have an event they invite guest speakers to come and address the audience and they have invited different officials both in government and the private sector for their events since inception. The Good Samaritan Foundation was celebrating the academic excellence of students who wrote and passed examinations in 2017. Sedumedi secondary school was presented with ‘Best Performance CJSS Award Kweneng Region:2017’ trophy.
Morwaeng calmly advised Mmatli to work hand in hand with him in the development of the constituency and stop viewing every donation as campaign to wrestle the constituency for him. ‘‘Should I just fold my arms and not help just because I will be facing him at the general elections?’’, Morwaeng asked rhetorically. He said in any case, it his wife who works tirelessly for the Foundation, out of love and her Christian orientation.