- Moatlhodi says he is only thanking the man for announcing his meetings
- Supporters of his rival say Moathodi gains unfair advantage for his ally
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Member of Parliament for Tonota, Pono Moatlhodi, is being accused of using Kgotla meetings to endorse a Specially Nominated Councillor as a parliamentary candidate for the next general elections.
Supporters of another parliamentary hopeful, Andy Boatile, are not pleased that Moatlhodi is allegedly using his access to the Kgotla to gain unfair advantage for Baemedi Medupi.
Several people this week told The Botswana Gazette that since Moatlhodi started his Kgotla meetings in the constituency, he has been using Medupi as his frontman.
“What is baffling is that Moatlhodi always showers praise on Medupi in the course of the meetings,” said one aggrieved supporter of Boatile. “The MP ensures that he acknowledges Medupi’s political career.”
“This is intolerable and against the party constitution. By so doing, he is giving the impression that Medupi is a more credible politician than others in the constituency.”
Sources say Moatlhodi is returning a favour from the 2019 general elections when Medupi allegedly teamed up with Moatlhodi to ensure that former Tonota MP Thapelo Olopeng would not retain the constituency.
Moatlhodi won the seat under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) while Medupi lost his council seat under the BDP.
“After losing the council seat, Medupi worked with Moatlhodi,” said a source. “He de-campaigned Olopeng and canvassed support for Moatlhodi. So Moatlhodi is returning the favour.”
But Moatlhodi has dismissed the allegations as the work of liars. “I am not endorsing Medupi as they allege,” he said. “As a nominated councillor, Medupi volunteered to help me announce my Kgotla meetings.”
“He is using this his own resources and I have to thank him for his generosity during these meetings. I am not going to stop thanking him and no one will stop me from doing that.”
Without mentioning a name, Moatlhodi blamed a particular Tonota councillor for soiling his name. “There is one councillor with ambitions for Parliament who seems to be uncomfortable with Medupi’s volunteerism,” he said.
“It seems like my collaboration with the nominated councillor has threatened his Parliamentary ambitions.”
Reached for comment, Tonota Branch Chairman of the BDP, Motshegetsi Maroba, said they have heard the rumours but no one has lodged a formal complaint.