Francistown City Mayor Sylvia Muzila has accused fellow specially elected Councillor Andy Boatile of insulting her. What started off as a joke from Boatile has now turned into a fully-fledged war of words that has even reached the police.
According to sources at the Francistown Civic Centre, it all started when Muzila presented a long speech during a council meeting that was attended by Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Local Government, to which Boatile joked to fellow councillors at his table, ‘‘the Mayor must be taught how to present short speeches just the way the Permanent Secretary did.’’ It is said after Boatile made those remarks, one of the councillors snitched on him and reported to Muzila who did not take kindly to the remarks.
Muzila would later summon Boatile and two other councillors, including the snitch, to her office. During the meeting, it is said, tempers flared and Muzila told Boatile how he was not raised properly. Boatile stormed out of the office but their argument continued through sms (short message service) where at one point Boatile referred to Muzila as a witch (moloi). The mayor then reported the matter to the police accusing Boatile of insulting her by calling her a witch. The police managed to reconcile the two after Boatile apologised but that did not bring their differences to an end as they continued to exchange bitter words through cellphone messages that this publication has managed to gain access to.
In one of the messages from Muzila, she wrote ‘‘Hi.Hon. Boatile. I need to talk to you. Been informed by councillors ka fa o ntshotang ka teng in public places. They need me to talk to you coz it’s going too far’’ (loosely translated, councillors have informed me of how you degrade me in public). Boatile responded, ‘‘whoever told you that go tell him ke mo rogetse batsadi’’ (go tell whoever told you that, that I have insulted their parents).
In yet another message where Boatile was apparently responding to Muzila’s comment that Boatile’s parents didn’t instil good manners on him, Boatile hit back, ‘‘My mum and grandmother will come for you soon. Moloi ke wena.’’ Reached for comment on Monday evening, Boatile did not dismiss his quarrels with Muzila but said he was not willing to comment on the matter. For her part, Muzila confirmed that indeed she had raised a complaint with Boatile over what she deemed insulting language on her.