- High Court interdicts elections
- Mainchallengervettedoutofpresidential race
- Members allege misuse of society’s funds
The Botswana Red Cross Society is at war with itself after some members took their leaders to court for allegedly violating the society’s constitution, The Botswana Gazette has established.
On January 30, members Maipelo Mophuting and Nelson Rammala were granted an order to interdict the society’s election item on the AGA agenda until the matter is resolved by the courts. The two have taken Secretary General (SG) Kutlwano Mukokomani and the society to court demanding an explanation for being vetted out of running for positions of president and vice president 2.
Mophuting and Rammala argue that they had met all requirements to stand as candidates in the elections. However, according to a final nomination list, Gaseitsiwe Motlamorago will run for the position of president unopposed while Gositamang Khana Venson and Spencer Thapelo Machwe will run for VP 1 and VP2, also unopposed. Mophuting and Rammala are challeging this state of affairs.
“Please be advised that in light of the nomination list for President, First Vice President and Second Vice President, provided to the branches through a WhatsApp circulation on Friday 23rd January 2021, this letter serves as a formal query as to why I was not shortlisted, notified and furnished with reasons as to why my nomination for President in these upcoming elections on the 30th January 2021 was not successful,” Mophuting says in a letter to incumbent Secretary General. “Furthermore, I request a formal written reason as to why Article 36.5 of the constitution was breached.”
“The nomination forms were duly distributed to the Divisional and Branch committees, including to my Branch, Kanye Branch, to which I was constitutionally nominated by my branch on Wednesday 25th of November 2020 due to the fact that my full profile and resume were presented to our branch committee upon request by the Chairperson and members of the committee for me to run for the position of Board President.”
“The entire Branch Executive Committee fully went over my resume and profile to see if I meet the FULL requirements of which all of us present confirmed I was eligible as per Article 22.5 of our Constitution, therefore the full process by my branch for nomination as provided for by Article 36.4 of the Constitution was duly followed as I received a simple majority vote by members of my branch.”
In addition to this litigation, some members want an investigation into how two companies, one belonging to a board member, the other to an employee of the Red Cross, came to be regular service providers for the society. Botswana Red Cross Society is mostly funded by various donors, including the government, embassies and international organisations. These donations often run into millions.
Responding to enquiries from The Botswana Gazette, Mokokomane said he was constrained to talk about the matter as it is still before the courts. Nonetheless, he said the AGA was successful despite its elections agenda item being interdicted. “All members were able to come through and we went on as planned,” Mokokomane said.
He dismissed claims that some members were not happy with the society’s financial report. “It was only a few points that needed to be clarified, but all in all everyone was happy with the report,” he asserted.
Even so, some members have also told this publication that they will take their concerns to the Office of the President (OP).