Sowa councillors and moitoi to face off in court

  • Councillors accuse the Minister of being emotional
  • There was no truth in what the Minister told the Kgotla meeting-councillors


FRANCISTOWN: Sowa Town councillors are heading for a collision course with the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Dr Venson- Moitoi amid claims of defamation statements made by the Minister a fortnight ago when announcing the dissolution of the council at a Kgotla meeting.
Irate councillors are contemplating instituting legal proceedings for defamation of character over the remarks Moitoi made when addressing a kgotla meeting in Sowa Town, where she announced the dissolution of the council.
Addressing the Kgotla meeting in Sowa Town the Minister announced the dissolution of the Sowa council and stated that the decision was prompted by the councillors’ refusal to take on the responsibility they were sworn to uphold. Moitoi pointed out that despite the Oath the councillors took, that bound them to be faithful, truthful, and responsible and do all council duties they had failed and declined to do so. According to the Minister after the Town Clerk called a meeting where the councillors were supposed to pass a resolution to engage an lawyer to represent the council they had snubbed the meeting. “This is an indication that the councillors refused to do their responsibility they took oath for. They did not care about the work they are supposed to do,” the Minister highlighted when addressing the Kgotla meeting.
Speaking to The Botswana Gazette councillors claimed that the meeting did not proceed because there were insufficient members present to form a quorum. The councillors said they could not defy the council’s Standing Orders and hold a meeting without forming a quorum. “There was no way we could take a resolution while not forming a quorum but surprisingly the Minister is accusing us of deliberately snubbing an important meeting. It is procedural; the councillors can only hold a meeting when they form a quorum. The Minister knows this, it is only that she was being emotional when addressing the Kgotla meeting. And it is not permissible for the Minister to dissolve Council without consulting the community. Procedurally the Minister is supposed to consult and set up a Commission of Enquiry to establish the allegations. So, for the Minister to tell the Kgotla meeting that we declined to attend the meeting that takes the resolution is not true,” revealed defiant councillors stressing that there was no truth on what the Minister told the Kgotla meeting.
Reached for comment the councillors’ Attorney Musa Solomon advised The Botswana Gazette that they will wait for the issue to unfold before they map the way forward with his clients. “It has to be noted that the Minister cannot dissolve the council before consulting the community. Initially she has to set up an enquiry to establish what happened. Afterwards the report submitted by the commission of enquiry is the one that could determine the decision. Currently the Minister can only have an intention to dissolve the council. That is why we want to wait and see how the issue unfolds before mapping the way forward,” Solomon disclosed.