- Deputy sheriff attaches and sells one ex-candidate’s car
- Ex-candidate says Boko has been a no-show at meetings to discuss petition bill
Relations among members of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) have gone sour, The Botswana Gazette has gathered. The coalition’s parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Central in the 2019 general elections, Dr Mpho Pheko, characterized the situation as “political gangsterism” in an interview.
Last Friday her vehicle was attached by deputy sheriffs and auctioned to raise money towards settling costs imposed by the courts and she feels robbed. “When we agreed to petition the 2019 general election results, the UDC president said he would source funds to pay costs associated with the matter but his promise has obviously not been fulfilled,” she said.
The deputy sheriff who eventually attached her car has reportedly been chasing her since October last year. “What is annoying is that because the order states that we ‘are severally and jointly liable,’ other comrades, including the president Rre Duma Boko, seem to be lying low in hopes that other comrades will pick up the tab.”
Pheko says while there were 15 petitioners altogether, she is the only one from the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and is the only one who has been harassed by the deputy sheriff “Rre Micus Chimbobi’s car was not auctioned but five BNF comrades lined up to bid for it,” she said. “I was there. The whole thing was staged. Nelson Ramaotwana just shared that his car was attached today (last Saturday). The bill is P565 000.00 and my car was sold for P81 000.”
According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, UDC president Boko has all along been reluctant to draft an agreement for comrades to assist with costs for the petitions and has instead seemed content with his word that he would find a sponsor for the petitions. Only P25 000 was collected for a trust fund established for the purpose while Micus Chimbombi is said to have donated P31 000. The source said only Pheko has been hounded by the deputy sheriff.
According to Pheko, the UDC candidate for Mogoditshane Mozambia Dibe and the candidate for Shashe West Alfred Mashungwa opted out of petition because they saw it as too much of a risk. Afterwards, only UDC publicist Moeti Mohwasa and lawyer Boingotlo Toteng showed up whenever the petitioners asked to meet with Boko.
“As it stands, Pheko could still face civil imprisonment if the debts are not cleared,” the source said. “It appears the deputy sheriff is only pursuing BNF members on the petition list who are not on Duma Boko’s lobby list because the likes of Victor Phologolo and Masego Segokgo are not under any pressure,” said the source.
“The sheriff started chasing after Patrick Dibere Molutsi, UDC parliamentary candidate for Goodhope/Mabule in the 2019 elections only recently after he said he was included on the Boko’s lobby list even though he was not keen about partaking in the elections. All those who are not on Boko’s lobby list are going to be disadvantaged, and these include Mohammed Khan, Nelson Ramaotwana and Olebogeng Watshipi.”