While Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa, tried to paint a picture of unity to the media last week when revealing that they “agreed” to give Mayor Kagiso Thutlwe and his deputy Kagiso Tshekega another term, councilors are actually grumbling about this development and may be split in sharp divisions.
According to Mohwasa, the decision to support the current Mayor and Deputy Mayor for another term at Gaborone City Council (GCC) was reached last week Thursday during a party caucus where elections were held. He however refused to share the results with the media, only revealing that Tlogatloga Ward Councilor Rhoda Sekgororoane, Sergeant Kgosietsile of Marulamantsi and Oarabile Motlaleng of Naledi North had stood against Thutlwe.
While GCC councilors in the past expressed their discontent against Thutlwe who they said was incompetent and extravagant, , Mohwasa pointed out that the UDC would send one candidate and expects all councilors to abide by the caucus decision.
“No one is going to challenge Thutlwe from our side. Whoever is going to take a decision to stand as a mayor candidate will be doing so against a decision that has already been taken by the party but we do not expect anyone to do that because they are responsible councilors as they know that will not make the party look good,” he said.
This however did not sit well with Sekgororoane who ran against Thutlwe, saying she was disappointed because she had hoped to be the first female mayor from the opposition- as only men have been elected since independence.
“I wanted to stand for a chance to be the first woman from opposition to occupy that seat and make the UDC proud. As for whether I accept the results from the caucus I do not know how I am expected to do that while they wouldn’t even release those results, so what exactly am I accepting?” she quipped.
Mohwasa however did not address Sekgororoane’s complaint when it was put to him and only stuck to the party line, explaining that party leadership intervened with the caucus because there was no unity among opposition councilors.
UDC moves to heal divisions
Meanwhile, UDC will soon kickoff a team building project that is expected to help squash tensions between Gaborone City Council (GCC) opposition councilors which have been brewing over issues of leadership amongst others.
“We have taken a decision as a party to help our councilors to work as a team. We realize that this is an issue that we have been ignoring for a lot time but we are now trying to engage our councilors to be cohesive so that they can still work together even when they have different opinions on issues,” explained Mohwasa.
For a long time, opposition councilors have been at odds with Mayor Kagiso Thutlwe whose leadership they have questioned, saying he was underperforming and neglecting his mayoral duties. They further argued that he spends most of his time indulging in a questionable lavish lifestyle, indulging in alcohol while associating with known BDP functionaries.
“We are aware that there are councilors who have had disagreements as to how the mayor has carried out his duties and that will be addressed during their team building project. The issue falls under this project that we are using to try and built cohesiveness. We have people with a lot of experience in politics and administration that will help us to make this project a success,” expounded Mohwasa.
On whether party leadership is happy with the way the mayor has been handling his duties, the UDC spokesperson said the challenge with the council is that it is dependent on the ministry of Local government, an issue that he says hinders the council to do many of its duties effectively thus making it seem like the mayor is not performing his duties.