Opposition councillors accuse Masimolole of poor representation
Member of Parliament (MP)for Mogoditshane,Patrick Masimolole has come under fire for allegedly sidelining opposition party wards through biased representation in favour of wards held by his ruling party.
At the recently ended Mogoditshane /Thamaga sub district full council meeting, at least three dis disgruntled opposition councillors accused MasimololeMasimolole of dividing the constituency along party affiliation.
Councillors, Banks Ndebele and Johnson Rowland of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Michael Seitshiro of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) charged that Masimolole who is also the assistant minister of Education, Skills and Development never holds Kgotla meetings in their wards.
“Mogoditshane MP does not hold Kgotla meetings in other parts of Mogoditshane. I am raising the matter as a concern because people are not supposed to be used to win votes only. They need to be consulted and fairly represented in parliament,” Ndebele of Mogoditshane North said.
“His meetings are concentrated on one side of the village while opposition controlled areas are often excluded from his schedule. Whenever we ask him to come to our wards he says he wouldn’t come unless we organize meetings and invite him and yet he does not require the same in other wards where he initiates the meetings himself !” Ndebele further stated.
Expressing a similar concern, councillor Rowland of Mogoditshane Central North alleged that since 2010, Masimolole has never held meetings in his ward.
“Truth be told, the MP has never visited our ward since then,” Rowland lashed out.
At the time of the debate, Masimolole was holding a Kgotla meeting in the southern part of Mogoditshane and the Sub District’s leadership decided to arrange for a meeting with him to discuss the councillor’s query a matter of urgency.
“He is not only an MP, but a minister. Let’s accord him the respect he deserves and take up the matter with him in a polite manner,” Council chairperson, Patrick Manthe advised.
Masimolole however later denied and rubbished the accusations in an interview.
“They are talking rubbish. It is not true. It is my standard operating procedure that before I hold meetings in any part of Mogoditshane I call a meeting with all councillors in my constituency and draw the schedule of meetings,” Masimolole explained.
“The constituency is mine, irrespective of party affiliation and I would have nothing to gain but everything to lose by dividing it along party affiliation.” Masimolole further stated.
However one of the councillors, Seitshiro of Nkoyaphiri East went even further to accuse Masimolole of acting like someone who could be privy to how Mogoditshane may be divided during the anticipated constituency delimitations due to population growth.
“He has privately demarcated the constituency and decided to concentrate on what he thinks would be his stronghold. Since I left his Party to join BMD, he does not hold meetings in my ward,” Seitshiro who broke away from the ruling party to join the BMD charged.