Maun Administration Authority (MAA) Councillors have received a donation of red T-shirts from Cyprus with mixed reactions.
The councillors from opposition parties reacted with suspicion while the BDP councillors expressed appreciation for the 2 940 shirts donated by Botswana Honorary Council at Cyprus through the office of the president.
The Sub Council Chairman, Galaletsang Mhapha in his speech when officially opening the first session of the 2013 full council meeting said:
“These T-shirts will be distributed to all registered destitute persons who will each get two T- shirts and the exercise will commence in the fourth quarter.”
Mhapha described the donation as a commendable gesture which will go a long way to instil the spirit of dignity and pride among the people of Ngamiland.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to all individuals, organizations and the business community who continue to heed our request to support and assist the less fortunate members of our society,” He said
Mhapha statement however did not sit well with Councillor Allen Sokwe of Tsau who said that it was embarrassing for a country with a stable economy to make asking for donations a major part of its strategy to ‘eradicate poverty.
“I suspect even donors are shocked at the way we beg for donations when our country is awash with cattle and diamonds,” Sokwe charged.
The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Councillor further said that to save money, government should learn to spend within budget instead of sending officers on unnecessary trips which cost millions of pulas in claims and allowances.
Meanwhile councillor for Boyeyi ward, Obonya Morapedi was of a different view from Sokwe.
Morapedi said that the gesture should be welcome because the council did not ask for it.
“We know Opposition councillors comments are politically motivated so we cannot take them too seriously,” she argued.
Vepaune Moreti of Boseja Ward on the other hand advised the council to critically scrutinise all donations and the motive behind them before accepting them.
“Both individuals and companies like to steal the limelight and gain advertising mileage through media coverage of their donations but council should weigh all donations up and decide if they are worth accepting,” said the Botswana Democratic Party Councillor.
Another BDP councillor, Baphotholodi Kgari of Disaneng ward made an issue out of the red colour of the T/ shirts which he said caused opposition councillors to suspect that they were meant to bolster the BDP campaign in Maun since they were in the party colour.