Opposition councillors plan on taking the mayor to court
Opposition members of the Gaborone City Council (GCC) are planning on taking the Mayor to court with an intention to nullify the results of the motion of no confidence tabled against her on Monday.
The ruling party Councilors won against the motion when all 13 opposition members together with two ruling party councilors walked out of council and refused to take part in the elections. The contention was on whether the nominated councilors were entitled to vote in such an election.
Opposition members understood that the nominated Councilors were not supposed to vote, but the ruling Party which holds majority of seats wanted their votes in order to retain the Mayors seat.
“Obviously we have different understanding of the standing orders. For the best interest of this Council, lets seek guidance of the Council Clerk,” suggested the mover of the motion, Ndiwani Kewagamang Kenosi of Moselewapula ward.
However the Mayor Veronica Lesole maintained that: “The Attorney General (AG) has given us clarity on the matter and therefore we have to vote. Those who disagree with this meeting must go out, the door is open…Those who agree form the quorum so we can continue.”
In fact she had earlier told the Council that she had sought the AG’s legal opinion and the advice was that they were entitled to vote.
However the opposition maintained that she had acted out of the Council’s mandate when she sought the opinion and therefore did not recognize it and hence walked out in protest.
“We do not accept the defeat and funds permitting, we are going to court. The law was not followed. The Council should have sought legal opinion of its attorney and when she (Mayor) asked for AG’s opinion she was acting out of the mandate of the Council,” Kenosi conteded further outside the meeting.
A motion without notice was tabled by Councillor Kenosi last week Tuesday during a full council meeting. It sought to declare the seat of Mayor, deputy mayor and other Council Committees to be vacant and subsequently the Mayor sought legal advice concerning the voting rights of the five nominated councillors of which four are members of the ruling party.