KANYE: Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) councillors at Kanye Administrative Authority (KAA) snubbed the re-run of the chairperson and vice chairperson Monday following nullification of the May 22 polls.
They refused to submit their nomination, arguing that the presiding officer failed to answer some of their questions regarding the court ruling, which gave council the go-ahead to continue with elections.
This comes after the High Court dismissed with costs an application by UDC councillor, Kennedy Otlaadisa who had dragged the Southern District Council (SDC) and its secretary to court seeking an interim interdict of a re-run of the recently held KAA election.
The councillors were called to elect the new leadership after council secretary, Poloko Mojalemotho and the principal council attorney, Sylvia Fologang-Matenge nullified last month’s elections results.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor, Katlego Pelekekae had won the chairpersonship against fellow BDP member, former chairperson, Tlhomamo Dibeela. Otlaadisa of the UDC also won the vice chairpersonship, but the two leaders were ordered to vacate their seats on May 24.
The argument was that the presiding officer used the SDC standing order instead of the Local Government Act. The standing order 80 of SDC states as follows; A chairperson and vice chairperson shall have the right to attend any committee or meeting, but have no right to vote at the meetings.
On Monday, UDC councillors could not keep calm as they demanded explanation of why SDC chairperson, Alec Seametso and his vice, Thamiso Chabalala were given a chance to vote but could stand for elections.
They kept on interrupting the proceedings, demanding to be given satisfactory answers and arguing that the court order was not available to them on Friday night as it
On the nomination of the vice chairperson, BDP consoled Pelekekae with a nomination to the seat though he initally refused to accept it. Pelekekae was voted by UDC councillors in the May 22 elections and he defeated Dibeela with 12 votes to 10.
Pelekekae had to be whisked away by other BDP councillors to plead with him to accept the seat. He remained serene throughout the proceedings, but finally reluctantly ascended the to seat after UDC failed to field their nomination again. Pelekekae could not deny nor confirm that he was forced to take the role of vice chairperson as a consolation to the court ruling that evicted him from his chairpersonship seat. He only mentioned that it was a fresh election and he was happy with the outcome.
UDC councillors remained unsettled and causing chaos, especially after the chairperson and his vice had taken their oath.
The councillors refused to recognise the duo as they (councillors) remained seated contrary to protocol, which required that all members should stand up when the two leaders entered the chamber. They kept heckling Dibeela as he tried to deliver his speech.
Inevitably, some UDC councillors withdrew from council committees. Dibeela pledged his support to his deputy and pleaded for support from the House to help him lead the council for another two-and-half years.