FRANCISTOWN: City mayor Sylvia Muzila has finally withdrawn criminal charges she laid against specially elected Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor Andy Boatile.
A few weeks ago Muzila reported Boatile at the Francistown Central Police Station (CPS) for allegedly using insulting language against her through cell phone text messages. The police confiscated Boatile’s phone in the process.
Muzila is said to have been persuaded by fellow BDP councillors to withdraw the charges against the party’s former youth wing chairperson.
On Friday CPS commander Lebalang Maniki confirmed that Muzila has withdrawn the charges against Boatile.
“The charges were withdrawn recently. However, for confidentiality reasons I cannot disclose the reasons why the charges were withdrawn. The councillor (Boatile) involved was charged with an offence of using insulting language,” Maniki said.
The station commander declined to state if Boatile has been given back his phone or not, citing confidentiality reasons.
The Monitor has however established that Boatile was furnished with his phone on Friday morning at the police station where he was also officially informed that criminal charges against him have been withdrawn.
Boatile would not be drawn into discussing the recent developments with The Monitor.
Muzila’s decision to withdraw the charges come days after BDP councillors in Francistown unanimously agreed in an internal party meeting to abandon their idea to topple her from her mayoral position.
Boatile is said to have been amongst those who wanted to topple the mayor. Some said he was doing so on account of their recent squabbles. He however denied playing a leading role with reference to attempts to
The BDP councillors were reportedly persuaded by the Francistown region leadership and Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Slumber Tsogwane not to get rid of Muzila during the internal meeting.
Tsogwane is the representative of the Francistown region the in BDP central committee. Both Tsogwane and the regional leadership were of the view that ousting Muzila is going to tarnish the image of the party.
“They were also of the view that regular changes of the council political leadership halts continuity. They advised the councillors and the mayor to strive to build a better working relationship with each other going forward,” said one BDP insider. At the internal meeting Muzila is said to have apologised to the
aggrieved councillors and promised that she will improve working relations with them. The councillor had indicated that they wanted to topple Muzila because they do not enjoy a good working relationship with her.
BDP councillors had initially agreed through a caucus that they would remove Muzila during a recent full council meeting that coincided with former Deputy Mayor Lechedzani Modenga’s death.
Muzila abruptly adjourned the council session before a motion of no confidence against her could be tabled. She said that the she is adjourning the council to allow councillors and the council staff to mourn the death Modenga.
Her move was seen as a tactic to thwart efforts to wrestle the mayoral chain from her.