FRANCISTOWN: Itekeng ward councillor, Lesego Kwambala is said to have recently shunned a deal from the Alliance Progressives (AP) that would have seen him replace the City Mayor, Godisang Radisigo.
In addition, it is said that the AP, led by Phillip Matante East councillor Uyapo Nyeku, has for sometime been leading opposition plans to oust Radisigo.
According to insiders, the opposition councillors want to use the September ordinary full council meeting to topple Radisigo. Nyeku is said to have met Kwambala recently although both parties have vehemently denied the meeting.
It is alleged that the opposition has also been working tirelessly to convince some ruling party councillors to buy into a cross party deal to oust Radisigo to no avail.
Tabling a motion of no confidence against a respective sitting mayor is legendary at the Francistown City Council (FCC) chambers.
Councillors from across the political divide have often been accused of using the tactic for political gamesmanship. Some critics and BDP councillors in Francistown see the recent attempt by the AP and other opposition parties as a veiled attempt to destablise the ruling party.
Sources have disclosed that Kwambala has now set his eyes on challenging for the mayoral chain when Radisigo completes his two-and-half years’ term early in 2022.
“He (Kwambala) defied a party caucus last year and it seems the party will not take action against him. That is why he does not want to act (by challenging Radisigo) in a manner that might rub the party the wrong way,” said one unidentified BDP councillor.
Kwambala defied a BDP caucus last year when he challenged Radisigo for the position of mayor during a full council meeting. He marginally lost the mayoral elections. It still remains unclear as to why the party has chosen not to act against him.
It is alleged that some opposition councillors want Radisigo out because they feel that he has not been a real player in the fight against COVID-19 and was missing in action in recent months when he was supposed to be leading various COVID-19 initiatives.
Instead of leading from the front, they believe he chose to delegate
Meanwhile, the opposition also believes that it was unethical for Radisigo to have tendered for the supply of food items as part of the COVID-19 relief effort for stricken residents in the city. The council directly awarded the food relief tenders.
Radisigo won the tender, but would later withdraw after he was accused of conflict of interest. This was despite the fact that the council had absolved him from any wrongdoing.
This week, Nyeku denied allegations from various sources that he is leading plans to remove Radisigo. “I do not know anything in connection with a plot to oust Radisigo,” Nyeku briefly responded.
Radisigo confirmed that he is aware of a plot to oust him. “I am not worried because plans to oust me are backed by the opposition. They will not win,” he said.
He also said that he believes that he has applied himself very well since taking over as the mayor late last year.
“ All the matters linked to COVID-19 are mainly administrative and under the office of the town clerk. That is why the town clerk has been at the forefront all along. I featured where necessary. I am just waiting for the State of Emergency to come to an end so that I can articulate my role as the political leader of the city,” he said.
As matters stand, Kwambala has since denied that he has been approached by the opposition to take on Radisigo. “ I have no desire to take over from Radisigo before his two and half term comes to an end. I have only heard rumours that there are those who want to oust the mayor, but I genuinely want to see him completing his term,” Kwambala said.