Angry Botshabelo residents kick-out VDC officials

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Irate Botshabelo Central ward residents kicked out Village Development Committee (VDC) officials to end internal tension that has been brewing for some time.

The officials were elected in January 2014 and were left with a year before their term elapsed.  Tension was in the air at the Botshabelo kgotla when the chairman, Kgololego Kabelo stood up to declare that sour relations among them have affected development projects.

He said while others wanted to use guidelines to inform themselves on how they should run the committee, some wanted to flout the rules to advance their personal interests.

The committee’s treasurer Chandapiwa Nthomphe took advantage of the meeting to distribute copies of a petition against Kabelo, allegedly authored by some committee members. This irked the residents, who questioned why Nthomphe used the occasion to distribute copies of the petition that accused Kabelo of stalling the committee’s business by not cooperating with other members.

The petition said that because of the chairman’s behaviour, the committee members were always left out of workshops and other important activities.  It further said that Kabelo took unilateral decisions, which included expelling one committee member.

“He does not condone any advice from us and since the committee was elected into office no development has taken place,” the petition said. Kabelo admitted in an interview after the community had unanimously agreed to dissolve the VDC that there was no teamwork among them. He said some committee members were being investigated by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) over mismanagement of public funds.

He stated that the money in question amounted to P20,000 and this prompted him to demand an audited report that took long to be availed.  Kabelo said tension among committee members was so serious that they even failed to change signatories at the bank and that the signatories are still members of the old committee.  He further said the bank statement that was recently presented to the committee had some of the pages missing raising suspicions of corruption.

The chief community development officer, Mogorosi Kokoro told the meeting that his mandate was to reconcile the warring committee members and when this failed, a meeting would be convened to consult the community that elected the committee into office.

He said for such events, his office in consultation with the customary court president, who is an ex officio member, are empowered by the guidelines to convene an elective general meeting within a period of not less than 14 days to elect a new committee.

He said though the committee has been dissolved, it will vacate the office after officially handing over to the new committee.

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