There was chaos at the Gaborone City Council (GCC) yesterday as opposition and ruling party councillors exchanged harsh words over whether to deposit the money they are contributing in the account that has been opened for Matsha College students.
The mayor, Kagiso Thutlwe, had called an urgent meeting to discuss how they could help Matsha students who are admitted at Princess Marina hospital.
Mostly Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) councillors expressed discomfort that the money that they will be contributing should be deposited into the account. Rather they proposed that the money should be used to buy things the students need. Bontleng councillor, Olebogeng Kemelo, said that the account, which was opened by Bankers Association of Botswana for Matsha students is controlled by BDP members.
“We have seen them talking about it on Facebook and we are not sure whether our money will be accounted for or not. We do not want our money to be used for BDP campaigns. We can buy toiletry for these students and submit it ourselves at Princes Marina Hospital rather than deposit the money into the account,” Kemelo said.
Kemelo’s contention was that some ministers have politicised the Matsha issue. This however provoked Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillors, especially Specially Nominated councillor, Unami Lesole, who told Kemelo that the issue of Matsha had nothing to do with politics and the BDP. She said the account was opened for those who want to help the students.
Most councillors disagreed with Kemelo and supported BDP councillors that the money should be deposited into the account that has been opened. The councillors have been given until Friday to contribute P100 each. Kemelo walked out in protest as his suggestion was defeated.
Meanwhile the mayor told the council that only four councillors were allowed to visit the injured students admitted at Marina.
On other issues, Thutlwe said their year-end retreat scheduled for Maun early next month is mainly to improve the conduct of councillors and their behaviour in council.
“We have never had a retreat and councillors believed that we needed one. The behaviour of leaders should be different from other people. Those are some of the issues that we will discuss. Again we will be addressed on procedures that one needs to follow when aggrieved,” said Thutlwe.