Moatlhodi, UDC councillors clash


FRANCISTOWN: Member of Parliament (MP) for Tonota and the deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Pono Moatlhodi is entangled in a bitter row with two of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) councillors in his constituency.

The relationship between Moatlhodi and the two UDC councillors—Neo Sefume and Isaac Nyathi of Tholodi and Shashe Mooke wards respectively—has reportedly been sour for some time.

So sour the relationship is that the legislator ended up reporting the two councillors to the Tonota Sub-District Council chairperson, Chris Machokoto. In fact, on Friday Machokoto called the three warring politicians in a bid to assist them with ironing out differences.

Moatlhodi has confirmed that he reported the two councillors to Machokoto. He said that he had to report them as they had developed a penchant for disrupting or discrediting him during his kgotla meetings. The legislator added: “I couldn’t keep quiet. That is why I reported them.” He stated it is crucial for leaders to work together to build their communities.

Sefume confirmed that Machokoto summoned them (Moatlhodi, Nyathi, and Sefume) for a reconciliation meeting on Friday. He said that Moatlhodi reported him and Nyathi to the council chairperson because he felt they were not cooperative. He, however, maintains the contrary. The Tholodi ward councillor said that their main issue was that Moatlhodi does not consult them on issues affecting their respective wards before visiting them to address his Kgotla meetings. Sefume added: “Recently during a kgotla meeting, I disagreed with him on the water project issue.

He informed people that he secured money through the relevant ministry for the water project, which to the best of my understanding is not true because the project is funded through the council Constituency Community project.

He did not take it kindly.

My position was not to disrespect him, it was to correct him.” Sefume further said that Moatlhodi, who retraced his footsteps to the ruling party last year after clinching the constituency under the UDC banner at the 2019 general elections, has started de-campaigning them (UDC councillors). “He has been making donations without the involvement of the councillors and VDC (Village District Council) as per protocol,” Sefume said.

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