Villagers want their councillor out

FRANCISTOWN: Mabesekwa villagers want their village councillor Lone Letamo out, accusing him of poor service delivery. Thatayamodimo Kebahitile, co-ordinator of the group seeking to oust the civic leader, said that residents had resolved to topple Letamo over his apparent negligence of their village.

Kebahitile said he (Letamo) is failing to bring services to the people and it’s time he steps down. “We have decided to write a petition to the District Commissioner (DC) Khumo Keeng, the Tonota Sub-District council secretary Terrence Ntalabgwe and to the Member of Parliament Thapelo Olopeng’s office to raise the concern because Letamo is failing the people of Mabesekwa,” said Kebahitile.

He said that the idea is for the above leadership to summon Letamo to the village kgotla so that he can explain his intentions towards them and their village. Kebahitile accused Letamo of neglecting the people of Mabesekwa village alleging that ever since they voted him into power, they have never seen him in their village.

“The only people who have seen him (Letamo) saw his car passing by, heading towards his cattlepost at Bonwaphofu,” said Kebahitile.

He said the majority of the residents live in abject poverty, accusing Letamo of failing to bring poverty alleviation programmes meant to empower citizens to the people.

He stated that Letamo is failing to deliver because he does not know what residents want as he has never held a Kgotla meeting to establish their concerns. Kebahitile said that recently there was allocation of plots for fields in their village, that was not carried out accordingly because there was no proper consultation with residents.

Quizzed about the petition, the Village Development Committee (VDC) chairperson Lesego Nkoborwane dismissed the allegations, saying that the youthful councillor is a hard worker representing them well in council.

Nkoborwane conceded to having received a letter last Friday, about a meeting on Wednesday (yesterday) with the concerned parties over the matter. He said the (petitioners) will have to explain the reasons why they decided to petition Letamo without raising their concerns with the VDC first.

“All the issues they have raised in the letter are not true. Letamo has in the past held Kgotla meetings with residents. We (VDC) have also held numerous Kgotla meetings where we invited him and he participated in our meetings in front of residents,” said Nkoborwane.

He said that the people who came up with the petition might have a hidden agenda against their youthful councillor because residents are not aware of the petition and have never raised any complaints. Asked about the petition Keeng and Ntalabgwe acknowledged to having heard rumours that some villagers at Mabesekwa wanted their councillor out, but said that they have not yet received the letter.

Gilbert Seth of MP Olopeng’s office, while declining to disclose the contents of the letter to Mmegi, admitted to having received it last Friday.

“I am not in a position to disclose to you the contents of the letter because the owner of the letter (MP Olopeng) has not yet received it, he will only see it when he comes home during Independence holidays,” said Seth.

Asked about the allegations levelled against him, Letamo said that he was not shocked at the accusations, indicating that Kebahitile is being used by some of the people he defeated in last year’s BDP primary elections.

“The people who lost last year’s BDP primary elections are the ones who claim to be residents of Mabesekwa and tarnish my name for their own benefits,” said Letamo. He said that he has been representing his people very well at council level and they are impressed.

“I have held kgotla meetings with residents in the past and I am aware of their issues of concern,” said Letamo.

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