The race for the top position of chairman in the North West District Council (NWDC) is wide open, with all eyes turning to the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) following an outstanding performance in the general election as they have won a majority of council seats in the region. The opposition will be in control of three councils which is Maun Administrative Authority (MAA), Okavango Sub Council and the NWDC.
For the chairman of MAA sub council, the councilor for Xhabara ward in the Maun East constituency, Vepaune Moreti is eying for the position of the chairman. Moreti retain his seat in the past elections as he was voted by 899 while opponents Kapi Johannes garnered 653 votes. Moreti is the former deputy chairman of MAA and this time his looking at the top post. Being among the senior councillor for the past 10 years, Moreti bring a wealth of experience and has the advantage among others. Moreti confirmed that he is in the race but refuse to reveal more saying he will be ready next week.
At the Okavango Sub district, veteran councillor for Gumare/Tubu North, Mpoke Karapo also vying for the position of chairman. Karapo also retained this council seat for the fourth time. Karapo has always been aspiring to be the chairman of Okavango sub district but have always lost to the BDP councillors who had the numerous advantages in voting.
New comer, the councillor for Kareng/Sehithwa/Legothwana, Petros Tjetjoo who recently won the ward from the BDP for the first time in history also want the position of the chairman in the MAA. Source told this publication that there have been caucus from councillor in the Ngami district to have Tjetjoo in the position as it will be an advantage for the district which is behind in developments. “If Tjetjoo become the chairman of the district this will be an advantage for the district as he can advocate for the development than as a councillor as he will use his power as a chairman to bring development,” a source said. Tjetjoo confirmed that indeed he is interested in the chairman in the MAA. He further explained that they have are still discussing the issue with other comrades since Moreti has also shown interest in the same position. Tjetjoo further stated that they many agree in principle for Moreti to be the chairman while he took the deputy position of MAA. We are still to meet with other comrade to discuss the matter, he said
For the position of chairman in the NWDC to replace Reaboka Mbulawa and Duncan Enga who served for the last five years, the name of Kebareeditse Ntsogotho has cropped up. Ntsogotho an outspoken councillor for Khwai/Mababe want the chairmanship after being the leader of opposition for the last five years. Ntsogotho confirmed to this publication has he has interest in the position but could not duel more citing that it is still early.
Another councillor who is vying for the post of NWDC chairman is Olebile Chombo of Sankoyo/Shorobe. Chombo is the former chairman of Tawana land board from 2006 to 2011. Chombo confirmed that some councillors were also caucusing for him to stand for the position of chairman. He also explained that he did not have the desire to stand for elections but if he is approached, he will not refuse the offer.
One of the councillor who was also approached to stand for the position of chairman but turn down the proposal is Luke Motlaleselelo, the councillor for Bojanala ward in the Maun West constituency. He explains that he turned down the chairmanship because being the chairman of the district under the leadership of the BDP is ceremonial position because all the key decisions and the budget is controlled by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.
Motlaleselelo further explained that he turned down the offer because the ward he is representing Bojanala in the Maun West constituency is rich in natural resources but its people remains poor. He added that the ward consists of wards which are ungazetted this means that no development will reach the area unless the law is reviewed. “I cannot sit in the chairmanship while the people suffer because of the policy by the BDP. I would take the position if the UDC was in power not under BDP,” he said adding that the chairman of the district under the BDP is ceremonial as the chairman does not have any power to make any changes as he gets order from the Minister responsible.
Motlaleselelo further explains that the advantage of council being under the control of opposition is that they have the chance to pass motion at the council which will influence the decision making but said the onus is on the Minister to adopt their motions passed at the councils.
Some political pundits have observed that since NWDC is under the opposition the ruling BDP will intentionally sabotage them but not bring any development just like it has been happening country wide in areas such as Molepolole and Gaborone City Council.