“The issue is money, they want to increase sitting days, but that would be unfair -Maphongo
Gaborone City Mayor, Father Maphongo has described seven councilors that he kicked out of the Tuesday Full Council meeting for disrupting proceedings as “disorderly characters interested only in lining their pockets.”
The furious seven had accused Mayor Maphongo of running the council as if it were his personal business.
They had accused the mayor of forcing them to adopt new Standing Orders without subjecting such orders to a robust debate.
However, in an interview with this publication, Maphongo said that the bone of contention was not the amendment of Standing Orders as alleged by the group which is lead by Councilor for Kgale ward, Oduetse Tautona but an increase of the number of sitting days.
“They want the council to increase the number of days for council sitting from eight to 14, but they only work for three hours in a day. That is not fair; why not increase the hours of work from three instead of increasing the number of days? This a clear indication that they are after sitting allowance,” said Maphongo
He further explained that after the councilors’ request for more days was turned down, they deviated attention to Standing Orders, which were long debated and adopted during the previous sitting.
“ I was forced to kick them out because of their continuous disruption of the house proceedings.” Said the Mayor further quashing accusations leveled against him that he was a big -headed person who was intolerant of dissenting views.
“I do listen to all but I cannot tolerate disorderly behaviour,” he said before adding that one of the councilors had actually lost his cool and resorted to using foul language saying, ‘Go to hell and F@ck Off, I didn’t sleep with your mother.’
He stressed that if the councilors were to continue with that type of behaviour then they must forget about taking part in council proceedings in future.
“They are clutching at straws on a none issue when in fact we know the issue is money. I am going to let them participate in the next session but if they misbehave again, I will not hesitate to kick them out. I want order in my house,” the mayor emphasised.
Another allegation that the rowdy group had leveled against the mayor was that he had continued with the business of the day when the house did not reach a quorum.
Dismissing the accusation as false Maphongo said, “We constantly checked whether we were forming a quorum during the meeting and yes we were. By the end of the meeting we had 20 members in attendance.”