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Markus accused of unfair campaign

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ON PARADE: Markus and his team

Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Kostantinos Markus, who is also the  ruling Party’s Member of Parliament for Maun East, came under fire Friday evening for what the opposition viewed as a launch of his party’s campaign team at the expense of state resources.

Markus who had gone to Chanoga-Boseja to officially open the settlement’s borehole, used the opportunity to boast about his achievements before potential voters and this rubbed the area councillor, Boitameto Olebogile the wrong way.

“This is what we have been talking about, the unfairness of the campaign by the ruling party. As you have witnessed, the minister came here driving in official vehicles, he is using microphones provided by Information services, “ said Olebogile.

He further accused Markus of showing off and parading his campaign team during the same ceremony.

“He paraded BDP council candidates before the people and spoke as though we (opposition) did not play a role in the drilling of the borehole,” further complained Olebogile.

At the ceremony, Markus called on a team of BDP council candidates and told the Chanoga people that they were his foot soldiers: “I want you to see the people I work with. For things to happen, they are always willing to run errands on my behalf.”

Ironically the opposition maintains the foot soldiers were all council candidates for Maun East wards, but Marcus contended later that, he was not advancing his party’s interest at tax payer’s money, as alleged.

“It is not true that I was campaigning. I introduced them because I work with them for the interest of the constituency,” Markus responded.

For many years, opposition parties have been decrying unfair play in the political grounds and maintained that BDP is always ten steps ahead as it uses government resources to campaign.

In fact a motion which called for political party funding was passed in Parliament in 2014. However it was never implemented as the ruling party maintained that it was not in support of the idea.

The motion then was moved by opposition member, Bagalatia Aarone who has since crossed the floor to the BDP and is now minister of Basic Education.

The motion then was passed in the absence of cabinet ministers and enjoyed support of both opposition and BDP’s back bench.

In an interview with this publication, the then Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi who is now state president said, the BDP will not implement the motion as it did not support it.

Botswana is expected to hold its next general elections in October this year.