Shock and panic gripped organisers last weekend when elderly people ignored the handing over ceremony of a health post structure built by Tati-East MP Samson Guma Moyo at Sekukwe settlement.
The settlement is part of Matshelagabedi, a village in the constituency of the Botswana Democratic Party MP who is now one of the leading figures in the breakaway party, Botswana Movement of Democracy.
Apart from local youngsters who came for a football tournament that was part of the event, very few elderly people showed up to accept the donation and also celebrate their MP’s spirit of giving to Sekukwe residents. While it is common knowledge that Batswana, especial in rural areas, would flock at functions where food is given for free, this time around, the villagers neither moved nor caused to salivate after the mentioning of two beasts and goats slaughtered for the handing ceremony.
To add salt to injury, only two councillors from Moyo’s constituency attended the event. This despite the fact that the event was well publicised, with vehicles mounting speakers having had, the night before, taken to the whole settlement and Matshelagabedi to tell all and sundry what was in store.
It is not clear yet as to what could have caused the low turnout at the ceremony, but sources have indicated that residents feel betrayed and now have a bone to chew with their MP for defecting to BMD without consulting them.
Tati-East was historically the heartland of the slowly dying Botswana Peoples Party, but had fallen to the ruling party in the past four elections.
Now, speculation is that Moyo would have to work hard to calm down the seemingly heated spirits of his followers in Matshelagabedi on his quest to lure them to his new political party. “People are just confused and angry at the MP. He still owes the villagers an apology for their chief’s name which was dragged in mud during and after the last year’s general elections,” said a villager. The village elders noted that Moyo blundered when he “insulted” the village chief Oganne Fox, allegedly branding him deadwood who was interfering on political issues.
Moyo played down the no-show, saying managed to take the kick the donation was meant to support the government in the quest to reach the nation’s vision 2016.
“This is a voluntary job meant to assist the government. Health is one of the pillars of the country’s vision and it is up to those who could afford to assist where possible,” Moyo said promising that people should expect more help in the area.
Guest speaker Thandi Morupisi from Tati-Nickel mine thanked Moyo’s humble gesture and pointed that people who have means should follow suit. She said Matshelagabedi residents, especial those residing in Sekukwe, should count themselves lucky to have been chosen to benefit from their MP’s donation.
“It’s my first to officiate a project financed by an individual and it is very encouraging to learn that Moyo spent P40 000 to construct the whole structure,” Morupisi said.
She noted that the construction of the health post was a clear indication that the MP had good working relations with the villagers.
Also present at the event was the Chairman of North East District Council (NEDC) and medical officers from Matshelagabedi villages including the village chief Oganne Polson Fox.