The Minister of Transport and Communications (MTC), Kitso Mokaila has said plans aimed at mitigating traffic congestion in the Gaborone, especially during peak hours are underway. Mokaila recently told parliament that his ministry was aware of is currently implementing projects to improve the situation.
Mokaila revealed this while answering a question from Nkange MP, Edwin Batshu, who asked if the minister was aware of the increasingly heavy traffic along the roads in Gaborone which causes unbearable traffic congestion which increases roads accidents. Mokaila revealed that the Traffic Signals Improvement and establishment of Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) for greater Gaborone under Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBMOT) is currently in progress and the design is expected to be completed in September 2018.
He said the construction and installation of the system is expected to commence in November 2018 or soon thereafter. He added “Moving to design and construct of intersections in greater Gaborone is meant to complement the signal traffic improvements. The project is currently at the procurement stage,” he said. The minister further said the assisted Technical Bid Evaluation was submitted for clearance by the financier (World Bank) in May this year with Financial Proposals expected to be opened during this month (July).
He continued to say that the other strategy implemented to regulate traffic is the construction and design of three (3) interchanges along the western Bypass at the intersections with Lobatse Road (Game City Circle), Kudumatse Drive (Rainbow Circle) and Willie Seboni Road (BTV Circle). He further said, “The financier being (OFID) granted conditional No objection on 27 June 2018, subject at some clarifications on the evaluation. Financial proposals are also expected to be opened during July 2018 after acceptance of the clarifications by the financier.”
The Nkange based Batshu had challenged Mokaila to state if his Ministry had any plans to ease the situation and whether his Ministry would consider regulating the import of second hand vehicles which do not only increase traffic but also pollute the environment. On the regulation of second hand imported motor vehicles, Mokaila stated that the Ministry has already drafted regulations to be implemented under Road Traffic Act specified for (Control of Motor Vehicle emissions, Importation and Registration of Pre-owned Motor vehicles) and consultations are ongoing with relevant stakeholders before finalisation. According to Mokaila the regulations precisely deal with the control of the importation of pre-owned vehicles and the emissions control.
Law makers have proposed that the ministry adopts other countries’ model of limiting the number of vehicles to travel per day in a congested city like Gaborone’s calibre. For his part, Gaborone North Member of Parliament, Haskins Nkaigwa said that it is not very good for the ministry to keep funds borrowed from the World Bank meant for implementing road projects for a very long time without utilisation. Nkaigwa observed that the money was long borrowed in 2010.
Gaborone Central MP, Dr Phenyo Butale said the minister should reflect how the borrowed World Bank loan will be utilized and blamed the ministry for failing to kick start the projects while the loan has been long availed. He said the ministry must be capacitated in order to be able to deliver the necessary projects.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.