Development of Bobirwa constituency which forms part of the economically crushed SPEDU region is integral to the revitalization of the eastern margin after the closure of the BCL mine. This was revealed by area Member of Parliament, Shaw Kgathi during his state of the constituency address last week.
According to Kgathi who is also Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, the Selibe Phikwe Economic revitalization strategy which is implemented by the regional economic diversification agency, SPEDU consists of Agriculture and Tourism development, something which he noted his constituency houses confidently.
“This area has 26 tourism centres largely found in the Tuli Block and this presents a lot of employment opportunities in the area from tourist attraction places,” he said. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) legislator further told attendants that tourism attraction facilities are being set up in Thune dam. Kgathi added that hotels, lodges and other recreational facilities are being planned to be setup around the dam, “Our constituency is very important to SPEDU efforts, at the dams, water spots and tourism will take place to lure visitors and tourists to the places.”
Kgathi revealed that Bobirwa Constituency will have a major role in SPEDU‘s agricultural production efforts adding that the availability of water in Thune dam will go a long way in turning the region into the country’s bread basket. “I have visited Talana farms recently and the farm is coming back to life employing hundreds of our constituents.’’
An independent investor is reported to have already began taking over operations at the once multi million pula fresh produce and was tilling 500 hectares and will employ 250 people at full production. His worship, the Mayor of Selibe Phikwe, Amogelang Mojuta told WeekendPost this past week that Selibe Phikwe started the New Year on a high note of economic revival. “What happened last year happened, we cannot change it, and as we wait on the report from the liquidator we continue working tirelessly to revive our town,” the youthful Mayor said.
According to Mojuta, the biggest turn around in Phikwe will be electronic parts assembly plants which will complement agricultural processing and tourism efforts to create hundreds of jobs. Mojuta further noted that Selebi Phikwe Town Council is on a process to have the town’s stadium upgraded so as to host major events.
“We are looking at uplifting our stadium which will soon be officially named after our legend, Sam Sono, to a bigger one that would cary a larger capacity of attendants so we can start hosting major events like Botswana Games,” he explained. The BDP specially elected councilor also told this publication that he’s advocating for a sport auditorium in the town to promote indoor sporting activities like karate and table tennis which he said can help keep youngsters busy and away from criminal activities.
“As BCL is nowhere to be found, it is now in our hands to develop our town, government has availed so many opportunities now for residents around Phikwe in the SPEDU region to tap into, from cooperative societies, funds under CEDA, YDF and so forth,’’ said Mojuta.
He said a fish farm will also be setup in Mmadinare. In an interesting revelation the Mayor told this publication that government is in processes to inject millions into Pula steel, to keep the plant alive after the crush of its mother company BCL Investment. “Pula Steel Plant which SPEDU played a pivotal role in its establishment will upgrade its production, CEDA has pledged to assist the Steel refinery and manufacturing company financially to help the organization reach its full potential,” said Mojuta.
On other issues concerning the Bobirwa constituency the former Minister of Youth, Shaw Kgathi who has been the area MP since 2004 revealed that Bobonong internal roads are under assessment and at tender stage. He said the assessment team was assessing all houses within a 100 metre radius of the construction of the road and storm water drainage. Minister Kgathi said the resealing of Bobonong-Lekkerpoet road was at 93 percent completion stage while dry grading of several roads was also ongoing.
He further boasted about Plaatjan Border Bridge under the project management of SPEDU which he observed would be a commercial bridge that would ease movement and enhance trade in the area. Kgathi revealed that reports indicate that YDF had funded 24 beneficiaries to the tune of P2.2 million from 53 applicants in the area.
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.