Selibe Phikwe councilors have warned the government against potential fallout in the upcoming revitalization projects to be undertaken towards resuscitating the economy of Phikwe after the demise of BCL mine.
Speaking at a full council session addressed by the Phikwe revitalization ministerial committee this past Thursday (24th November 2016), councilors warned government that, even though economic resuscitation matter is of paramount emergency, high level monitoring has to be attached to any national funds injected.
According to councilor Evelyn K Kgodungnwe of Ikageng Phase 2, diversification projects and mega national projects have dismally failed in other instances across the country. “We have seen Morupule B failing, the Glass Project, and our own textile industries failing in the past due to poor monitoring and lack of cautionary implementation thus we don’t want the same with our town, especial at a time like this.” She observed.
The full council also told the ministerial team which comprised of Ministers, Vincent Seretse of Investment ,Trade & Industry , Sadique Kebonang of Mineral Resources , Green Technology & Energy Security as well as Nonofo Molefhi of Housing& Infrastructure, that the town ‘s current condition is not suitable for investors. Councilor Letlogelwa advised that the town’s poor water sanitation and bad drainage which causes spills and unpleasant smell will go a long way in chasing investors who fear for their health, which will consequently collapse the revitalization efforts.
“Judging from the optimism you are displaying before us Honorable Minister, investors will come and leave because of the poor sanitary system in this town, and we as the council cannot do much about it because we don’t have funds, thus we plead with your government to increase our budget allocation next financial year.” He noted
Seretse told the full council that out of over 4000 former BCL employees, 1251 only went as far as primary school, being, mostly elderly people while 2688 attained secondary education. He also stated that only 483 have trade vocational qualifications whereas only 564 have received tertiary education, adding that his team has submitted the figures to the Department of Labour for them to advice on where the workers can be absorbed considering their qualifications and skills.
Seretse further revealed that all government parastatals , departments conferences ,business seminars and workshops will be mobilized to be hosted in Phikwe in order to keep the town alive while the revitalization process in ongoing. He further unpacked the whole revitalization strategy to councilors who prior to that complained about learning about it from hear say.
For his part Minister of Infrastructure & Housing who is also Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe East, Nonofo Molefhi told the full council that NDP 10 project implementation surplus and all remaining funds from National Urban Development plan 4 will be collected and channeled towards Phikwe drainage and water infrastructural upgrading.
Molefhi also revealed that the Upgrade of Selibe Phikwe Government Hospital has been moved to national budget 2016/17 from initially 2017/18 financial year as previously planned. The Selibe Phikwe councilors advised government that the revitalization projects have to be enacted around community based businesses and corporative societies. “We have seen in the past year the textile business owners exploiting our people, taking profits and vacating the town, thus we want the textile business to be done by our own women and young people here who are already doing it in the streets.” observed Councilor T.Matsamme of Newstands .
Seretse also assured the Selibe Phikwe town Council that government will continue consulting them from time to time in the quest of resurrect the town. He urged Selibe Phikwe stakeholders to welcome former central bank governor, Linah Mhohlo as she will be coordinating and overseeing the revitalization undertakings, adding that she possesses unique experience in issues economic and investment resuscitation.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.