The Chairperson of the Central District Council (CDC) Mr Peter Williams has promised to work hard in his two year tenure to ensure that Boteti achieves the status of a township and is awarded developments the region has been longing for.
Speaking at a Kgotla meeting he addressed in Letlhakane recently, he said he had come to Letlhakane to hear residents’ grievances, exchange views as well as share his ambitions roadmap and developmental plans.
He said this was his first meeting with the residents since he assumed office as Chairperson of the vast and sparsely spread Central District. “Our district is the biggest in Botswana and possibly in Africa with a lot of remote area dwellers, owing to that we are confronted with many challenges as such are I’m here to report to you and seek suggestions on how we can work together to take the region forward” he announced, to a fully packed Letlhakane Kgotla.
He said he is aware of the low levels of developments in Letlhakane and that the village has a sub-standard sewage system, lack of good gravel roads, unreliable water supply, salty and oftentimes unhygienic drinks water and no street lights. He assured the constituents that he had been consulting with relevant authorities to resolve those long standing grievances.
He promised that during his tenure he will lobby all those who wield influence and power to ensure that Letlhakane achieves the status of a township like Orapa and Sowa-Pan “It is about time that this village is converted into a Township that will have an autonomous structure as we see in Sowa-Pan. This is done only to ensure that developments can be delivered timely to residents, I have to admit that this village has lacked behind as compared to other mining zones” he said.
He implored the youth not to rest on their laurels and to fully utilize government programs and initiatives, saying the current government has the best interest of the youth at heart “I arrived here yesterday after addressing Kgotla meeting in Xere and Rakops and I want to tell the youth that one elderly woman complained that you are not fully utilizing the programs we have availed, another elderly lady in Xere even suggested that we should share some of the money allocated towards youth projects with the elderly, as they themselves are ready and willing to work hard to see projects to full fruition, while the youth are lacking behind” he said.
He promised that the CDC will fix internal roads and that the council had recently fixed its machines, he announced that therefore a number of roads in Letlhakane will benefited as they will be upgraded. He said he was committed to small business development in his district and owing to that the Central District Council had recently set up a task force to come up with strategies of improving small businesses as well as create employment for the youth.
He urged the youth to work hard and preserve so that they can create employment for themselves. He also told the residents that he will be touring several select villages and all the seven Sub-districts in the central region to appraise them on developments and seek their views until there is a clear picture of his roadmap and developmental plans, he said this process will continue until the end of August.
He said poverty eradication programs, LIMID, ISPAD as well as the destitute and orphans programs in Boteti have been rolled out successfully and in his assessment were benefitting the intended beneficiaries and recipients. Saying more than 360 orphans enrolled together with over 1000 destitute persons in Letlhakane.
He said the CDC had been awarded over 652 million pula for developmental purpose and he stands ready to ensure that the money is used proficiently, to the enjoyment and enhancement of overall life for the inhabitants of the central district.
He called for delivery and efficient monitoring of government projects. He said CDC will continue to request for more funds from the central government to augment their meager resources needed to cater for the vast district. Boteti Sub-district chairperson said they also stand ready to support Mr Williams in his noble endeavor to better their district, he said all the concerns brought forward by the constituents will be considered at their next sitting.
He said the dilapidated Letlhakane hospital will be getting a facelift courtesy of Debswana mining company and that the hospital will also be revamped to add extra beds.
For their part, residents of Letlhakane thanked the Chairperson for his visit and comprehensive presentation, the majority of those who spoke and asked questions supported the idea of Letlhakane being converted into an independent township and begged for more developments in the village.
One of the residents, Mr Michael Thanke asked that street lights be installed in the village with urgency as many people who had come to ply their trade in the mine have brought with them a lot of unsavory habits and crime, he said the police were inundated with cases of violent crime and theft.
He said Letlhakane can no longer afford to be dark when a lot of the mine employees work night shifts putting their lives in danger. Residents also complained about slow delivery of the SHAA housing scheme, lackadaisical contribution to village development by the mines around the village as well as rampant youth unemployment which they said was a danger to peace and stability.
The chairperson’s tour of the CDC and its constituent sub-districts has taken him to various villages in the central district which included, Xhomo, Sebina, Gweta, Nata, Masunga among others. It will also see him traverse the length and breath of the district addressing residents to lay out his roadmap and seek for guidance during his term in office.
Mr Peter Williams ascended to the leadership of the Central District Council eight month ago taking over from long time CDC chairperson Mr Lesego Raditanka whom he beat by 91 to 81 votes. The CDC has a total of 174 councilors, a few of them had accompanied Mr Williams on his journey, he promised to work diligently together with his team to ensure unhindered delivery of service to Boteti.
In a classic and shocking case of disgrace and dishonour to this country, the law enforcement agencies are currently struggling to cover up a damaging and humiliating scandal of having conspired to forge the signature of a Palapye Chief Magistrate, Rebecca Motsamai in an unlawful acquisition of the much-publicised 2019 warrant of arrest against Isaac Kgosi, the former director of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS).
The cloak-and-dagger arrest was led by the DIS director, Brigadier Peter Magosi supported by the Botswana Police, Botswana Defence Force (BDF), with the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) which accused Kgosi of tax evasion, in the backseat.
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) constituent members are struggling to reach an agreement over the allocation of wards for the imminent ward by-elections across the country.
Despite a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and Alliance for Progressives (AP) are said to be active, but the nitty-gritties are far from being settled.
The eight bye-elections will be a precursor of a somewhat delayed finalisation of the brittle MoU. The three parties want to draw a plan on how and who will contest in each of the available wards.
This publication has gathered that the negotiations will not be a run off the mill because there is already an impasse between the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which is a UDC constituent and AP (currently negotiating to join umbrella).
The by-elections joint committee met last week at Cresta President Hotel in a bid to finalise allocation but nothing tangible came out of the gathering, sources say.
The cause of the stalemate according to those close to events, is the Metsimotlhabe Ward which the two parties have set their eyes on.
In 2019, he ward was won by Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Andrew Sebobi who unfortunately died in a tragic accident in February last year.
Sebobi had convincingly won by 1 109 votes in the last elections; and was trailed by Sephuthi Thelo of the UDC trailed him with 631 votes; while Alliance for Progressives’ Innocent Moamogwe got 371 votes.
Thelo is a BCP candidate and as per UDC norm, incumbency prevails meaning that the BCP will contest since they were runners up. On the other hand, AP has also raised its hand for the same.
“AP asked for it on the basis that they have a good candidate but BCP did not agree to that request also arguing they have a better contestant,” one UDC member confided to this publication.
Notwithstanding Metsimotlhabe Ward squabble, it is said the by-election talks are almost a done deal, with Botswana National Front (BNF) tipped to take Boseja South ward in Mochudi East constituency. Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) will be awarded Tamasane Ward in Lerala/Maunatlala constituency, sources say.
“But the agreement has to be closed by National Executive Committee (NEC),” emphasized the informant.
The NEC is said to have been cautioned not to back the wrong horse but rather rate with reason and facts.
UDC President, Duma Boko has told this publication that, “allocation is complete with two wards already awarded but with only one yet to be finalized,” he could not dwell into much details as to which party got what and the reasons for the delay in finalisation.
Chairperson of the by-elections committee, Dr. Phenyo Butale responded to this publication regarding the matter: “As AP we contested and as you may be aware we signed the MoU with UDC and BPF to collaborate on bye-elections. The opposition candidate for all bye-elections will be agreed by these parties and that process is still ongoing,” he said when asked if AP is interested on the ward and how far with the talks on bye-elections.
Butale, a former Gaborone Central Member of Parliament, who is also AP Secretary General continued to say, “As the chairperson of the bye-elections committee we are still seized with that matter. We should also do some consultations with the local structures. Once the process is complete we will issue a notice for now we cannot talk about the other two while the other is still pending the other one”.
Butale further clarified: “There is no such thing as AP and BCP not in agreement. It is an issue of signatories discussing and determining the opposition candidates across the three wards.”
Apart from the three wards, there are five more council wards that UDC is yet to allocate to cooperating partners.
FROM PALAPYE MEET: BPP CAUTION NEC MEMBERS
With the UDC cheerful from last weekend’s meeting in Palapye, the meeting however was very tense on the side of both BCP and BNF, with only BPP flexing its muscle and even lashing out.
BCP going into the meeting, had promised to ask difficult questions to the UDC NEC.
BCP VP and also acting Secretary General, Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, presented their qualms which were addressed by UDC Chairperson Motlatsi Molapisi, informants say.
It is said Molapisi is fed up and concerned by some UDC members especially those in the NEC who ‘wash party’s dirty linen in public’.
Insiders say the veteran politician cautioned the NEC members that they “will not expel any party but individuals who tarnish the image of the UDC.”
It is not the first time BPP play a paternalistic role as it once expressed its discontent with BCP in 2020, saying it should never wash UDC linen in public.
At first it is said, BPP, the oldest political formation in Botswana, claims disappointment on BCP stance that UDC should be democratised especially by sharing their stand with the media. Again, BPP was not happy with BCP leader Dumelang Saleshando’s decision to air his personal views on social media regarding the merger of UDC party.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe, has of late been dousing raging fires from various quarters of society following the infiltration of the police fingerprint system by the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS), WeekendPost has learnt.
Fresh information gleaned from a number of impeccable sources, points to a pitiable working relationship between the two state organs. Cause of concern is the DIS continuous big brother role to an extent that it is now interfering with other institutions’ established mandates.
BPS which works closely with the DIS has been left exasperated by the works of the institution formed in 2008. It is said, the DIS through its Information Technology (IT) experts in collusion with some at BPS forensics department managed to infiltrate the Fingerprint system.
The infiltration, according to those in the know, was for the DIS to “teach a lesson” to some who are on their radar. It is said the DIS is playing and fighting dirty to win the fights they have lost before.
By managing to hack the police finger print system, a number of renowned businessmen and other politically exposed persons found their fingers in the system. What surprised the victims is the fact that they have never been charged of any wrongdoing by the police and they were left reeling in shock to learn that their fingers are on the data-base of criminals.
In fact, some of those who their fingerprints were falsely included in the records of those on the wrong side of law learnt later when other errands demanded their fingerprints.
“We learnt later when we had to submit and buy some documents and we were very shocked,” one politician who is also a businessman confided to this publication this week.
“We then learn that there are some fabricated criminality recorded for us, as to when did we commit those remained secret to the police, but then we had to engage our lawyers on the matter and that is when we were cleared,” said the politician-cum- tenderpreneur.
The lawyers have confirmed engaging the police and that the matters were settled in a gentlemen’s agreement and concluded.
All these happened behind the scenes with the police top brass oblivious only to be confronted by the irked lot, police sources also add. The victimized group who most of them have been fighting lengthy battles with the DIS read malice and did not blink when it was revealed that these were done by the DIS.
“And it was clear that they (DIS) are the ones in this dirty war which we don’t understand. Remember when we sue, it will be the Police at the courts not the DIS and that is why we agreed to a ceasefire more so they also requested that be kept under carpet,” said the victim.
Nonetheless, the Police through its spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, briefly said: “we do not have any system that has been hacked.” On the other hand DIS mouthpiece Edward Robert was not in office this week to comment on the matter.
Reports however say DIS boss, Peter Magosi, who most of the victims accuse of the job, is said to have met his police counterpart Makgophe to put the matter to bed.
COVID-19 RAVAGES POLICE
As frontline workers, Police have not escaped the wrath of Covid-19. Already the numbers of those infected has reached the highest of high and they suggest that they be priorities on vaccine rollout.
“Our job is complicated, firstly we arrest including those who are non-compliant to Covid protocols and we go to accidents and many more. These put us at risk and it seems our superiors are not bothered,” said one police officer this week.
The cops further complain about that working spaces are small, as such expose them to contact the virus.
“Some tests positive and go for quarantine while the rest of the unit will be left without even test carried out. If at all the bosses are serious all the police officers should every now and then be subjected to testing or else we will be no more because of the virus,” added another officer based in Gaborone.
The government has since placed teachers on the priority list for the vaccines, it remains to be seen whether the police, who also man road blocks, will be considered.
“But our bosses should convince the country leadership about this, if not then we are doomed,” concluded a more senior officer.