The South East District Council and the Malete Bogosi are at each other’s throat over conflicting Ramotswa Village Development plans. The Council prefers a Central Business District (CBD) and a bus rank; while the Tribal leadership wants a Stadium.
WeekendPost has established that there are tensions over Ramotswa ‘s next big project following a proposal by the Council and a recent Kgotla meeting called by the tribal leadership.
During the preparation of Ramotswa Planning Area Development Plan (2008 – 2032) the Council proposed that the commercial node in Maipei be turned into a Central Business District (CBD) according to a Council document passed to this publication.
The Council believes that the area’s high economic potential and the existence of high order commercial spaces such as Save Rite/Shoprite and Choppies, the Council offices, Botswana Police Service offices and Office of the District Commissioner, Malete Land Board, among others already offers an oppotunity for continuity.
The area covering high order commercial spaces is already part of the built up area in Ramotswa. However whilst the Plan has rezoned the area into a CBD it has been observed that it is going to take time to achieve a development status befitting such a centre as the plots are individually owned and their developments are dependent on individual developers’ financial capabilities and preferences.
The document further states that there is an undeveloped piece of land measuring in excess of 20 ha that has been allocated to Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture (MYSC) and Kagiso Senior Secondary School for a stadium and school playgrounds respectively, within the area in question. This is the area that is commonly known as the ‘show ground.’ The area currently houses two football pitches and derelict structures that were once used for the agricultural show.
In October 2014 at the Ramotswa Main Kgotla in a consultative meeting, the Morafe demanded to know how the Central Businesss Area was proposed by the Council was going to compensate for the lost stadium land within the vicinity of Ramotswa in the event that the stadium land is developed as per Council’s proposal.
They further wanted to know whether the Council was now changing what had been approved by the Ramotswa Planning Area Development Plan (2008 – 2032),further demanding to know the what they stand to benefit in the propossed CBD.
At the Full Council of the 23rd – 25th February 2015, Kgosikgolo Mosadi Seboko informed the Council that she will arrange for a meeting with the district leadership to discuss the issue with a view to facilitate development of the district more especially the Ramotswa Planning Area.
Kgosi Mosadi Seboko’s deputy, Kgosi Mokgosi told Weekend Post in an interview that the Council wants to go against the wishes of the Morafe. “We do not know what they are up to,we are just clueless because they are not briefing anyone about their intentions.
After being rejected by the tribe they have now resorted to undermining us. We recently learnt that they have engaged a consultant to help with Environmental Impact Assessment to start their CBD project,” he charged, further adding that they want a stadium and nopthing else on the said disputed land.
While the Council say they want to create employment through the CBD, the Chief says they are of the view that the said CBD ‘will annihilate the small business men who are already complaining of the already existing chain stores like Choppies and others.’ The Chief further told the Council to go and look for a place where they will build the said CBD.
In response the South East District District Council Chairperson,Phenyo Segokgo said he is saddened by the issue. “Firstly the feasibility study has shown that no stadium can be contructed at that place because it is imposible from a point of physical planning, secondly a stadium which we all know will not only belong to Balete employs about 12 people whereas our envisaged CBD Project will employ 2000 people. We need to balance these things,” he said.
Segokgo said it was not true that they have not consulted adequetly, “we could have long built the CBD if we did not value the significance of consultation.The government cannot currently build a standium because of lack of funds and we are saying we have an alternative to use the disputed idle land to use to better benefit the tribe,” he said.
The Council further argued that the proposal at hand doesn’t change what the plan proposed but a developed busrank befitting the settlement status. They argue that based on the fact that currently there are no adequate funds, the only option is to seek assistance from the private sector that will be willing to fund the proposals provided they will be able to recover their investment after a certain period.
This, they say therefore calls for a development that will provide the CBD like a public transport interchange as well as providing impetus to the development of the Primary Activity node in the planning area. The Council further argued that the CBD, unlike a Stadium would create employment for the district’s populace hence improving their livelihooods as well as providing income for the Council which will be ploughed back into the development of the district.
The Council asserted that stakeholders will find an alternative site for the stadium along the Gaborone-Lobatse Road (A1). In the event that securing land along the A1 is not successful, the Council said there is provision for an integrated sports facility in the Seuwane area which could be considered.
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.