As part of her office’s approach of broad-based consultation, Vision 2016 Coordinator Dr. Charity Kruger engaged the leadership of the districts in the Southern Region this past week in Jwaneng, to validate the report emanating from the Evaluation Conference held in November 2014.
The November 2014 Conference evaluated progress of districts made on vision pillars and concerns identified by the Botswana Performance Report 2009. The Conference facilitated fruitful discussions from the participants who were representatives of the Tribal Administration and District Commissioners Offices in the four districts being Southern, Kweneng, South East and Kgatleng. Also present were District Commissioners of Lobatse and Jwaneng.
National rankings of the economic development of districts place the South East district as the best performing in the region coming in 6th place, followed by Kgatleng District ranked 10th place. The rankings have consolidated some key economic and social indicators which include median household expenditure (P/month), Headcount poverty rate, and Unemployment rate, Access to electricity and Access to piped water.
Regarding income poverty levels between 2003 and 2010, the Southern District has excelled most by reducing its income poverty levels by 48% of what they were in 2003, to 19.8% in 2010, says Vision 2016 Coordinator Dr. Charity Kruger. On a national level, this achievement was second only to the Kgalagadi district which achieved a percentage change of 60 in reducing its income poverty levels over the same period.
The other districts in the region made commendable inroads in reducing income poverty levels over the same period, despite their poverty levels still being higher than the national poverty rate of 19.3% in 2010, with the exception of South East district which had income poverty levels of 8.9%.
There was an overarching call from the District Commissioners for the nation to enhance the systems and efforts of cataloguing and conserving our diverse cultures, traditions and historical sites. As well as the need for Botswana to patent and market our cultural knowledge of biodiversity that has for generations been known for medicinal properties. Concern was also expressed of disproportionate attention and resources being concentrated on only a handful of historical sites and monuments which have high national profile, at the exclusion of a plethora of others scattered across the districts.
The District Commissioner of Kgatleng Ms. Wame Samapipi cited one of her region’s achievements as the ‘Re a nyalana’ Association which was created to address challenges of co-habitation and has received wide support in her district. She also added that there is a mixed response regarding living Vision 2016 in her district, with villages in the western part of the district more knowledgeable about the vision than their counterparts on the East.
“The western villages have gone as far as forming Vision Clusters run by villagers, not officers. The Clusters’ membership includes Chiefs. This is unlike villages in the east of the district who have not yet associated themselves in such a manner”, she said.
The Annual Air Show in her district continues to be a crowd puller and attracts a number of small and medium sized enterprises. She also emphasised its impact in inspiring and broadening the youth’s mindsets when it comes to career choices. Ms. Samapipi lamented that Kgatleng’s main challenges include the district’s close proximity to Gaborone, leading to sustained high unemployment in the district as people live there but prefer to seek work in the Capital City. This close proximity has also driven up the real estate prices in the district, in line the trend in Gaborone. Illegal crossing of resident living along the South African border, into South Africa through ungazetted border points is another significant challenge.
The Southern District has room for improvement with regard to the HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, with rates for Kgatleng and Kweneng East Districts higher than the national rate of 18.5% in 2013, at 19.9% and 21.5% respectively.
The District Commissioner for Lobatse, Mr. Godfrey Gare elaborated on the unique history and positioning of Lobatse, both in geographical location and uniqueness as well as economic potential. He stated that the economic development currently taking place in Lobatse such as the leather processing and MilkAfric projects are attracting more local migration to the town, which has been welcome but has also brought more social challenges to the town.
The Dikgosi called for better working relationships between the Tribal Administration Offices and the District Commissioner’s Offices. They lamented the lack of capacitation that was afforded the Tribal Administrators, in comparison to that afforded to the District Commissioner’s offices.
In conclusion, Kgosi Kebonetshwene Mosielele of Manyana called upon the nation to have more dialogue about societal developments that affect the moral tone of the nation.
Boa Chombah is Director of Advocacy & Communications, Vision 2016 Secretariat
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.