Develop Gabane Campaign (DGC), a Non- Governmental Organization formed to address underdevelopment challenges of Gabane Village has vowed to struggle on, following a response from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. The response has further rendered the NGO’s efforts, fruitless.
A letter, dated 10/12/2012, indicated that: “The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has not included the construction of Gabane internal roads in NDP 10 and that the stages of Mid-term Review of NDP 10 where projects are identified for funding in the last 3 years of the plan period have been concluded. The resolution of government is that there will be no funding of the new infrastructure projects due to budgetary constraints.”
From July 2012 to November 2012, the NGO was engaged in consultative meetings with various stakeholders in a bid to try and establish the reason for Gabane’s underdevelopment. The main focus is on the village’s infrastructure, which leaves a lot to be desired, despite its proximity to Gaborone city and the fact that it is an old village. Consultations covered the village’s community, its leadership and even the Sub District Council under which the village falls – Thamaga/Mogoditshane sub district.
The Pressure Group’s Chairperson, Moreetsi Gomang told this publication in an interview that their decision to write to the Ministry was informed by the seemingly ignoring attitude of the Kweneng District Council. He said they had met the Senior Assistant Council Secretary in the sub district who referred the matter to the main district council.
The NGO met with the Council Secretary and the Chairperson on 25th October. The duo did not come prepared to give them positive answers.
“They asked us who Develop Gabane Campaign was and whether they were a recognized organ in the village such that they could question the underdevelopment of Gabane while there were organs like Village Development Committee (VDC) in the village. To this we explained that as Gabane residents we have the right to know what is delaying developments in our village. Furthermore, we are a registered NGO, recognized by the village leadership. The duo then promised to respond in the near future; the future we assumed would take less than a month. To this date we are still waiting,” narrated Gomang.
He expressed disappointment in the way Gabane is discriminated against. The cries of the people of Gabane have been in existence since 2001. The NDP 10 was drawn after that and it still left out Gabane. While there are excuses of financial constraints, he is amazed by the fact that the same government spent P200m to develop just a virgin land called Block Four near Mmopane Block One.
Gabane needs less that P150m and has a population of more than 15┬á000 residents and has poor roads though it has high volume of traffic.
The executive Committee of the NGO met before the end of the Christmas vacation but concluded that the only time to meet would be when all the membership was present. They meet this weekend and top of the agenda is the follow-up of the consultations they made the past year.
“We will squirm on until we reach the highest office. The Office of the President! Isn’t it illogical that a government can talk of financial constraints and then overlook the needs of thousands of its electorates and service a virgin land with millions? That the village developments are under local government while the funds used on the virgin land are from Land and housing Ministry doesn’t hold water because all funds are from the same Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. That the financing was done for different plans is equally beside the point as plans are made by people and can be altered by the same; considering priority,” he said.