Member of Parliament for Maun East, Frank Ramsden, could face exit from Parliament in the next general elections if the likely strong challenge by Botswana National Front (BNF) Osimilwe Fish materialises.
Fish, the 45-year-old businessman and resident of Sedie ward in the Maun East constituency says he is ready to represent the BNF in parliament under the Umbrella party.
Maun East is among the constituencies that were allocated to the BNF under the Umbrella arrangement.
Fish is not a new comer in politics having been active in politics since 1989. So far he is the only BNF member who has shown interest in the Maun East constituency.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Fish said among his priorities were he to be elected would be the preservation of cattle farming in the Ngami area.
He believes Fish the BDP government is killing the beef industry in the Ngami area by turning it into a game reserve. He expressed worry worried about government’s insistence on selling beef exclusively to the EU markets, adding that this frustrates farmers in the Ngami area. The area is prone to foot and mouth disease, making it difficult for farmers to sell their cattle to the BMC.
He said neighbouring countries have shown willingness to buy beef from Ngami but government has shown no interest in assisting them.
Fish says he was surprised that during the break out of the cattle lung disease, all cattle were buried whole underground and no by products such as hides and horns were salvaged.
Fish also suspects government wants to build a second airport in Maun in preparation to turn Maun into a fully fledged tourism area once livestock rearing is faced out.
He said his his suspicion is aroused by the demolitions of squatter camps at Shashe, Setatunga and Sexaxa just outside Maun.
Fish also voiced unhappiness with the Water Utilities Corporation taking over from the Department of Water Affairs as he feels most people won’t cope with exorbitant water tariffs imposed by the corporation.
He says many people in his constituency draw water from public stand pipes and fears WUC will face them out once it takes over.
Fish is also concerned that the land board continues to repossess plots from people for failure to develop them. He said it doesn’t make sense to allocate people plots in un-serviced land where there are no amenities such as water, electricity and roads and yet expect people to develop those plots.
He said many people fail to develop their plots because everytime they try to connect water they get told by the department of water affairs that they are “not in the line of connections”.
He also said now that the Toteng mine has opened and more mines are expected to open in the Maun area, government should construct a railway line that connects Maun with Gaborone as this will attract more investors to the area.
Fish said he would advocate for primary school students to be taught in their mother tongue. He says the reason pupils in North West do badly in examinations when compared to their counterparts in the southern region is that most of the people in the north western side of Botswana do not grow up speaking Setswana and as such they struggle to comprehend the curriculum which set only in Setswana and English. Turning to Maun East constituency, Fish said the constituency has two health facilities which have turned into white elephants as they have never operated ever since they were built. He decried shortage of doctors at clinics and even at the Letsholathebe referral hospital.
He said it is important that the sick are attended to by doctors as nurses have their limitations when it comes to some ailments.