Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi last week hit hard on public servants who he has accused of poor work ethic resulting in stalling of government programmes that are meant to eradicate poverty and uplift the lives of Batswana.
Addressing a Kgotla meeting in Matsiloje village in the North East District, a visibly angry Masisi said some public servants have made it a habit not to perform their duties leading to poor service delivery to the public.
“This trend is disturbing and government will not tolerate it. Most of the time when I travel around the country I get the same complaints from members of the public that they do not have access to government programmes because they are sabotaged by some of the public servants who do not take their duties seriously,” he said.
“I am going to make sure that all the District Commissioners monitor all these programmes in various districts, to ensure that they benefit the public. If I get more similar complaints, the District Commissioners will have to explain to me,” he said.
Masisi said it is sad to note that although government has a lot of programmes meant to uplift the lives of the citizens, most of these programmes are underutilized due to poor service delivery from some civil servants. He further encouraged the youth to take advantage of youth empowerment programmes such as the Youth Fund and Tirelo Sechaba to better their lives.
“Unfortunately there are some who shun these programmes especially Tirelo Sechaba. This programme was meant to empower the youth with skills and experience and keep them away from the streets. We need to educate our youth on the importance of taking control of their own lives at a tender age and this is another way of empowering them with life skills,” he said.
Masisi also said that despite the fact that programmes such as Ipelegeng are shunned by some quarters of the society, they have continued to benefit Batswana.He also pleaded with the residents to take advantage of the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP). He said the programme was introduced by government to try and uplift the livelihood of Batswana. He encouraged the residents to register and form companies so that they can benefit from the programme.
“The Economic Stimulus Package is meant to boost the country’s economy and emphasis will be on establishing infrastructure in various government sectors. It is very important that you register companies as citizen contractors will be preferred to undertake government projects that will come with the ESP,” he said.
Among other issues, the residents of Matsiloje raised complaints on issues ranging from wild animals terrorizing them and criminals that wreak havoc in the village from the neighbouring Zimbabwe.
The Village Development Committee (VDC) Chairperson, Joel Mpetsane said animals that terrorize them include elephants, lions and hyenas. He said that elephants destroy the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) fence, allowing cattle to cross into Zimbabwe where they are then killed to prevent the foot and mouth infection. He also said the elephants vandalize their fields while lions and hyenas prey on their livestock.
“The elephants are terrorizing us. Lions and Hyenas are also killing our livestock. We have long reported these issues to the government authorities and our efforts are bearing no fruits. These elephants destroy the Foot and Mouth fence and this then allows cattle to cross into Zimbabwe. The cattle would then be killed by the veterinary officials when they have crossed the fence to avoid the Foot and Mouth infections. The sad part is that the compensation we get from the government is a paltry P400.00 per an animal,” he said.
Mpetsane said that the destruction by elephants is making it difficult to combat the FMD scourge which has been tormenting the area for many years. He said it is high time that government take this issue seriously as it has dragged most of the villagers into abject poverty. He also bemoaned the rise of criminal activities due to illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe.
“We also have a problem with some illegal immigrants who cross into our village from the neighbouring Zimbabwe and most of the time they terrorize us by committing criminal activities and escaping back into their country,” he said. In response to the concerns, the Vice President said he will have to approach the Minister of Enivronment, Wildlfe and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama and other relevant authority to deal with the issue of wild animals. Touching on criminal activities perpetrated by illegal immigrants, he said Matsiloje villagers should also take an initiative to fight crime and help the police rather than leaving everything on the police.
“I think the residents of Matsiloje need to also rise up to the occasion, unite and fight these criminal activities. How can you allow criminals to terrorize in your own village? You need to stand up together and help the police tackle this problem. You should also desist from employing illegal immigrants as most of the time, there are the ones who commit these criminal activities. You also have the right to arrest these criminals as citizens as citizen arrest is allowed by our constitution” he said.