Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Maun East MP unhappy with P48m splash on park

The Maun Educational Park will be facelifted to the tune of P48 million for its intended educational purposes as contained in the Draft National Development Plan 11 (NDP 11).

When debating the Draft NDP 11, Member of Parliament for Maun East Konstantinos Markus criticised government’s decision to allocate such a large budget to the refurbishment of the park when the constituency was experiencing poor infrastructure.

Markus took a swipe at his Botswana Democratic Ruling Party (BDP), saying he feared that the upgrade was a calculated move to benefit some wealthy business people and not Maun and the surrounding areas.

”We have in the past advocated for the refurbishment of the park but government had ignored our plea and never gave any positive feedback and now we are informed through a draft plan about the money to be channelled into it without any consultation with the community. At this stage we don’t think the refurbishment of the park is a priority. Our suggestion is that the money be used on internal roads in Maun and surrounding areas particularly those that are income generating going into tourism destinations,” said Markus.

He hinted that there may be people who stood to benefit on the sides from the lucrative business within the park and that could be the reason why government intended to develop it.

On March 12, 2013 during the Parliament session, the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama spoke of a consultancy on the utilisation of the Maun Wildlife Educational Park but did not state any indications of developing any facility in the park.

Khama was then responding to a question from Bagalatia Arone, who was at the time an MP of the Botswana Congress Party, on whether it was true that Maun Education Park was earmarked for hotel development and if so when the consultations with the community were carried out.

Khama denied such developments save to say consultations were still ongoing.

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Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 28, 2020.