Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Mokaila closes city road without consulting Council

The first person who should know about a road maintained by the Gaborone City Council being closed is the mayor but he happens to not know about one that was closed last week.

At the foot of the incline that goes up the Taung overhead bridge from the airport is a feeder road that turns right into the Block 3 Industrial area. This road was built and is maintained by the city council. Last week however, the road was closed ostensibly on the reasoning that its intersection with the road from the airport has become a black spot. Good sources tell Sunday Standard that the decision to erect barriers was taken by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Kitso Mokaila who, in doing so, neglected to consult Gaborone mayor, Kagiso Thutwe. The latter confirmed to Sunday Standard that he only knows about two city roads that have been closed for maintenance and not the Block 3 road. Whatever valid reasons the minister may have had, his actions amount to executive overreach because internal roads are owned and maintained by the city council.

The council’s own procedure for closing a road is wholly dissimilar to the one that Mokaila chose. According to sources, the process begins with consulting stakeholders. In the case of the road in question, the stakeholders are members of the business community in Block 3. Sunday Standard learns from at least six businesspeople in the area that such consultation was never made. As someone with knowledge of this issue points out, the closing of the road has only succeeded in transferring the problem to another intersection.

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