Following their fifth consultative meeting on the fifth of this month and its outcomes, Develop Gabane Campaign (DGC) members have vowed not to give up their campaign for the development of their village until they know valid reasons why such developments cannot be done.
The reason for that, the Non Governmental Organization’s Chairperson, Moreesti Gomang said, is that for the 46 years that Botswana has been independent, noticeable developments done by the government in the village are few.
As for infrastructure, the village has only one tarred road from the Gaborone- Jwaneng main road to the village kgotla. The government, he said, only built Nare Sereto and the other junior secondary school was built by the community and the government just paid partial costs.
Reverting to the 5th October meeting, Gomang pointed out that it was clear that the Kweneng District Council neglected Gabane’s developments. Prior to that meeting, Gomang said, he and his committee had made a write-up to the Senior Assistant Council Secretary, Steven Motlogelwa, highlighting issues they felt were of vital importance to the community in their village. The write-up was sent to Motlogelwa via email so that he knew what they had in mind.
“We informed him that it was to the best of our knowledge that District Development Plan 6 (DDP6) mid-term review picked Gabane infrastructure development as a priority that needed urgent attention. We needed to know if the council administration was aware of this and if so what the status was on ‘priority issue’,” he said.
Evidence on the priority given the infrastructure was that in 2008, during that DDP 6 mid-term review, the plan for the infrastructure was made. That was why there were marking on the village’s internal roads. Consultancy was also made, indicating that budget was also made. Recession was later sighted as the cause for the reversal of long awaited project.
And so in that write-up, the NGO wanted to find out if the council had submitted the Gabane infrastructure development – assuming that the council administration has been acting on the project. The NGO needed answers for the DDP7 mid-term review elapse on the 25th of the month, and it would only be better if Gabane infrastructure found space before that period. It became evident during the meeting that the council did not give their expectations.
The Officer responsible for such projects in the sub-district, Onneile Mphafe, pointed out the fact that Gabane infrastructure development was a burning issue in the Kweneng District Council. But there were no funds for the project. It has not been included in the DDP7. They contemplated submitting that maintenance is going to be done instead of developments.
The meeting saw eruption of high tempers as the guests started murmuring from all directions of the council chamber. The hosts – Motlogelwa and the Deputy Sub- Council Chairman, Banks Ndebele – had to show their authority, demanding that there be order or the meeting would be called off.
Concluding the meeting, Motlogelwa informed the predominantly young group that they did not utilise their given time wisely. They should have organised themselves by choosing five speakers who would ask on the group’s behalf, instead of being emotional. He informed them that the amount that was used to do some developments in Molepolole was P16m, which could not be used to build the needed tarred roads in Gabane. He advised them to write a letter, containing all their grievances so he took it to the Council Secretary-Kweneng District Council. The issues they raised, he said, were above him.
For his part, Ndebele urged the NGO to be patient. He commended them for the effort they were putting and said he would instil their spirit to the youth in his own ward.
DGC has since done as requested by Motlogelwa and copied it to the Ministry of Local Government. A meeting will be held, Gomang said, between the council administration, political and tribal leadership on the matter.