Saturday, May 28, 2022

Thamaga West Councillor prods district to look at national agenda

The Councillor for Thamaga West, Molatedi Tona Selala, has said Councillors should team up with other leaders to help solve burning issues of national concern.

Commenting on the Kweneng District Chairman’s speech, Councillor Selala gave the example of the University of Botswana students’ grievances on procurement of books.

“We should share information and find ways by which we can help as the leadership of this country. There is a problem of monopoly at the University of Botswana,” he said. “Students are forced to purchase books at very high costs while there is a cheaper centre elsewhere. The Competition Authority seems to be failing to execute its responsibilities. It does not help, though the aggrieved students reported the matter to it. The Minister responsible for education seems to be equally unsupportive as she ignored the recommendations of the parliamentary committee.”

Selala said the Ministry of Education seems reluctant to fund students who re-sit for other subjects but does not say so. This is making it difficult for the students to complete their studies. He wondered whether the government is not aware that it is incurring costs through this shortfall.

Sponsoring them throughout would help them complete studies and later repay the costs.

The councillor then expressed suspicion that there might be someone within the council who does not want heated debates where strong words are exchanged to be aired on Botswana Television.

“If you watch Botswana Television news on council debates in other councils you will find that nothing is hidden. But with our council a lot goes unknown. I do not mean that these are enjoyable to watch, but they give the viewers the true picture of what happens during debates. I think someone is behind the editing of Kweneng District debates. Recently there were hot debates as sour relations between the Council Chair and Council Secretary had led to delay in recurrent budget perusal and approval. Nothing of it was broadcast though some people were even interviewed,” he said.

Turning to the Chairman’s speech, he asked whether the council was aware of the fact that the Thamaga/Mogoditshane Sub council was understaffed. He said even to sign for cheques can become a difficult task because of this condition. He further asked what the Public Relations Officer of the district was doing, being often absent from the chamber.

Selala questioned the value of the council setting up a company for “facilitating business growth to support Citizen Economic Empowerment…” as the chair stated it in his speech.

He said before such initiative could materialise councillors needed a detailed report on how its proponent came up with it while the Investment Committee and the Chairman’s Development Fund existed to facilitate business growth.

He said he was in the Chairman’s development fund and the staff never attended the meetings when called, and never bothered to explain why.

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