The Monitor :: Khama tours Ntuane's constituency
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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Khama tours Ntuane's constituency

Solutions are promised within two weeks, children get chips from street vendors and you could get your house a ceiling if you daringly invite the president inside your house, this is what Staff Writer Thalefang Charles observed while following President Ian Khama in his 'Walk About' in Bonnington South Constituency on Saturday
By Thalefang Charles Mon 04 Nov 2013, 17:21 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Khama tours Ntuane's constituency








09:04 hrs Block 9

Issues: Passages, crime

The President arrives in a white Toyota SUV with private number plates. A small gathering of women in traditional shawls ululate to welcome him to Block 9. The Member of Parliament for the area Botsalo Ntuane, Tlokweng MP Olebile Gaborone, Gaborone City Council Deputy Town Clerk Lebuile Israel, District Commissioner, councillors and government officials join the president on this constituency tour.

After about 100 metres of uneventful walk the president is asked to get into the vehicle to transport him to Phase 4. Main issue raised is passages between plots that some residents believe contribute to crime while others see them as pedestrian access.

 

09:20hrs Phase 4

Issues: Street lights, crime, primary school, public nuisance from bars, lack of entertainment, gravel roads, stray cattle

Being my first President Walk About, I did not know that there is high speed driving involved. So after securing a good parking space at Block 9 I had to quickly ditch it and join the presidential convoy (without blues lights) of 13 government vehicles and from some private media houses. First stop in Phase 4 was next to Sedibeng Lodge where residents raised  a number of  concerns.

A request for a primary school by Serapelo Madisa is almost condemned as ‘city whining’ since the nearest primary school is about a kilometre from Phase 4.

The President assures Madisa that “lona le siame, we have pupils in rural areas who travel about 10kms to a school”.

Lebuile Israel is asked to deal with issues of roads that get water logged during rainy season.

He reveals to the president that Phase 4 is built in an area that used to be a stream bank and this makes it costly to construct roads in the area.

Tlokweng MP Olebile Gaborone is called in as a ‘Motlokwa’ to address the issue of cattle that roam Gaborone streets after the council representative said the lax law does not deter cattle owners to guard them from entering the city. Israel had revealed that cattle owners are charged only 75t per beast if their cattle are caught roaming in Gaborone streets. Israel also responds to the issue of malfunctioning streetlights raised by Nunu Lekau.

“The council monitors all the streets lights and we are also doing a pilot project on using LED lights” says Israel.

Station Commander for Gaborone West Police Station Superintendent Agreement Mapeu tackles the public nuisance issue saying bars close on time but the public take time to clear  the bar premises. He also assures complaining residents that he has police officers patrolling all the trouble areas of Phase 4.

 

09:42hrs Marulamantsi

Issues: Bush, streets lights, crime

The convoy arrives at an open ground where the President heard from Nunu Lekau that members of the public use it to host drinking sprees and leave litter, used condoms and sanitary pads lying around. Crime is said to be high according to Jackson Laba.

Mapeu responds telling the President that his men and women are patrolling the area. Council says they are working on clearing the bush and providing floodlights in the area.

 

09:55hrs Bophirima Ward

Issues: Poverty, sanitation, gravel roads, high rental fees

The President’s entourage starts attracting crowds and problems heard from the residents becomes too personal rather than community issues. “Re a sokola

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Tautona” is a response from most residents when greeting the president.

Khama meets a woman who wants to return to her home village in Borolong because of the tough city life together with its escalating rental fees. Along the way another resident, Masego Seribe raises an issue of their over-flowing toilet and council failing to come and help them.

Israel responds telling the President and Seribe that the Ministry of Environment has connected the area to a sanitation network that would not require periodic draining.

Kgalalelo Tsialala would not let the President pass by without inviting him to see his house.

She opens the silver gate with a huge engraving of Orlando Pirates sign and lets the president in. Only media and presidential protection unit and MP Ntuane and hang-oners with note books are allowed inside.

Tsialala sits down with the President on her couch. Khama picks that the house does not have roof ceiling and asks, “gao bate go tsenya ceiling?”

And within three minutes of daringly inviting the president inside her house Tsialala was promised a ceiling. She makes everyone laugh when she asks the president, “Gao mphore akere?” (You are not joking, right?). No jokes! She will get the ceiling in two weeks.

The children who have joined in the Walk About get the chips reward bought by the president from a street hawker who made a killing of a big single sale of P40 in two minutes plus the coveted president handshake.

Khama tours some youth projects at Botswana National Youth Centre. I then get a chance to run back about a kilometre to fetch my car. When I get back to the BNYC the presidential convoy has moved on to Mosekangwetsi Ward.

 

10:45hrs Mosekangwetsi

Issues: Business spaces, home business, electricity crime

I arrive at Moekangwetsi where the President is busy with members of the Bazezuru community. They are complaining that GCC is hurting their small businesses as they confiscate their carpentry and wielding products that they make in their homesteads. They request Khama to find them plots to do their businesses in peace. Another resident reports some ‘foreigners’ saying they are stealing electricity from their wielding businesses. He is asked to inform the police.

 

10:50hrs Morula Ward

Issues: Shebeens, poverty eradication, gravel, sewerage, streets lights, gravel roads

The convoy passes through Gaborone West Shopping area along what could be regarded as ‘Gaborone Red Light District’ to Morula Ward. Khama stops by the tuck shop and buys  biscuits for some of his entourage. A man running a wielding business from home shares his challenges with the president.

We then move to where there is a group of residents, mostly women in traditional mateise and shawls together with a band from the St John’s Apostolic Church waiting for the president. The women complain about illegal shebeens.

And just when we thought there would not be the famous blanket donation, Ntuane tells the gathered women that the president would consider bringing shawls at a future date. After he explains his short blankets speech to the president, Khama announces that he actually has blankets with him somewhere.

But it turns out rather awkward when the blankets arrive a minute later as the women were expecting shawls. Sensing the awkwardness Khama volunteers to keep them if they are not needed.

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