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Yet another Milk Launch and More Encouragement for the BDP

Another remarkable last few days. Nowadays there are few which are not remarkable. There was China’s bold decision to eliminate poverty by 2020. Scandinavia did it – that is before the arrival of so many impoverished refugees – but it seems that we did not regard those efforts as worth replicating. Maybe we will instead follow China’s lead.

There has been the ever-increasing dismay as the realities of the BCL closure which were spelt out by the Business Weekly’s ‘A Gruesome Autopsy’ (October 2). Is it really possible that the government knew what it was doing when it closed the mine?

Or was this another knee-jerk decision? There was the news that the Water Utilities spent P8.3 million on a supposedly cost-saving consultancy to retrench 318 of its staff, that is P26,000 for each one! (The Voice October 27) Or is that what these exercises cost nowadays? It would seem that this consultancy could have cost more than it saved. Highly-paid CEOs and top administrators do seem to take the most extraordinary decisions nowadays.

Presumably, the WUC is still owed millions not least by the various government departments, which are unlikely ever to pay unless they are taken to court. Why wasn’t the P8 million on legal fees in order to recover those millions or was it decided that the billing system was so flawed that it was not worth risking in court? And then there was Milk Africa with yet another launch, there being one every year for the last six years or so. This time around it seemed to have occurred because of the arrival of yet another partner in this strange project about which real information and thus transparency has been so totally lacking.

Was this because Shovel Project had been awarded a P100 million contract by the BDC to initiate the project? It would seem then that the original P100/120 million plus the P48 announced by Sadique Kebonang, MP and Minister, has been written off having achieved more or less, nothing. This would seem to explain why the BDC has had to commit a further P100 million to get the project moving. The Guardian (November 3) quotes Milc Africa Board Chairperson, Oabona Kgengenyane as saying that they had to carry out five separate environmental studies at P25,000 each.

That must be some sort of world record. Different consultants or the same one making a killing? But as with so much else about this project, this really does require explanation?

But then again, it was not so long ago that the Lobatse Council indicated that a Board had been established. How many Boards have there been?

But then again, the Guardian, which could have got it wrong I

suppose, also reported that the project had been re-configured as a Public Private Partnership with the Lobatse Town Council having a 10% shareholding. We were made to understand by this same Council, however, ages ago that this is precisely how the project was originally initiated. Maybe the Chairperson can explain just how many times this project has been reconfigured and indeed for how long he has been Chairperson, and who the other members might be?

For a public private project so much taxpayers’ money has been and is involved that it would not be such an unreasonable request. In the past, none of those involved was prepared to explain exactly what was happening. But a change of topic. The opposition have recently held almost a monopoly of newspaper pages, that is the UDC, the BCP, the BPP, the BMD and the AP which must have delighted the BDP. Amongst this plethora of comment one struck me as being curious. The AP it said is moving into the mass movement BNF’s traditional space and seeking to attract its adherents, the ‘progressives’. This was news to me. But how does this work?

I have voted in most of the elections - I missed one because of the length of the queue –and in each case voted for what I hoped would be the better of the largely uninspiring candidates. In other words, my vote had nothing to  do with political parties, their colours or their symbols – are these still needed?

This is by no means to suggest that the personality of the various party leaders has been irrelevant for me. I may have liked this or that President and felt that he should be given another chance. Or not. And presumably I must be one of very many in thinking this way. So how will we vote? The next election could be of unusual interest if for the first time the opposition can avoid splitting the vote.

Probably the BDP has only to ensure, however, that it splits yet again in order to achieve a routine and respectable victory. It could probably do so by surreptitiously funding all the opposition parties so that they could more effectively destroy each other. A start has been made. What is now needed is more of the same and the BDP wins hand down.

Etcetera II



A luta continua

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