Open letter to MP Mzwinila
Greetings Honourable Member.
I hope you are doing well, and preparing to fully enjoy your festive season. I am writing this letter to express my views on your performance as our MP, and indeed how they reflect on the poor state of my home village Mmadinare, which is a major part of your constituency.
Sir, you may not be familiar with me. I am a resident of Mmadinare in Kelele Ward, and hence I have a keen interest in the affairs of Mmadinare.
As I am sure you are aware the Constitution of Botswana guarantees citizens, the freedom of conscience and expression. Further the principles of participatory democracy in our Republic necessitate that constituents hold their political leaders accountable as pertains to their performance in the national office they hold. As a citizen of this Republic and resident of Mmadinare I have an obligation to partake in the affairs of my country and village under the auspices of a participatory democracy as alluded above.
It is on the above grounds that I have opted to pen this open letter to you, outlining my discontentment in respect of the poor state of developments in Mmadinare and your deafening silence when it comes to parliamentary debates and business.
Sir I am immeasurably troubled by your performance as a member of Parliament of Mmadinare which I find to be below par due to your failure to address your constituents needs. Our village has become voiceless in parliament to the extent that we have almost no representation due to your lack of engagement. As a keen follower of Parliament during debates I always look forward to what you, our MP, will say, but in this regard you repeatedly disappoint.
I have a severe apprehension over the state of development in Mmadinare, for the village is ominously lagging behind, we are a forgotten village.
At national level, the expectation is that we would hear your voice around issues of political empowerment, economic development coupled with citizen economic empowerment, community development, food security, tourism development, escalating corruption, rising unemployment, democracy which is under siege, the state of our judiciary, weak parliament, poor democratic protection institution, poor conditions of service of workers, violation of workers’ rights and other human rights concerns.
At community level the expectation is that there would be a coordinated and serious approach to community development, proper community mobilisation around development and community based organising. It is imperative to push for development and politics of empowerment. All these would be possible through an engaging and interactive leadership – something that seems to be eluding you Sir.
The issues that I am concerned with in Mmadinare are;
Lack of involvement of residents on development of District Development Plans, National Development plan, and budget processes. It is my view that these ought to be democratised to reflect a policy orientation approach of bottom up, where residents of Mmadinare participate in those processes and policies.
The Concern is that these are currently centralised at the office of the President and Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning, something that you need to speak against as an MP of Mmadinare. The challenges and aspirations of the people of Mmadinare ought to be reflected and resembled in those plans.
The Village Committees are disjointed and without capacity to carry community based development;
There is non-functioning of potential projects like Cooperatives, in the dairy sector for example.
further, in the context of Mmadinare there must be agroecology, technology
First and foremost there is need for Mmadinare Strategic plan which shall set the tone or developmental path of the village;
Secondly there is need for a Mmadinare Consultative Council which ought to comprise representation of various Committees in the village including youth, women, people with disabilities;
Expedited electrification of farms in Mmadinare;
Tarring of roads;
People centred education and development;
Improve partnership with community for more effective development;
Improve drainage system;
Construction of Phikwe- Francistown road passing through Mmadinare which will create market and business for the community of Mmadinare;
Expedite construction and resourcing of Mmadinare Sub District Council;
Construction of another clinic which shall operate twenty-four (24) hours;
Refurbishment of the current hospital. The hospital has an old general ward which places male and female patients in one place, and indeed the hospital is in dire need of refurbishment;
Construction of Arts and Culture Centre;
Hydro power from Letsibogo Dam and other subsidiary projects at the dam;
Use of offices left by Chinese company at the dam for packaging fish hence creating employment in the village;
Recreational park for we already have dams, so that we have activities like fish gaming;
Construction internal roads which will facilitate for better public transport system like taxis and combis;
The village needs a police station, because crime is increasing, when people get robbed and attacked in the village the police always say they don’t have transport. Note that the village has long been promised a Police station;
Residents to access to credit e.g CEDA, NDB, and for that there is need for nearby services. Access to credit is an important input to investments that can increase income and create sustainable employment;
Mmadinare gets all its services from Bobonong , we need RAC;
Unemployment is high in Mmadinare and surrounding areas more specially after closure of BCL;
Transport is poor because of poor roads infrastructure;
Availability of electricity, library and free internet, street lights;
Establish Mmadinare as a tourism area and provision the support to those engaged in related businesses;
Establishment of a market in Mmadinare to cater for farmers;
Resourcing of schools and hospital in Mmadinare;
Establishment of Mmadinare Consultative Council to coordinate engagement on developments in the village;
Initiatives for engagement of the youth;
Be active on social media to interact with residents in particular the youth as it is currently modern mode of consultation and engagement with electorates;
Meet Mmadinare residents who are in towns like Gaborone, Francistown and other areas who are technocrats who can advise on issues.
But I would also like to hear you voice on national matters. The issues that I would like to hear your voice on are;
Diversification of the economy;
Citizen economic empowerment;
Rising unemployment ;
Dysfunctional democratic oversight institutions;
The need for constitutional reform;
The dangers of Electronic voting machine;
Respect for labour unions, guaranteeing freedom of association and the right to organise, The Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining.
Rising levels of corruption;
Lack of drugs and medicine in Public Health facilities; Continuous poor results and poor quality of education in Public Schools;
Lack of drinking water and lack of water for domestic usage in villages;
Poor state of roads in Botswana;
Rampant mass poverty amongst citizens;
The growing income inequalities in the country;
Indigenous usage of natural and human assets for Community Development.
It is my hope that you will respond to these concerns, Sir. It is after the responsibility of elected leaders like you to be responsive to the concerns the residents who, after all, put you in your hallowed offices.
Ketlhalefile M.N Motshegwa