Mmegi Blogs :: Itís An Impossibility. Or is it?
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Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
Itís An Impossibility. Or is it?

This remarkable year may be coming to an end but it is doing so in astonishing fashion. Or perhaps in a way that is largely consistent with earlier mind-boggling events.
By Sandy Grant Mon 18 Dec 2017, 22:41 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Itís An Impossibility. Or is it?

Let’s start with water – and the report that the Water Utilities Corporation’s (WUC) public relations officer, Khumo Mugibelo has stated that they have decided to open the Ntimbale Dam because it is 82% full and there is the prospect of imminent rain.

 (Sunday Standard 10.12.17) In my own odd way, I have always believed that the aim is for dams to reach full capacity with spillways ensuring that the 100% could never be exceeded.

But then, I have also believed that whilst water could be released from cement-walled dams, no such option was available for earth-walled dams such as Gaborone’s. It must follow, I suppose that Ntimbale has a cement wall which I had not realised. But then, the notion that water should be released from a dam when it is 82% full because of imminent rains comes as a shock.

What happens if it doesn’t rain? But I was also baffled by Mr Mugibelo’s reassurance that the WUC is constantly monitoring the situation to ensure that there is no risk of dams overflowing and endangering life. Again, I had previously believed that spillways were constructed to allow dams at capacity to overflow. But there you are! About other issues, Mr Mugibelo reported that the WUC is owed P223, 577,789 and, would you believe it, 88 thebe and that it is pressuring customers to pay.

He again desists from mentioning that the government is by far the biggest defaulter and that, in contrast, it is making no effort to recover what it owes.

And then you come to the Malete Land Board suing the Balete tribe regarding its ownership of its freehold Forest Hill land. I imagine that an outsider would dismiss this occurrence as an impossibility. But then the terminology would have understandably confused him.

It is not the Lete Land Board, it is the Ministry of Local Government’s Land Board just as are all the Land Boards throughout the country. I suppose that our imaginary outsider would find it even more difficult to believe that not only is the government suing a tribe, but this same tribe intends taking its case outside country in order to retain what it owes.

In other words, I suppose, that the tribe, would, in a sense be counter-suing the government.

The root cause of this appalling mess is – wait for it – money! As usual. An investment company is offering the government no less than P7 billion to get hold of the 2,000-hectare farm in


order to establish a golf course, an hotel and other sundry developments.

Does this work out at P35 million per hectare and if so how does this compare with current land values in Gaborone?

But a golf course! The old Gaborone Golf Club uses brown water. Phakalane may well be doing the same. But a golf course in the Kgale area could not do so. It would have to use huge quantities of potable water.

If that is indeed the case, I really do believe that we have lost our marbles. But then again, I have to assume that matters could not have reached this stage unless a fairly detailed, costed plan had been approved by the government. But why would it have done so? Recently, the President blocked the move by a development company to take over the old Gabs Golf Club. Has he given the nod to another investor to do at the other end of the city what was blocked in the town centre? Curious. To get a better idea of the situation, though I do hope that a newspaper will tell us how the Balete have been using this land since they acquired it in 1921.

Nowhere have I seen it mentioned that individuals using that land would need to be compensated. But enough of that topic. Let us end the year with Minister Sadique Kebonang who has broken ranks to confirm that senior members of the government as well as to leaders of the opposition parties have ben regular recipients of slush money.  This kind of story is mesmerising, at least for me. Where does the cash come from, and what is being gained or purchased by these monetary favours.

Nobody hands out cash without expecting something in return. Maybe in the new year, we can hope that the Minister will fill in the gaps. Scratch beneath the surface of so many problems today to identify the cause – and there it invariably is, money.

It was money which enabled the country to escape from its pre-1970 poverty. But now the circle has been completed and what it created it is now destroying. Money is a drug like the other better-known drugs. Like them, it can ruin lives as well as make them.

It corrupts and corrodes. Something urgently needs to be done before it really is too late. Depressing, isn’t it? Despite that, I really do wish you all the best of a long, sustaining holiday.

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Etcetera II
Mon 18 Dec 2017, 22:41 pm
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