SELEBI-PHIKWE: Mayor Molosiwa Molosiwa has emphasised the need for involvement of political leadership in the forums that seek to revive the economy of the SPEDU region.
Speaking at SPEDU stakeholders 'engagement forum recently, Molosiwa observed that Members of Parliament (MPs) in the region who also sit in Cabinet, have never attended stakeholders’ engagement meetings. He said their attendance would show that indeed they are together in the efforts to revitalise the local economy.
“They are aware that such consultative forums do sit, but there has never been a time that they attended. Let us fight this battle together and equally have an input,” he said.
Turning to the coordinator of the Selebi-Phikwe Economic Revitalisation Strategy, Linah Mohohlo, Molosiwa expressed gratitude that she attended but said stakeholders were interested in feeling her impact.
“You have been assigned to Selebi-Phikwe while SPEDU oversees the region, as such we expect a lot from you and we hope you will make us proud,” he said, his remarked counched in diplomacy. Howeverr, Councillor Evelyn Kgodungwe expressed concern that Mohohlo should not be coordinating the revitalisation strategy from Gaborone, but must relocate to Selebi-Phikwe for her to have first-hand information and experience the real situation on the ground instead of relying on the information relayed to her.
“When we saw you, we expected tangible and authentic deliverables, but now we have nothing to report to the community,” she said without mincing words.
Another Councillor, Amogelang Mojuta lamented that even with a coordinated approach to the revitalisation programme, the political wing, SPEDU and the coordinator appear not to be coordinated.
“You should always be sitting together and packaging your messages properly so that you are in a position to sing from one accord. The fact that other stakeholders have never attended, signals that something is not right,” he remonstrated.
Responding, Mohohlo said she saw all participants as capable team players who can avert the ship from sinking and contribute meaningfully to the revitalisation milestone.
“It is by design that I stay in Gaborone. Ga ke itaole. There are so many duties that I cannot do properly when I
She dismissed an observation that they were not well coordinated and that MPs were not involved, saying she has never seen anything that suggests so.
“We must all recognise that sometimes when we have a target to shoot not all the bullets would hit it. You will be surprised how these MPs spend sleepless nights for this region.
“We are working to address legislative concerns with the Attorney General to facilitate doing business here and I cannot do it when I am in Selebi-Phikwe,” she said.
Participants also expressed concern over the liquidation process that they said has not turned to be a project and a liability, and wanted to know how long it was scheduled to take and its budget as well as if it is possible to replace the liquidator.
Mohohlo said she has observed that there was a problem because so much was unearthed after contracts for liquidations were signed.
“The liquidator has to go through legal processes where court decides what to be done and how. The liquidator is the one determining how long the liquidation process takes. We cannot interfere and we cannot withdraw because we signed contracts,” she said.
She further said that the BOSSC is well functioning and that plans were afoot to replicate it to other areas of the country so that facilitation can be spurred more evenly in areas such as company registration and licensing, provision of work and residence permits, land acquisition and tax registration, amongst others.
She admitted that economic incentives that were designed to attract investors in the region experienced some legislative rigidity, but was happy that the Attorney General’s Chambers were working on ironing out identified legal inconsistencies.
“It is therefore possible that incentives would be accessed by qualified businesses that have already established presence in the Selebi-Phikwe region,” she said.