The Monitor newspaper dated 22nd April 2013 Vol. 14 No. 14; highlighted to the nation the miserable state of affairs prevailing at Lobatse, through a headline story titled "Lobatse mayor's bakery dominates bread tenders".The story narrates a disheartening scenario in which the Honorable Mayor of Lobatse bulldozes and monopolises among others all the Lobatse Town Council bread supply tenders.Fortunately for us the newspaper report focused solely on bread supply tenders.
Only the good "Lord" knows how many other sectors/tenders the mayor bulldozes and monopolises (logical hypothesis suggests these are not the only ones).For quiet sometime answers to the following questions about Lobatse have remained mysterious:
a) Why are residents and investors relocating from Lobatse in large numbers? b) Why is the spirit of investment and entrepreneurship very low among Lobatse residents? c) Why are Youth Development Fund (YDF) projects collapsing at such disturbing rates and speed in Lobatse? d) Why is the economic status of a majority of Lobatse residents declining instead of growing? Thanks to the newspaper cover story, answers to these questions are no longer mysterious but crystal clear.
Market dominance/monopoly in a town like Lobatse results in two crucial and sad realities; a) competitors/investors cannot come on board to benefit from the economy, its either they are shortlived or opt to relocate. b) Unfair and Unequal distribution of wealth prevails; this results in market wealth that could otherwise have been distributed among the majority, ending up in the hands of a few (the rich get wealthier, the poor remain deprived). This is the unfortunate status that prevails in Lobatse at the moment.
The demoralising fact is; in such an environment youth empowerment, development and prosperity will just remain a hallucination. Empowerment of youth means youth being given genuine fair support and opportunities to achieve their aspirations. It means young people benefiting from the wealth and opportunities of the economy. It means creating and ensuring an enabling environment that will encourage young people to venture into income generating projects.
It means the young generation being embraced to actively participate and contribute to the economy. It means the process of "Localisation" providing opportunities for young citizens in societies, so as to up-lift themselves from poverty, unemployment and over reliance on government. Sustainable and successful youth and community empowerment/development requires a leader (mayor) that is a true and sincere custodian of people's convictions and aspirations, with extra ordinary genuine dedication and earnest scarifies.
The mayor's actions contradict basic principles of governance and professional leadership ethics and conduct. Her actions contradict our founding national values and principles.Her actions are robustly against the good intentions of all government initiatives such as; Citizen Economic Empowerment, Poverty Eradication, Social Inclusion, Localisation, Economic Diversification, Equity, Youth and Community Revitalisation and Empowerment to capture but a few.
To the struggling residents of our beloved town "Lobatse"; I securely affirm to you that "our mayor's monopoly, selfish tendencies and conflicting interests are key obstacles to; economic development and prosperity of our youth, community and town".
Lastly I pledge my full support and solidarity to all young people standing up against such economic development obstacles.Let's unite stand against all our hardships and those pulling in a conflicting direction of our collective up-liftmen, let's stand in favour of growth and prosperity of our youth, community, town and country.
(Lobatse Resident; currently
on economic exile in Gaborone)