Single houses only rarely make it into the national news. There was, however, an exception last week with the Sunday Standard coming up with an extraordinarily tortuous report about the P3 million house that had apparently been purchased by the ex-president, courtesy of the former Minister, Sadique Kebonang.
This house, which was built and originally owned by the BHC, is now owned by the BPC and, until recently, it had been occupied by the BPC manager.
It would be interesting to know why the BPC should have purchased this house and why, indeed, would the BHC have wanted to sell it, and when? Rre Kebonang was reported as saying that he thought that we (who?) also thought that it was a good idea to sell the house to the ex-president because he already owned one that was adjacent and because ‘the understanding’ (whose?) was that the house would be occupied by the President on his retirement!
Ministry officials and the BPC were reported as having expressed (previous?) reservations about the sale which suggests that the BPC was well aware that the Minister was intending to sell it although its sale, if any, should have been only to BPC employees or to the government.
It then reported a BPC board member as saying that ‘it was our argument that if the BPC was going to be of any help (in providing a retirement house) it could only do so to the government.’
The implication here, if I have understood it correctly, is that the Board was not only uninvolved in the sale, but had been deliberately by-passed, as indeed were Ministry officials. When questioned about the sale, the BPC Marketing and Communications Manager could shed no light on the ‘intricacies’ behind the deal.
The information requested, she said, is confidential between the parties involved (which?). We are not able to divulge the details of the contract.’ How are any of us supposed to understand this statement? For how much was this house sold and who exactly did the selling? How could it be a secret when a government owned P3 million house is sold clandestinely to a private individual?
The lady manager used the pronoun ‘we’ – being the people who are unable/unwilling to clarify the matter. The ‘we’ must refer to the BPC manager if only because both BPC employees and the BPC Board seem not to have been involved. If this is correct, the only figures left on the playing Board are the ex-Minister and the BPC General Manager together with the Marketing and Communications Manager who refuses to come clean. All very strange.
Houses and roads tend to go together, so noting how awful is the traffic in places such as Gaborone is merely a routine. But it is not only the traffic which is so awful, it is the state of some of the roads.
There has been much criticism recently about Gaborone’s roads, but I had not seen for myself just how bad some of them now happen to be. One road brought home to me with a jolt just how justified this criticism has been.
This is the road in the Gaborone village which runs from the filling station, past the eucalyptus planation and the nursery and on to the Tlokweng and Riverwalk traffic lights. This road is such a major challenge for all motorists that I wonder why some feel that they must go off into the depths of the Kgalagadi to find a suitable challenge?
The road in the village, admittedly short, would nevertheless offer the City Council the opportunity of providing those motorists with racing hazards closer to home. Perhaps the City Council, together with the Tourism people, had something of the kind in mind when it decided to abandon this one stretch of road to discover just how quickly it could deteriorate and become ideal for competitive hazard driving.
In tourism terms, Gaborone, of course, has little going for it so it is understandable that this particular idea might have real appeal.
On the other hand, the idea is bound to be attractive to others. And obviously good ideas cannot be kept secret for very long. Gaborone, therefore, must watch out because the Kgatleng District Council has a stretch of road which it clearly believes is in a far worse state than the Village road.
In addition, it must feel that it holds all the cards because its stretch is considerably longer, because parking for onlookers is more readily available and because its location lends itself far better for family outings. The road in question, so far kept under wraps for obvious reasons, stretches from Mochudi to Malotwana, across the railway line until it joins the north south road. Both roads, it must be admitted, would deteriorate even further if allowed, and thus become more suitable - but there may be a feeling that a start must soon be made. It may be that a decision has soon to be made as to which of the two roads is in the worst condition, it being generally agreed that there should be no further delay.
But will there prove to be the two events, or just the one with the two MPs standing by to do the donors? Presumably the organisers will keep us informed.