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No BOT50 festivities for CKGR residents

CKGR residents
MAUN: Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) residents will not enjoy the Botswana’s 50-year anniversary as government fails to provide enough money for their celebrations.

The area councillor Bashi Thiite has accused government of deliberately cutting out residents of CKGR from celebrating BOT50.  As part of government policy, residents living in settlements such as CKGR are excluded from celebrating independence in their settlements.

The arrangement is that residents must travel to the gazette areas which are covered for the independence budget. Thiite said: “Residents in CKGR wanted to celebrate BOT50 within the reserve. They are tired of always having to travel to Gantsi to celebrate independence.” However, he said residents will not be able to celebrate the 50 years of independence as they would have liked due to the arrangement.

Thiite also bemoaned that Kabakae ward which he represents comprises of Gantsi, Ranches and CKGR has been allocated P14,000 for the independence celebrations. He said the money is not enough even to transport residents from different settlements of CKGR to Gantsi. “To transport residents from CKGR will cost something in the region of P7,000-P9,000. Clearly the money is not enough and the residents will not be able to attend the BOT50 celebrations.”

Assistant council secretary Motlogelwa Thuso said the council gave the money to the Village Development Committee which is responsible for distributing the money through the wards. 

He explained that the problem with CKGR

is that there is no centralised place where the residents can celebrate within the reserve which comprises of five settlements located far from each other. Thuso further refuted claims that the money is not enough.

Another councillor from Meriting ward in Gantsi, Bojelo David also cried that the P14,000 is not enough to cover the independence expenses in his ward. He said Metiring ward has catchment areas that include Gantsi Senior Secondary and Gantsi Brigades and the community opining that P14,000 is not enough to cater for all.

Contacted for comment, district commissioner for Gantsi, Loeto Porati posited that the money for BOT5O celebrations nationally is not enough.

He however slammed the two councillors for suggesting that P14,000 is not enough adding that it is surprising why the two councillors are the only ones complaining that the money is not enough. “Looking at the few numbers of the people within the communities the money is way more than enough. The complaining councillors may be having a political ulterior motive. Why are they the only ones complaining?” Porati said before directing Mmegi to the Gantsi District Council saying they are the ones who were dealing with the issue.The two councillors are from the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).




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