Scary Mosu, Ann Stein and a Might-Be-Railway

Interesting remarks were recently made by Minister Mokaila about the future of the railway.

But when commenting on the dual road/rail Kazangula ridge, he puzzled me no end when he remarked that. ‘his Ministry intendeds to adopt a forward approach to see if a train will not pass through the wildlife area of Kasane…’Surely there would have been some fairly advanced ideas about this new railway line when it was decided to go for a two function bridge.

But seemingly not. because it is only now that thought seems to be given as to how a  railway line might best traverse the Kasane Wildlife area.

 I must say that I had assumed that possible routes had long been surveyed and preliminary costs worked out so it comes as something of a shock to learn that nothing of the kind had ever been undertaken.

Now to shift from the surprising to the disgraceful. The Telegraph (15 March) reported that the famous Ann Stine school  for the disabled in Molepolole has been close indefinitely as a result of a dispute between the District Commissioner and the Board.

By report the Board fired its coordinator, a decision which was rejected by the DC who is threatening to dissolve the board. The school, which was opened in 1992 has thirty nine disabled students and eighteen staff members.

Meanwhile to further muddy the situation, it was reported that the DCEC is investigating the project’s affairs. For all any of us can know, the Board may be a bunch of incompetents. But if the DC is threatening to do away with its presumably legally established constitution, the assumption must be that the members were all elected.

What gives a DC the authority to set aside a legally established constitution? Indeed what sort of DC is this who has contrived to become one of the key actors in a dispute over an important community project? 

Properly the DC should be an objective adjudicator, a peace maker standing well away from the all the personality factors involved. Instead this DC has placed himself/herself in the very eye of the storm thereby ensuring that he or she will inevitably become part a part of the DCEC’s investigations. I suggest that someone responsible in the Ministry should now be taking action so that those thirty-nine disabled children are not further victimised by issues of which they had no part.

Next I want to

refer to what appears to be a new capital office, that is being found walking around in a village.

Those who were reportedly threatened were three INK journalists who were apparently in Mosu to investigate reports of strange new developments at HE’s private residence. Mind you, the capital offence of walking around in a village is nothing new.

 In 1987 several of us were told by a mix of BDF and SSG that if any of were found walking around Odi, we would all be shot dead. And mind you, there was nothing the least bit controversial about Odi as there is today with Mosu. Perhaps there is something about guns which makes those holding them itch to put them to use especially when identities are carefully disguised.

Perhaps it’s just a power thing. Mind you, with the Mosu incident, it is not just the repeated threats to journalists which is the sole issue here. Mosu is a site of national historical and archaeological importance.

If these three were accosted by armed vigilantes around five kilometers distant from HE’s residence, it would seem that the general area needs to be declared prohibited to visitors, tourists or anyone else, and declared unsafe. 

Ramsay, who was not there, denies the claim insisting that the three had ‘sought to trespass into a restricted area’. (Guardian 17 March). But has this restricted area been legally defined according to some specified pubic or private concern and interest?

If so, how does anyone know? Is it physically demarcated and what is its extent? But then I admit to being hugely confused as to whether this particular getaway is a purely personal, private initiative or is part and parcel of his State provided retirement home. 

It is now a long time again that I visited Mosu. It is magnificent, almost awe inspiring.  But until I deem it wiser not to be found walking around it dead, I am going to give it a miss. There are many other parts of the country which can be visited without risk of death.

But that’s merely my personal preference. You may feel that the risk is well worthwhile. But at minimum be sure not to be carrying either a camera or a pair of binoculars. And if pushed, inistsst that you are an insurance salesman by profession.

Etcetera II



I have won dammit!

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