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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Development delays worry Seretse

BOTSWANA SEROWE - The Member of Parliament for Serowe North East constituency, Mr Ramadeluka Seretse has called on the political leaders and the civil servants in the Serowe/Palapye Sub-district to develop a strategy that expediate implementation of government projects.


Mr Seretse expressed concern that some government projects, which were included in the Sub-District 2007/08 financial year budget, have been shelved whilst some have not even taken off the ground at a time when funds were readily available.

He said this confused state of development, which led to the delay in the orderly implementation of budgeted projects, was due to lack of communication between the civil service authorities and the political leaders.

He cited the Mabeleapodi/Tshimoyapula Road construction project, stating that it was first included in the 2006/07 and then the 2007/08 financial year budget allocations, yet nothing has happened about it even though the funds were availed for the project.

He said that owing to this state of affairs, the project might end up being omitted altogether from the countrys budget planning process because the funds, which were due to finance the project, are returned every financial year and this will give the budget implementers the impression that the road was after all not required indicative of poor planning in their calculations.

Minister Seretse said that this concern is relevant also to other projects in the Central District that have been shifted aside due to lack of communication and coordination between the authorities in the civil service and the political leaders.

We will end up being the losers of these projects in this region if we continue to be disjointed and fail to work together for a common goal, he said.

Members of Parliament and Councilors should be given adequate information regarding projects, especially when and how they have to be implemented, and at what cost so that they could also embark on follow-ups, he advised. He went on to state that if only officers and political leaders work together, progress in attaining government development objectives would not be attained.

For her part, the Central District Commissioner, Ms Lorato Plaatjie stated that her office is due to establish a forum, which will consist of the Central District Chairman, the Council Secretary, Tribal Authorities and the Land Board Chairman.

She explained that the move to establish the forum is for the team to work together and hold meetings to discuss and resolve issues concerning the development of the region.

The Central District Council Secretary, Mr Molefhi Keaja also expressed the same sentiment as the District Commissioner, adding that the forum should be expanded to include councilors of respective constituencies.

Meanwhile, Minister Seretse said that he was happy that the Serowe 36 km internal road network is in progress. He however stated that after the completion of the project, the village is bound to stay for another five to 10 years without other road networks in the village being upgraded.

In this sense he advised the council authorities to include at least one road in their financial year budget plan proposal so that at least one road is upgraded within village every year.

Mr Seretse went on to explain that Botswana has not sold any diamonds since November last year due to the global economic downturn resulting in the sharp drop in diamond prices. He said this impacted negatively on the government budget since diamonds are the main source of revenue for the country.

He said that this calls for the officers in the civil service to be efficient and productive showing more seriousness in their productivity drive. He also said that there was need for introspection and for the officers and the people to be imbued with a sense of discipline and responsibility and determine how best to contribute to Botswanas development programmes. BOPA

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