2 November 2017

Botswana: Government Ups Anti-Drug War

Gaborone — President Lt. General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama says Cabinet is working round the clock to come up with means of dealing with drug abuse in the country.Addressing a kgotla meeting in Bontleng yesterday, President Khama said Cabinet met recently to discuss the issue because the country was slowly becoming a hub for illicit drugs and other unwanted substances.

He assured residents that something was being done to address the problem adding that what was disheartening most was the fact that the drugs, particularly dagga had found its way into schools.

The President blamed some parents for not playing their parental role in the fight against drug and alcohol abuse by their school going children and appealed to Batswana to curb the problem, before it became worse.

He also explained that alcohol consumption in work places was another problem in the public service because it immensely contributed to low productivity.

However, the President commended the Botswana Police Service for doing 'a wonderful job' in their anti -drug campaign.

He said recently, the commissioner of Police Mr Keabetswe Makgophe met with his Swaziland counterpart to discuss the problem as most of these drugs, particularly dagga, was alleged to be from that country adding that the meeting would soon yield positive results.

President Khama also added that the police continued to intercept drugs in all entry points in Botswana, something he said they should be commended for.

On other issues, the President explained that constituency fund would be increased as the economy improved and that the issue of the utilisation of some open spaces in Gaborone would be dealt with not later than this month.

Meanwhile, a consensus was reached by the President and Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Prince Maele to reduce the time frame for connection of homes to the sewage water system

Earlier on, Minister Maele had explained that the connection fee was P1 500 which could be paid in installments of P500 for three months.

He had also told the meeting that only few residents had managed to connect to the main sewage system whilst the rest were still reluctant even though they were granted several extensions .

However, residents complained that the P500 monthly installment fee was high prompting the President to immediately consult with Mr Maele to make some variations which resulted in residents now being required to pay P250 for six months.

In his welcome remarks, Urban Customary Court president, Kgosi Charles Koitsiwe complained to the President about drugs such as dagga which he said had now found their way into schools.

He had also requested government to purchase a vehicle that would be used by all the court presidents in Gaborone South Constituency saying some of these presiding officers were using their private cars to do government work.

Meanwhile, Bontleng Ward Development Committee chairperson, Mr John Macheng was grateful for a number of programmes and initiatives such as the Ipelegeng programme, utilisation of open spaces for recreational activities and the introduction of constituency fund.

However, he complained that most of the streets lights in the constituency were not working which he said had attracted criminal activities.

Regarding the constituency allowance, Mr Macheng explained that the money was channeled to other projects against their proposals adding that there was also a serious shortage of working equipment for the Ipelegeng workers, who he said were doing a 'wonderful job' to clean the city.

He suggested that Ipelegeng and Ward Development Committees (WDC) should be well resourced in order to carry out their mandate diligently while appealing for offices for these committees.

Mr Macheng also called for maintenance of the local community hall so that it could be used by members of the Ward Extension Teams (VET).

He also complained that Bontleng had been turned into a dumping site but no action was being taken against the perpetrators even after they had been reported.

In response to the issue of streets lights which were not working, Gaborone City Council clerk Mr Mpho Mathe explained that it was due to vandalism and theft of underground cables and appealed to residents to report perpetrators to the relevant authorities so that action could be taken.

He said plans were underway to replace the streets lights with tower lights in order to address the problem of theft.

Mr Mathe also explained that Gaborone City Council had come to a conclusion to privatise maintenance of all community halls in Gaborone except the Bontleng one which needed to be demolished and rebuilt once funds were available.

Area MP Mr Kagiso Molatlhegi appealed to government for the maintenance Urban Police station which he said was in a state of dilapidation and further appealed for a special dispensation for special constables who were unable to meet the entry requirements at the Botswana Police College. BOPA

Source : bopa

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