Botswana: President Masisi Opens Customary Court

Struitzendam — Residents of Struitzendam deserve amenities like any other Motswana, which the government will continue to provide, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.

When opening the newly built customary court constructed to the tune of P1.2 million under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) in Struitzendam, the President said the village was an integral part of Botswana which deserved every rich opportunity that the country had.

"You must never at any time feel isolated, forgotten. Never at any time feel any lesser a people than anybody else and everybody else in Botswana. You are a pedigree Motswana as any other. You are part of this republic, and republicanism recognises every citizen to be equal," he said.

Dr Masisi noted that every Motswana had the freedom to live anywhere in the country hence the people of Struitzendam were not restricted to live in their place of birth nor were they restricted to be educated in their place of origin. "You can go anywhere in Botswana and succeed, get married or marry and settle," he said.

He noted that Struitzendam was characterised by harsh climatic and topography conditions. He said government was committed to bringing developments to people in such areas as signified by the construction of modern customary court offices.

Furthermore, he noted that his government was committed to an inclusive approach and sharing of resources thus the people should not in any way feel left out by the wave of developments taking place in the country.

President Masisi encouraged residents to use the offices profitably to develop themselves, to build networks and partnerships as these were critical for development.

Kgalagadi District Council, council secretary Ms Baipelelang Photlokwe said the project was built through the ESP programme.

She noted that the government in the past three years took a deliberate decision to achieve accelerated job creation, eradicate abject poverty and provide world-class education and the Kgalagadi district was not left behind.

Ms Photlokwe noted that the district also embarked on ESP phase I projects such as backlog eradication of primary schools in Bokspits and Lokgwabe Primary Schools, and building of two customary courts at Struitzendam and Zutshwa.

The project started in 2016 with the main objective being to create employment for the people in the area.

Different small scale contractors had a share of the customary court construction which entailed a conference room, ablution blocks, yard fence and a parking area.

She noted that the project was a complete package that included a Landcruiser vehicle worth P485 000 and office furniture.

Ms Photlokwe said Vaalhoek and Rappelspan also benefitted as customary courts were under construction.

For his part, Kgosi Isaac Titus of Struitzendam appreciated the government for the construction of the customary court.

He advised of the need for paving, air conditioning and other amenities such as an ablution block which does not use water as the area was faced with water challenges.

Mr Titus said the court opening was a historic moment for their small and remote village located in the far western corner of Botswana with a population of about 700.

He said this was a sign that the government recognised them.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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