Don’t shoot the messenger

Kabelo Dipholo
FCC MAYOR: Godisang Radisigo, F-TOWN EAST MP: Buti Billy, F-TOWN WEST MP: Ignatius Moswaane (L-R)

FCC Mayor blames Buti Billy, Moswaane for F/town market demolition

The City of Francistown (FCC) Mayor. Godisang Radisigo has thrown the controversial decision to demolish the Francistown old market on the laps of the former Mayors Buti Billy and Ignatius Moswaane.

On January 23rd, 47 tenants at the market were ordered by the Deputy Sheriff to pack up and leave.

In less than an hour the dreaded yellow monster arrived and flattened the stalls erected decades ago as an empowerment drive for the poverty stricken Francistown natives.

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Radisigo said the Finance and General Purposes committee met the Town Planning Works and Development committee on August 06, 2003 and proposed to redevelop the market- Plot 37177.

It was at this meeting that the committee considered a redevelopment proposal by Equality Properties (Pty).

Initially the market was leased to Gertrude Mmile and 54 other tenants who traded there for years before the proposed redevelopment.

“The Mayor at the time was the current Francistown East Member of Parliament Buti Billy, while Francistown West MP Ignatius Moswaane was the Chairperson of the Finance Committee,” Radisigo told Monarch residents.

The Mayor said a 40-year lease agreement was then signed with Equality Properties (Pty) Ltd on Septembe,13th, 2004.

“Mmile and others were then relocated to other different council market sites, leaving only 38 occupants who were in rental arrears,” said Radisigo.

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Since then, Mmile explained, there has been a cat and mouse game between these defaulting tenants and the FCC.

In 2013 FCC wrote letters of repossession and relocation to tenants following a meeting on March, 15th.

The Mayor said upon failure by Equality Properties to develop the plot within the stipulated time the agreement was terminated and a new tender floated which was eventually awarded to Amasa Civils.

“This is to show you that there’s a process that was followed since 2004, started by both Billy and Moswaane,” he said.

“None of them can today turn around and point a finger at anyone to score cheap political points,” Radisigo said.

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The FCC Mayor said as the leadership, there are times when they have to make tough and sometimes unpopular decisions for the greator good of the city.

“We faced a lot of resistance with the Mummies Plot. Some people wanted to continue running that bar, but we had to make a decision and today we have fully fledged mall, a filling station, 5-Aside pitches and amusement park on the way. That is far much better than a bar,” he said.

In a previous interview Moswaane had criticized the Mayor and his council for demolishing the central market.

“Radisigo is cruel. How can he demolish the oldest and only market in town. Where then does he expect these people to go,” asked Moswaane in a live interview with Voice Online.

The Francistown West MP suggested that the evicted vendors be accommodated at the vacant horticultural market building.

The building, which has since become a white elephant was built in 2001 to the tune of P2.6 million but never occupied by vendors who say its too far out of town for their liking.

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