No water, no tea!

Kabelo Dipholo

UDC Legislature boycotts Council Tea in solidarity with thirsty voters

The thirst that has prevailed over Moroka village in the last four years has prompted the village’s newly elected Councillor, Vincent Mooketsi to take unusual action to get the Council’s attention.

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) man made history in October’s general elections, becoming the first Councillor from the opposition block to represent the village at North East District Council (NEDC) Chambers in Masunga.

The young legislator has decided to boycott tea served at the council chambers in a bid to speak out against what he terms ‘disservice to the people of Moroka’.

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According to Mooketsi, very little has been done to address the village’s long-standing water woes.

“People wake up at 3am everyday to fill up their water containers. This has been going on for more than four years, and the only solution that Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has come up with is to ration water,” he said.

Mooketsi claimed WUC avails water on one side of the village in the morning, while the other side remains dry and then reverses the cycle in the evening.

“We cannot live like that. We’ve all resorted to using pit latrines because there’s no running water,” cried Mooketsi.

The Councillor said what is even more frustrating to him and his constituents is that they are only 60km away from Ntimbale Dam, which currently supplies water to villages in the south of Botswana more than 500km away.

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“This is not acceptable. We can’t go thirsty when water is literally in our own backyard!”

The legislator further said the issue of water shortage in Moroka is a matter of urgency and called on both WUC and the North East Council to treat it as such.

“The last time I checked I was told a tender has been floated. But this is still at a very infancy stage and there’s no guarantee that it’ll become a reality. I understand they plan to build a substation that will help address the issueof gravity which we are told is the reason we don’t have water,” he said.

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Quizzed on why he chose to boycott tea instead water, Mooketsi responded, “Look, they provide bottled water at council which is the same as everyone else uses because we are now used to buying water in Moroka. I boycotted tea because they use tap water. My mother and my neighbours can’t make tea in the morning because their taps are dry. All the taps gurgle and cough up air in the morning, there’s no tea for my constituents!”

In an interview with The Voice on Wednesday morning, Council Secretary MotshwariemangMatseka said he was not aware of Mooketsi’s ‘tea boycott’.

Matsekafurther told The Voice that water problem in the North East is not just limited to Moroka village, but stretches from Masunga to Jackalas.

“Plans to improve reticulation from Ntimbale Dam are well underway. There also plans to reconnect some of the villages, including Moroka to some already existing boreholes,” Matseka said.

The Council Secretary confirmed that a tender for the water reticulation project has already been floated. “WUC personnel had just returned from an evaluation trip in Gaborone,” he added.

Meanwhile, there is no telling when reliable water supply will be restored in Moroka and surrounding villages. But for as long as it takes, there will be no tea for the UDC CouncillorMooketsi!

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