Maun West Member of Parliament, Tawana Moremi has blasted government for its lack of commitment to develop Maun village, which is not only one of the country’s major tourism villages but also the headquaters of Ngamiland region.
When responding to the budget speech, which was tabled in parliament last week, Tawana who is an independent MP after his resignation from UDC, stated that: “It is true, we are carrying you on our backs, you are making us suffer because we are successful. That is the problem, but you do not want to include us in the mainstream of this economy of Botswana. That is why you are quick to grab our land and give it away to your friends because you feel we don’t deserve the land. We have created the marvel that is Maun, but now you want to take that away from us. How I wish Jesus Christ arrives and sentence you all of you to hell.”
Moremi lambasted government for excluding Ngamiland from meaningful development while apportioning big budgets to other areas even though the district could own its economy, if there was goodwill on the part of government.
“What we see happening today is that, you have totally excluded us, we pay higher VATs than any of you countrywide because of the transport factor. We pay higher for farming implements than any of you because of the transport factor. We pay higher in fuel costs than any of you because of the transport factor, but we get less per cow (due to foot and mouth cattle disease zone) than all of you because you do not give two hoots about our economic welfare in Ngamiland,” Tawana fumed.
The political firebrand and chief of the Batawana who has since declared that he will not contest for the coming general elections this year contended that, Maun is an ecological disaster waiting to happen.
Discussing the worrying quality of water in the tourism village, Moremi suggested that the government should have prioritized this issue in the current budget.
“Human waste is being drained into the river. The village’s storm water drains empties into the river, that is, all the dirt, carcasses of cats and dogs, children’s faeces and all goes into the river, but at the top here, there is no provision in the budget to arrest this problem,” Moremi noted before adding that the P400 million allocated for Maun Water Sanitation was not enough.
“We need much more than that to curve the impending ecological disaster in Maun. The quality of water in Maun is a concern. The water does not look clean; it is as though it is drawn directly from a borehole to our taps. You are not serious when you discuss Maun but there is serious water cuts in the area,” said Tawana who went on to express his disappointment, especially with the Minister of Finance and development planning, Kenneth Matambo for not giving Maun a bigger share of developmental budget.