Francistown City councillors have criticised what they call a lack of clear monitoring mechanisms for Ipelegeng, a short-term employment initiative by government.
FCC has allocated well over P20 million for the programme for this financial year, however the budget proposal made at the first full council meeting since the general elections last year elicited a storm of debate on Thursday at the Francistown City Council (FCC) chambers. Councillors from the ruling party and from the opposition ranks were of the view that even though a lot of money is spent on the programme government is not doing enough to monitor how this money is spent.
First to draw blood was Godfrey Kaelo of Monarch West ward who argued that a lot of money is spent on Ipelegeng, but there is no inspection done.
In his view, this brings a lot of accountability problems, noting that the programme should be monitored because projects handed to Ipelegeng always fail due to lack of skills and knowledge. Specially nominated councilor Andy Boatile shared Kaelo’s sentiments saying that Ipelegeng is a barrier to developments as it does not stimulate productivity and innovation which ideals are part of the vision 2016 pillars. Boatile noted that Ipelegeng projects do not differ, According to him, instead of the current situation where one size fits all with regard to Ipelegeng, projects in the villages and those in towns should be different from one another.
"Money is wasted on Ipelegeng, P20m is a lot of money, I do not see any positive outcome from the programme. Most of the work is on grass cutting,” said councilor Badubi Lekang of Government Camp. In his view, P20m could be used to complete some of the developmental projects pending in the city of Francistown. He also noted that, a fully developed Francistown would be in a position to contribute to the economic development of the country.
Specially nominated councilor Zazambi Tuelo, who seemed to contradict himself, differed with his colleagues when he pointed out that the Ipelegeng programme was not wasteful. On the same breath however, he referred to some projects such as the block 1 road which he said was not properly done. It was on the basis of this that he argued that the Ipelegeng programme should be monitored.