A young resident of Francistown has petitioned the city mayor, Sylvia Muzila on youth unemployment and a number of other things which he says needed to be addressed.
34-year old Tshiamo Morobosi outlined his grievances in a letter dated April 12th demanding the Francistown leadership to reveal its plans for the city on issues pertaining to youth unemployment, the challenge of the centralisation of resources and decision-making powers in Gaborone. Lack of development and poor service delivery in the second city, lack of political will to develop Francistown, lack of progress in the Francistown Investment Forum, lack of empowerment for the residents, mistreatment of vendors in the city’s CDB and the “mess’’ that is the Francistown bus rank are some of the concerns raised by Morobosi.
Morobosi, holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from the Curtin University, Australia was the first secretary of the Francistown Investment Forum until the office was controversially closed early this year.
He insists in the letter that the city authorities must have a clear strategy on how the youth are going to be assisted. Clearly not a great supporter of the current national youth policies, he dismisses them as not working and as such, should not be relied upon by the Francistown leadership. “For instance, we have seen youth proposals for funding being turned down without proper explanations to the applicant and such also goes for CEDA which continues to shun Batswana. Allegations are that some individuals in these organisations steal and sell people’s ideas,” reads part of Morobosi’s letter.
Morobosi is also not amused by the fact that certain services, critical to youth empowerment, can only be accessed in Gaborone. In his view, Government offices in Francistown should be elevated to the status where they make decisions. “Let us indicate that we are equal to the people of Gaborone since we also pay tax that contribute to the economy of this country. Our view is that, we the people of Francistown are treated as second class citizens. The honest fact is that Francistown is taken for granted by government and a lot needs to be done to address our situation here.”
The petitioner says in his letter to the mayor that Francistown has degenerated into a ghost city due to lack of development. The situation, in his view, has resulted in people migrating from Francistown to other towns. He argues, “the painful part is that the north boasts of rich mineral resources which however continue to benefit Gaborone due to unfair distribution of resources by our government.”
Morobosi is worried that the Francistown Investment Forum (FIF), which was meant to rejuvenate the city’s economy by wooing investors, “has been derailed by certain individuals.” Continues the letter, “The Francistown Vision 2022 will not be realised under the current set-up and shall remain a myth. Two months after the Francistown Investment Forum, we lost a project worth millions due to poor decision-making by the leadership of the project. This is a project that could have brought employment opportunities for the masses. The one thing the leadership should know is that they are accountable to Batswana and we shall call them to account for lack of progress in this city because we should not fear them.”
Instead of empowering the people, according to Morobosi, the Francistown City Council (FCC), which Muzila leads, has been evicting vendors from the town centre to the periphery where business is limited.
Contacted for comment, the mayor said she was not aware of the petition.