Mayor for the city of Gaborone, Kagiso Calvin Thutlwe who jetted into the country to renew a cooperation agreement with the city of Windhoek has called out his counterpart, Musee Kazapua to fix the squatter situation as fast as possible by providing decent accommodation to those staying in shacks.
The energetic Thutlwe who did not dare read from his prepared speech said he was aware that central government was not bailing out the municipality but on the issue of housing it was supposed to be doing so.
“You can’t have people who settle in the city but not in a good way. They should know that they are squatters. Let everyone be on the waiting list. Get land and build better houses. In Botswana we have self-help housing. Lobby government to help you.”
“Central government should offer you grants on this housing issue. Let’s share notes and turn our cities around for those coming after us,” said Thutlwe to applause from a generously packed audience at the city of Windhoek chambers.
The two mayors renewed their cooperation which springs all the way from 2003 but the original agreement had never been implemented.
“We are no longer going to sign Memoranda of Understanding which are going to be dormant,” said the Motswana.
He also indicated that he was quite impressed by Windhoek’s cleanliness and would take note and further lobby his government to take after Namibia and set up a city police unit for effective city-laws enforcement.
“Your roads are very clean and I asked what are these people doing that we are not doing right?” he remarked.
Kazapua said there is a need to enhance the south-south cooperation and advance the regional development agenda, as an effective tool through which capacity building, effective exchange of information, resource sharing, experience and expertise could be realized.
“It is this background that informed the partnership link between Windhoek and Gaborone, that came to light in 2003, when our two cities, first signed the Memorandum of Understanding. I am therefore gratified that our two councils have agreed to renew the relationship, and you have taken time to visit Windhoek, so that together we can cement, the already strong historic relations between our cities and peoples,” he said.
He added that the cooperation agreement should serve to create and establish beneficial partnership; a conducive environment for collaboration in identified areas; and future arrangements as and when need arise.
Part of the identified areas in the agreement comprise waste management, law enforcement, community development, sharing and exchanging cultures as well as sharing technologies.
These do not exclude any ideas that may come by with time and the agreement which is open for renewal will be enforced for the next five years.