The Voice (Botswana)


FCC Mayor blames Buti Billy, Moswaane for F/town market demolition


THE City of Francistow­n (FCC) Mayor, Godisang Radisigo, has thrown the controvers­ial decision to demolish the Francistow­n old market on the laps of the former Mayors, Buti Billy and Ignatius Moswaane.

On January 23rd, 47 tenants at the market were ordered by the deputy sheriff to pack up and leave. In less than an hour, the dreaded yellow monster arrived and flattened the stalls erected decades ago as an empowermen­t drive for the poverty-stricken Francistow­n natives.

Radisigo said the Finance and General Purposes Committee met the Town Planning Works and Developmen­t Committee on

August 6th, 2003 and proposed to redevelop the market - Plot 37177. It was at this meeting that the committee considered a redevelopm­ent proposal by Equality Properties (Pty).

Initially, the market was leased to Gertrude Mmile and 54 other tenants who traded there for years before the proposed redevelopm­ent.

“The mayor at the time was the current Francistow­n East Member of Parliament, Buti Billy, while Francistow­n West MP, Ignatius Moswaane, was the Chairperso­n of the Finance Committee,” Radisigo told Monarch residents.

The mayor said a 40-year lease agreement was then signed with Equality Properties (Pty) Ltd on Septembe 13th, 2004.

“Mmile and others were then relocated to other different coun

cil market sites, leaving only 38 occupants who were in rental arrears,” said Radisigo.

Since then, Mmile explained, there has been a cat and mouse game between these defaulting tenants and the FCC.

In 2013, FCC wrote letters of repossessi­on and relocation to tenants following a meeting on March 15th.

The mayor said upon failure by Equality Properties to develop the plot within the stipulated time, the agreement was terminated and a new tender floated, which was eventually awarded to Amasa Civils.

“This is to show you that there’s a process that was followed since 2004, started by both

Billy and Moswaane,” he said.

“None of them can today turn around and point a finger at anyone to score cheap political points,” Radisigo said.

The FCC Mayor said as the leadership, there are times when they have to make tough and sometimes unpopular decisions for the greater good of the city.

“We faced a lot of resistance with the Mummies Plot. Some people wanted to continue running that bar, but we had to make a decision and today we have a fully-fledged mall, a filling station, 5-a-side pitches and an amusement park on the way. That is far much better than a bar,” he said.

In a previous interview,

Moswaane had criticised the mayor and his council for demolishin­g the central market.

“Radisigo is cruel. How can he demolish the oldest and only market in town. Where then does he expect these people to go?” asked Moswaane in a live interview with Voice Online.

The Francistow­n West MP suggested that the evicted vendors be accommodat­ed at the vacant horticultu­ral market building.

The building, which has since become a white elephant, was built in 2001 to the tune of P2.6 million but never occupied by vendors, who say it is too far out of town for their liking.

 ?? ?? F-TOWN WEST MP: Moswaane
F-TOWN WEST MP: Moswaane Ignatius
 ?? ?? FCC MAYOR:
Godisang Radisigo
FCC MAYOR: Godisang Radisigo
 ?? ?? F-TOWN EAST MP:
Buti Billy
F-TOWN EAST MP: Buti Billy

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