Frustrated Hawkers Turn To BCP

Gov’t wants them evicted for overcrowding


Frustrated hawkers trading at the Gaborone Bus Rank are swelling the ranks of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) as the Department of Road Transport and Safety comes bearing down on them for eviction.

The place was the scene of eager new recruits signing up to join the party that is a member of the coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change after its president, Dumelang Saleshando, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, addressed a rally attended mostly by the hawkers who are of the BaZezuru community last Friday.
The hawkers have been instructed to evacuate the bus rank as the country battles rising cases of COVID-19.

In an interview after the rally, Saleshando said he is baffled by why the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) government should want to close people’s avenues of trying to earn a living when the country is undergoing an economic meltdown. “Why would any government want to do that when people just want put food on the table?” he queried and spoke of possible options to avoid being mean with people.

“One of the options that could be exercised is to limit the number of hawkers allowed into a bus at any point in time,” he said, “This could help prevent overcrowding.”

Saleshando said he would seek a meeting with the Minister of Transport and Communications, Thulaganyo Segokgo, to discuss the issue because it is not right that the BDP should be committed to making people suffer. “I will be asking the Minister of Transport and Communication for an appointment,” he emphasized.

Efforts to contact the minister proved futile as he did not answer his cellphone or respond to messages sent to it.
In an interview with The Botswana Gazette, the Chairperson of the Gaborone Regional of the BCP, Refiloe Aphiri, said the party netted 20 new members. “I have another 50 to 100 that we will be welcoming next Friday,” she said. “Most of the people who gave me their names and numbers to register them are BaZezuru.”

Aphiri added that has the people are from different constituencies across Botswana but live in Gaborone.