The last Francistowner who was a minister was Phandu Skelemani in 2014
FRANCISTOWN: Questions are being raised on the eve of President Mokgweetsi Masisi making his cabinet appointments regarding whether Botswana’s second city of Francistown will be overlooked again.
This comes against the backgrop of the last cabinet having had no one from Francistown. The last Francistowner who was a minister was Phandu Skelemani, who was also the MP for Francistown East, in 2014.
People here blame what they see as a sluggish rate of economic development in their city going for many years without one of their own being appointed a minister. They point to the presence in Parliament of Billy Buti, who is due to be sworn in as the MP for Francistown East, and Ignatius Moswaane, who is to take an oath as the MP for Francistown West this afternoon, as worthy of appointment as ministers. Billy is a businessman with a background in teaching.
Antony Morima, a political commentator is arguing that although a cabinet appointment would be good for a city like Francistown, having one made or not is not a deciding factor for economic development. “That is not how economic development is planned,” Morima said.
Former mayor of Francistown, James Kgalajwe, says his observation is that places that have people in ministerial positions do better in terms of economic development. “To avoid this, decentralisation is the way to go,” Kgalajwe said. “Local governments should have more powers to facilitate economic development without having to wait for cabinet decisions.”