THE OBSERVER: Thank you Honourable Kitso Mokaila

SHARE   |   Monday, 08 August 2016   |   By Simon Gabathuse
THE OBSERVER: Thank you Honourable Kitso Mokaila

I shall not forget that Honourable Kitso Mokaila is practically doing all he can to keep our lights and water taps running. Months ago we were in a state of despair, a state of hopelessness. We went back to the bush to relieve ourselves. We went back to the days of using water for drinking and cooking. Bathing was a luxury. We are here now. Not knowing how long the comfort of electricity and water will last. But we are here now enjoying the luxury of running water and power supply. We are also aware that there still remains difficult decisions to be made regarding the Morupule B power plant. Whether it should be sold to the highest bidder or not. In the case that such happens, the Government will buy power from whoever would have bought the plant and redistribute it to us at subsidised costs. Supposing such a practise will still be sustainable. But given the current social safety nets, it becomes likely that in the event that Morupule B power station is bought by a private entity, we shall continue to enjoy subsidised power charges.

I shall not forget that Honourable Kitso Mokaila had lost elections to the political firebrand James Mathokgwane and was returned to Parliament as a specially elected Member of Parliament. Politicians have a way of attributing this practise sarcastically as entering Parliament through the window. In Mokaila’s situation, it was worse. Like many others who returned to Parliament through the same process, he is considered President Ian Khama’s right hand man. That alone brought questions of loyalty versus competence. I shall not forget that Mokaila has defied the odds. He has performed above par. He found the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources in total disarray. It had simply become a ghost. There was no water; the taps had literally run dry. The north – south water carrier was not helping the situation. It was bursting almost every hour and was constantly under repair. That meant less and less water. We were reminded by politicians that the problem is who had won the tender to construct the north–south water carrier.

Politicians were not offering solutions; they were simply increasing our depression. They seemed to enjoy bashing wrong decisions that have been made in the past without necessarily providing solutions. Our houses were stinking. Our kitchens were not appetising. We still haven’t received enough rains yet we are now back to the life of water luxury. We should not forget our past experiences. We should not forget how we all knew the price of jojo tanks, which one was stronger and which plumber knew how to fit it well. We went through painful yet necessary experiences. When Mokaila took over the ministry, the country was dark and cold. Power was luxury. On top of the controversy surrounding Morupule B, how much it had cost and how much it was budgeted for, that it was malfunctioning, that it is costly to maintain; we simply had no answers but questions.  We then learnt to switch off geysers when not needed. We have never really known this kind of a life before. We knew there were hours we could not cook.

The power authority will simply switch you off. We knew that heaters were not permissible, yet it was so cold! We knew the price of candles. We had a schedule of load shedding. We knew what time to get home in time to light the candles for our children to do their homework. Those with the means used it as an opportunity to buy and install back-up generators. The city was noisy from generators. There was no productivity; we could not work and our offices were dark. The economy was hardly hit; the business confidence and possibilities of foreign direct investment were getting thinner. We needed solutions and we needed them immediately to the power problem and Mokaila delivered just that. The economy was just reeling from the effects of recession and the mining industry had taken a painful knock. No one was buying our diamonds, we needed the money, and we didn’t have the money. The country had suspended developmental projects as the ministry of minerals was not giving the ministry of finance money to distribute to the nation for developments.

The future was bleak. The mines were threatening closure. The already high unemployment figures were about to be increased by the agony we found ourselves within. Mokaila needed to step up his game and be the man. And lo and behold! He became the man. His was a task that few could have wished for as a challenge. Yet he took the challenge and practically went through problem solving steps to save us. He needs to be applauded for the hard work. We can’t just pretend that he did not do what very few, or possibly, no one will have done. In our continued anger; our continued displeasure we must thank those who do their best to serve us. We must thank honourable men and women like Kitso Mokaila whom we don’t necessarily mind sustaining their upkeep through our taxes. He deserves to be kept comfortable through our taxes for he works hard to ensure that we are comfortable and productive. Unlike some of his counterparts in cabinet whose roles are to simply observe and fill their stomachs, his job, roles and duties are all out for us to see and we must applaud him so that when we tell him off at a time we will be needing to, it should then dwell in him that his has erred. Thank you Minister Kitso Mokaila for bringing us back to comfort. May you please continue doing the best you can for this nation. I thought I should thank you and applaud for a job very well done.
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