Plans by the government to provide elderly people with radios have received mixed reactions from the North West District Councillors.
A recent memo from the office of the president directed the council to assess all the beneficiaries of Old Age Pension Scheme, World War II and destitute persons who are vulnerable and living on their own with the aim of purchasing small radios for them to ease their boredom.
It further requested all council secretaries, town clerks and district commissioners to ensure that their offices conduct house to house visits so that no one is left out.
But this did not go down well with majority of the councilors who complained that they did not budget for the assessment exercise and will not exhaust the little that is in their coffers to do that.
They complained of initiatives that come without notice saying it disrupts their plans adding that while they are consulting their communities regarding provision of food for Ipelegeng workers another directive has comes through.
“ We wasted lot of energy last time trying to educate people about backyard gardening but there was never a follow up and now we are told to go and assess who should benefit on radios, it is a waste of resources,” said Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD)Councilor Lekopanye Ledimo of Kareng Ward.
He wondered why the initiative was so immediate and being given a lot of priority while other projects were still pending.
Another BMD councilor Allen Sokwe of Tsau sent other councillors into a fit of laughter when he asked how the radios were going to operate.
“I want to know if those radios will not be programmed to broadcast certain people only. I suspect that the radios will be used as a campaign tool because of its timing and the people who are benefiting. And I do hope they bring normal radios which can broadcast all the stations,’’ he said.
However Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Councilor for Nxaunxau/Xauduma Samson Mauano welcomed the idea saying it will benefit those who don’t have any other means of accessing news.
Councilor Obonya Morapedi of Boyeyi echoed his sentiments saying that it was a welcome idea that will not educate but provide entertainment to elders.
The radios will be purchased with initial batteries but once they are flat the beneficiaries will buy for themselves.