F/town Mayor finds potential amid Covid-19By Kabelo DipholoFrancistown Mayor, Godisang Radisigo is determined to find the potential amid the pandemic threatening to bring the modern world to its knees.
Speaking exclusively to The Voice on Tuesday, Radisigo revealed that together with the Town Clerk, they have discussed possible measures to ensure the city is secure and in a position to fight back against Covid-19.
“I had suggested to him that since the streets are empty, it is the best opportunity to clean Francistown. We have to get rid of some of the abandoned structures littered around the city, which have become breeding areas for rats.
“It is also our wish to fumigate the city streets but as you might be aware there’s no budget for that. I think it’s one of the reasons the President wants six months of State Emergency so that such decisions can be easily taken,” surmised Radisigo.
“We are in a really tough state, but we can use this opportunity to clean our city, revamp the waiting room at the bus rank so that we have a new and fresh Francistown after Covid-19,” said the man who was elected Mayor of Francistown back in December, piping Itekeng ward Councillor Lesego Kwamabala to the post by 12 votes to 11.
Turning his attention to the virus, which to date has claimed over 80, 000 lives around the world, Radisigo stressed that although his city is yet to register a confirmed case of Covid-19, he is well aware of the dangers that lie ahead.
Five days after the country went into lockdown, the Major voiced his concern at the growing number of people intent on leaving their homes.
“Too many people are treating this lockdown as a public holiday. To them, it’s just business as usual! The situation seemed to be under control last Friday when the lockdown began; I think people were scared and took it seriously. However, after realising they were free to go to the shops and other things, they threw caution out the window,” lamented Radisigo, who warned the second city’s citizens this will likely lead to stricter measures being enforced.
Currently, if found in violation of the Extreme Social Distance Regulations, members of the public face a possible P5, 000 fine or six months imprisonment – or even both!
“The number of people I see on the street is disturbing and this may force the state’s hand to come up with more stringent measures. We’ve been given a window that allows us to go shopping for essentials but now this freedom is being abused. If we’re not afraid of this virus, what exactly is going to scare us to stay in our homes?” he demanded rhetorically.
The Mayor also bemoaned the large groups of people who queue at the District Commissioner’s Office to apply for special permits to leave their homes.
“Those who are denied these permits have resorted to using ungazetted roads to get to their destination which is counterproductive,” he added, noting the disease was generally a simple one to defeat if dealt with sensibly.
“But our attitude towards it is going to make it impossible to control. People should stay home and wash their hands with soap. It’s that simple!” Radisigo reiterated.
The Mayor further dismissed recent reports trending on social media about Francistown being declared a ‘red zone’.
“We’ve never received an official announcement on that. Until we do I’d treat that as fake news,” he maintained.