Eunice Mguni – Botswana

Eunice Mguni – Botswana

Date: June 9, 2010
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Eunice Mguni, a Gaborone councillor representing Phakalane, said that initially her family was unsupportive because “they were worried about how people would view her,” and also because of the financial toll this would have on the family. However, now they are fully supportive; they have seen the many initiatives she has been involved with, and this has brought them on board.

Because of the location of local government, councillors are dealing with a multitude of issues which have to do with basic rights (food, water, sanitation), and usually in circumstances where many people are impoverished. Once placed in positions of leadership under these circumstances, there are high expectations from constituents. This sometimes has the effect of frustrating women councillors because the nature of systems and procedures, as well as budgetary constraints can have the effect of delaying implementation of approved motions. As Eunice put it “sometimes you push and push, and are always talking”, and the impact is hardly felt because implementation can be very slow. In the absence of anything tangible, the constituents may be of the view that the councillor is not making any difference.

Since being in office, Eunice has put forward a motion to have a road linking Glen Valley and Ledumang (Tsholofelo extension), and the project is currently underway. She also initiated an effort to have street lights in Glen Valley Barracks and it was approved; this was deemed a priority for women, who need a safe environment to reduce the risk of GBV. The project is now before the Finance Committee for consideration. She also submitted a motion for a police station at Phakalane, which was accepted. Currently there is a caravan/depot. One of the actions required to implement this motion is for government to buy land in the area and start building the police station.

Eunice also started an initiative for domestic workers to establish a Trust which would focus on their rights. She assisted them to develop the objectives and proposed actions, as well as starting the registration process. Although the project has stalled, she would still like to go ahead and revive it.

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