13 September 2018

Botswana: Masisi Pledges Consultation

Maun — President Mokgweetsi Masisi says his government will continue upholding the democratic principle of consultation.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Maun, President Masisi emphasised the importance of consultation with all key stakeholders before decisions could be made.

He said while decisions taken might not satisfy all, engagement of relevant parties was best.

President Masisi urged the Ngamiland community to join hands and support government in a bid to address challenges faced by the area adding that the state was working around the clock to find solutions through consultation.

"The challenges do not only affect the communities but equally affect the government," he said.

To that end, President Masisi said, ministers and senior government officials had been dispersed around the country to consult the public.

"I had instructed ministers to come here and consult with you on burning issues before my meeting," he said.

The President said as leaders, they needed to give communities explanations and answers and ensure that all red tape in policies and regulations that impeded service delivery were removed.

He said he had a strong team ready to consult, take decisions and provide excellent service.

Public interest and aspirations, he said, should be a priority to senior public officers urging them to cascade that to their subordinates so that they could serve communities diligently.

President Masisi cited challenges such as high unemployment rate, shortage of water, livestock diseases and lack of beef market, saying efforts would be made to rectify the situation.

With regard to unemployment, he said efforts were ongoing to attract investors to come and venture into businesses which would eventually open job opportunities.

The President pointed out that investors wanted to find everything in place hence a decision by government to remove impediments frustrating doing business.

He said government wanted to see locals benefiting from the Okavango Delta heritage site which could also stimulate job creation through the tourism industry.

Currently, he said a team of experts had been tasked with assessing and identifying opportunities where locals could do business.

He urged the community to support government business and job creation efforts.

Locals who had already ventured into the tourism industry by putting up guest houses and lodges were advised to refurbish them to attract more tourists.

He informed Maun residents that one of Vision 2036 pillars aspired to have Botswana move up the ladder to become a high income country with prosperous people living in the full enjoyment of their potential.

Welcoming the President and his entourage, Batawana acting paramount chief, Kgosi Kealetile Moremi appreciated the visit and expressed hope that solutions to burning issues in the district would be provided.

The issues, she said, included the delay in returning Batawana property being Moremi Game Reserve and Maun Educational Park.

She however expressed appreciation that the relevant minister had instructed Tawana Land Board to start consultations with the concerned parties.

Kgosi Moremi decried the bad state of roads such as Maun/Nata, which she said posed danger to users.

Responding to the issues, President Masisi said more time was needed to consult on the issues raised as expert advice would be needed.

He said he had instructed relevant authorities to suspend the issuance, renewal and signing of leases until the matter was concluded.

He also informed Batawana that government had secured P10.2 billion from China and some of the funds would be channeled towards the construction of quality roads across the country.

Source : BOPA

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