14 February 2019

Botswana: Masisi, Khama Same Whatsapp Group - Saleshando

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is not blinded by what they perceive as President Mokgweetsi Masisi's populist gestures to endear himself to the people. To them Masisi is just like old wine in a new bottle.

BCP President Dumelang Saleshando blasted Masisi for pretending to be a Messiah, insisting that he is not in any way different from his predecessor Ian Khama.

Addressing the press on Thursday in Gaborone, Saleshando said Masisi and Khama were identical twins and that Masisi's administration was just the continuation of Khama's administration which he served in.

He said that while Masisi took office promising tough action on corruption and to get the economy growing by creating jobs, progress on both fronts is lacking.

"Masisi is not different from Khama despite the fact that he sacked Isaac Kgosi from DISS. He is implicated in the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) loot while he was VP to Khama and we want to him to tell the nation when he will be repaying the funds he obtained from Bakang Seretse from the NPF coffers to finance his camp Dubai during 2017 BDP elective congress," he said.

Saleshando further alleged that Khama has been also involved in serious corrupt practices such in the tendering processes where his family and friends were favoured with the Mosu airstrip built with tax payers' money.

He said Masisi was the VP to Khama and had no say to condemn the move.

"He (Masisi) is a bus driver who confuses himself; he talked about the Declaration of Assets Bill but up to now he has failed to deliver on it. His administration is serving his selfish interests as well as those of members of his Cabinet who are engaged in high profile cases and not have been persecuted yet".

He said it is high time that a financial audit is instituted in the DISS as most of the missing funds from the government institutions have been poured into the intelligence agency such as the alleged P3 billion missing from Bank of Botswana (BOB).

Budget of missed opportunities

Saleshando said the 2019\2020 financial budget didn't fully address the salient issues besieging the nation such as high rising unemployment scourge.

He said Government's only hope of creating jobs appears to be through the Ipelegeng scheme, with the budget failing to offer any radical economic transformation strategies.

He is concerned by the P10 billion loan secured from China that appears to be very secretive transaction as Parliament has not been briefed about it. He said it was not clear whether proper measures of borrowing outside were followed, including that the borrowed amount should not exceed 40% of the GDP.

Selebi Phikwe West MP Dithapelo Keorapetse said urged government to consider re-opening the BCL mine shafts where copper-nickel can still be mined as a way of creating jobs.

BDP imposed looting levies

Saleshando is of the view that the auditing of the Plastic and Alcohol levies is long overdue, noting that government has never given progress update on the purposes mandated from the two levies.

"We will receive the big shocks of our lives when these levies are audited. Government has never shown progress on what the tax collected from the latter is used on. Through these levies the ruling party is milking Batswana's coffers for its own purposes," he claimed.

EVM court case

Saleshando said the party stood firm on opposing the use of the Electronic Voting Machine which was intended to be used in this year general elections. He said the decision by Government to abandon the idea came as a result of the court case that is still before the Francistown High Court.

"The government seems not to be keen on dealing away with the EVM in near future but we will stand firm on continuing further with our court case against the use of EVM. Our MPs will table the Private Members's Bill in this current Parliament seating in order to deal seek to the amendment of Electoral Amendment Bill of 2016, which then instituted the use of the EVM prior to the 2019 general elections," Saleshando noted.

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