Botswana: Voter Apathy Harmful

Hukuntsi — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has urged Hukuntsi residents to vote in large numbers in the coming general elections cautioning that voter apathy would be detrimental to the country's democracy.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Hukuntsi on August 19, Dr Masisi said citizen participation in elections was vital and played an important role in building a democratic state.

He said participation in voting in a democratic dispensation provided all with the opportunity to voice their opinions and vote for what they believed in.

The President therefore encouraged communities to exercise their rights in the coming general elections by voting for the government of their choice which could protect them from outside interferences and provide for their wellbeing.

He advised residents to be wary of promises made by some politicians and to choose representatives who would protect their interests as well as committed to maintaining the peace and stability Botswana had enjoyed over the years.

President Masisi said government was committed to upholding the rule of law and would ensure free and fair elections as election observers from across the world would be deployed.

On development issues such as accessible roads, water reticulation and upgrading of infrastructure raised by residents, the President said some could be considered during National Development Plan 11 midterm review depending on the availability of funds.

He informed his audience that though the economic crunch led to failure to increase salaries and suspension of some projects, government decided not to retrench staff.

Once the economy improved, government was able to increase public sector salaries, he said.

On the BCL issue, President Masisi described the decision to close the mine, which supported over 5 000 families, as a sad reality and a necessary step as government had spent millions in subsidising the mine without getting any returns.

Dr Masisi said when he assumed the presidency, he committed to turning the country's fortunes around, transforming it from resource based to knowledge based as a way of creating employment.

On achievements, he mentioned that government had injected P1 billion into the petroleum industry to cushion citizens against high fuel and commodity prices as well as inflation.

Among other achievements the President mentioned free access to education and health as well as subsidised electricity connections, where citizens within the stipulated radius paid P5 000.

He explained that in areas not yet connected to the national electricity grid, government would utilise the abundant solar energy to electrify areas such as Ncaang, Ukhwi and Ngwatle.

Kgosi Cosmos Moapare IV lauded the President for his visit and commended government for ongoing projects such as Kang infrastructure and Matsheng access roads.

However, he decried shortage of water in the area.

Source : BOPA

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