Botswana: No Plans to Stop Ipelegeng, Old Age Pension

Hukuntsi — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has implored Hukuntsi residents to disregard claims that government planned to stop programmes such as Ipelegeng and Old Age Pension.

If anything, government would consider increasing them, he told a kgotla meeting in Hukuntsi on August 19.

Dr Masisi said Batswana should not be deceived by untrue statements which characterised an election period.

He also assured residents that an election date would be announced in due course, contrary to some claims.

President Masisi urged Batswana to exercise their rights to vote and appealed to them to vote wisely as well as in large numbers because the decision made at the polls would determine the future of the country.

He said they should consider voting a responsibility not to be taken for granted because it was not reversible.

The President noted that as a country with robust democratic foundations, Batswana were at liberty to choose the kind of government they wanted for the next five years.

He said the elections would be free and fair adding that people should be prepared to accept the results and move on.

President Masisi said election observers would be invited from Sothern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and other international bodies.

Monitoring the elections would accord them the opportunity to see if Botswana elections were conducted in a credible manner.

Kgosi Moapare IV of Hukuntsi thanked President Masisi and his government for ongoing projects such as roads and the construction of the Hukuntsi revenue office, which he said were complete.

However, he decried shortage of water, saying the current bowsing arrangement was not enough.

He said there was still a challenge of equipment breakdown which left resident in the lurch.

Water shortage, he noted, was also fuelling poverty in the region as some people resorted to exchanging livestock for water.

Additionally, Kgosi Moapare IV said their region needed a municipal small stock abattoir.

Such a project, he noted, would make people realize the value of livestock and desist from exchanging them for invaluable things.

In response, Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Mr Kefentse Mzwinila said government had short and long term plans to address the water situation in the Kgalagadi region such as the Macheng project.

He said the area had three boreholes, whose water capacity had since declined.

He also acknowledged that bowsing by Water Utilities Corporation was insufficient, adding that they were expecting more bowsers this financial year.

"Water Utilities Corporation has purchased 40 bowsers in this financial year in an effort to address this problem," he said.

On the issue of small stock abattoir, Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Mr Konstantinos Markus said plans were underway to construct at Tsabong.

He said the initial plan was to build a cattle abattoir but the project was suspended with the aim to turn it into a small stock abattoir.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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