Botswana: Interrogate Opposition Manifestos - Masisi

Jwaneng — The President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, who is also the President of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), has appealed to Batswana to interrogate opposition parties' manifestos thoroughly before even thinking of giving them the vote.

Speaking at his party's star rally in Jwaneng on Wednesday, Dr Masisi said opposition parties' manifestos were likely to drive the economy of the country down.

He said opposition parties, especially the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) had the tendency to promise Batswana fallacies, such as the creation of 100 000 jobs within a year and P3 000 minimum wage, without explaining how and where they would get all the funds and jobs.

He said in reality, such an increment would force drastic changes that would be even more hurtful to the household economy, such as hiking prices of goods and services.

"If, for example, P3 000 was set as minimum wage, businesses would be forced to increase prices in order to pay their workers, so the increment would add little goods into the shopping basket," he said.

Dr Masisi also urged Batswana to trust the BDP manifesto as it was informed by research and reality, and advised them to secure their future with the BDP.

He also said that as the Head of State, it was his responsibility to take care of all Batswana across the political divide, and he was ready to defend every decision he took.

He said the responsibilities included ensuring the provision of basic services such as water.

He said it was regrettable that after his government took an informed decision to correct the glitch on the North South Water Carrier project (NSWC), the opposition through its parliamentary representatives, rejected the idea.

"We were informed by experts that borehole water was closer to pure and needed little purification, unlike dam water, so we took a decision to separate water from Masama water fields from the rest of the NSWC, which was going to be quicker and cheaper, but the opposition rejected the idea, accusing us of intent to do corruption, yet they always sing the loudest about water challenges across the country," he said.

Dr Masisi said such changes would quickly address water challenges in villages such as Molepolole, Ramotswa, Thamaga and Goodhope among others.

He also said his government was serious about its commitment to diversify the economy from reliance on the mining industry and basic civil service, which he said created few employment opportunities against the growing population.

He said this was the reason government took a decision to venture into the fourth generation industrial revolution by improving the national fibre optic connectivity to enable Batswana to engage more on online trading.

Dr Masisi indicated that to realise the desire, government was pursuing improved network connectivity, even to the remotest areas such as cattleposts, which he said would enable Batswana to trade products such as farm produce from the comfort of their homes and compete globally in local natural resources that they could even patent.

For his part, the BDP's Public Education and Elections Committee chairman, Mr Alec Seametso said the BDP gave equal rights to its members, and said that the fact that one's parents were among the pioneers of the party does not give them more rights over others.

He also implored the members not to be shaken by recent developments, where some people abandoned the party, saying that it was only shedding off skin.

Mr Seametso hailed Dr Masisi as the right leader to correct all the wrongs done to Batswana in the past, hence the need to give him a term in office.

Source : BOPA

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