Gumare — The President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says Botswana remains one of the most democratic states in Africa because of its respect for the constitution.
Addressing a Kgotla meeting in Gumare on October 4, Dr Masisi said Botswana was also considered one of Africa's oldest democracies, something which the country was highly respected for.
The President said he wanted to see Botswana continue to be considered a model for other countries when it comes to upholding democratic principles
Dr Masisi, therefore, implored Batswana to thoroughly make an assessment and vote wisely, leaders who would in future retain the peace that the country was famous for.
He said as per the constitution, the five-year term for the current government would be coming to an end soon, and it would be upon Batswana to make a proper decision by electing a trustworthy government with better future intentions.
"Before electing the government of your choice, you should assess and ask yourself if there is a better future ahead, is the peace that we are known for going to continue and are we going to continue seeing developments in our country," he said.
The President said in exercising their right to vote who they wanted, people should exercise wisdom, citing as an example an independent candidate whom, he said, alone could not make government.
He said developments were brought by a government, which comprised people of the same aim working together, but as for an independent candidate, he or she would have no impact in developing the country even if elected to Parliament.
Meanwhile, Dr Masisi assured Gumare residents that should he retain the presidency position after the upcoming general elections, he would consider restocking for farmers who lost all their cattle due to tick that terrorised Gumare and surrounding areas.
He also said the government was going to upgrade and give the current Gumare primary hospital a facelift.
Dr Masisi also told residents that a new 70-bed Gumare hospital was in the plans and was budgeted for in the 2019/2020 financial year, while the package also included 65 staff houses.
The President further noted that one of the reasons the government wanted to build a new hospital in Gumare was that the water situation in the area would soon improve as there were plans for new water projects, adding that hospitals operated efficiently with enough water.
As for human-wildlife conflict, Dr Masisi said elephants' number in the country had soared uncontrollably, hence the recent reinstatement of hunting. He said human life was valuable than that of an animal.
Dr Masisi said the increased numbers of elephants in the country had seen buffalo and cordon fences being destroyed by the animals hence the foot and mouth disease was difficult to control, at the same time draining government coffers.
The President also talked about the Sehithwa/Mohembo road, saying a completely new state of the art road would be constructed, following assessments by experts on what type of soils would be required as well as the design.
For his part, the Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Mr Konstantinos Markus said his ministry would continue assisting farmers with regular dipping of animals to eradicate the tick.
He, therefore, encouraged farmers to always avail their livestock during the dipping or spraying exercise.
On another matter, Mr Markus also encouraged farmers to form clusters so that they benefit from the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD) scheme services such as cluster fencing, provision of potable water and fertilisers among others.
Nonetheless, Kgosi Moitshepi Molelwa of Gumare said continued water shortage in the area affected livelihoods, hence the need for fast-tracking of projects to address the shortage.
On another issue, Kgosi Molelwa said the human-wildlife conflict was far from ending because of the drought. He, therefore, suggested that the government should consider providing watering points for wild animals far from human settlements.