Botswana: Batswana Still in Poverty After Years in Independence - Boko

Jwaneng — Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader, Advocate Duma Boko says Batswana have nothing to show for their 53 years of independence, while most have accepted poverty as their way of life.

Speaking during the launch of parliamentary and local government candidates for the Jwaneng-Mabutsane constituency in Jwaneng on October 6, Adv. Boko said the county needed a turn-around strategy, which he said could only be achieved through a change of power.

"In conservative terms, half of Batswana still live without electricity and this is a sign of poverty.

That can only be changed by giving the UDC a chance to govern you," he said.

He said research had revealed that some of the signs of poor governance were low wages, corruption and stagnant economic growth.

The UDC is your only way out," he said.

Adv. Boko also indicated that the UDC would first invest in world class infrastructure, which he said was a necessity, especially market seeking foreign direct investors.

He also pleaded with the Jwaneng-Mabutsane electorate to return Mr Shawn Ntlhaile, who is the past immediate area MP, to Parliament as their vote was more than just choosing a candidate, but would help in the change of government.

Another speaker, Mr Nelson Ramaotwana, who is the UDC candidate for Gaborone South, said that Mr Ntlhaile had been around in the opposition struggles, and that he was well versed with issues of workers' welfare, therefore a valuable asset.

Mr Ramaotwana also indicated that the current promises under the UDC manifesto such as job creation and living wage increment were dictated by the current cost of living, and said that his party had a solution to other current challenges facing Batswana such as poor land dispensation.

The Botswana National Front deputy president, Rev Dr Prince Dibeela said it was up to Batswana to turn the fortunes of their country around, and that the UDC had laid down all the necessary ground work.

"It is now up to Batswana to finish the job through the ballot, and as the UDC we are ready to accept your decision if you give us a chance to lead this country.

Thorough us you will enjoy a new lease of life," he said.

He said that if given power, the UDC would turn Jwaneng into a city, with world class hospitals and specialists to save people from travelling to such faraway places as Gaborone for those services.

When accepting the challenge, Mr Ntlhaile indicated that he and his council counterparts would be trustworthy to the constituents, and that under the UDC, they would advocate for the enactment of the laws to ensure that areas in the periphery of mines enjoy mineral royalties.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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