Charleshill — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has called upon Batswana to safeguard the country's democracy during the October 23 general elections.
Speaking at a kgotla meeting in Charleshill yesterday, Dr Masisi said though Batswana had the right to vote for a leader of their choice, they must at all times safeguard the country's democracy.
He said as a leader, he found it fitting to advise Batswana to maintain the country's democracy as well as peace and tranquility that had prevailed since independence.
President Masisi said the country's past general elections had been peaceful with no blood shed and the status quo should remain.
Dr Masisi noted that the country's multi-party democracy had resulted in the emergence of many political parties and as such the political landscape had changed.
He encouraged Batswana to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner as there would be international observers on election day.
The observers would not only be focusing on the election process but on the general conduct of elections and challenged those vying for political office to display exemplary behaviour and have room for disappointment.
Dr Masisi informed residents about policy reforms aimed at improving the lives of citizens such as the land policy dispensation allowing businesses to operate from homesteads.
Government, he said, wanted Batswana to enjoy their economic dividends and ultimately contribute to economic development.
Residents were also briefed on the BMC Transition Bill aimed at ending the organisation's monopoly further explaining that the continuation of the dispensation allowing cattle farmers to directly access outside markets would depend on the cattle population.
Farmers were also advised to take advantage of technological advancement to improve their cattle breeds.
Dr Masisi also spoke of government's intention to incorporate local languages in the school curriculum saying the use of mother tongue would ease the mission of accomplishing a knowledge based economy.
In response to a request to consider constructing a waste water facility in Charleshill from the Village Development Committee chairperson, Mr Wilfred Kwadipane, Assistant Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Itumeleng Moipisi said such a project was not included in the National Development Plan 11.
For his part, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele said plans to build a modern hospital in the village could not yet be implemented due to budgetary constraints.
Regarding the extension of permits allowing farmers direct access to neighboring countries' beef markets, a Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security official, Dr John Morekwill said the dispensation was a temporary relief plan to save pastoral farmers from severe drought.
The President also donated 400 blankets to residents.