Botswana: Parley Hopefuls Vow to Transform Constituency

Gaborone — Parliamentary candidates vying for the Gaborone Bonnignton North constituency seat have all exuded hope of transforming the profile of the constituency.

Gaborone Bonnignton North parliamentary hopefuls, Ms Annah Mokgethi of Botswana Democratic Party, Mr Onkemetse Lerubisi representing Real Alternative Party and Dr Kaelo Molefhe of Alliance for Progressives faced-off on October 11 during the Radio Botswana parliamentary debates where they all promised to better the lives of the constituents if voted to parliament.

BDP's Ms Annah Mokgethi said that the ruling party had over the years proved its dedication to serve Batswana and uplift their livelihoods.

She said government, through the leadership of the BDP had provided Batswana with sustainable developments which were aimed at improving their conditions of life.

Ms Mokgethi stated that most of constituents needs were fully addressed by the BDP 2019 manifesto which was anchored on the plan to achieve economic transformation.

She said the BDP pledged to create jobs in the entire value chains of the digital innovation, agriculture, mining, tourism, education, automotives, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing industry.

Botswana, she said was in 1966 ranked as one the poorest countries in the world, but it had over the years under the stewardship of the BDP transformed from being one of the poorest to achieve an upper middle class economy status.

"Thus, Botswana's first transformation was from a traditional low-income based mainly on the agricultural sector to an upper middle-income country based in mining and increasingly on tourism, a success not accidental or out of mere luck but a result of prudent economic management and growth promoting policies purposely put in place by the BDP-led government," she said.

She indicated that the BDP-led government would continue to invest in infrastructural development projects across various sectors, including information and communications technology, water energy, transport and road network in order to create an enabling environment for commerce and industry as well as to stimulate the economy.

She highlighted that the constituency was fortunate enough to house the mass media complex hence she vowed to fully advocate for the full utilisation of the mass media complex to benefit performing arts young people in the constituency.

Mr Lerubisi, decried poverty rate in Gaborone Bonnignton North particularly around the Diphetogo area, something which he attributed to failure of the ruling party to industrialize the country.

Mr Lerubisi stated vowed to promote urban tourism in the constituency as it hosted the Bonnington heritage site which he said had the potential to create employment of the youth if fully utilised.

Mr Lerubisi defined his party's mandate as all about economics that support both people and the planet. " RAP is motivated by the desire for economic justice, the idea that all people should have what they need in order to live," said Mr Lerubisi.

RAP he said, looked at the distribution of wealth in a manner that generated a sense of fairness, brought improvement of lives.

Further, Mr Lerubisi noted if voted to Parliament, he would advocate for the abolishment of prisons and set alternative reforms models that focused on community based accountability, adding that his party would also advocate for Directorate of Intelligence Services to be dissolved as it had been in the past used to breed corruption.

He said public funds were misused at the DIS due to unaccountability.

He also stated that RAP had a zero tolerance policy toward corruption since corruption undermined the delivery of public services and stunted the economic growth and development.

Mr Lerubisi said corruption if left unchecked, could destroy the country's economy hence urged Batswana to be part of the fight against corruption in order to eliminate this scourge.

Dr Molefhe decried of high crime rate particularly in the Phase 2 area, starting that it was heart breaking that the area had no police station despite the high crime cases it recorded.

Dr Molefhe stated that it was also disappointing that Gaborone Bonnington North lagged behind in many of the key developments highlighting that one of his mandate was to voice the need for large projects such as industries establishment in the constituency that would create employment for the locals .

Mr Molefhe, said AP offered the best prospects of the new Botswana, particularly in cultivating private sector growth since it was widely acknowledged to be an essential component in the alleviation of poverty as a means of providing more and different economic opportunities in any given society.

He said it was worrisome that the contribution of the private sector to the development of the domestic economy was still below its potential despite the previous investments in developing it.

He stated that Botswana should promote industrialisation by accelerating economic transformation in order to achieve economic diversification

The AP he said, was committed to building strong democratic and economic institutions that are robust, inclusive and infused with checks and balances

He noted that AP desired realistic transformation that would empower Batswana for good adding that the manifesto presented hope in its drive to restore dignity and pride in the lives of many Batswana.

Mr Molefhe stated that one of his party's main objective was to offer hope for free self-expression and full participation in the political discourse.

Meanwhile Umbrella for Democratic Change candidate, Advocate Duma Boko did not turn up for the debates.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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