Mathangwane — Botswana, as a developing country, will continue to give infrastructure development top priority with the view to attract Foreign Direct Investment, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.
President Masisi said this in response to Mr Alfred Mashungwa during a kgotla meeting he addressed in Mathangwane recently.
Mr Mashungwa had wanted to know if government was aware that infrastructure development had the potential to give the country high impact investment if given priority.
"I agree with you that our infrastructure may not be at the required level but it is work in progress. We are a developing nation, we will get there,' he said adding in spite of a shoe string budget, government was doing its utmost best to put up such basic facilities and services across the length and breadth of the country.
Also, President Masisi told the packed kgotla that under the current tough economic situation, government would give people who were fresh from school and had never had jobs before preference over those who had retired.Mr Mashungwa had also asked President Masisi if the government had ever considered absorbing back into the system retirees who he said had a lot of experience.
Dr Masisi stated however that government engaged such people where necessary but did not have the arrangement to hire them en-masse at the moment.
"If the budget allowed, maybe it is something that could be considered but again why rehire them while there are already people doing the same work they would be engaged to do like you suggest with teachers," he asked.
On other issues, President Masisi thanked Batswana for having accorded him the respect, love and support while at the helm of government for the past 18 months.He therefore called on Batswana to continue handle themselves with Botho as they went to the polls on October 23.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Mr Fidelis Molao told residents about government decision to privatise Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) following the passing of the law to that effect during the past parliamentary meeting.
Privatisation of BMC, he said, would take the same route as was the case with Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) where Batswana were given an opportunity to buy shares through Initial Public Offering (IPO).Minister Molao also lauded President Masisi for honouring former MPs who had selflessly and tirelessly worked towards the development of Botswana.
Messrs PG Matante, Obed Itani Chilume and Kenneth Nkhwa recently had Francistown International Airport, Francistown Sports Complex and Thapama Interchange named after them.Renaming of facilities after such great men, Mr Molao said, did not only place a badge of honour upon the people of Francistown and the periphery but had also brought people even closer together.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Frans van der Westhuizen dismissed as false rumours that government was intending to stop both Old Age pension and Ipelegeng.
He said government did not have any intention to stop the two flag-ship programmes, saying 'if anything, we would increase old age pension and improve Ipelegeng.'
Meanwhile, President Masisi also paid a courtesy call to the family of the late former police officer, farmer and staunch BDP member, Akanyang Nyepi who passed on recently.
Giving a word of comfort to the bereaved family, President Masisi said the late Nyepi was trustworthy and diligent in the execution of his duty during the 26 years he worked as a law enforcement officer and that his death was not only a loss to the family but the entire nation.
Source : BOPA