Mmegi Blogs :: BDP, in government by default!
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Friday 13 July 2018, 06:00 am.
BDP, in government by default!

It isn’t the first time we hear the nonsense that, ‘it is not the role of Government to create employment.’ Forgive Hon Kenneth Matambo, Minister of Finance for uttering the thread-bare cliché in his 2017-2018 Budget sSpeech; it’s BDP government’s singsong .
By Michael Dingake Tue 14 Feb 2017, 16:11 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: BDP, in government by default!

Whenever unemployment becomes an issue, Government like Pontius Pilate tries to wash their hands of the blood of its victims --  unemployed Batswana, who look up to it for intervention! Pontius Pilate could have saved the life of Jesus, but since he was a Jew and his fellow Jews were baying for his blood, instead of Pilate exercising his authority and power to save Jesus’ life, he chose to abdicate his authority to the Jewish mob that demanded his crucifixion!

Pontius Pilate was a disgrace; an irresponsible ruler! Power does not only corrupt it can be abused; rulers may be in Government, by default! The Constitution entitles Batswana to human rights, among which are life, liberty and security; life tops the list. Government is expected to be the custodian! To live, one must eat; to eat one must have a job with remuneration to make ends meet.

Donald John Trump the maverick President of the US is prepared to start a trade war with the People’s Republic of China and Mexico. He has authority to lean on American companies to invest in US instead of foreign countries in the interest of US workers. Trump sees his administration’s first obligation to be job creation.

He’ll use his authority and the law to see American companies invest at home for workers’ interest. In case you think Trump is a clown or crank, think again. DJ Trump hitherto big employer of labour in the private sector, knows creation of jobs is none of the  sector’s  business; theirs is to rake in, billions of dollars by hiring labour!  Contracting labour and exploiting it in one’s interest, isn’t the same thing as creating employment in the public interest.

Whoever advised BDP it has no obligation to create jobs, sold the party a dummy. All over the liberal world, political authorities worry about the scourge of unemployment; the scourge implies potential political instability for a Government that fails to create employment for its people.

People have a right to demand employment from elected Government; permanent employment! Not the stopgap type of Ipelegeng variety, but sustainable employment that guarantees regular meals, ability to pay house rent, medical bills, for good health, subsistence and maintenance of decent life. 

In terms of the UN Declaration of Human Rights which Botswana is a party to, work, is a human right. If the fact is obscure under our Constitution, it is


straight and emphatic under the Declaration! BDP should be told in plain language, she cannot wash her hands off the obligation to create jobs for the woebegone masses. Most likely, the concept of employment is abstruse and not understood by the ponderous BDP rulers. 

Creating jobs for workers isn’t the same thing as contracting a work-seeker in employment. Hiring a worker isn’t the same thing as creating work for a worker. Work opportunity exists already. The concept must thus be understood in the sense of creating opportunities for availability of employment. There should be no misconception where responsibility lies.

Inarguably in the hands of government of the day!  Implicit in constitutional terms, creating conducive conditions to attract entrepreneurs and investors, to set up business enterprises out of which they make profits for self-interest, availing jobs for the unemployed is in the public interest to which only public authorities are accountable. Government creates jobs by creating conditions that allow capital and labour to interact in the marketplace.

Public authorities do so by providing the infrastructure: telecommunication systems, roads, power, water for the convenience of industry and business. Licensing companies to start business and availing work permits for management and other skilled personnel for investors is important; otherwise prospective investor(s) will move next door where his/her money can be put to immediate work to bring returns.

It follows, less or no jobs are created due to Government deficiency or inefficiency. It’s strange that when the BDP campaigns to be reelected, it hitches its banner on the creepy-crawly, enticements  of the Lobatse leather- works type of employment and Ipelegeng programmes, but when it begins to shed jobs by closing mines, it begins to speak in tongues!

The conduct gives away the BDP as inconsistent and unreliable!    You won’t find a single paragraph or line, promising workers, work. Nix! Capitalists, aren’t concerned with the welfare of workers, they’re only concerned with exploiting labour  for profits; they’ll also  report to shareholders, on dividends or business expansion plans, in store.

In rare instances when ca ompany has made loss, they’ll  announce winding up of the business without batting an eyelid. And you want to tell Batswana  it’s the private sector that should concern itself with worker’s interest? Go tell that to mariners!

Incidentally BDP government at one stage in the course of Botswana’s development, was the largest employer of labour.  Was it by fluke?

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