Mmegi Online :: Moswaane calls for Gripen freeze
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Last Updated
Thursday 18 January 2018, 13:00 pm.
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Moswaane calls for Gripen freeze

Member of Parliament for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane will this morning table an urgent motion calling on the government to suspend buying of Gripen fighter jets until the economy has fully recovered.
By Innocent Selatlhwa Fri 11 Aug 2017, 15:42 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Moswaane calls for Gripen freeze








The move, which has since been criticised heavily by opposition parties, will see the country part with around P16 billion.

According to Moswaane, the purchase of weapons may lead to the collapse of the economy. “The government of Botswana has suspended national projects which may have created jobs due to recession as well as suspension of poverty eradication programmes due to lack of funds,” he states.

Moswaane said the Economic Stimulus Programme has not taken off fully due to lack of funds. He decries stagnant salaries due to financial constraints as well as the alarming rate of youth unemployment.

“The Ministry of Health and Wellness as well as Ministries of Basic Education and Tertiary Education, Research Science and Technology are in dire need of funds to address issues affecting Batswana. The mining sector has collapsed and is in need of austerity measures to revive the sector,” he laments.

Moswaane believes the money that was supposed to buy the Gripen fighter jets can be used to address the above mentioned issues, which he says are of national interest and can revive the economy.

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)

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president Duma Boko recently petitioned the government of Sweden over military spending and depletion of the country’s resources. Sweden would however tell Boko off stating that they could not tell a country not to spend on military equipment as they also are spending on it.

In a strongly worded 10-page petition titled ‘Botswana’s arms race in the midst of poverty, massive unemployment and social inequality’, signed May 30, 2017, Boko says as the current regime is left with barely two years to the next general elections, it is committing the country to such spending, which is both irresponsible and immoral.

“With the next elections in 2019, and President Ian Khama in the last few months of his last term in office and due to retire on March 3l, 2018, even the mandate on which this unjustifiable military spending is pursued is highly weak and suspect,” Boko wrote.

It remains to be seen if other Botswana Democratic Party members will support Moswaane’s motion as in the past only the opposition members spoke against it while those in the ruling party said military expenditure was essential.

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