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Khama revives culture, fails workers' welfare

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Khama at Serowe PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES
Unlike his three predecessors, outgoing President Ian Khama has managed to revive culture, which was slowly fading away in the country and restore dignity in some who had lost it.

When he took over in 2008 Khama assured Batswana that he would revive culture since he believes in it.

His late father once said, “Chaba e e senang ngwao ke mo kang e suleng” meaning that a nation without a culture is a lost nation.

Khama is the only President who was able to visit all 57 constituencies and in some interacted with the masses during the evening while sitting around a fire.

He believed that Batswana are able to express themselves better in a relaxed mood while sitting around a fire.

Even if people believe that bogosi is no longer relevant since they no longer have power, Khama still respected and believed much in the ways of bogosi. Bangwato believe that Khama will take over as Kgosikgolo of their tribe since his term as the President is over.

He had his unique relationship with elders and people living with disabilities amongst others.

Another area that he did well in as President is the Presidential Housing Appeal, which through it he managed to provide shelter for the less privileged. Many people will remember him very well in that respect. 

Like any other person, Khama had his own failures, as some of the programmes he had believed in did not yield desired fruit as he had expected like the poverty

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eradication programme, unemployment rate, and workers welfare amongst others.

Botswana is classified as one of the upper middle-income countries with aspirations for first world status.

Despite such tremendous economic growth, the percentage of people living below the poverty datum line is currently estimated at 20.7%.

This percentage is too high as it translates to a large population of Batswana not having sustainable livelihoods.

Within this group there is a subsector, which is in a worse state than the rest: the destitute. There were approximately 45,000 destitute persons at the time the Poverty Eradication Programme was pronounced by Khama in his inaugural address of 2009.

The destitute are living in conditions that significantly aggravate their dignity owing to the fact that they lack the basic necessities such as food, shelter, and life skills that they can use to improve their livelihoods.

The poverty eradication programme is aimed at ensuring that all able-bodied destitute and potential destitute step out of poverty and transform to sustainable livelihoods.

Khama’s leadership style has failed to have a good relationship with workers to a point that Botswana for the first time had the mother-of-all-strikes in 2011.

The strike resulted in some losing their jobs. The strike made public servants go on what they called ‘go-slow’, which is now affecting delivery in work places.



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