When ESP programmes are mentioned, Bot50, another money spinning initiative for local musicians, promoters, and entertainment related companies and venues, is often not mentioned, curiously, as one of the envisaged drivers of the economy or contributors of the economy in as far as added government spending in the local economy is concerned.
But it should be mentioned in the same breath as the ESP, for now we know, all thanks to a recent court case last week to be precise, that at least one of the tenders, the opening ceremony of the Independence Day, would be in the region of P11 million. But we know that this is not all, there have been more numerous tenders relating to Bot50 celebrations, about four more, that also runs into millions of Pula.
It would be ideal for the Ministry responsible to appraise the nation, especially through parliament, about the total budget for Bot50, tenders awarded, and how they continue to trickle down to Batswana.
In this day and age of unemployment, indeed we found it rather strange that the Ministry responsible has not been quick to take the front seat and tell the nation all about the benefits to them f accruing from the Bot50.
From the look of things, it does seem like Bot50 has become a very welcome cash cow for some top Dj’s and musicians.
There has to be in place a transparent process that ensures that as many Batswana performers, not just DJ’s, are taken on board, they get paid, more especially so because the celebrations of independence literally should be felt in every locality in Botswana.
Perhaps the organisers should have had this in mind also, to streamline Bot50 activities in such away that a lot of money goes into even traditional performers out in the rural areas as they organise themselves, in preparations to bring an exciting independence celebrations to their h respective home villages.
As it is it may seem like the bulk of the money is going corporate, mainly outside the country, for colourful ceremonies to be held in selected places. While such are not completely off the mark, let us also have our local, traditional performances, even contemporary performers, in mind, with the view to empowering them and relieving them from the financial stress of this age.