Dear Chinese ambassador to Botswana, Your press conference held early last week was very illuminating.
It was one occasion where you chose to be frank and called a spade a spade. You did not try to be diplomatic, as they say. Botswana has officially raised a concern that Chinese companies seem to see Botswana as a cash cow they milk and pack their bags( loaded with money) back to China. Your response is that Chinese people are being deported, willy-nilly and are denied resident permits and are therefore scared to invest their money in Botswana. Dear ambassador, you will recall that some Gaborone Chinese community used to trade at Block 3 industrial site, aka China Town, some with questionable businesses. There were concerns that Botswana was being used by the Chinese to push pirated material to other countries in the region. Others would operate their businesses at the Oriental Plaza without proper licenses. In your interview, ambassador, you are quoted as saying that the Morupule B power plant should not be used to make Chinese contractors appear bad; but unfortunately in the case of Botswana, we are beginning to lose count of the many faulty public projects done by Chinese contractors. They include roads, schools, stadiums, airports, police stations, and dams, among others. Criminal elements will always be deported or refused resident’s permits, whether they are Chinese, Africans, or whites. That has not stopped other foreign nationals from investing in Botswana. In fact , Botswana has a good example of responsible Chinese nationals and companies that continue to invest in Botswana Some of these wonderful Chinese companies have gone to the extent of forming charity associations which host charitable events throughout the year, including offering scholarships to Batswana to go and study in China.
The President’s blankets donations are donated by some of these Chinese companies and individuals; some have built houses for the poor, and they continue to do so, while some are even married to locals. So we are alive to the fact that not all the Chinese in Botswana are bad, but even when we pay glowing tribute to the very good ones such as the Botswana China friendship Association founders, we should not forget calling on the bad ones to behave, or deporting them.