The Botswana National Front (BNF) has a historical trail on its anti –corruption stance battles since its formative years. The BNF Pamphlet no 1 and its first manifesto (1969, pgs 23 & 52) condemned corruption.
The 1995 Social Democratic Programme (SDP, revised 2009) is clear on its anti – corruption stance. The BNF 1999 manifesto also emphatically condemned corruption (pg 23). The BNF therefore rejects corruption in all its forms, even today.
In its track records, the BNF proposed that its government will have a Standing Committee on Corruption or an independent Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) which will report to parliament. This will specifically deal with investigating corruption allegations (SDP, para 46).
The BNF also proposed to pass laws on Freedom of Information (FOI) and Declaration of Assets and Liabilities for all Members of Parliament. All senior government officials and CEOs of parastatal organisations were also to be audited (BNF SDP, para 46).
The FOI law would help the public and media to have access to public information as a way of promoting transparency and accountability, and expose corruption.
The BNF also supported the 1992 Kgabo Commission which investigated the Mogoditshane and other peri-urban areas. The commission implicated BDP Cabinet Ministers but they went to court to have the commission thrown out.
It was again the BNF legislator, Cde Robert Molefhabangwe who motivated the 2004 Lesetedi Commission on fraudulent land acquisitions in Gaborone.
Those implicated in the above judicial commissions never returned the land and only the poor in Tsolamosese and Nkoyaphiri had their properties demolished.
The rich still have their land today and it has not been repossessed nor demolished. Despite the commissions exposing the BDP, thousands of Batswana are still landless and the same corrupt BDP cabinet and former cabinet ministers and their cronies and relatives are still enjoying the proceeds of the corrupt deeds.
The BDP connected companies and families are today making millions of pula monthly through government and private rentals.
Due to BDP driven corruption, thousands of youths are unemployed, no salary increment for workers, poverty amongst Batswana, shortage of medication and books, theft of public pension, petroleum fund, etc. This corruption should be stopped.
The BNF has therefore travelled the judicial commission route before and no concrete results have benefited the poor Batswana. The only best and credible solution left to defeat corruption in Botswana is to remove the BDP from state power, and replace it with the Umbrella for Democratic Change in 2019.
*Justin Hunyepa is the BNF secretary for information and publicity