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Lost opportunity in the Masisi administration (Part 2)

KGOSIETSILE NGAKAAGAE
Having been in power for closely two years, and vice president for close to four years under Ian Khama’s shadow, he should have at least gotten a good understanding of the problems we face as a country.

The four years was internship to master the crux of the sources of the problems that this country has. He should have developed a pipeline of policies to revamp, programmes to introduce and a team of able Batswana to assist him in bringing about solutions for the country.  He now finds himself under pressure, pressure that he could have managed beforehand because the country no longer want to be told blame the previous government.  Batswana have lost patience, and they can no longer be told of transformation they can’t witness.

What is of interest to Batswana is being able to find meaningful jobs, seeing projects being delivered and them being given an equal opportunity in government tenders.  The daily unemployment trauma of walking around with brown envelopes looking for jobs faces graduates.  Each year UB, Ba Isago, Limkokwing, Botho, Botswana Accounwwtancy Collegeand Gaborone Law School and others spit out 10, 000 plus of them into the streets. And this 10, 000 finds already a queue of graduates who graduated five years before them.

Citizens are no longer interests about fights with Ian Khama by the Masisi administration. They are not concerned about the number plates the former President uses.  Neither are there buying imagined threats on Masisi’s life.  All they are concerned with is how Masisi is attending to the pressing national interests. As previously discussed here, the SONA and the budget speech missed the opportunity to sell the ideas, which our government wants to better the lives of Batswana.  They have failed to seize the moment, and now the moment has seized them. Batswana are demanding for jobs.  It is no longer business as usual.

The State of the Nation (SONA) earlier in the year and now the budget speech as it has been typical of BDP administrations, went retro on some romantic past, being boastful about some insignificant progress of the past 54 years.  Credit has to go where it’s due, but we can’t be praising fish for being able to swim.   We can’t be praising the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of having built clinics.  Who did they expect them to build them when they have been the ruling party for 54 years? That is the bare minimum we had expected from them.  A critical assessment of the current situation should have resulted in well thought out policy

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innovations of getting Botswana moving forward.  But a rehash of old solutions presented in different economic language either shows incompetency or it is a situation of government being oblivious towards issues facing the people. 

To not report back on the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) programme in detail and then talk of transformation is mischievous. Why didn’t the stimulus package work?  Where the projects not for a strict period of which by now they should have been completed? Maybe not talking about in detail was to conveniently put it in the back banner of Batswana so as to avoid being scrutinised about the corruption that went with it.  Chinese companies are known to have been given ESP projects.  How do you stimulate the local economy by giving contracts to foreign companies?  Isn’t it obvious that all proceeds of the contracts will leave the country immediately leaving nothing for the local economy to be stimulated?

To talk of corruption and then bring back to cabinet some faces associated with corruption shows insincerity. It is dishonesty.  A complete disrespect to the public. The anti-corruption theme that the SONA and Budget speech spoke to was downright a lie.  Unless this administration perceives investigating those that oppose this administration as the only definition of addressing corruption.  The fact that they are Ministers with corruption files at the DCEC or have had their files mysteriously closed for investigation will inevitably undermine whatever the President will say about fighting corruption.   However, lyrical the SONA and budget speech were on corruption, the public can only judge on implementation.

There is a general feeling that this administration lacks cohesion, and that the President’s power is diminishing. He is not respected.Territorial jealousies are developing between the DCEC and the DIS at the detriment of the country.  Peter Magosi and Joseph Mathambo are at each other’s throats. 

A silo mentality is developing within government, with each department making pronouncements as in when it suits each one of them in the process embarrassing government.

Masisi and his economic officer, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, so far have demonstrated their lack of knowledge in growing the economy, creating jobs and bringing about the transformation they preach about. They missed the opportunity with the SONA and budget speech to sell a new vision for Botswana and deliver on the promise that it is “easy with Masisi”.



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