FRANCISTOWN: With the State of the Nation Address (SONA) not too far off, citizens are curious as to what exactly the President Ian Khama is going to say. A snap survey around Francistown streets revealed a nation slowly losing hope with â€śusual stuffâ€ť in the Presidentâ€™s annual address.
Linda Manokora, a 60-year-old from Nlapkhwane village is one of those not expecting much from the speech.
“We pretty much have an idea that the President is going to feed us the usual stuff and this does not impress us anymore because we want something better to benefit citizens,” said Manokora.
She said that unemployment is a major concern in Batswana, and that is an important issue she expects the President to focus on.
She said unlike in the past the President should now strive to come up with ways in which he will tackle unemployment.
“Majority of the youth, graduates for that matter, is roaming around the streets without jobs.
The government is failing to create jobs for them,” she said. Manokora said what worries her most is that the government continues to hire foreigners whilst Batswana are struggling without jobs.
Bani Madubeko 40, a street vendor shared Manokora’s sentiments that the government should consider addressing high unemployment and create job opportunities for citizens.
The mother of one raised a concern over the long procedure that one has to undergo to be funded under government’s poverty eradication programmes saying it mostly disqualifies Batswana.
“I have once applied for a laundry business but since I am renting and do not have a home that disqualified me.
Therefore the President should look at these things because if not, we will continue to live in abject poverty despite government’s efforts to eradicate poverty,” she said.
Former Botswana Congress Party activist, Samuel Moribame agreed, saying the President should consider coming up with better ways of addressing unemployment facing Batswana.
He said that recently it was announced that the government will soon introduce Economic Stimulus Package (ESP).
Therefore, the President should explain to the nation on how this programme will create jobs for Batswana.
“We do not want a situation whereby only foreign contractors will benefit from the programme like it has been happening in the past,” said Moribame.
Moribame also called on the President to focus on shortage of water and electricity. “We have enough water from Letsibogo and Dikgathong dams that can supply water to greater Gaborone but the government has been failing to come up with better ways of distributing water. We have Morupule B that if well structured it can be able to supply us with electricity as well as other countries but our government is failing,” said Moribame.
John Sereetsi, 82 and Themba Mbisana, 47 are also of the view that President Khama’s speech should focus on job creation and explain in details how ESP will help create jobs to Batswana.
They argued that in the past the President has been promising to improve the country’s economy but there is no change thus challenging him (the President) to implement ideas that can be visible and benefit Batswana.
Matshameko Mathekela, 33 would also want to hear the President addressing high cases of employment.
Mathekela is also concerned that the government of Botswana has adopted the education system of foreign countries and sponsor children on courses that are not marketable.
She stated that another concern that the President should look into is shortage of drugs and shortage of doctors especially specialists saying this puts the lives of Batswana at risk.
Christinah Chakaloba, 61 dismissed the SONA as useless saying similar stuff is said all the time with no change to the economy of the country.
She said the ruling party is failing to create jobs for citizens stating that graduates with Degrees are forced to work for Ipelegeng drought relief programme for survival.