Masisi’s challenging moment

Masisi PIC PHATSIMO KAPENG
Masisi PIC PHATSIMO KAPENG

When President Mokgweetsi Masisi delivers his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA), the last ahead of 2024 General Election, it could be a yardstick Batswana may use to assess the promises he made during the 2019 General Election. Many observers believe this is the most critical SONA he can deliver and can be used to determine the vote for him and his party

SONA is an action sheet for government delivery on a yearly basis. However, this year’s will be an assessment of progress or lack thereof since the last elections. What most Batswana would want to hear is how well the economy has been under Masisi’s administration and if they can continue to drive it forward. Youth unemployment, lack of service delivery, the collapse of the public health system, falling standards of the education system and recession are some of the issues that the nation wants to hear how Masisi intends to address in the coming year. While some may be very critical of the SONA and many presidential addresses before, in the majority, it may be argued that many ordinary Batswana have little interest in what is contained in the address, as they are oblivious of governance issues. University of Botswana (UB) political lecturer Batlang Seabo told Mmegi that what Batswana want to hear now, is the issues of youth unemployment rate on how it would be solved, and job creation. "People want solutions to their problems or measures taken to solve those existing problems.”

Seabo also said one of the burning issues that people talk about most is the ailing and deteriorating health sector and Batswana want to know measures that are taken to address the crisis. He said Batswana want assurance from the President that the current situations in clinics and hospital, which include a shortage of medicines, will be solved quickly. The political analyst also emphasised that the President should address the nation on the Constitutional Review recommendations and implementation of the reforms. He said this is an opportunity to explain to Batswana about some recommendations, their meaning and when the changes will effect. Seabo further said it is important for the President to talk about the achievements of his government in the last four years, failures and future prospects. Another political analyst, Lesole Machacha, believes that this year’s SONA will have many answers to people’s questions and also more promises will be made by the government. “We are left with 10 months or so towards elections, the President will talk about projects that are going to happen and those that had been unfinished will be done.

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