The Alliance for Progressives (AP) vice president, Wynter Mmolotsi has called on the President Mokgweetsi Masisi administration to start implementing its promises made to Batswana in the 2019 elections.
In his response to the 2020 Budget Speech, Mmolotsi said time was running out for the current administration to deliver on promises it made to the nation.
He said since assuming power and from day one, there have been a growing trend of abdicating the responsibility to rule on the part of the administration and preferring to hide behind excuses littered with phrases like ‘we are new, give us a chance’ or making a scape-goat of ‘we will review’, or the ‘it wasn’t us’ mentality.
“Time has come for this government to take responsibility of what took place in the previous administration because some of you were part of it and in fact tabling, debating and voting for all decisions made either by party MPs or Cabinet.
You need to stop behaving as if you are a new party that you have just assumed the reins of power. A trend, that is becoming a culture of this administration has been ‘to review’, and shift blame to the past administration coupled with much talk and less delivery,” he said.
Mmolotsi argued that the recent figures by Statistics Botswana show that unemployment has ballooned to unacceptable levels of about 20%, hence the AP VP accused the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka of downplaying the matter.
He said it was common knowledge that unemployment in Botswana was growing every day as mines and industries closed shop. He further noted that the Minister of Labour and Employment alluded to more than 6, 000 jobs lost in the previous years, which was disturbing. Mmolotsi said it was disappointing that the government seemed to be clueless on what to do to create jobs. He further said President Masisi promised Batswana jobs, but recently the position changed to “our responsibility is to make an environment conducive for the private sector to create jobs” which the President never said before elections.
“Our parastatals are not doing well at all and this is because they are not properly managed.
Accountability is problematic because the Board members are the same people who are running other parastatals. BMC and BCL are classical cases of entities that closed on account of poor management and bad judgement by both the management and government. This is an opportune moment; the BMC can become a global company, managing the meat industry not only in the country but also throughout the region,” he said.
He explained that the monopolistic power of the BMC was suicidal, making the entire farming community and their dependents to be held at ransom by the Corporation and the European Union.
Additionally, Mmolotsi said local health care was in crisis. He said the government was unable to provide even the basics, shortage of medicine, long queues, patients sleeping on floors and long waiting periods to see specialists. He added that the budget did little to show the now much-needed urgency.