ESP: Feeble attempt to silence the youth

The BCP Youth League is baffled by the sudden announcement of the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) by President Khama at the BDP meeting over the weekend. Khama announced that they have decided to draw funds from foreign reserves to finance this programme.

It is worth asking how the government intends to continue cushioning our already fragile economy against any unforeseen global market shocks if we continue eating away at our foreign reserves without any plans of immediate replenishment of us.

The BDP is in a panic mode and this programme is a response to the party’s declining popular vote. They are just trying to appease the youth with this programme.

The programme is meant to exacerbate corruption by the BDP officials and their friends. The BCP has always called for total independence of the DCEC as a way of curbing corruption. The failure by Khama to express a desire on among other things pushing for the introduction of declaration off assets and liabilities by senior civil servants and members of parliament is a clear indication that he wants his party officials and friends to continue with their corruption tendencies.

The ESP is nothing but a bluff. There are no details on how many jobs would be created from this programme and how it will be implemented.  There are no details on how much would be drawn from foreign reserves. The programme is simply meant to confuse the young people. Khama and his party should be reminded that young people don’t have land, they don’t have capital to start up businesses and most importantly not all the young people want to venture into businesses.

The announcement that there will be construction of teacher’s and nurses quarters vindicates the BCP. The BCP through its candidates in the 2014 general elections campaign criticised Khama and his government for failing to provide teachers with accomodation. This is a welcome development. However, we need to remind Khama that it’s not only the teachers and nurses who are experiencing shortage of accomodation, soldiers, prison officers, the police and other public servants do not have accommodation. Khama and his government should know that shortage of accommodation is not the only challenge, the standard of living has gone up and public servants are in debts. Public servants and other Batswana cannot afford to send their kids to private schools and enjoy decent lifes since they are underpaid. Khama should increase the salaries of public servants and stop playing mind games.

Khama also announced that the government will construct additional classrooms and laboratories. This is another welcome development but we should not forget that with teacher/student ratio hitting 1:55 in the public schools, shortage of teaching material, failure to introduce mother tongue, failure to introduce pre school and other important elements, these efforts would not have a positive impact on the education of our children. Lastly, we wish to remind Khama that the country is currently experiencing shortage of water and electricity. Khama has not yet accounted for over P11 billion that he wasted on the Morupule B project.

 If ever there was any need for the country to go on any aggressive public spending, should it not be, at the very least, on repairs to, and commissioning of new power and water infrastructure? The country has an unprecedented power and water shortage, we should be working to ensure self sufficiency in such fields.

Khama has also not yet addressed the nation on what exactly Isaac Kgosi was doing with the millions he was rumoured to be possessing in 2014 and why he has not taken action against his corrupt DIS director. Khama should just accept that he has failed dismally to run the country and vacate the presidential office if indeed he loves this country.


*Rakgare is the BCP Youth League president

Editor's Comment
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