The Botswana Congress Party Member of Parliament for Okavango, Bagalatia Arone, has condemned the ruling Botswana Democratic Party government for having failed to diversify the economy of Botswana in the last 45 years it has been in power.
Arone said this when addressing a political rally at Gaborone Bus rank on Thursday.
He said that the failure by the BDP government to diversify the economy has led to the present situation where the economy is so dependent on diamonds to the extent that any adverse situation that occurs in the world diamond markets directly affects Botswana’s economy as well.
The young MP also condemned the government for failing to make full use of the diamonds by continuing to export raw and uncut diamonds to foreign countries where they are cut and polished before being sold instead of the whole process being done in the country, creating jobs for its citizens, a majority of whom he said are currently roaming the streets unemployed.
By exporting uncut diamonds to foreign countries, Arone said that the government is creating jobs for foreign nationals at the expense of her nationals who are roaming in the streets.
On other matters related to job creations, Arone said that the government’s talk about out sourcing services will affect the industrial class workers more as they are going to be retrenched in large numbers across the country.
On privatisation, he said only the rich will benefit from it as they will have money to buy most shares from the companies that are being privatised. He said that most of such people are foreigners who will immediately repatriate those profits to their countries of origin.
Arone also criticized the government’s Ipelegeng scheme saying that the scheme is not serving any useful purpose as it does not help its beneficiaries to move out of poverty but perpetuates it.
In Parliament, Arone said that he has been disappointed by the likes of Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Phandu Skelemani, who has been praising the scheme as having come at the right time to help unemployed Batswana.
He said the same Skelemani was soon afterwards unable to answer him when he asked him to name people in his constituency whom the scheme has helped to either buy a car or build a house.
Arone also condemned government for having mixed up priorities in that it had allocated a lot of money to the Botswana Defense Force whilst hospitals around the country are dilapidated and some are without necessary equipment.
For his part, the BCP youth leader, Lottie Manyepetsa, criticized the government saying that its Police Commissioner, Thebeyame Tsimako, has been bragging about his officers being on top of the situation in crime fighting whilst the same officers still do not have decent accommodation and are having to share houses.
He also said that the government is meting the same treatment to some of her employees who still have to sleep, bath and eat with their children in the same room.