Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President Gilson Saleshando on Monday said since Ian Khama took over as President, Botswana is run by a mafia style of government.
“Stories of unexplained extra judicial killings of people , stories of unexplained cases of midnight deportation of people, extravagant expenditures on the newly established DIS, stories of allegations of human torture by DIS agents and stories of unjustified dismissals from public service have become daily bread and have dominated our local media.”
Saleshando said the global economic recession has exposed government’s economic mis-management because the country is in more debt than ever.
Presenting what the BCP has since dubbed an alternative State of the Nation Address, Saleshando said that government’s failure to diversify the economy has left Botswana solely dependent on diamonds and even more vulnerable to the economic recession. He said that economic diversification would have saved jobs and preserved Botswana’s foreign reserves.
“It is ironic that government is busy glorifying its wanton borrowing while the country is sinking deeper into debt,” he said.
The BCP President said government has incurred additional costs in unplanned projects that were neither in the National Development Plan 9 nor in the midterm review.
“The eight or so hubs, which earned some people overnight promotions to top salary positions, are wasteful because they cost millions which were not budgeted for. They have neither implementation plans nor strategies,” he stated.
He added that government should abort all wasteful projects and concentrate on those that will help to accelerate economic growth.
He said that there is a need to keep the sale of state property to citizens, calling on government to demand that all foreign companies operating in Botswana must have a mandatory citizen stake.
He told parliament that the BCP and its pact partners are of the view that industries, like Agriculture and some services sectors, have to be left exclusively to citizens.
He also urged government to turn the country into a knowledge economy by investing in human resource development.
Saleshando also accused the Botswana Democratic Party of running an unethical campaign.
Here Saleshando took issue with a statement that was allegedly made by Vice President Mompati Merafhe while campaigning in Bobirwa to the effect that it would be an insult if anyone campaigns against Khama.
“I am sure that behind the scenes President Khama ,if he is politically mature ,must have reprimanded his Vice President because this ill-advised leader did not only serve to his ignorance and lack of understanding of what democracy means, but also embarrassed his own leader and his party by launching such an ugly campaign,” he lashed out.
He said that in a democracy there are no chiefs and no servants.
“We are equal contestants. There is no chief in this house, we are equal and the votes that brought us here carry the same weight,” added Saleshando.
Saleshando further accused Khama of playing divisive politics stating that during the campaign trail Khama indicated that the BDP government would not develop those parts of the country that voted for the opposition.
“We call upon President Khama to come out and explain to the nation whether he really subscribes to multi-party democracy or one party rule.”
He warned that Botswana’s democracy is slowly sliding into a totalitarian state, citing the BDP internal wrangling as an example.
Saleshando said Khama’s leadership style is common in non-democratic states.