With only months before the year 2016, Botswana National Front (BNF) plainly states that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will not achieve its set goals by 2016.
It was envisaged that by year 2016 Botswana would among other things have achieved a number of set targets. This led to the following pillars; An educated and Informed Nation, A prosperous productive and innovative nation,┬á A just and caring Nation, A safe and secure Nation, An open Democratic and Accountable Nation, A moral and tolerant Nation,┬á A united and proud Nation.
According to the Party Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa the Vision 2016 program had nothing to offer from the beginning. He said it was designed to counter the BNF’s 1995 Social Democratic Programme (SDP) that created a lot of excitement particularly as it came a year after the party had done so well in the 1994 General Elections.
“The good performance by the party worried the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and its handlers. Its legitimacy was battered and shaky as we registered the highest number of seats ever won by the opposition. As one of the strategies adopted by the BDP to counter the rise in popularity of the BNF, a national task force was set up to consult the nation and come with national aspirations. It sought to divert people’s attention and create false hope. Make them believe that the ruling party was caring and doing something about the national challenges,” said Mohwasa.
He said as a result, a national Vision was born. He added that at the time the excitement swept through the nation as a result of this process.
“The nation was being led to forget about the problems that they faced and live with the hope that in 2016 their problems would have been addressed.”
At the time the BNF took a decision to instruct its then member and Mayor of Gaborone, Botshabelo Bagwasi to withdraw from the Vision 2016 Task Force. They also warned the nation against excitement over the Vision.┬á
“As a party we took a decision not to take part in any of the Vision 2016 activities. Our position has always been and remains, since there has not been any resolution to the contrary, that as long as the BDP is in power, we cannot attain any of these noble objectives. The party┬áis simply not capable nor does it have the political ability to oversee what will require tempering with the structure of our economy and changing our thought patterns.” Mohwasa said.
The BNF is of the view that the BDP’s failure to optimally use the country’s natural resources has led to poverty, unemployment and huge economic disparities.
“We lost a lot of opportunities because of the sloppiness on the part of the BDP. If the BNF was in power then, a lot would have been achieved. It will go back in History as the country’s lost decade. We should have used our high income from diamonds to develop infrastructure, push for local processing of raw materials since we had the capital, redefined our development path as a nation etc.┬á Instead our mining sector maintained a pit to port approach.”
Mohwasa said Batswana should appreciate that good policies must be implemented by people who understand them and are committed to their realisation. He said no one can argue against the Vision pillars because they are good and can change the lives of the people. He noted that the problem is with those that have been mandated to bring them to reality, adding that as long as the BDP is in power Botswana is not going to achieve any of the Vision 2016 goals.
“A year before 2016, the Vision remains a catalogue of good ideas and nothing more; it was nothing more than an exercise in “ideological mystification” We are told that the Vision 2016 Secretariat is busy reviewing Vision 2016 and there is talk of another Vision to replace the failed one post 2016.”
As the BNF, Mohwasa said they feel vindicated because they are now far off from┬áthose objectives than they were when they conceived the Vision.
“Our position as the BNF still stands; the BDP is beyond reform and cannot solve our problems.┬á It is not a vehicle that we can use to deliver the national Vision. We say to Batswana, to enjoy a better life put the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in power in 2019.”┬á