The president of Independent African Churches in Botswana, Reverend Phillip Butale, has condemned Ipelegeng poverty eradication programme, labeling it as a waste of government funds.
Speaking during a budget review meeting held by the Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organizations (BOCONGO) last week in Francistown, Butale said that government should scrap the programme and come up with more sound ideas to empower the lives of Batswana and create a better future for the country.
“The government can collaborate with us as religious institutions to come up with more sound ideas that could better the lives of Batswana. Government continues to pump millions into programs such as Ipelegeng program which are a waste of funds,” he said.
Butale added that the government is failing in its efforts to try and eradicate poverty as funds are projected into ineffective programs, which are not developing Batswana but only impoverishing them.
Butale also took issue with government, saying that there is not much cooperation between the government and the churches, which he deemed as a concern.
“Poverty in Botswana is a reality and the government needs to reinforce its efforts to combat the situation. This can only be achieved if government works hand in hand with civil societies such as the churches to discuss and come up with good ideas to tackle the problem,” he said.
Goabaone Chwene, one of the youth panelists at the meeting, also opened fire at the government saying that the recent budget speech does not cater for the needs of the youth. He said that although there are programs in place which are geared at empowering the youth, such as CEDA Young Farmers Fund, many problems facing the youth are not taken into consideration by government.
“Of course, government has programs such as Young Farmers CEDA, which are meant to assist or help the youth, but it is difficult to access these programs because of the long procedures encountered for one to get the loan and lack of land to operate the businesses as the youth,” he said.