Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Flawed policies blamed for current economic woes

Government’s flawed policies have been blamed for the country’s economic woes, which are said to be weighing heavily on the ordinary man. Bagalatia Arone, Member of Parliament for Okavango said the policy that was previously adopted by government, which barred students who had passed maths and science subjects from gaining admission into the University of Botswana on the basis that they had failed the English language, has robbed the country of would be engineers and scientists.

Speaking in parliament last week, Arone said the policy was flawed as it denied exceptional students entry into the university and condemned them to a life of poverty and helplessness.

“Surprisingly the same government struck business deals with companies owned by people who could not speak the English language fluently, let alone write it,” he said.

He further said government should have long abandoned this policy, just like the Chinese who long decided that the English language is not a passport to success.

“This country could be awash with scientifically trained personnel who would boost our ailing economy. But because of the ruling party’s bad policy choices our fellow citizens are languishing in poverty and a state of helplessness. That was very cruel and evil to Batswana,” said Arone.

He added that the problems that are currently bedeviling Botswana are not natural but rather man-made, citing the raging water and electricity crises as examples.

“Our water, electricity, poverty and unemployment problems are a result of the bad choices we made. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chose the wrong path and as a result inflicted pain and suffering on our people. America, Rwanda and the Asian economies are what they are because they made the right choices. It’s all about making right choices,” he said.

When delivering the state of nation address last week, President Ian Khama unveiled the much touted Economic Stimulus Package (ESP), calculated to create jobs and promote economic diversification. The program will be financed using the country’s foreign reserves to boost economic activity in the infrastructure, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing and services sectors. However, Arone argued that the ESP will be of no use if it fails to address the Foot and Mouth Disease that is ravaging most of his constituency.

“A quick glance over the speech shows that government has not indicated any commitment to eradicating the disease,” he said.

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