David Rendoh, a former diplomat and Botswana National Front activist, has accused the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani, of not having told the truth when he said recently that Botswana does not have a foreign policy.
Rendoh, who has worked as a diplomat in countries such as America and the United Kingdom, made the accusation when addressing a political rally in Gaborone on Wednesday.
He said that Botswana’s foreign policy has long been made clear by the country’s founder President, Sir Seretse Khama, when he said that Botswana will only work with countries that support democracy and respect people’s human rights.
Skelemani made the comment on the television programme, “Matlho a Phage”, recently when debating the issue regarding recent unrest in North Africa and how the government of Botswana had reacted to them.
Botswana has disputed Presidential elections in Ivory Coast and invited the presumed winner, Olosanne Quattara, who is widely believed to have defeated Laurent Gbagbo.
On other issues, Rendoh said that he was surprised by graduates, and young people in general, who are roaming the streets around the country but who continue to vote for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.
He said the failure by the government to create employment for the youths and graduates was a good reason for the graduates and youths not to vote for the ruling party.
Rendoh also said that it is very worrying that the government is boasting about having employed 90,000 people in its Ipelegeng scheme, which was not helping to improve people’s lives.
Other speakers at the same rally were veteran BNF politician, Lemogang Ntime, who said that his party, the BNF, was against the suffering of Batswana in a country endowed with natural resources.
He said that this was the fact that were envisaging a Botswana ran on social democracy background like it is happening in countries like Sweden and other Scandanavian countries.
Ntime said that the current system by the ruling party has greatly failed Batswana and made calls to the effect that change was paramount.
He said that, long before colonization came there were schemes such as “mafisa”, which catered well for the less privileged who were prepared to work.
Ntime said such schemes were far much better than “Ipelegeng”, which keeps people in perpetual poverty in that in “mafisa” one could end up being the owner of cattle whilst in “Ipelegeng” one will forever be a destitute.