Thursday, July 18, 2024

Khama is not Batswana idea of an ideal president – report

President Lt Gen Ian Khama does not fit the identikit of an ideal leader drafted by Batswana who responded to a still to be released Afro Barometer survey.

While President Khama hardly ever sets foot in Parliament except during his presentation of the State of the Nation Address, about 70 percent of Batswana said the president and his government should be held accountable to taxpayers for how they use their money. The respondents want parliament to ensure that the President explains to the house regularly on how the tax payers’ money is spent.

While a number of political commentators, among them former President Festus Mogae have expressed concern at the collapse of the rule of law under the Khama regime, Batswana strongly feel that the President must always obey the rule of law and the courts even if in his view he thinks they are wrong. 

A whopping 70 percent of Batswana want a president who respects the rule of law and only 25 percent believe that since the President was elected to lead the country, he should not be bound by laws or court decisions that he thinks are wrong.

Members of Parliament represent people; therefore they should make laws for this country, even if the President does not agree 54 percent of Batswana supported the statement while 32 percent believe that since the President represent all the people, he should pass laws without worrying about what Parliament thinks.

President Khama does not hide his disdain for the private media and never passes up an opportunity to attack them for being unpatriotic. Batswana on the other hand recognised the important role played by media in the development of the country. 71 percent believe that the media should constantly investigate and report on government mistakes and corruption while 26 percent believe that too much reporting on negative events, like government mistakes and corruption, only harms the country.

About 62 percent of Batswana encouraged citizens to pay their taxes to the government in order for the country to develop; only 35 percent say the government can find enough resources for development from other sources without having to tax the people.

Though most Batswana believe that after losing elections opposition parties should monitor and criticize the government in order to hold it accountable 82 percent of Batswana believe that once an election is over, opposition parties and politicians should accept defeat and cooperate with government to help it develop the country.

The constitution should limit the President to serving a maximum of two terms in office, 60 percent of Batswana supported the statement while 35 percent believed that there should be no constitutional limit on how long the President can serve.

Most Batswana say it is important to obey the government in power no matter how one voted for. 84 percent of Batswana support the statement while 14 percent are of the view that it is not necessary to obey the laws of a government that one did not vote for.

Professor Mogopodi Lekorwe Public Administration, Department of Political and Administrative Studies at University of Botswana told Sunday Standard in an interview that unfortunately because of time they were not able to release every results of the recent Afro Barometer.


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