Thursday, October 22, 2020

Khama slams opposition over “ESP lies”

MACHANENG ÔÇô The President, Ian Khama has accused opposition parties of misleading the nation on the government’s recently launched Economic Stimulus Package (ESP). The President was launching the controversial economic programme in Machaneng village, some 80 kilometers east of Mahalapye in the central district over the past weekend. 

Taking some time-off his official speech, and without mentioning names, Khama said that there are some people within opposition who have chosen to deliberately lie to Batswana as a way of competing for media space. 

The President who went further to quote the book of Psalms from the Bible which he said read: Let lying be put to silence, told Machaneng resident that he will soon appoint a presidential inspectorate that will oversee government projects including the hazy economic stimulus programme. 

“As part of our efforts to strengthen oversight on implementation, effective service delivery and improved project delivery countrywide, a Presidential Inspectorate Task Team composed of eminent citizens will be set up to among others, assess, monitor and make interventions that will assist in improving delivery of Government programmes and projects including ESP projects which are key in our road map to the country’s economic development initiative. Our target is to have the Inspectorate start work from 1st March 2016.” 

Khama’s weekend remarks come after opposition parties described ESP as a non-starter programme. The Leader of the Opposition, Duma Boko, has previously described it as a grand scheme to “loot” the treasury. The UDC leader is worried that corruption is likely to soar on the introduction of the project in a country already plagued with impunity especially by the ruling party functionaries

Even Botswana Congress Party deputy leader, Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang is doubtful of the programme describing it as an election campaign tool. The BCP leader who contested for a parliamentary seat in the same constituency in the last general elections did not waste time dismissing the programme shortly after its launch. Speaking with The Telegraph on Saturday, Gobotswang said that the launch of the programme in Machaneng village was necessitated by the recent departure of one of the councilors and his followers from the ruling BDP to the BCP. 

“These people come here and tell us that they care about the locals they can’t even procure from local manufacturers, they just distributed T-shirts which are boldly written, “Made in China”, yet they want us to believe that they are committed to support citizens”. 

Gobotswang dismissed the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) as an illusion adding that the country need huge developmental projects such as the Zambezi Irrigation scheme which could help boost the local economy. 

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