The leader of opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change in parliament has called on the House to reject President Ian Khama’s State of Nation Address, saying the speech was selective on facts and presentation.
This week President Khama presented to parliament the pulse economic status of Botswana.
Responding, Nehemiah Modubule on Thursday called on his colleagues and the public at large to reject the speech saying the document is full of the same old political rhetoric and promises with few updates.
“It is full of similar self-praise…the same old story told with debatable authority of shady rankings,” argued Modubule.
Citing examples of Khama’s speech anomalies, Modubule outlined job creation performance over the years which he said the president has failed to address.
“We need to also know how many eligible people are still without jobs, how many lost jobs within the same period,” the BMD Chairperson said, adding instead the president blatantly omitted such a crucial tally for populist and political gain.
Modubule added poverty “alleviation” programmes needed also to be looked at not only in terms of inputs but outputs as well with particular emphasis on sustainability.
He is adamant the ruling Botswana Democratic Party will not eradicate poverty, preferring the Democrats to at least talk about poverty alleviation.
Alongside Ipelegeng and alcoholic levy Modubule considers the policies of poverty eradication to be haphazard and unprogressive.
“When P1.1billion has cumulatively been collected as alcoholic levy, we have to know cumulative collections to determine the reliability of the assertion that progress is being made on alcohol abuse.”
“It should be noted that as the president celebrates the accumulation of funds from alcohol levy he should be mindful of those he is impoverishing by increasing the levy.”
“The youth also need to be looked at in terms of their relative absorption into real jobs, a forecast on sustainability and value,” Modubule said.
He noted Khama’s speech focused more on public relations and customer service with little effort on health care itself.
“HIV efforts were mentioned and necessary counsel on behaviour change and nothing on male circumcision which has been the key national campaign,” he said, calling for regime change as “Botswana needs new leadership and an education and skills for jobs for the present and future.’
“There should be change because currently there is too much power in too few people.”