Botswana Congress Party Member of Parliament Dumelang Saleshando has told the House that President Festus Mogae should not bring the ruling party’s factional fights to parliament through the State of the Nation Address.
This was after Mogae had said in his address that “MPs should not hold the destiny of the nation to ransom in order to show displeasure with one another.”
Saleshando said it was clear the reference was intended for BDP factions.
Such matters, Saleshando said, should not become national matters.
“What does this mean? What is the President trying to say? Should we be making these things to be part of the State of the Nation Address? Clearly, I doubt if President Mogae can account for this particular sentence and explain what he really meant.”
The Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central said such divisive statements should not find their way into the State of the Nation Address.
“This is not the State of party factions; it should remain a State of the Nation Address,” said Saleshando.
On the contentious issue of Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Survival International, Saleshando said it is clear from the amount of time and space dedicated the issue that Botswana is now under seige from a foreign threat.
“Are we winning the battle against Survival International? I do not think so,” he replied.
He said government has to revisit its strategy over the CKGR.
“The problem is we now linked the issue of Basarwa to that of CKGR and we just think the two of them are like two pieces in a pot.”
He said the real threat is outside of Botswana’s borders. He also advised them to be more coherent in the message they are communicating to their audiences over the CKGR.
“Here comes a greater irony. We are saying that the CKGR is not meant for human inhabitants, we just want wildlife. In the meantime we are prospecting in the CKGR; what happens when we find the minerals? You are going to have to set up a mine, set up a township and people will have to move in.
So, effectively you are saying on a balance of scales you would rather defend or compromise for mineral wealth but not for Basarwa.”
He said the other argument put forward that it is not economical to provide amenities to Basarwa in the CKGR does not stand.
“Since when did we do a cost-benefit analysis for the sustenance of villages around this country? If you go, for example around the Barolong Farms there are a number of villages, very small that if on a strict economic basis you were to do your own cost-benefit analysis for provision of basic amenities it would show that they are too expensive. Are we going to load then in a truck and move them somewhere else? No, we are not going to do that. We still have an obligation to provide basic social amenities where they reside. Why can we not do the same for Basarwa?”