Nick-named Bazuka or AK47 in the political circles, for his virtuous skills to hit political opponents below the belt, Francistown South Member of Parliament (MP) – Wynter Mmolotsi last week directed his gun towards the government enclave.
He declared Botswana an almost ‘sorry state’ following the once diamond rich nation’s strained fiscus.
Mmolotsi, who was responding to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) speech delivered recently, said that Botswana is fast approaching the failed state status as the national revenue sources are strained and will likely take some time to recover.
Official figures released by Statistics Botswana – a government owned data collection agency shows that the local economy recorded its biggest contraction in both the first and second quarters of the year, officially entering recession. Economists – both locally and abroad project that the domestic economy will contract further in the remaining quarters in what could be the country’s worst economic year.
The Botswana government’s Budget Strategy paper, which lays the foundation for the 2021/22 national budget, does not shy away from bearing the bad news – the economic situation is still evolving and characterised by very high levels of uncertainty. The strategy paper authored by policymakers at the country’s Treasury department states that as a result of significant disruptions to production in key economic sectors, and the consequent loss of income, the economy is operating below potential.
“Domestically, all sectors of the economy, including the informal sector, have been impacted, and many businesses will experience fundamental changes in their operations”, states the Budget Strategy Paper.
As part of the solution to rebuild the local economy, Mmolotsi said that there is need to focus on supporting and nurturing SMEs as they are the backbone of the economy.
The Alliance for Progressive MP said that at the moment SMEs in Botswana are faced with daunting challenges and that the government of the day is doing nothing to help, to handhold them and ensure their growth.
Meanwhile the government recently unveiled an Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP), which is expected to provide direction on how to stimulate economic activities post Covid-19.