After piloting an onslaught on President Ian Khama in parliament, MP and Leader of the Opposition, Botsalo Ntuane, believes it is time for peaceful exchanges.
Ntuane, along with a number of Gaborone City councilors, commemorated Botswana’s Independence Day anniversary at Mosekangwetsi Ward in the Gaborone West-South constituency where a small number of people, undeterred by the scorching heat, gathered for lunch on Friday afternoon.
Addressing the gathering after outgoing Gaborone City Council mayor Veronica Lesole delivered President Ian Khama’s Independence Day message, Ntuane said that the country was becoming polarized and it was up to national leaders to restore unity.
He cited the public servants strike that he said not only divided Batswana but affected many. He said some had lost their jobs while the strike had an impact on the economy and service delivery.
“Now is not the time to be pointing fingers, accusations and recrimination,” said Ntuane.
He said the mammoth task was for the leaders to curve a path towards unity based on past challenges.
Using the recent strike as an example, Ntuane said that both government and the Unions made mistakes, adding that the finger pointing will not solve anything.
He urged government to reinstate dismissed public sector workers and forgive the workers as a gesture of reconciliation.
“I wish to appeal for national reconciliation,” urged the Leader of the Opposition.
He said that on this day, Batswana had to accept that there is only one Botswana and needed the citizenry’s efforts in achieving reconciliation. He called on President Khama as the Head of State to lead a reconciliation effort.
“We have one President, let him and other national leaders bring about national reconciliation, healing and forgiveness.”
Ntuane announced that as a response to President Khama’s moving message on Independence Day, he intends to ask for a courtesy call to allow him to interact with the President and to, among others, discuss national reconciliation and forgiveness.
Botswana is celebrating its 45th year of independence. In his message to the nation, Khama expressed concern about Batswana’s spirit of self reliance that he says is waning. The President also called for a prudent spending among Batswana warning that there is a threat of a possible double deep recession.