Saturday, September 30, 2023

The country has serious problems that need undivided attention

The public institutions have become very weak.

The country faces a myriad of big issues that need all hands on deck.

The problems range from governance, Rule of Law to the economy.

Cost of living has become a real crisis.

The squeeze is likely to increase rather than subside.

Inflation is now at runaway levels.

The Monetary Policy authority has now possibly exhausted all the tools in the kit meant to fight inflation.

But it is still some distance before we see it coming down.

Food prices are at an all-time high.

Fuel prices are still on the rise.

Mortgage payers are feeling the pinch.

The country is yet to recover from the effects of the pandemic which have caused serious economic ruptures especially for families reliant of proceeds from the informal sector.

Additionally too many people have been laid off. And it will be a long time before the labour market fully recovers.

From the look of things, government too will one way or another be laying people off.

This problem, we have to be honest is not unique to Botswana.

Countries across the world are faced with a cost of living crisis,

But countries are coming up with solutions that include cutting VAT.

Of course this might be unpalatable to Botswana government given the cash crunch and also that it was not too long ago when a decision to increase VAT was made.

It is difficult to read much into various public speeches by cabinet ministers or the president.

Too many speeches are made in the vacuum in the absence of overarching supporting documents.

Looked at in isolation, it is impossible to place some of these speeches either in the context of Reset Agenda or the National Development Plan.

But what is clear is that there is need for urgent intervention to cushion the people.

Such a cushion is needed by people who are employed and also those that are out of work.

For many people house and home ownership has become nothing but a pie in the sky.

Poverty is on the ascendance as is unemployment.

Too many Batswana have fallen off the ladder of house ownership as a result of bank foreclosures that have now reached unprecedented levels.

There is currently a dearth of public trust on government in general but also on the president in particular.

The public is nervous on many fronts.

The suspension of DCEC Director General has shocked the nation, especially because the DCEC Director General has to his credit made it clear of the issues bothering him and his office ahead of the suspensions.

Instead of engaging in distractions and diversionary tactics, government and the president in particular should take responsibility and show that he is in charge.

Ultimately the bark stoops with him.

Voters dislike inaction and wont vote for president Masisi if he behaves like he has  been captured.

In fact they will want him removed immediately in favour of someone they would trust.

We cannot afford to get our eyes of the ball.

There is need for greater accountability.


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