Thursday, February 29, 2024

The inclusion Bill is a bad Joke

The draft Inclusion Bill that is expected to be brought before parliament for adoption as a blue print for citizen economic empowerment for Botswana falls too short of expectations.

The inclusion Bill does not even start to address the issues that were identified and promised ahead of elections in 2019.

To say the Bill has been watered down is to underestimate the tragedy that will happen to citizens if this Bill passe into laws.

To demonstrate the joke in it all, it the Bill envisages the establishment of a parastatal.

Botswana does not need a single parastatal any more than we already have, much less to oversee economic inclusion of citizens.

That can be done more with political will than with creating yet another employment bureaus for pals.

The best way to empower citizens is to build a strong private sector.

That sector can be built using the already existing government procurement budget.

It is not clear what doing that requires the establishment of a fully-fledged parastatal.

At election time, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party had talked about indigenous citizens.

Apparently, that did not sit well with financiers. These are the real owners and indeed controllers of the levers of power.

And the party and government opted the Inclusion Bill as an apology to the many indigenous Batswana who now feel cheated.

Those with the power should pull back this law.

If they cannot come up with a better law, then they can leave the status quo rather than make the situation worse.

Its better to have no law than have a disastrous one that can become counter-productive.

Botswana has too many parastatals.

We cannot create another to do a job that it will fail even before it starts.

The envisaged law in in its current form will further ruin Botswana’s social and economic fabric.

Batswana are fast losing faith in the potency of law and order.

They are losing faith in paying taxes.

They are losing laws in the institutional integrity of key establishments.

We should not fasten that erosion of trust any further.

Explicitly the envisaged law fails to say how citizens who are today virtual spectators in the economy of their country will be brought into the mainstream.

Without making citizens players, and without deliberately making systems that are unapologetic in their favour there is no how citizen economic empowerment can thrive.

The envisaged law is apologetic and half-hearted.

That is a recipe for disaster.


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