Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the opposition Members of Parliament appreciate the budget speech delivered by Minister of Finance and Development Planning Kenneth Matambo but say key elements were left out.
Gaborone Central MP under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) ticket, Phenyo Butale acknowledged the effort taken by the Minister of Finance. Butale believes that Matambo tried to give his all but says the UDC can do much better.
“We are going to demonstrate on our reaction to the budget speech how we can do better. That will start with the leader of opposition setting the tone in terms of our view on the budget,” he said.
Gaborone central MP highlighted that they are going to tackle issues of accountability on their reaction to the budget speech.
“On issues of accountability we believe that the government has to set very clear targets that are transparent and ones they can be held accountable for by the people that voted them into power”.
He says there are so many cases of lack of accountability, emphasising that today the government is talking about power emergency grants but the nation was never told about what happened to the 11 billion investments on Morupule B.
UDC believes that the current government lacks creativity in terms of independent ministries coming up with programs.
“We are of the view that key areas are neglected, water crisis, power crisis are not getting adequate attention in the budget. Generally because of low governance standards and lack of creativity and innovation, no matter how good the budget is it is going to be compromised,” he said.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) MP Dithapelo Keorapetse said the only comforting thing is that the country is emerging from the economic meltdown and expects the economy to grow.
“The problem with the current budget is that we do not see measurable commitments by the minister. There are no quantifiable targets in respect to the priorities he has said. The minister is talking about creating jobs as a priority but fails to explain how many private sector jobs the budget will create and how many public sector jobs the budget will create,” said Keorapetse.
Keorapetse said when the minister fails to state measurable commitments it is going to be difficult to hold him accountable against what he has promised.
“The other thing that we have identified as the BCP is that diversification of the economy remains elusive. We opt to see diversification of the economy through harnessing tourism, Agriculture, manufacturing industries as well as mineral beneficiations,” he said.
Minister of Labour and Home Affairs also MP for the BDP, Edwin Batshu, is of the view that the budget speech is balanced.
“I am yet to do an analytical exercise to say what is in for the people who voted us into power especially the people of my constituency. That is the most important thing. Otherwise I am happy with the budget,” he said. ┬á