Despite internal bickering that has been going on for some time now, the opposition coalition – Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) believes it is the only party in the country with a solution to problems facing Batswana.
At a time when foreign nationals are said to be the main beneficiaries of Botswana’s wealth, including natural resources like land, electorates in the capital Gaborone were over the weekend informed to consider voting for the UDC in the upcoming Botswana general elections slated for October 2019.
Addressing a political rally at Diphetogo freedom square this past Saturday, UDC President Duma Boko and his right hand man ÔÇô Dumelang Saleshando repeated the usual mantra relating to unemployment rate as well as what they called “meager salaries” earned by Batswana as compared to foreigners. The two problems, according to the UDC leaders leave a lot to be desired. According to Boko, electorates should therefore not hesitate to register to vote for the 2019 general elections but do register in numbers to vote out the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11 which is not meant for the improvement of Batswana lives. The coalition’s promise of 100 000 jobs in 12 months, with minimum wage of P3000 per month were once more emphasized.
The duo said that while they admitted that their political block was entangled in huge challenges, it was better than what is in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). President and leader of the BDP, Mogweetsi Masisi was trashed as a non- visionary leader. The duo’s utterances motivated the electorate to be supportive of BNF, BCP and BPP’s manifestos over that of the suspended coalition member-BMD.
“To prove his no confidence state, Masisi has appointed a Vice President who has been in parliament for 20 years but has never tabled any motion while there. The president does not move the country forward but is in the reverse gear. His aim is to reverse everything that his predecessor ever implemented as life- improving programs. The minister responsible for higher education is Ngaka Ngaka who is not a Degree holder. ” said Saleshando. He added that Masisi placed him there to lead learned academics so that should they raise queries on their field he will confront them to prove it to them how their knowledge is powerless.
Turning to land issues, Saleshando blasted the land policy in Botswana which has categorized land into; State land, Freehold land and Tribal land. The freehold land category empowers the land owners with perpetual ownership irrespective of whether they utilize it or not. Consequently, Tati Company owns large chunk of land in the north while it resides in the United Kingdom. The Catholic Church owns chunk of land around Gaborone while its headquarters is in the Vatican City. This has been so since independence; and while the nation cries for land, the BDP government does not know how to handle it.
“UDC is an answer to the country’s problems because the jobs that the BDP government has taken to Italians will be returned here. Our diamond processing jobs are going to be taken back from India. And Soda Ash, whose job opportunities have been exported to South Africa by BDP government will be returned here,” he said.
Saleshando said the problems besieging the UDC are trials which prepare it for the tough times ahead. It is better to experience storms while in preparation for governance that when you are already governing.
His leader, Duma Boko ignited some cheers from the well attended rally when he mentioned that their issues with BMD will reach conclusion on Wednesday (today). Any further development that would lead to further grievances would be taken back to the majority- the electorates.
“I do not believe that you, being the owners of the coalition can fail to solve this issue once and for all. It might take time to reach absolute resolution, but everything has procedure and issues are addressed step by step. Perseverance pays,” concluded Boko.