Saturday, May 28, 2022

Where is Vision 2016?

Many people will be hard pressed to remember the last time any government official, much less a member of cabinet, mentioned Vision 2016 in any major public speech.

For a time the Vision was replaced by the President’s 5Ds, but now in all honesty even those Ds seem to have been relegated to the backburner, including by their owner.

We now are a nation groping in darkness, with no moral campus to talk of, much less use as a guide.
In almost two years Botswana would have been an independent state for exactly 50 years.
That was the spirit under which Vision 2016 was created.

But it would seem like the people who were appointed and tasked to manage this National agenda have no idea of just what lay behind it, much less the gravity of the premium that the nation attached to Vision 2016 as a symbol of national unity, ambition and aspirations.

Both the Vision 2016 National Council and its Secretariat are not providing any leadership.
There are awareness campaigns, and the bill boards that were erected have now paled in colour and have even started to peel off.

It is not clear if the Presidency, under whose political direction the Vision was set up, even cares.

But then the Vision is very much in line with other national agendas that have fallen by the wayside, with nothing to show for.

The National Productivity movement is one such agenda.
There are many others.

When he came into office, President Ian Khama promised to overhaul the civil service.
Delivery became one of his mantras.

To his credit, for a while there was notable improvement in a few departments like the office that issues Omang National Identity cards.

There also was some perceptible improvement in the various departments in the Ministry of Health and also at Home Affairs.

But it would seem like the momentum has been lost, and all these departments have been left to slide back into the gridlock of dismal service.

At times one is left wondering if the public service is on a kind of undeclared go slow.
But all these are a direct absence of national agenda.

Before it was allowed to die the death of the dodo, Vision 2016 was a national agenda around which all Batswana united irrespective of political affiliation, creed or status.

We call on the Vision 2016 Secretariat and the Council to commit resources that would ignite public attention on the principles of the Vision.

We are aware that public campaign funds have been irresponsibly misappropriated at the Secretariat, mainly on partisan politics which at this stage we have no intention of engaging in.

Our interest at this juncture is for the Vision 2016 Secretariat to salvage what is left so that in two years time this country would look back in pride at the many years that have been invested in the build up to 2016.

Vision 2016 cannot come back to life unless there is political will and indeed political leadership.
Delegating such an important to unelected officials can hardly be a sensible vote of confidence on the part of our political leadership.

We call on Government to make effort to resuscitate Vision 2016.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper