BDP 1984 Manifesto Botswana
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ELECTION MANIFESTO 1984 (from the Original document)
BOTSWANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Issued by D.K. Kwelagobe, General Secretary, Botswana Democratic Party, Gaborone and printed by Printing & Publishing Co. Botswana (Pty) Ltd. P.O. Box 130 Gaborone
THE PRESIDENT’S ELECTION MESSAGE
Five years have gone by since the nation granted the Botswana Democratic Party another mandate to govern the country. During these five years the nation has been tested in various ways. Shortly after the formation of a new government the BDP’s esteemed leader and its first President, Sir Seretse Khama, died. His death was a blow to the nation, which had looked forward to another five years of progress under his inspiring leadership. It was a demonstration of maturity that the nation withstood the shock of that tragic moment, and accepted the changed political circumstances with equanimity. A swift and smooth transition to a new government took place, and Botswana once more proved to the world that it is a mature, calm and sober nation that can remain steadfast in a crisis, and a nation which greatly prizes peace, stability and good government. Barely two years passed when Botswana experienced yet another tragic loss when the Vice President Mr. Lenyeletse Seretse died. The nation bore the loss of these two leaders with fortitude and determined that the best tribute to their memory would be to continue the good work they had begun.
Not long after this tragedy the country was caught up in the grips of a drought which severely undermined the development of the agricultural sector and drastically reduced agricultural production. The government was compelled to divert funds from development projects to famine relief. The crisis is not yet over. The country is now in the third consecutive year of drought and will of necessity continue to divert development funds to the relief of those areas which have been badly affected. We were also caught up in a world recession which caused a severe set-back to our economy. A sluggish international market has resulted in the decline of the prices of minerals. Our foreign earnings took a deep plunge, and the resultant national recession brought our economy to its lowest level since independence in 1966. It is a measure of the BDP’s sound economic management that the crisis did not escalate into a national disaster. The BDP’s prudent management of the economy during earlier days of prosperity paid of. Botswana found itself with sufficient foreign exchange to tide it over the crisis period and to continue with a modest programme of development during the lean years.
The prices of most minerals remain depressed, and as I have already indicated the end of the drought is not yet in sight. It is heartening to observe however, that although we are not yet out of the woods, there is a flickering light visible ahead.
A slight recovery occurred in the diamond market in 1983 and brought about a moderate increase in our foreign exchange earnings. In spite of the setbacks that the country has encountered the past five years, the Botswana Democratic Party point to many examples of concrete achievements that e benefited Batswana. For instance, we continued to social services and physical infrastructure in the areas in an effort to improve the standard of living of our people and we have made both qualitative and quantitative improvements to education, health facilities and communications. The Party has kept its promise, made in its 1979 Election Manifesto to find ways to increase productive activities so that more Batswana would find ways of earning a living.
The Future with the Botswana Democratic Party
The Botswana Democratic Party has commendably demonstrated its capabilities and good leadership. It has evolved sound policies for the development of the country. Through its realistic financial management it has steered the country carefully and safely through repeated economic crises when many nations even those better endowed have succumbed. This is a record to be proud of, and a glowing testimony for the Botswana Democratic Party as the only viable Party in Botswana.
Our promise for the next jive years is to continue to strive for economic prosperity, in order to provide a better standard of living for all the citizens of Botswana. Guided by our national principles of Democracy, Development, Self-Reliance and Unity, we shall continue to ensure that our democratic system retains its dynamism and vigour, and that our democratic institutions continue to be responsive to the varied needs of our people. We shall continue to strive for rapid economic development and ensure that whatever gains are made in the economic sector, continue to benefit all the people of Botswana; We shall ensure that Botswana uses all its resources wisely and gainfully, so that independence and nationhood will have a real meaning for every Motswana; We shall strive to preserve our national unity, protect it against bigoted tribalism, cheap political “sloganeering”, internal factional strifes; and We shall strive to insulate it from external interference.
VOTE FOR THE BOTSWANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY – ENSURE YOUR FUTURE
Q.K.J. MASIRE PRESIDENT, BDP