BNF 1999 Manifesto Botswana
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BOTSWANA NATIONAL FRONT (from the Original document)
WORKING TOGETHER FOR SUCCESS
TABLE OF CONTENTS … PAGES
Foreword … 1
Preamble … 5
1. Unity of the Nation … 5
2. Governance … 6
3. Decentralisation and Development … 8
4. Economy … 8
5. Education and Training … 11
6. Social Security and Welfare … 13
7. Health … 13
8. Housing … 14
9. Environment and Tourism … 15
10. Gender … 17
11. Labour Issues … 18
12. Civil Society … 19
13. Agriculture … 21
14. Water Development … 22
15. Mining and Mineral Resources … 22
16. Prison Service … 23
17. Police Force … 23
18. Corruption and Accountability … 23
19. Defence and Security … 24
20. International Relations … 24
21. Sports and Recreation … 25
The 1999 Election is the eighth in Botswana since 1965. This election represents several years of experience for our nation and the Botswana National Front (BNF). The election also signals the end of an era. This is an election that takes us as a nation, through the last few months of the 1990’s decade which in fact, also marks the end of the 20th century. Since the mid-1960’s Botswana has seen three decades of uninterrupted one party rule of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). It is up to us as a nation to judge the achievements and failures of the present government but I wish to point out the following simply to help you take stock of things and make your decision on who to vote for, in a proper perspective. Three decades of post-colonialism in Africa have been turbulent and generally disastrous in terms of development, human rights, institutional development, economic growth and environmental protection. As well as the inequitable distributions of the national resources resulting in the division of the population into the high percentage of the extremely poor and the small percentage of the extremely rich. The resultant situation is growth in poverty, unemployment, the collapse of the agricultural sector, constant military and police intervention to silence the poor, phenomenal growth in unemployment and poverty resulting in crime and corruption, ethnic strife, growth in refugee population and above all political bankruptcy and corruption of unparalleled magnitude. Today, in Botswana we have large numbers of doctors, university lecturers, accountants, engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, etc, from Tanzania, Sudan, Ghana, and of course China. These countries have been able to equip their rationales with the necessary skill to fill up posts which should have been filled by the locals. In Botswana, how many citizen doctors, health inspectors, architects, engineers, etc, do we have after 33 years? The BDP government has been able to lay down the basic social and physical infrastructure in terms of roads, schools, clinics, water supply and telecommunications. I believe as a nation we all know and appreciate this. The laying down of infrastructure is considered, throughout the world, as the basic need and requirement for all countries. Many countries in the world including much poorer ones in Africa have managed to build schools, health facilities, universities, telecommunications and provided water and housing for much larger population than ours have performed in the area of infrastructural development over the past three decades of independence). The BDP government has failed in three decades to take this country beyond infrastructural development hence:
1. Poverty remains deeply entrenched in our people’s daily existence. The number of households living under conditions of absolute poverty is 55% of the rural population, 46% of Peri-Urban Village Population and 29% of Urban population. (BIDPA 1997)
2. Unemployment has remained above 20% of the labour force since 1989. Among the youth unemployment ranges between 30 and 40%. For women it is estimated at 29% (CSO, 1992, UNICEF, 1993). The 1995 / 1996 Botswana Labour Force Survey (BLFS) puts the unemployment rate at 35%, the hardest hit are Youth aged between 20 and 24 at 39%.
3. Agriculture has collapsed not largely because of drought but because of the lack of proper planning. At present the government spends millions of Pula on drought relief in an apparent attempt to help the people. But there is neither assurance to farmers, the unemployed, female headed households, the people in the most disadvantaged regions of the country that this assistance will continue or that BDP government will come up with something better for the future.
4. Inflation remains high and beyond control by BDP government because of high economic dependence on imports of most essential goods especially foodstuff. Between 1989 and now the inflation rate ranged between 10% and 17.7% (Botswana Government 1993).
5. The rapid increase in corruption especially among people holding high office, has resulted in the emulation of leaders by the ordinary people. Corruption, abuse of power and arrogance by the BDP leadership have grown and many millions of Pula have been lost at BHC, NDB, BCB, BBS, BAMB and Government ministries and departments. While denying these the Government has come up with the so-called “Economic Crime Act or Corruption Law”. Why since they deny that they are corrupt?
6. Consultation has become a mockery under the BDP rule. Laws are prepared and passed in a rush without consultation, even with the BDP backbenchers. The following are a few examples : Incomes Policy (1990), Agricultural Policy (1991), Wildlife Policy (1993), Tribal Land Amendment Act (1993), Amendment of the Abortion Law (1993), Corruption Act (1994) and the Kanye incident where the chief was replaced with his son without first consulting the community.
7. The BDP government dismissed over 50000 workers and reemployed some as civil servants to silence them or to prevent them from striking.
9. The rapid increase in juvenile delinquency with the effect that when a delinquent youth becomes an adult, we have a phenomenon of delinquent children becoming parents which gradually gives rise to a delinquent nation. Thus giving rise to a vicious cycle which threatens to engulf the whole nation.
10. The acute shortage of houses and the short-sighted view of the government of the Botswana Democratic Party which considers the housing of the nation as a commodity to be enjoyed by the well to do, who have the financial power to buy and sell. This same government wants to be returned to power when they offer no new ideas about creating a hly democratic system of government, creating more economic opportunities, providing markets for our enterprising entrepreneurs and providing better assistance to the needy and disabled and providing a comprehensive social security for the nation.
The BNF has in this Manifesto a clear strategy to:
a) Empower citizens.
b) Eradicate poverty.
c) Create more employment opportunities.
d) Combat AIDS.
e) Combat corruption.
f) Develop quality human resource base.
g) Diversify the economy.
h) Provide a comprehensive social security.
i) Create a truly democratic society of equals regardless of ethnicity gender, language, religion and race.
10. The 1999 general elections offers Batswana another opportunity to make Botswana of the 21st century and happy place to live in by voting for the BNF. The present trend contains a time bomb and social strife that as a small and young nation we cannot afford.
11. The traditional BDP policies constitute a time bomb which the nation cannot afford.
We can avoid this by voting for the BNF.
“Vote BNF! VOTE FOR A BETTER LIFE!”
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
DR. KENNETH G.S. KOMA
KOPANO! KOPANO! KOPANO!