Botswana not fully liberated – U.K. MP

Liberal Democrat Member ofParliament for North Southwarkand Bermondesey in theUnited Kingdom, Simon Hughes hassaid that Botswana is not fully liberated.Hughes said this at the AfricaLiberal Network workshop held overthe weekend in Gaborone, saying thatpeople here cannot feel the total freedom.He said if voted into power, theBotswana Movement for Democracy(BMD) would offer a more enlightenedand a refreshing opportunityfor a country that has got many goodthings but failing to fulfi l its potential.


He told The Gazette in an interviewthat he has no reason to attackthe government of Botswanabut fails to understand the reasonas to why most of Batswana areunemployed. “Botswana still hasmany opportunities for economicdevelopment which are not beingachieved. It is a wonderfully richcountry in terms of resources. Itis one of the success stories inAfrica since independence; however,the message I received fromhere is that it is not succeeding asmuch as it should be. Its relativesuccess may be declining,” hesaid.He further said that there is notmuch investment in Botswana asit should be. “The governmentmust open the opportunities,”he added. Hughes noted that it isdiffi cult for opposition parties tohave resources and have accessto the state media to get the messageacross to the voters.


“Therecan only be a political imperativein a better communication atmosphere.For parties to grow it dependson a broader reach out ofthe people. Political communicationmeans making sure that peopleunderstand that there are alternativesto the existing regimes.Political parties should not be inpolitics just to win the electionsbut to help people out there,” hesaid.Aimee Franklin, coordinatorof the Africa Liberal Networksaid they will rally and give theBMD support. “We score thetransition of liberal governmentin Botswana. We do believe thatBMD has what it takes to crediblychallenge the ruling governmentfor power and becomea party of government in a verynear future,” she said.BMD president, GomolemoMotswaledi said they will be attendinga Liberal Network generalassembly in Tanzania inDecember. Motswaledi told TheGazette that during the assemblythey will launch a campaign forfree trade and free markets in Africa.