MASUNGA: Opposition parties have, in a bid to “sensitize electorates”, decided to petition the North District Commissioner about problems they say continue afflicting the country despite the impressive economic growth the country recorded since independence.
In the petition which comes just days ahead of the Kalakamati ward bye election, the parties say while there are genuine grounds to celebrate independence and freedom, much can still be done to complete Botswana’s self actualization.
“The united opposition believes that economic growth should not be a means to an end. It must serve the people, promote socio economic development and reduce poverty. The biggest challenge facing Botswana is to achieve a sustainable growth that delivers the quantity and quality of jobs needed by our people especially the youth,” reads part of the petition signed by leader of opposition, Duma Boko. The petition cites a 2014 World Bank report which puts Botswana’s unemployment rate at 33.9%, a rate often disputed by the government.
“This rate is highly relative to other countries of the same economic status as the mineral rich country. We reiterate that the neoliberal economic policies implemented by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) have failed to address social development of the youth of the nation,” opposition parties argued.
On other issues, the parties have urged government to declare a crises in the education sector, saying problems that have been bedeviling the Botswana’s education sector since 2010 continue to escalate: “Challenges facing the education system include failure rates that have reached unprecedented levels from primary to tertiary since independence, limited access to education by some marginalized population groups,” the petition concluded.