They say defence spending is not an investment and the priority should be on tackling unemployment.
The Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO), through “The People’s Budget”, their annual review of the Budget Speech has called for the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) budget to be trimmed by at least 10 percent, arguing that, “Our priority should be pushing back forcefully against unemployment and poverty and strengthening our cyber-security.”
“The rationale for the decision is simple. First, defence spending is not an investment. Second, Botswana’s greatest national security risks do not come from hostile neighbours. Rather, they are socio-economic and cyber-related. Our priority should be pushing back forcefully against unemployment and poverty and strengthening our cyber-security,” reads the NGOs mock budget.
BOCONGO says though the Justice is no longer part of the Ministry, it saw its budget increase from P8, 525,435,320 in 2022/23 to P9, 842,677,690, an increase of P1, 317,242,370.
With a budget of P5, 747,892,350, the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) accounts for a 58.40% share of ear marked funds. The Botswana Police Service received P3,138,675,790 versus last year’s P2,839,356,850. Prisons and Rehabilitation Services, was allocated 685,472,450.