As the nation head to its 12th general elections, opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) President Duma Boko has stated that the party already has a plan for the first 100 days in office. According to Boko, the plan is likely to be revealed “in details” at his launch, as a parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Bonnington North scheduled for this weekend in Gaborone.
When speaking at Kanye during the launch of two UDC candidates for Kanye North and Kanye South, Otlaadisa Koosaletse and Victor Phologolo this week Boko explained that he will attend some matters as urgently as possible like economy, jobs, and infrastructural development. On the 19th of October, if we like as UDC, we might unveil our 100 day plan, he told the multitudes that thronged the launch in Kanye.
“When I arrive in government I will do what is known as 100 day plan. When I arrive in state house, the first 100 days, I will immediately attend to some things that need urgency. They will surprise you. I will turn around your lives for the better. I will not even have time, like President Mokgweetsi Masisi to go around greeting other leaders of other countries. I don’t have time for that,” Boko said. He also apologised to his in-laws that, unlike Masisi who usually goes to other countries with his wife, “I will not do that myself and I apologise for that. I will be focusing on the lives of our people as a matter of emergency. We have a difficult job ahead.”
Boko reveals: UDC will have only 12 cabinet members
The Gaborone Bonnington North candidate stated that Botswana cannot fail to address problems of only 2, 4 million which make her population.“Today with this 2, 4 million, we have a cabinet of 28 people. What are they doing really?” he asked rhetorically. He continued: “The cabinet for UDC, at the maximum will be 12. We want to take decisions fast, efficiently and effectively. We believe in ourselves. We will do these things.” With this cabinet, he stressed that they will then implement the party’s promise of 100 000 jobs in 12 months; P1500 old age pension; P3000 living wage; P2500 student allowance; free sanitary pads; and tablets for leaners.
“Sometimes when am not present here, I will be meeting other heads of states from other countries, speaking about the issues that affect us. I met a company that supplies tablets for leaners in SA and I told them I want Batswana students to learn with tablets and asked when they can deliver and they said 6 months maximum. The tablets will be charged by micro grid power,” he pointed out as an example of how they will deliver their promises.
The party maintains: “We will pay workers high wages”
As advised by economists, Boko stated that the UDC will adopt what is termed as supply side intervention for economic growth which means that they should do increased reward for labour. “Paying workers high wages assist to boost the economy because the workers also buy in the shops making the economic cycle. When most people have money and a purchasing power, in terms of the economies of scale, then it makes the prices of commodities to go down,” he highlighted.
Road infrastructure: UDC will also expand the A1 road with 4 lanes
Boko emphasised that the UDC will build world class road infrastructure to boost Botswana’s economy. “We will fix Botswana’s economy,” he pointed out adding that the economists have advised the party that there can never be developments in any country without world class infrastructure. He continued: “that includes roads like the A1 in which we shouldn’t be talking about two lanes to Ramatlabama and from Ramokgwebana now but as UDC we are going to do three to four lanes going one direction and the other three to four going the opposite direction.”
When we have done that, Boko asserted that it means transportation will be smoother for investors. He explained that those who travel with big trucks transporting goods to neighbouring countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR) will use the route often because of the state of the art road infrastructure. “And when they do that, and given that we are going to erect toll gates again, they will pay the road toll fees and contribute to the country’s revenue. And when we do that, the economists has advised us that, when we do that, 80% of the trucks transportation from South Africa will be glad to use Botswana road and hence donating funds that will boost the economy of the country,” the UDC leader proclaimed.
Health: UDC to use ultra-sonic sensor which easily detects body illnesses
In terms of health, the immediate ex Leader of Opposition (LOO) observed that currently the blood tests results take many days to be released which they will immediately change upon taking over government. “But as UDC we are going to do a full complement medical examination with results being released in 20 minutes. That involves taking blood out of the body, doing blood tests in that time period and then you see a doctor who will attend and address your problem without waiting for weeks as its happening now,” the Gaborone Bonnington North alluded.
He added that the blood tests will then be seen in “Cloud” whereby the doctor can use internet to see and investigate the results wherever he will be around the world while the patient is in other areas particularly rural areas. And then the doctor will diagnose the illness and accordingly make a prescription which then will be sent to you using technology, Boko stated. In addition: “we will also not use a testoscope as advised because it’s no longer relevant and effective but we will use what is known as an ultra-sonic sensor which just looks at you and detects your illnesses inside the body for the doctor to be aware and take necessary action.”
Finally: UDC to change laws to accommodate changes
Meanwhile, Boko concluded by maintaining that they are going to change the laws so that whatever they talk about will see the light of the day as soon as the UDC gets into government to improve the lives of the people including overhauling the constitution to accommodate all these laws.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.