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BNF resolves to shun Vision 2016

Party will not participate in National Vision activities

The long time main opposition party Botswana National Front (BNF) has resolved to shun the country’s long term Vision 2016 and its activities.


Vision 2016 which is also known as the national development vision was established in 1996 by a Presidential Task Group – following thorough nationwide consultations.


However, BNF reiterated its position at the party conference held at Good-hope Senior Secondary School over the president’s holidays that they will still not be associated with it going forward. “One of the resolutions we took is, we reiterated the position of the party not to participate in Vision 2016 activities,” party spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa told the Weekend Post in an interview.


This publication has gathered that the need for the creation of a national vision was precipitated by the need for Botswana to intentionally define and manage its path to ‘Prosperity for All’, as well as how it adjusts to the rapidly changing global economy and social order.


According to Mohwasa the resolution was reached precisely because as a party they believe Vision 2016 is just a scam and BDP propaganda to shift people’s attention from real matters, while they (BDP) know it’s not attainable.


A Vision 2016 Council was put in place to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Vision and ensure stakeholder participation in its implementation by the Private, Public and Civil Society sectors; and as well as to advise accordingly.


“We honestly believe the vision is just a scam to make Batswana concentrate on it when they know that Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won’t solve problems faced by Batswana. Let’s take the pillar of ‘an informed and educated nation’; people still don’t have access to education. They also aspire for full employment but still there are no jobs.”


The BNF Publicity Secretary also stated that the Vision belongs to the BDP and not necessarily Batswana at large. He said the vision was in the BDP 2004 manifesto and therefore was entirely for the BDP.


“We are not here to promote the policies of BDP. They are hypocrites. They say this and do the opposite. In fact they have failed to come up with policies that promote pillars of the vision,” the BNF mouthpiece highlighted.


Vision 2016 compresses the aspirations of Batswana into seven pillars that serve as a guiding framework for national development programmes and policies. The pillars include: an educated and informed nation; an open, democratic and accountable nation; a moral and tolerant nation; a united and proud nation; a safe and secure nation; a prosperous, productive and innovative nation; and a compassionate, just and caring nation. The pillars are also guided by the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).


Mohwasa insisted to Weekend Post that Vision 2016 was only conceived following BNF’s launch of its Social Democratic Program as well as subsequent to the party’s historic performance in the 1994 elections. “BNF was gaining ground against BDP and they came up with Vision 2016, and as you know BDP performed badly also in the recent 2014 elections and we hear they are coming up with another Vision to brainwash Batswana.”


The BNF was founded in 1965 and it first took part in country elections in 1969 and has been the main opposition since then. The party achieved its greatest electoral success in the 1994 elections, when it won 37.1% of the vote and 13 of 40 parliamentary seats.


Although BNF is now party to newly formed Umbrella for Democratic Change, the decision was taken without other parties that make up the UDC, being Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) and Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) who undertook their congresses concurrently during the long weekend.


Party also resolved to review primary elections


In addition to shunning the Vision, the party took a resolution to set up a taskforce to look at the primary elections regulations. It is understood that there will be some consultations with structures for a way forward as members believe it could be done in a better way.


This comes at the backdrop of overwhelming protestations of primary election results that were said to be marred with irregularities in the build up to the 2014 General Elections.


“As a growing party, we need to, time and again, look at how we do things for the improvement of the party,” Mohwasa pointed out.

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