Fuel price increase hit the poor – BNF

SHARE   |   Monday, 15 October 2018   |   By Cde Justin Hunyepa
Fuel price increase hit the poor – BNF

The Botswana National Front (BNF) is concerned by the latest drastic increase of fuel as announced by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. The increase is a direct effect of the recent corruption allegations involving top government officials, including cabinet Ministers and the Office of the President. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) allegedly benefitted handsomely from the illicit transactions involving the National Petroleum Fund (NPF). 
The NPF is meant to protect and cushion citizens from the negative global effects of fuel increase.  This petroleum increase will hit hard on Batswana.

The rural poor and urban low income residents will be hardest hit as paraffin will increase by a whopping 63 Thebe per litre, pushing them further into the humiliating poverty trap. Thousands of students in rural and low income locations who live in un-electrified homes have just started their final national examinations and will be adversely affected as parents will not afford the midnight oil. The same poverty stricken citizens use paraffin for cooking as wood and charcoal are equally unaffordable and scarce.

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Food prices are expected to skyrocket as transportation costs go high due to the 65 thebe per litre petrol increase. The poor Batswana will again feel the heat as the grocery basket becomes very expensive.  Workers who commute to work, and some very long distances will be adversely affected by this corruption driven fuel increase. The taximan, cab, combi and bus owners who are always on the road will not make profit due to the fuel increase.

There is another serious food security threat as the ploughing season has just started. Diesel prices have been raised to the all high of 73 thebe per litre. Tractor owners will find it hard to commence ploughing under the harsh circumstances as they will not afford the exponential diesel price increase. Batswana farmers who have been trying to make ends meet by raising livestock will find it increasingly difficult to drive to the cattle post.

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Over 250 million pula was allegedly corruptly siphoned from the NPF recently and these were the public funds that were to cushion the poor Batswana from this devastating petroleum increase. The only citizens who will be smiling under the circumstances are the BDP elites and their tenderpreneurs, families and close associates who have benefited from the corruption proceeds involving several national projects. The BDP has master minded corruption in all sectors of the economy and this has left Batswana very poor in their own country. The only solution is to remove them as they are beyond salvation and redemption.

The BNF calls upon all Batswana of the voting age to come out in large numbers and register for the national elections and vote Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in 2019. Voting UDC is the only way corruption and other BDP induced social ills can be halted. 

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Cde Justin Hunyepa



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