The MP for Gabane/Mmankgodi Major General Pius Mokgware this week took parliamentarians on the security lecture regarding military spending. Responding to the budget speech, Mokgware - a retired chief of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Ground forces - said that the greatest enemy that the country is facing is internal not external enemies. “Since the end of the cold war, wars are no longer external but internal and the greatest enemy to any country’s security is high unemployment rate and escalating corruption, especially among the youth,” said Mokgware giving example of the Arab Spring.
On the purchasing of jet fighters, Mokgware said that the country doesn’t need them as they cannot even help in anti-poaching as they are too big, adding that the current F5 jets that BDF has can only land in three places in Botswana being Mapharangwane Airbase, Gaborone and Francistown airports. General Mokgware said currently the country should buy helicopters which can help in combating internal security threats like poaching. “It is so sad that currently soldiers on anti-poaching uses tracks on their operations while the country wants to spend billions of money on fighter jets which we don’t need,” said the retired ground forces commander.
Driving his point home, he gave example of Syria which is currently experiencing civil war which has claimed thousands of lives and misplaced millions. He said the country has fighter jets but couldn’t use them during the civil war. He called for the improvement of the welfare not only of army personnel but of other security agents like the police and prisons warders.