Alliance for Progressives (AP) vice president, Wynter Mmolotsi says Botswana's economy is on a sick bed and needs to be fixed as a matter of urgency.
Launching AP candidate for Palapye constituency, Gape Motswaledi last week, Mmolotsi told multitudes of party suporters that the economy has failed to generate meaningful job opportunities for Batswana. Mmolotsi who is also Member of Parliament for Francistown South further said since the 2017/18 financial year, the country has been recording deficits. “During the 2017/18 financial year, we had a deficit of over 1.98 billion. We had to borrow money from international financial institutions to supplement the budget. Furthermore, in the past financial year the shortfall was over 6.966 billion pula,” he cried.
Mmolotsi said the decision by President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s administration to adjust salaries for disciplined forces was done without proper planning adding that such a move has already led to the current financial budget having a deficit of a whopping 7.34 billion pula. The decision to adjust salaries for disciplined forces has already caused conflicts within the public service. Some of the public servants who did not receive the increment strongly feel that the government has deliberately side-lined them despite facing the same economic hardships with disciplined forces. The augmentation has seen some of the men in blue earning double their salaries. According to Mmolotsi, another factor that will increase the deficit during the current financial year is the decision to review salary structure of some government departments which came with another financial burden.
Mmolotsi indicated that promises made by the main opposition, Umbrella For Democratic Change (UDC) of paying people P3000 and creating 100 000 jobs once attaining power are unrealistic dreams due to the current state of the economy. He cautioned voters to be wary of politicians who are campaigning using false promises. The priority is to fix the economy first before making unrealistic promises, Mmolotsi said. He underscored that if AP assumes state power after the much anticipated October general elections they will increase the economy by 10 per cent every year. “After realising that the economy is stable and the country’s budget is having surplus that is when we will review the minimum wage. We do not want to make promises that we cannot keep once we are assume state power,” he reiterated.
The outspoken politician told the gathering that BDP must be voted out of power as it has dismally failed to create jobs for Batswana, stating that currently over 87 000 unemployed graduates are roaming in the streets. What led to the current predicament, Mmolotsi reasoned that it is because of skills mismatch. He is of the view that currently the country is producing graduates with skills and expertise that are not in short supply. Mmolotsi notes that the BDP led government lacks vision on how to solve the high unemployment rate. “Once we gain power we will create jobs using natural resources that we have at our disposal. We have soda ash in Sowa Town that we can use to manufacture glass and car windscreens,” he declared.