Botswana Needs to Invest in Army – Mzwinila

| February 15, 2016

By Pako Lebanna

Gaborone - Government's efforts to modernise the army should be given the necessary support by the public.

Member of Parliament for Mmadinare, Mr Kefentse Mzwinila, said this when contributing to the debate on the national budget in Parliament on Thursday.

Mr Mzwinila said armies were built during peace time and as such, the argument that Botswana should not invest on quality military equipment did not hold water.

"We need to have a properly equipped military and the government has to be supported in its endeavour to ensure that the country's army is up to date with modern equipment, we should not await threats to our peace and security and then attempt to fortify our army after the fact," Mr Mzwinila said.

He added that the modern world was faced with many security challenges such as terrorism, and it made sense for Botswana like any other democracy to spend on ensuring that its borders were safe. Mr Mzwinila also urged government to engage the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) in peace keeping missions on the African continent

He said such missions had been of benefit in making the country and continent more secure, while giving the country's soldiers exposure in foreign territories, as well as remuneration they could put to use upon returning home.

Nata-Gweta MP, Mr Polson Majaga urged the government to invest more in developing Sowa township, as it is located in an area that has enormous industrial and tourism potential.

"The country mines soda ash from Sowa, and in the area we have the Makgadikgadi pans and Nata Sanctuary. As such Sowa should be a lot more developed that it is, and I urge the government and individual members of parliament to work towards to further development of the township," he said.

Mogoditshane legislator, Mr Sedirwa Kgoroba said some of the most developed countries had engaged in meticulous planning over many years. But he dismissed Botswana's high economic growth and rapid development as an act of God as opposed to being a result of good planning from the government.

"Botswana was fortunate to discover mineral resources after independence and as such our development has been God's gift, which we failed to adequately use as some of our citizens still live in poverty. With proper planning and implementation, the country could be a lot further than it is," Mr Kgoroba said.

He also said government had failed to properly review some of its earlier programmes before introducing new ones. Molepolole South MP, Dr Tlamelo Mmatli complained of large scale government projects not being concluded on time and the attendant cost overruns.

He complained of Molepolole being hit by a shortage of water, adding that the village now has close to 70 000 people but does not have a proper sewerage system.

Adding his views, Kanye South legislator, Mr Abram Kesupile said the country's budgets rarely address the needs of the poor, as poverty and unemployment continue to be rampant despite the budgetary amounts disbursed by parliament every year.

Source: BOPA

Category: Technology

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