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Catch them young- MP Saleshando

16 Nov 2023

Botswana has proved itself as a formidable  competitor on the global stage particularly in the field of  in athletics, by producing  internationally competitive athletes in the likes of Isaac Makwala, Amantle Montsho, Glody Dube and Justice Dipeba among others. 

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, the Member of Parliament for Maun West, Mr Dumelang Saleshando said it was therefore critical for government to ensure continuity by developing the sports codes at a youth level. 

He said at the moment, the burden of sponsoring excelling kids was with parents, even sponsoring their children on intentional assignments where they went to represent the country. 

“This is too financially draining on parents because sports is expensive. So government has to assist especially in developing the athletes,” he said. 

On issues of health, Mr Saleshando called on men to desist from fear of seeking medical assistance, saying the habit was a risk to their lives. 

He also called on government to improve on service delivery at government hospitals, where he said that an appointment for a specialist could take years even for critical diseases. 

“This is especially bad for the ordinary Batswana who cannot afford private medical assistance because they can wait for years to see a doctor, and chances would be that by the time they see one, their condition would have drastically deteriorated,” he said. 

Mr Saleshando also implored government to improve on indicators of a progressive economy, such as job creation, better pay, better health and education as well as food security. 

“Statistics indicate that lack of jobs creation and unemployment continue to rise over the years despite the country being rich in minerals and having high potential in the tourism sector, which needs to be fully tapped,” he said and called on government to give investors in the tourism industry longer leases as an assurance on their return on investments. 

For his part, Nata-Gweta MP, Mr Polson Majaga said government should not be judged too harshly on failure to deliver some promised development projects looking at the fact that economic recovery was bad globally. 

“Low global economic recovery is worsened by other challenges such as climate change and regional conflict such as the Russia-Ukraine war, which has made trade on essentials like grains difficult. 

So it is not just recession that affects the economy,” he said. 

Mr Majaga also reiterated Mr Saleshando’s words that the tourism sector needed to be explored more to create jobs, especially for the youth. 

He also applauded the Minister of Finance Ms Peggy Serame decision to reclaim funds from ministries that failed to utilise their allocated funds. 

“Failing to spend funds allotted does not only mean that the ministry has failed in project implementation, it also means that the ministry has failed to create jobs that could have resulted from the implementation of projects,” he said. 

He said it was a pity that such failures were often wrongly attributed to political representatives. 

 The legislator  also decried the recent operational challenges of the Government Accounting and Budgeting System (GABS), saying it led to failure to pay small businesses. 

This means that many businesses would close as most of them rely solely on doing business with government, and their closure means loss of jobs to the ordinary Batswana. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Olekantse Sennamose

Location : Gaborone

Event : Parliament

Date : 16 Nov 2023