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Parliament adopts State President budget proposal

28 Feb 2024

Parliament has adopted the Ministry for State President budget proposal  of over P2.7 billion recurrent budget and over P1.5 billion development budget  for the 2024/2025 financial year.

Debating the budget, Mahalapye East MP, Mr Yandani Boko said it was necessary to acknowledge the need for disability inclusiveness in reviving the country’s economy, adding that the budget proposal came at an opportune time when government was preaching economic inclusivity.

He said government was not doing enough to empower people living with disability and that they were not included in the decision making process.

He urged the ministry to channel more funds into uplifting the livelihoods of people with disabilities.

Mr Boko said empowering people with disability should start at the grassroots level through building education facilities suitable for them. He added that there was need for government to build disability schools across all constituencies as a means to improve their access to education.

For his part, Boteti East MP, Mr Sethomo Lelatisitswe said MPs should be at the forefront of advocating for the inclusion of PWDs in all government policies. He argued that there was also a need for the establishment of an affirmative action framework towards PWDs.

Gaborone Central MP, Mr Tumisang Mangwegape-Healy commended government for the ongoing growth and development of the country’s creative sector.

“It is pleasing to note that government initiatives have been specifically crafted to support an incredibly diverse sector and ensure that our artistic industries can continue to engage, challenge and inspire Batswana audiences as well as regional and international markets,” he said.

Boteti West MP, Mr Slumber Tsogwane applauded government for the implementation of the Digital Transformation Strategy (SmartBots), saying it continued to be priority in order to accelerate digital connectivity nationwide.

Mr Tsogwane pleaded for the SmartBots roll out to cover many villages in his constituency with a view to close the communication gap and facilitate delivery of government services online as well as other sectors to facilitate competitiveness of the economy.

Specially Elected MP, Dr Unity Dow acknowledged the presidential mindset change initiative for transforming the country in the right direction towards productivity. She said mindset change was what the country needed if it was to attain Vision 2036 aspirations.

Responding to MPs debates, Minister for State President, Mr Kabo Morwaeng  said it was worth noting that the last parliamentary sitting passed the Persons with Disability Act 2023 on  December 11 2023.

“The Act proposed the establishment of the National Disability Coordinating Office and the National Disability Council to protect the rights of persons with disabilities and to promote equal opportunity for participating in different spheres of the economy,” he said.

He said the Act was crafted in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and was envisaged to assist in the mainstreaming of disability issues.

Mr Morwaeng said his ministry would also carry out a needs assessment to determine the socio-economic background of people with disabilities as well as that of their families.

He also said concerted efforts were needed to transform development strategies to embrace disability issues and create a disability friendly environment. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : GABORONE

Event : PARLIAMENT

Date : 28 Feb 2024