President hopes for a better 2023

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising food and fuel prices induced by the Russian-Ukraine conflict led to economic challenges over the past two years, but government now hopes 2023 will have a better outlook.

These sentiments were expressed by the President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi while addressing a Christmas Day service at Moshupa Congregational Church, a local church of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA).

The President said government had been mindful to infuse policies that could empower Batswana during the process of drawing up the national budget for the next financial year, the first of two in the Transitional National Development Plan (TNDP).

Dr Masisi said he had the belief that 2023 would offer better economic prospects than previous years and encouraged Batswana to proactively make use of government programmes, as well as to be enterprising and hard working.

He urged Batswana to work together, to support each other’s businesses, to engage in productive farming and to desist from selling hard assets such as land.

He thanked citizens for adhering to stringent measures that were introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19, stating that this led to the country managing to pull through from the worst effects of the pandemic.

Dr Masisi said as the national leader he made some difficult choices including introducing through Parliament a historic 18-month State of Emergency, a decision taken after extensive medical and legal advice.

The President said since the constitution guaranteed people civil liberties, it had been necessary to institute the State of Emergency in order to introduce measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, which included temporarily suspending some freedoms, such as the right to movement.

He further cautioned that people should not be complacent with regards to the Coronavirus as in parts of the world like China the disease had resurfaced, and it had proved in the past to be capable of quickly spreading across the world.

Additionally, Dr Masisi called on the Moshupa congregation, the UCCSA and broader Christian community to assist the less-privileged such as the poor, disabled, elderly and sick in challenging circumstances.

He said the church should also be proactive in the battle against gender based violence. Dr Masisi said discrimination against women, who are more than half the country’s population, was detrimental to national progress.

Dr Masisi, who was accompanied by First Lady Neo shared Christmas hampers with the congregation and promised that he would offer them a bigger Christmas party next year

Reverend Marang Gaobewe, the UCCSA Synod of Botswana Chairperson-elect and minister in charge of Moshupa Congregational Church delivered a sermon on the significance of the birth and earthly ministry of Jesus Christ to Christians. ENDS

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