In the run-up to 2019 general elections, in their manifesto, the leading Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) made a number of promises; among them, the ones that were greatly amplified were transforming Botswana into a knowledge-based economy, and manufacturing an electric car.
“Batswana want an inclusive economy in which they will participate in wealth creation. They want a transformed economy that is able to create jobs for our unemployed graduates. They want an improved education and training system that is innovative and creates a knowledge-based economy. They want a free and fair society anchored on the respect for the rule of law. They want a corruption free society. They want the government that is committed to an environment that allows for a free, independent and viable media.” Those are words from President Masisi as quoted in 2019 BDP manifesto, in the same page, the party commits to transforming Botswana into a knowledge-based economy through partnerships with industry leaders and academic institutions.
Lawrence Ookeditse, a political analyst and a strategist who was very instrumental in marketing the BDP manifesto in radio stations prior to 2019 elections expressed shear disappointment recently on the failure by the BDP government on delivering its promises. Ookeditse said in an interview with The Parrot News Online that he has since decided to leave the BDP because there is neither progress nor roadmap/framework on achieving and delivering on the promises made to the public. “The point is, I don’t expect miracles from him or anyone, but the expectation is; when we start working on something, there should be a plan.” Ookeditse said. “We need to be in a position where I as a person who campaigned and who loves this government is able to answer you in short and say ‘we want an inclusive knowledge-based economy, and these are the key performance indicators’ something that democrats are not able to articulate now” he added.
He gave the other example of an electric car which he also said the promise is just there but no framework. He added on that he spoke to the president on a number of occasions about the issues he was not happy about or where he disagrees with the president, also channeled his concerns to the relevant personnel in the party but bared no fruits as even the top officials (cabinet members and central committee members) share sentiments but won’t let the president know for reasons unknown to him.
Ookeditse has since joined the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) which its patron is former president Ian Khama. Meanwhile, his critics are of the view that he wants to contest for Nata-Gweta constituency which he lost against Paulson Majaga in primary elections leading to 2019 general elections.