Bots defiant on deportations
Gaborone – Botswana says it will deport foreign nationals when it feels that such people are a threat to national security. Summing up President Ian Khama’s State of the Nation address, Vice President Mompati Merafhe said the Botswana government cannot afford to be sentimental about the security of the nation. “As such we will deport any foreigner when we feel that doing so is in the interest of the nation,” said Merafhe. The Vice President dismissed insinuations by some opposition MPs that some of the deportations are both unnecessary and unjustified. On other issues, Merafhe said government has not failed to act where incidents of corruption were brought to its attention. He said it is every Motswana’s responsibility to report any corrupt practices. “Those who sit back with such information without reporting it to the authorities are displaying acts of disloyalty to the nation. No one should keep information to themselves with the view to later use it to tarnish the country’s good name,” he said. Merafhe took a swipe at those who label government’s poverty eradication drive as mere rhetoric, noting that it is disappointing that those who dismiss the strategy have not come up with any suggestions that government can use to eradicate poverty. Merafhe said government’s resolve on this aspect is driven by the belief that there is no tolerable level of poverty. “Government will not live with a clear conscience on the knowledge that some Batswana still wallow in abject poverty since it breeds hopelessness and despair. Though some opposition parties dismiss the P360 that is paid to employees of Ipelegeng programme as peanuts, they should not forget that some people are now able to sustain themselves on that same amount, this is something they could not do in the past,” said Merafhe. He observed that had government acceded to calls to use money in foreign reserves, the nation would not have emerged intact from the recent economic meltdown. “Government is doing relatively well with regard to its economic diversification drive and government’s decision to procure goods and services from locally-owned business is proof of its desire and commitment to empower Batswana,” said Merafhe.