Botswana’s president vows to fight corruption by promoting transparency
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Friday pledged to fight corruption by promoting transparency in the southern African country's institutional frameworks.
Botswana inaugurated Masisi for the second time in exactly 18 months after an election following his initial inauguration as the country's fifth president on April 1 last year in a ceremony that highlighted a smooth transition of power.
"We cannot hope for neither service delivery nor achieve any of our national objectives if our institutional frameworks are not robust, transparent, and accountable and free from corruption," said Masisi in his inauguration speech following his swearing in by the country's chief justice in Gaborone, Botswana's capital city.
The 58-year-old leader who has been speaking against corruption after taking over from his predecessor, former President Seretse Khama Ian Khama, early last year, told the inauguration gathering that included foreign heads of states and members of the diplomatic corps that his intention is not to relent on doing so.
"Therefore, I wish to emphasize that my government will put in place measures and mechanisms through the application of best practices of good governance to ensure that corruption is defeated," he said.
In August this year, Botswana's national assembly passed the declaration of assets and liabilities bill into a law in a development viewed by many political commentators as a giant step towards dealing with corruption.
To operationalize this law, Masisi said his government is in the process of establishing an ethics and integrity directorate.
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won the Oct. 23 poll after garnering 38 seats in the national assembly, representing 66.7 percent of the vote.
The main opposition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), secured 15 seats while the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), which is the brainchild of Masisi's immediate predecessor, won three and the Alliance for Progressive (AP) only one.
Since independence from Britain in 1966, the Botswana economy has grown at 8 percent a year to become one of Africa's most successful economies, but it is now at risk of coming unstuck because of over-reliance on a single commodity - diamonds. (Xinhua)