Botswana up budget spending on military, security
APA-Gaborone (Botswana) - Botswana has listed the defence and security sector as among the five priority spending areas for the 2018-19 national budget, getting P66.9 billion (about $670 million).
This information has emerged at a time when Botswana intends to buy 8 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden worth more than $1.6 billion, and Korea Aerospace Industries’ FA-50s, whose price tag is yet to be disclosed, according to local media.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo has said the security sector will receive more resources to fund the upgrading of equipment to enhance national security.
This was contained in an expenditure estimate presented at a pre-budget seminar that examined government spending priorities for the 2018/2019 financial year beginning in March 2018.
Mathambo said the money will be spent on upgrading equipment, training, as well as construction of more security and accommodation facilities for the police force.
Last year, the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) was allocated P14.8 billion for the National Development Plan II, which runs from 2017 to 2023.
Meanwhile, the ppposition leader, Duma Boko, has warned that the intention to buy Gripen fighter jets would spark an arms race in the region.
However, President Ian Khama and Defence and Security Minister Shaw Kgathi have defended the possibility of procuring the multi-million military hardware, arguing that Botswana has a responsibility to protect her sovereignty.