With exactly a week left before Mokgweetsi Masisi takes over from Ian Khama, a forceful narrative is being pushed to create an impression that yet again this is a smooth transition – a result of long planned succession that in the end had all the hallmarks of serenity.
In his famous book titled ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’ novelist Chinua Achebe wrote this, ‘Nigeria is not a great country. It is one of the most disorderly nations in the world. It is one of the most corrupt, insensitive, inefficient places under the sun. It is one of the most expensive countries and one of those that give least value for money.
Dr. Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete of the Fatshe leno la Rona anthem must be turning in his grave right now. The lyrics give a clear message that as a nation, our forebears left this land as the only estate in which our pride is encapsulated.
Announcement by Botswana Government that they intend to ban the use of plastics signals a new found political will on the part of our government that has been lacking all along.
In so far as this might also signal prospects of a new start with regards to saving the environment, Government should be encouraged and be supported in its efforts.
The recent revelations of grand corruption, especially the looting of National Petroleum Fund (NPF) by senior politicians and business leaders demonstrate why as a people we have been stuck in the so called middle income trap, and, in turn, our fortunes appears to be reversing drastically. Sadly, no one seems to treat this development as a national crisis.
We are witnessing something formidably dramatic; a nation torn apart by corruption that neither the party in Government nor the official opposition would want to engage the public on, much less honestly talk about.
At the ruling party’s National Council the biggest scandal tearing the nation apart would not even make a footnote to any of the big speeches by the top officials.
President Khama is leaving office in a few days time. The question is: what will he be remembered for? Khama when coming to power, made his vision for this country very clear. His road map was crafted on the four D’s; Democracy, Development, Discipline and Delivery. In my view the nation can only judge him from what he promised the people.
There is a serious disconnect between perception and reality in so far as the outside world perceives the economic status of Botswana as a country and Batswana as a people.
In the minds of many outsiders, Botswana is this wealthy country that has long been declared upper middle income by the United Nations.
Reference is made to the P250 million saga, referred to as Botswana’s biggest financial scandal, the revelations of which have captured the imagination of the nation, and struck a dearth blow to Transparency International nonsensical characterization of Botswana as Africa’s least corrupt country!
Unashamedly, I feel saddened and, yes, elated every time I remember my meeting with Africa's Che Guevara, one Captain Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso.
The slim, tallish and dark-skinned soldier looked less than an ordinary who had just gotten off a chicken bus, fancying his chances for the long walk home in a remote rural area.
The Vice presidency is a serious job.
It should be given to people who the nation and country could trust during the time of a national crisis.
They should be people known not for their rancor, but silent loyalty.
On leaving office, many African presidents are confronted with the dilemma of what to do with what remained of a life which had, to that point, been characterized by positional power and privilege.
Nobody in their right mind should underestimate events unfolding at the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund.
Right before our eyes, Corporate Governance is being torn asunder.
A multi billion pula pension fund, the biggest in the country is being stripped bare.
Mercilessly, vultures are descending on it like a dead beast.
Politicians do lie about things. At times, I wonder why politicians believe they can lie when their untruths are so easily uncovered. I know, “lies” is a pretty strong word. But a fabrication, taking liberties with the truth, bearing false witness against thy neighbor, call it what you will…when you knowingly say something that’s not true, that is lying.
He rose to the top by defeating too many people along his way.
And as he ascends to the throne in a few weeks time, from atop the hill, Mokgweetsi Masisi needs only look down the road he has travelled to count the litany of dead bodies he has left on his wake.
It has not been an easy ride.
But even more turbulent winds await him ahead.
The months following Robert Mugabe’s ouster in Zimbabwe have shown the international community’s humbling fondness for Zimbabwe.
Almost everyone has been wishing us well, with big international corporations expressing keen interest in investing in the country.
Throughout the history of struggle for liberation there had been traitors. When Jesus of Nazareth decided to liberate mankind from all forms of oppression and exploitation, he assembled a group of twelve men to start this revolution. His vision was to build what he termed the kingdom of God to replace the kingdom of man.
In exactly five weeks the Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi will ascend to presidency of this country, replacing the outgoing President Ian Khama – this is actually old news but imminent nonetheless.
Amongst top of expectations that Batswana have on Masisi, is to bring an end to corruption that is visible to even the blind in this country.
The national congress of the Umbrella for Democratic Change has come and gone.
To say it was chaos would be to make an irresponsible understatement.
In fact the less anything is said about it, the best it is for the nation that had come to look up to UDC as an alternative.
We all know how we ended up where are.
Facing major headwinds even stronger than the merciless global recession that humbled advanced nations, Botswana’s next state president need to show his mettle and act decisively on violent crime. The incoming president must loudly give unambiguous assurances that his is truly a government that is committed to serve all; a government we can be proud of regardless of one’s social status.