Friday, July 3, 2020

Batswana are an easy nation to fool

I will never understand my people. Batswana get easily excited. In fact, they get easily fooled and manipulated. Add to that, they forget very easily and quickly. I have never seen a nation that allows its political leadership to always get away with murder the way our nation does. Our leaders play with our minds so much it has become so normal and acceptable. I have never seen a nation that worships the political leadership the way Batswana do. To Batswana, it would seem, worshipping the leadership is some sign of respect. To Batswana, it would seem political leaders are infallible and should remain untouchable. Batswana prefer to beg for service from their political leaders as opposed to demanding it, as has to be the case. We have resigned our fate into the hands of our leaders. We are at their mercy. Batswana tend to believe their political leaders are doing the nation a favor by assuming the positions they have been elected into. Batswana have allowed politicians to believe they have been sent by God to lead us. They lead us as they wish and as it suits them and not as we would love for them to lead us. Ours leaders have become so unreasonably revered so much it has become blasphemous to question their motives, even where they mess with our lives.

I have observed how President Ian Khama often plays with the minds of Batswana and how he easily makes them to believe he has some magical powers to wipe away their sorrows. Khama is catching in on Batswana’s naivety and ignorance. He has realized how easily this nation gets fooled and he is maximizing on their weakness. Khama knows how to endear himself to this weak nation. He also knows that it is very easy to do so especially when you lead such a submissive, docile and reserved nation such as ours. He deliberately creates crises and later quells these crises so as to fool Batswana into believing he has answers to crises. Our leaders mess up and have us all worked up knowing too well we will giggle in excitement and approval when they eventually get things back to normalcy. I still don’t understand all the excitement that came with Khama’s announcement that power load shedding would be coming to an end.

Instead of being worried about why it had to happen in the first place, Batswana are excited that it has ended and are not even bothered to ask about the cost implications that came with the rectification of this load shedding nonsense. Look, this load shedding shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It happened simply because our leaders allowed for it to happen. It also ended not only because Khama had said it would but more importantly because the taxpayers’ money had to be wasted in the process of ending it. Billions of Pula went to waste without any justification and as such, we shouldn’t celebrate that we got electricity after spending more that we should have. Look, the case of our electricity is just like when you give someone P50 000 to buy you a car and instead of getting your car, you get told that the person who was supposed to deliver the car has disappeared with your money and therefore you need to fork out another P50 000 and you then celebrate that you finally got the car, having paid double the money you were initially supposed to have paid. Khama gets briefed on these national projects and his announcement was based on what he was told and not what he had instructed.

The national stadium has been closed for renovations for five years now and it would be very silly to celebrate when Khama tells us the stadium would be ready for use next week. It would be foolish to expect us to ignore the fact that it took more than the set time for completion. Instead of celebrating the completion of repairs at the stadium, we should complain about the time it took to renovate the stadium and the cost runs that came with that delay. It has become a norm that all national projects gallop more that their initial budgets before they can be handed over. It has become a norm that all national projects take longer than the envisaged time lines before they can be handed over for public use. It beats me as to why we are therefore expected to celebrate and praise our leaders whenever they do exactly what we pay them to do, or in most cases, when they don’t deliver on time. Batswana tend to forget that government money belongs to them. Batswana do not care about how their money is used because to them, it is government money and it has to be controlled by those who are in government leadership and it shouldn’t bother them even when this money is misused.

I have never heard any Motswana complain about all these court cases that government settles out of court, resulting in the taxpayers’ money being used to cover up for the blunders of our leadership. I have never seen Batswana demand services from government. Instead, Batswana would rather wait for the leadership to provide these services in a way that appears like a favor and not a right. As for me, I will not celebrate when money and time is wasted before I can get services that I’m entitled to get without any hassles because I contribute to the government purse through paying tax. So, instead of being overly excited that finally we have electricity, I remain worried that we had to spend more than we should have to get this electricity. I refuse to be fooled into believing the electricity came because of some Khama magic for I’m fully aware it came because government had to spend more money than it had been initially budgeted for.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.