Nothing better illustrates the sham that is the operations of the Botswana government, especially the Office of the President, than revelations this week that President Festus Mogae had endorsed President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya even before the results of the elections held in that country on December 27, 2007 were known.
The reason why Mogae’s latest gaffe has attracted attention is not least because Kenya is currently undergoing a deplorable human catastrophe, a result of the shoddy manner in which the elections, whose results somebody has already endorsed on behalf of Botswana were contested.
It is all possible that President Festus Mogae never personally saw, let alone drafted the endorsement and congratulatory message to Kibaki.
But that is neither here nor there.
The point is that this despicable act by government officials including those who advise Mogae goes far to show how atrocious acts of incompetence are currently being performed under the guise of officialdom.
Instead of being honest and apologizing on what happened this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has since become the Presidency’s twin evil of deceit, tried to put spin on the matter.
Incidentally, this at the time when President Mogae is in Addis Ababa with other African leaders trying to broker peace between the Kenyan leaders.
Other than show how disorganized our leaders are, the gaffe also goes far to demonstrate to us the outsiders that all these congratulatory messages we always hear being regurgitated over Radio as if they are from one President to another are actually impersonal monograms extracted from templates and not sincere heartfelt brotherly messages one would expect from grown up people who run countries.
It is no consolation that instead of admitting his mistakes, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Charles Ntwaagae, attempts to get refuge around a childish course of semantics, initiating what by all intents and purposes amounts to a dreadful attempt to fool a whole nation.
The truth, Mr. Ntwaagae, is that your storyline will not hold. A country cannot be run on spin.
It is actions like these that are undermining efforts currently underway to bring peace in Kenya.
More than many inside government, Ntwaagae should have known that no one in their right mind would buy his merry-go-round story.
President Mogae has to come out into the open and say what exactly happened.
The wider world is already appalled by the turn of events in Kenya.
They are praying and working hard for restoration of sanity in that great African nation. But for a country that claims to be a doyenne of democracy like Botswana to sidestep such peace initiatives by endorsing one of the belligerents is nothing short of degeneracy on our part.
Surely, the world expects better from us as a democratic country.