Sunday, June 23, 2024

Cry the beloved country – Botswana

May I thank the local newspapers for keeping their online editions up to date and let them know that the job they are doing is really great; we appreciate it. And Media awards personnel should squeeze in “most timely updated edition” award. And to the Botswana Guardian and its sister edition please join other newspapers and go online if you are still in print.

I learn with pain what has befallen our country and I am left wondering, didn’t they see it coming? Why didn’t they see it? Who is to blame? It’s certainly a disgrace that we end up in this kind of situation. What is it that we need, to be able to have our house in order?
I now start to doubt our learned leaders; there is something wrong with them. How could they not see this coming? We, the individuals, whenever we went to BPC to pay our bills, we knew everything was okay whilst we were on a time bomb and now it has started to explode. Why do we keep falling into traps that we know off?

More paining is the fact that there are even some people who keep on saying Botswana is a success story, something which is completely untrue. What is Botswana being compared with to come out as a success story, apart from peace, which every one knows? Why should we be bombarded with the same song, which has even lost its tune? It’s like Bob saying, “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again”. To drive their point home, they even say, “WE LEAD THE PACK”, which pack is it that we lead, if I may ask? There is just too much trumpet blowing at the expense of developmental progress. It’s a well known fact that one shouldn’t sit on their laurels, but here we just say we are peaceful, we are democratic, and other countries are coming up to snatch the little we have. Honestly speaking, we are failing Africa as we had a fortunate upbringing and we should lead by example.

Now to the power crisis, who bears the blame? Myself, I hold the government accountable. They failed us with their shortsightedness. I also understand a certain expatriate employee who has been the head of BPC has now joined the Mmamabula project, and I just wonder how he can be able to give direction to the Mmamabula project, when he failed to guide BPC. This shows how up for grabs our country is. I no longer know if I should trust our guardians. What else are they overlooking that is coming right now? I believe there is more. If they were more watchful, even the Aids pandemic wouldn’t be like this.

A couple of years ago, when the DiFonkong invaded the country, our government jumped up to impose hefty taxes on those importing under the pretext that they are protecting local businesses. Business is all about competition and no one should expect to be protected. Funny enough, when the Chinese with their cheap clothes came, nobody stood up to protect bo Pep Stores le bo Cash Bazaar or they also belong to the Chinese? Here I believe the government stole from the public through those hefty taxes and the government should give back what it stole. I would have understood if the government at least imposed the minimum “age” of a car to be imported into the country as second hand. That would have, at least, made people buy cars which are better and less hazardous to the environment. But the government decided to worsen matters by protecting its friends and relatives and cannot even accept it erred!

Our erring government preaches self reliance and requests us not to expect handouts and, at the same time, kills the spirit by giving the outgoing president a P20 million handout, now what about us getting P50 handouts, re ka di gana jang? Also of interest is how much power such a house consumes per day; I believe enough to feed Mmashoro for six months. Obo o ipotsa gore bo cost effective bo fa kae? Soon we shall be paying three presidents full salaries and for their trips overseas while the poor are expected to foot the bill. The rich shall prosper and the poor shall wish they were dead. Our beloved country! Why didn’t our government carry out a Patlo Maikutlo to determine the value of the house the nation would like to give the president?

A mme re tla kgona ke puso e diphoso phoso? We need an immediate answer to the current situation, re setse rele ba kupi though we are always told that our country is rich. Is it really true that the country is rich or people are just playing mind games to try and coerce votes? We can’t wait for the Mmamabula project because even the day it starts operation, it shall be delayed by at least a year or two more. I’ve spent the past 30 years in Gaborone and I know it all. Look at BUSTECH/ BIUSTECH its taking its time and even its first intake shall once again be delayed. We even need regional power production plants, at least four, and MmaMabula plant should just be for export.
Who doesn’t know that one shouldn’t keep their eggs in one basket and our government decided to keep 75% of our “eggs” in a South African basket called ESKOM. Now things are falling apart and all the eggs are gone, gobe gotwe ga go ope yoo molato, heads should start rolling. We also need to do something about our dependence on South Africa. Actually this is not the first plug that S.A. shall pull on us; it has pulled so many plugs before. It’s only that they were not heavily felt. Gone are the good old days of the strong PULA, days when the South Africans feared us. Now they can do as they please. They even refuse with their criminals who commit crime here and run back home. Who doesn’t know that when they consulted neighbouring countries about the World Cup 2010 they didn’t consult Botswana? Re ba rata thata koo teng, I call on the incoming president to make the first five years of his presidency the “Wean Botswana of South Africa period.” Enough is enough with that country though we are solely to blame.

Also disturbing is the continuous refusal by the government to give us our democratic right of choosing our own president. Currently, we have the vice president who is about to ascend the presidential throne and the general public doesn’t know what he has to offer. This certainly does harm to our democracy and will lead us nowhere. Who ever coined “the current system serves us well and there is no need to change it?” May the government be informed that gone are the days of something that serves you well; these days, we need things which serve us efficiently and effectively. Actually, the world is watching us to see if our democracy can really be maintained and people are busy tarnishing it. We also hear that our Intelligence Department is going to be headed by someone’s longtime right-hand man and friend, who also holds a certificate in mechanical engineering. I just hope this doesn’t turn out to be true.

For the past four years that I have spent in China, I got to realise that there isn’t anything much that they do to move their economy. They merely forecast, implement and seek to excel at that particular goal. If they say so and so provinces should have new hospitals in two years time, they pursue that and even strive to finish before two years. This, in turn, leaves them with no overlapping projects. And also makes them aggressive. They keep their eyes on global developments and strive to be at par if they can’t excel. Keeping their eyes on global trends keeps them informed at all times as if they have browsed our VISION 2016. Wishing Batswana a prosperous Chinese New Year (of the rat).

Disappointed Motswana


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