Sunday, September 27, 2020

I wish there was never a year called 2009

Given the events of 2009, one can only wish the year should never have existed.

It was during 2009 that we experienced an upsurge in the horrific butchering of crime suspects. The barbaric murder of John Kalafatis by security forces associated with DISS moved even the hard hearted. Many thought Kalafatis was sacrificed to stop the extra judicial killings ÔÇô how mistaken they were because the forces of evil continued as if nothing had happened.

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) government seems to have embraced the “shoot to kill” policy that is common in war torn countries. In 2009 Batswana lived in fear. Unofficial night- to- dawn curfews were implemented with brutal display of force. Members of the security forces became law unto themselves.

The police service reverted to a police force of yester years. It was a bad year for Botswana. The image of this country is now in tartars except in the eyes of multi-nationals and their partners who are milking the country.

Looking at 2010 one can only pray and wish the BDP government changes its course before some sections of Batswana fight back in self defense. At the expense provoking verbal persecution from Khama’s henchmen, it would appear that the only time the BDP shot to kill policy will stop is when a sister, brother, son or daughter of a prominent Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) figure or a white FIFA World Cup tourist from America or Britain is accidentally shot to death by the forces close to the DISS. Kana bangwe ba bone ga bana tsebe.

On the education front, our tertiary education was under threat from misguided and failed BDP policies.
In short, the Khama administration shifted priority from education to Ipelegeng, Spying, Constituency League, handouts, Magapu, and many other ill-conceived and unsustainable so-called Khama’s pet projects. In 2010 things will certainly get worse before they improve. Already the BDP government has issued a statement shifting the burden of educating Batswana children to parents. With 75 percent of secondary school students exempted from paying school fees, it is absolutely preposterous to expect the same students to pay tuition fees in tertiary institutions.

On the political front, 2009 Botswana went through the most fraudulent general election with thousands of registered voters disenfranchised by a dependent electoral commission. As if that was not enough the electoral commission was helpless in curbing massive voter trafficking. Even with such glaring failures discredited international observers gave Botswana general election a clean slate. With the Motswaledi case most Batswana now understand that they have a constitution that protects the president only.

In 2010 Batswana will be looking at their elected representatives in Parliament to rescue the country from further going to the dogs. These men and women have a historical calling to bring Botswana back from the brink of collapse of the rule of law and bankruptcy. They have a duty to strengthen our democratic institutions.

A system where a lawmaker is required to request permission to draft a law is seriously flawed. We need the freedom of information act, a law that outlaws insider trading, declaration of assets bill, and the abolition of the wasteful system of specially elected councilors and members of parliament.

Obviously parliamentarians must expect fierce resistance from Khama and his bootlickers in cabinet. These people have a lot to hide from the public. Their dealings with Chinese companies, private citizen owned companies like RFT Botswana, and other tourism businesses across the country are suspect. They have also displayed extremely low ethical standards.

The CKGR saga remains one of the outstanding matters that require speedy resolution in 2010. It has unnecessarily dragged on for far too long. The BDP government has run out of lies concerning this issue. Initially they claimed that they were relocating the Gana and Gwi from the CKGR because the area was meant for wildlife only. They subsequently, and without shame, allocated concessions to companies to develop tourism ventures right inside the CKGR. At the height of the conflict they denied that there were plans to exploit minerals in the CKGR. In the past populations have been relocated to give way to mining.
Therefore they did not have to cook stories around this matter except to raise suspicion of a hidden agenda.

*Dr. Gobotswang is BCP Deputy Leader

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.