I have a strong belief that what I am about to say is the view of the silent majority that is driven into meekness by the loud and vicious minority. They have chosen silence out of fear but I shall voice their views out of courage and conviction and desire to stand and die by the truth and justness. The silent majority I say this to you, “testify for the good for to do otherwise is to hate yourself.”
In 2008 when Rre Seretse Khama Ian Khama took over the controls from Rre Festus Mogae he chose his path and asked for divine wisdom to guide him in his path. What an appropriate thing to do as his was to be rocky and bumpy path that was not for the meek.
To the best of my knowledge he is the only President of this country that has been met with the highest degree of hate by those who chose to hate him and the highest degree of disrespect by those who chose to disrespect him and deafening silence from those who believe in his course but too meek and frightful to testify.
When he speaks, he is arrogant. When he is quiet he is cold, inconsiderate and conniving. When he was accused of plotting and engineering the death of Kalafatis he initially chose to be quiet and he was accused of hiding something akin to the allegations. When he spoke in defence of his constitutional rights he was accused of arrogance and abuse of office. In the current civil service strike he kept quiet and allowed his Ministers and relevant Government Officials to deal with the issues. Again he was guilty of not caring and being inconsiderate of the plight of the civil servants who are but a fraction of the greater nation and the demands of which would plunge the greater nation and the country into poverty and suffering.
He finally spoke. Listening to him I heard a man that was compassionate, fair and just. I heard a man who was encouraging everyone to skip one meal a week and give what they would have spent to a street person. Where is justice if the hungry go more hungry and the well and better off selfishly partake of the national wealth? Proverbs 29:4 reads “By justice a king brings stability to a land but a man that demands contributions demolishes it.” The irony of this is that it is who builds that is accused of destruction.
Mr President just know that a man who is quick tempered, acts foolishly and a man who schemes is hated and he who speaks too soon has less hope than a fool. I have listened to those who love to find fault in others and have waited patiently to hear their well-planned and balanced solution to the plight of our country. I have not heard any such solution save for continued personal attacks and vendetta and unpalatable language symbolic of temperamental, uninformed and misguided individuals.
While the President has taken an economically viable position though in the long run his compassion and justice could prove expensive, his detractors have unfortunately been emotive and self-seeking.
It is true perhaps that President Khama is not an easy man but surely his integrity, forthrightness, sense of justice and strong resolve are invaluable attributes of a leader that is willing to make right decisions however unpopular they maybe.
Remember that what’s right isn’t always popular, and what’s popular isn’t always right. It is very common to mistake such a leader for one not keen to taking advice but one must take comfort in that he will not defer to the extent of abdication. Let us rejoice in having leaders who have integrity and will not compromise same for self-seeking opportunities.
In the current situation one can hardly say the Government’s decision to decline the Unions’ demands is without economic soundness or is void of social consideration. The President has admitted that the civil servants have a genuine concern but for the state of the economy. He has indeed made a painful decision against some and ironically a gainful one for same for the future.
To my fellow citizens and those at the centre of this debacle, let us exercise restraint and patience. Let us not lose focus. Let us concentrate on our genuine and real concern. While our country may probably have the lowest wages and salaries in comparison to like countries, this is historical and cannot be reversed by a single act and in this case an industrial action in the form of a strike. Setswana sare “ntwa kgolo ke ya molomo.” Let us engage our Government with one aim to improve our lives but not at the expense of any other citizen or the peace and stability of our nation.
To the leaders of the opposition parties; you regard yourselves as governments in waiting, which is indeed true but you would want to take over a stable country and must be active participants in creating such a country. The worst mistake you can make is to put your interests to ascend to power over and above the stability of the country. Do that which you would expect to be done to and for you when you are in positions of authority. To do otherwise is short-sighted and detrimental and cannot guarantee the prosperity and peace of this country. Remember what goes around comes around.
To members of the ruling party especially the Members of Parliament and councillors; you stand and fall as a unit. Alone as individuals you cannot form a government. You have to have a sense of belonging. Tactics of dislodgement are divisive and cracks in your ranks are an effective catalyst to the fall of your party and subsequent personal downfall. Authority and power attracts criticism and jealousy. Take care and retrospect.
To my President; you have a big heart and with your leadership we will pull through with least damage and greater hope for the future. I am certain that without compromising your integrity and that of the country you will, when the dust has settled reflect on the matter and continue to do that which is in the best interest of this country. If ever you were to consider any form of salary increase I would humbly ask you to live up to your principles and show your compassion for the less privileged and stagger any such increase giving the least paid the highest percentage and the most paid the lowest percentage. This will also mitigate an otherwise high wage bill. As you have said on TV the civil servants do have a genuine case but for the global economic downturn and the current strain on the economy of the country.
For those who show you defiance, show them the power of love. As you asked for God to give you wisdom to lead the country at your inauguration, may the good Lord continue to guide you in your path and move any mountains that may stand between you and your assignment to lead this country to glory.
For the Media, a balanced reporting will create a balanced and informed nation.
*N.B- The writer is a Member of Parliament and has requested to use a pseudonym