Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Is upbringing the source of Khama’s troubles?

It would appear someone lied to President Ian Khama that he is the replacement of Jesus Christ. Even during his times, Jesus didn’t have his cake and it eat too, the way our president ‘munches’ his. Unlike Khama, Jesus embraced dissent and never persecuted those who didn’t buy into his gospel. Khama behaves like a spoilt little brat who cries for all the toys in the shop and ends up getting them all. I blame it all on the people who raised and made Khama to believe that his way is the only way. They have raised him to become a petty monster. He has become so predictably vindictive. He has become so bloody-minded he makes things difficult for everyone who does not become his puppet. He has become a danger to our once democratic country where freedoms used to be guaranteed.

Ever since he took over, Batswana have been reduced to mere goats in his kraal. In all honesty, no country claiming to be a beacon of democracy deserves a self-centered leader who rules through illogical emotions and barbaric decrees like Khama. A man who holds grudges is dangerous, even to himself. A leader who personalizes national issues the way Khama does is a threat not only to national unity but also to our country’s international relations. Khama behaves like a woman, or at least most women, in that, he has a huge appetite for what passes as gossip. He feeds on too much gossip and bases his decisions on this gossip.

You see, when Zimbabwe’s former Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo said our country suffers a severe leadership deficiency, I never really understood what he was on about until Khama dished out plenty examples on what Moyo meant. Some of you may still remember a Zimbabwean national by the name Caesar Zvayi. He was a former political editor of the state-run Herald newspaper who quit his job in Zimbabwe to take up a job as a lecturer at the University of Botswana sometime in 2009, if my memory serves me well. The fellow was (I trust he still is) an unapologetic Mugabe supporter and he never made it a secret. He once said, “I make no apologies for supporting Zanu PF because I subscribe to its Pan African values. Being at University of Botswana does not mean I stop being a Zimbabwean and supporting Zanu PF has no bearing on my qualifications as a journalist or competence as a media practitioner”. Some of you will remember that Zvayi declared his support for Mugabe at a time when Khama had declared his disdain for Mugabe and only embraced Morgan Tsvangirai. This was at the time when Botswana was the leading regional critic after Mugabe ‘won’ a controversial sixth term in office in an election widely condemned as a farce. Khama hated Mugabe and everything that had to do with him so much that he, at the time, threatened to boycott a SADC heads of state summit in South Africa if Robert Mugabe attended. So, for declaring his support for Mugabe who was Khama’s enemy at the time, Caesar Zvayi was declared a prohibited immigrant and thrown out of Botswana.

This is exactly what I mean when I say Khama rules through emotions. He applies his feelings without any thoughts. In Khama’s view, by supporting Mugabe, Zvayi didn’t deserve Botswana’s hospitality because the country had decided it does not support Mugabe. People who think like Khama are very dangerous because he wants everyone to support and follow his life’s preferences and choices whenever it suits him and once you decide to choose something that he doesn’t like, you instantly become his enemy. And he is not even ashamed to use the powers bestowed on the public office he holds, to get even with those he doesn’t like. He is abusing the powers he has been given by our constitution and now declares innocent foreigners as unwanted elements in our country. The sad part is he is not legally obliged to divulge his reasons for declaring these people as prohibited immigrants. The law is so relaxed and favorable towards the president so much that the poor foreigners can be kicked out of the country for even the smallest misdemeanor such as intruding in the love-life of a president. Ever since he took over, Khama has declared many foreigners prohibited immigrants without allowing them the chance to have their day in the courts of law and clear their names. We still remember the story of a South African lady who was arrested and later kicked out of the country for having allegedly opined that Khama looks like a Bushman.

Perhaps this arrest was a sign of the extent at which Khama hates Basarwa and anything that has to do with them. Why would someone be arrested for likening the president to fellow human beings when the president has no problem being likened to an animal? They call him Tshetlha(Lion) and he smiles yet he allows for people to be arrested when they say he looks like a Mosarwa. Perhaps this explains why the Basarwa lawyer, Gordon Bennett has been denied the opportunity to enter into the country and represent this part of our people who the president would have you arrested if you likened him to them. It came as no shock to me when I learnt that Bennett’s visa application has been rejected. The writing has been on the wall. Bennett has, on numerous occasions, successfully represented Basarwa and this must have made him a pain on the leadership’s backside.

The moment he was placed in the list of foreigners, who need to apply for visa before entering into the country, it was very clear he was indirectly declared a prohibited immigrant. Look, Khama can fool many Batswana but I won’t be fooled. It’s an open secret that the decision to list Bennett and subsequently reject his visa application came from the Office of President. Don’t be fooled, Minister Batshu and his officials have got nothing to do with all this immature behavior. It is so sad how Khama’s ministers have been turned into zombies who carry out instructions even when they don’t believe such instructions are good for the country. Khama has turned learned men and women, some of them men of the cloth, into hopeless people who parrot every of his word and dance to every of his tune. Just because he hates Basarwa (he hasn’t shown any love), it was a given Khama would hate those who speak on their behalf like Bennett. Remember I told you of how he kicked out Zvayi because he supported Mugabe and at the time Khama didn’t like Mugabe. What is even more annoying is the stupid reasons always advanced by the government spokesperson on such issues as the one involving Bennett. I find it ridiculous that Jeff Ramsay finds it intelligent enough to tell us that Bennett’s application couldn’t be approved because it takes ten days to approve visa application. Records prove that Bennett enquired about his status with Botswana High Commission in London, two weeks before his planned trip back to Botswana.

Roy Blackbeard, probably with advice from Office of the President, decided he wasn’t going to ‘spoil’ Bennett with any response until Bennet had to personally visit the embassy office where no plausible reasons were given for the dilly-dallying in dealing with his application. People in other countries must be wondering how stupid our officials must be for them to claim the visa was not approved because it takes ten days to do so, yet they, on the other hand, managed to reject it, an indication they had looked at it or have thrown it in the dustbin. Bennett had this to say in bafflement and I wonder what more silly explanation Jeff Ramsay would give , “I don’t understand, however, why they say I applied at short notice, because however short the notice, they have in fact been able to consider and reject my application”. Look, the Botswana government may not give a damn about Bennett and may not find any need to give him special treatment but if this government cared about Basarwa it would have acknowledged that Bennett deserved special and urgent treatment because of what he was coming here for. If they thought they were punishing Bennett then our officials are stupid because the only people who stood to suffer here are the Basarwa. And we claim we love them yet we can’t move Bureaucracy Mountains and allow them to have a legal representative of their choice? Bennett was coming here solely for the Basarwa case. It wasn’t a holiday!

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