I will explain the motivation behind that headline later. First things first. Reports from within the ruling BDP indicate that President Ian Khama was instrumental in the sudden U-turn made by MP Biggie Butale over a very noble motion he had intended to table in parliament. Butale had wanted the Botswana Government to honour the late Motswaledi by naming one national institution after him.
He had given very valid reasons why Motswaledi was deserving of such an honour. Only a person who has just landed from mars can claim ignorance on the contributions Motswaledi has made to this beautiful nation. He was very instrumental in the development of the Arts in Botswana. Not only that, Motswaledi was a political maestro whose political imprints will forever be cast in the political history of this country. Motswaledi was a staunch Christian who preached peace even where he was tempted towards evil vengeance. Even his enemies secretly loved him. His opponents admired him.
Motswaledi was a true son of the soil who always put his country first in every endeavour he pursued. Such a man is deserving of honour, appreciation and recognition. Khama doesn’t seem to hold the same view. What is even more sickening is to learn that Khama does not seem to dispute or undermine the enormous contribution and the selflessness at which Motswaledi served this nation.
His only worry is that bestowing an honour on the late Motswaledi would give credence to the political movements that he was affiliated to. He tends to hold the view that an enemy in life should remain such even in death. He sees no reason to forgive Motswaledi for all the dissenting views he held against him. He doesn’t want to forget the political differences he had with Motswaledi while he was still walking the earth. Now let’s go back to my headline. I know our forever apologetic and fearful society frown at some of my, apparently, not so politically correct statements. My people have been hoodwinked into believing it is wrong to call a spade a spade. They believe it is unacceptable to be blunt when we express our views on the country’s political leadership. It is even worse when the leader in scrutiny is Ian Khama.
Batswana tend to get things twisted when it comes to drawing the line between fear and respect. In their quest to show respect to Khama, Batswana end up doing things that border on fear. They think telling Khama the truth is tantamount to being disrespectful. They think agreeing to every of Khama’s commands signals the respect they hold for him. I’m telling you, should one day Khama address a Kgotla meeting and deny that he keeps afro hairstyle; my people will ululate in agreement.
Anyone who dares tell Khama that “No Sir, that’s a lie because you keep a mountain of hair” will be accused of being disrespectful to ‘Rraetsho’. My headline is bound to offend many people. The women folk may be incensed. Allow me to explain my likening of Khama to women. I likened Khama’s behaviour to that of women not because I don’t respect them but simply based on a long standing stereotype in the society that paints women as susceptible to pettiness and jealousy. Perceived or real, the notion that women generally want to pull each other down has always been held by our society.
Yep, not all women are like that but I’m waiting for anyone who might want to challenge me when I say society has always painted women as petty. It is common to hear someone say, “This guy is so petty you’d think he is a woman”. It is therefore Khama’s seemingly pettiness that drove me to associate his behaviour with that of women. Why do I say Khama is petty? Well, in my view, Khama’s reasoning on why Motswaledi cannot be given national honour borders on pure pettiness. I am a man and I know how easy it is for us as men to have our differences, fight over them and within a short period of time we forgive and embrace each other all over again as if no beef has ever happened between us.
A real man will never hate another man even in death. A real man feels bad when another man dies before their differences are resolved. A real man will seize the opportunity to show appreciation for another man who dies before their differences were resolved. If Khama was a real man, he would have taken this opportunity to support Butale’s motion and even make sure he is seen to be supporting the motion, in a way he would be saying, “look, I had my differences and altercations with Motswaledi but that was all what life is all about and it should not extend even outside Motswaledi’s ceased life”. Khama is not known to forgive easily.
Those who have run-ins with him will tell you how he will make sure to fight and destroy his perceived enemies. It is sad that Khama is so heartless to fight his perceived enemies even after they die and leave him to conquer. In our day to day normal conversations, such a man “ke mosadi hela”.
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