Thursday, March 30, 2023

Mathokgwane should not have acted “deaf” and “dumb”

The dust is finally settling on the resignation of Member of Parliament for Goodhope/Mabule James Mathokgwane and I hope the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has learnt a few lessons from the fiasco. In fact, the lessons that Mathokgwane dished out should be learnt by all political parties. It has since been confirmed that Mathokgwane left parliament and is now settling in Selebi-Phikwe where he landed a plum job with the Selebi-Phikwe Regional Development Agency (SPEDU) .

And thanks to him, now every Motswana knows there is an ‘animal’ in Selebi-Phikwe called SPEDU. I don’t know if he is aware of it but it’s hurtful to think of all the horrendous allegations and speculations that bombarded us when Mathokgwane decided to jump ship without notice. People said a lot of things about him. And it is difficult to blame them for coming up with their theories when the man at the centre of the storm opted to zip up and offer no plausible explanation. Even now, there is so much speculation that his new post at SPEDU is just a political appointment.

You cannot blame people for trying to piece together answers when the person who has all the answers elects to suddenly act deaf and dumb. You see, my problem with Mathokgwane’ s resignation is not that he resigned. It is the manner in which he handled his resignation that worries me. He opened room for speculation. He invited unwarranted attacks from the many people he unreasonably disappointed. And when I say he unreasonably disappointed them I do not mean he shouldn’t have resigned. All I’m saying is he shouldn’t have dumped them like a boring one-night stander whom you’re sure you’ll never wish to meet ever again in life. Mathokgwane should have informed his employers (the electorates) that “

Bagaetsho, I still love you and still value the vote of confidence you had in me, however, I find myself having to choose a vocation that rewards better and that will benefit my family”. Batswana are naturally a very understanding nation. I can assure you they are not angry he left but are so incensed at how he left. We all at some point resign from our jobs and seek greener pastures. It happens all the time. Even Ian Khama resigned from the job he was so passionate about, the army, and joined the one that came with lots of money and power. So really I do not understand why Mathokgwane’s resignation had to be shrouded in so much secrecy. Nna kana ebile I thought he was joining DIS because they are the ones who love secrecy.

They are so secretive they cannot even tell you how much they used to buy a pen. The lessons that politicians must learn from Mathokgwane’s resignation is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with going back to the electorates to explain your situation and your need to pursue other vocations. Leaving without a word can be dangerous to both your reputation and integrity. Leaving without saying good bye can leave the people who elected you into office disgruntled and sad. It can make people to gossip about you and say outrageous things about you. They can go around telling people you are running away from office because you had sex with underage girls. They can go around spreading falsehoods that you have been bought.

Politicians never cease to amaze me. During their campaigns they always preach how they are in politics for the love of serving their people and not necessarily for the rewards but their actions often betray their words. The good thing though about Botswana is that here we never take what the politicians say to hearts. We know they are in the habit of saying this today and doing that tomorrow. Our president once told us power load-shedding would soon belong in the history books but what has since happened is that it is only just beginning. What did we do?

We never asked him why he lied to us. I therefore do not understand why Mathokgwane found it hard to back and tell his electorates that “look, I lied when I said I will be your loyal servant until the end of time”. Batswana would have ululated and carried on with their lives without even making speculations on the life of Mathokgwane. So dear politicians, we know you are bad with keeping your promises and just be free to break them for as long as you inform us to prepare our shock absorbers. So long Mathokgwane. Mind that sulphur in Phikwe.

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