As ‘John Steinbeck’ would have it that ‘some animals are born equal and others are born more equal than others.”
In recent times nations and governments have found it proper and fitting to bestow honour upon heroic citizens. This occurrence comes about as a token of appreciation to many deserving Batswana who have relentlessly devoted the greatest part of their lives to building a nation.
There is enough evidence to show that some national heroes have come and gone without honour. If we cared to traverse the length and breath of our country some great names would surely surface, if we cared to know, research would guide and assist in some investigations. By so doing, researchers would surely bring to the fore names of great people who have contributed immensely to the development of our country before and after independence. The main problem which is currently facing our country is that the ‘potter’s wheel’ is in the hands of amateurs who for reasons best known to themselves flood the terrain with cockroaches. Ideally, the situation can change if a deliberate action is taken in order that the desired destiny is reached.
It is time government reviews its policies and have the right people at the helm who could steer the nation that we dearly love to greater heights. By so doing names of deserving citizens will not be easily erased from a list of people to be honoured. A few months ago, a few jubilant cockroaches were paraded with golden necklaces around their necks, they majestically marched on the red carpet posing as real heroes of ‘Bechuanaland’. ‘Let us face it’ and do things as they should. Batswana should honour great men in the likes of Kgosi Sechele 1 of Bakwena who relentlessly fought the Ndebele and the Boers. If it were not for his bravery and valour, Botswana would not be what it is today. It is for these reasons that honour should be bestowed upon him as the greatest of all our chiefs.
Time has come to re-design and develop a new and proper system of identifying Batswana who deserve to receive the prestigious Presidential awards. It would be ideal to task an independent committee of experienced and trusted citizens to ensure that the exercise is executed. The adopted system should not be clouded with secrecy, transparency should be one of the guiding tools in the exercise. The system currently in operation is subject to abuse as many Batswana are not properly informed about its existence and function. Transparency and trust are vital ingredients in a democracy. Cockroaches should remain in dark and old houses where they belong. At fifty, do Batswana know the way the country is going. Do Batswana know the great challenges of our time?
As we celebrate 50 years of independence, the political leadership should not forget that young men and women are without jobs and are roaming streets. A good number of them have graduated from various educational institutions in the country. The impression given when they selected courses and enrolled in various academic disciplines was that they stood a bright future. The fundamentals of education is key to progress and development without which the future would remain bleak. What is the plight of the jobless?
A few days ago, a group of young Batswana made a peaceful demonstration at parliament buildings to remind legislators that unemployment has become a malignant growth. The situation was met with severe force. The innocent group whose intention was not to harm anybody were subjected to abuse and torture by the security forces. To deny young and humble persons permission to launch a peaceful demonstration is a clear indication that those in power override the basic principles of human rights. We could rightly equate the recent scenes to what we see happening in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, USA and Britain today. ‘Palestinians throw stones’ and Israeli forces use ‘heavy machine guns’ to repel a just course. What else is on the table?
At independence in 1966, the late Seretse Khama was forty five years old and his deputy Quett Masire was only forty one years of age. Seretse Khama’s cabinet and government managed to get Botswana to greater heights despite meagre resources at their disposable. It is quite an embarrassment that at fifty (50) when Botswana has natural resources in abundance that we see a very small number of Batswana become very rich and the % of unemployment rise. As we stand today, Botswana is rated a middle income group economically, a clear indication that Botswana has moved up the ladder to become self sustainable.
Botswana is not as poor as many people are made to believe. It is all simple and straight forward, mismanagement of the country’s finances is the key factor. This is attributed to poor planning mechanism, poor monitoring system and poor delivery of services. The Morupule project, which cost the taxpayer billions of pula was just like a ‘scratch’ on the human body. Meantime, managers of the project including political leadership in government were in deep sleep when disastrous activities crept in.
Alternative sources of water should have been sought at least twenty five years ago because it was clear then from the index that the population was rapidly growing, and the industry was seriously taking a good dimension.
It is quite common particularly with psychopath to easily forget people who matter a lot in the society and remember only the rabble rousers. Remember ‘it is a sin to kill a mocking bird’, Harper Lee.