Saturday, October 24, 2020

“May we be courteous in our debates”

Dear Editor

For some time now, I have observed the discourteous nature of articles written by a certain Arafat K. Khan of the BNF Youth league. There was one article titled “It could be Botswana’s saddest year when Ian Khama ascends to the top post in 2008”.

The article follows several other articles by the same BNF’s youth activist in newspapers such as Mmegi and the Botswana Guardian. Having read several articles by Arafat K. Khan, he seems to be obsessed with the use of abusive language; his articles are insulting, full of hate, political intolerance and lack respect for our country’s presidency.

May I remind him that there is a difference between being vigilant and being obsessed? Harsh words do not educate or add any value to people’s lives, harsh words, of course, break no bones but they do break hearts. May I remind him that young men of his age must try to enjoy every moment of their lives rather than consuming themselves in unfounded, baseless fears and anger.

Khan is consumed by baseless and unfounded fears about the Vice President, Ian Khama. The tone in his articles, especially about Ian Khama, is full of hate, jealousy and extreme political intolerance. His articles seem to be coming from a politically embittered young man, so much that he has, as it looks, lost touch with reality. He has lost touch with common sense of respect for other people. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that Arafat K. Khan needs help. His fears are not every one’s fears. I do not have fears about Ian Khama’s presidency like he does, and a lot of other people in Botswana do not.

Differing with other people politically in a democratic society like ours does not give him the right to insult and abuse them. He does not have the right to undermine other people’s intelligence or even to use offensive language against them.
In one of his recent articles, Khan questioned one of the BDP leaders’ sexual orientation.

Khan has an uncle, who is active in politics and also the Deputy Secretary General of the BNF, has he ever questioned his “sexual orientation?” Has he ever questioned any of his party elders’ sexual orientation? (Ga se botho, ebile gase tlotlo). Being in an opposing political party does not mean that one has to be rude to politicians in the ruling party only because they do not share the same political views and/or theories. To say Ian Khama was voted into parliament by people who ceased thinking 40 years ago is nothing but a serious insult to Bangwato!

Bangwato of Serowe have a right to vote for a politician of their choice, just like the voters of Gaborone West North. Khan needs to be reminded that he does not have the right to insult Ian Khama’s character or to character assassinate anyone.

May I remind Khan that it is a health hazard and a health risk to fill his heart with anger and hatred towards other people? He needs a wake up call! Irrational anger comes from irrational insecurity complex. Nothing on earth gives him the right to be angry towards other people who support the BDP and its leadership. I wonder if the BNF gives such youth and some of its members wrong opinions of themselves.

Honestly, Khan is paining and miserable inside. His abusive and politically insulting articles are just a cover up. He has a false sense of political vigilance and a distorted illusion. He needs help. He needs intense professional counseling. I wish him peace.
May I further remind Arafat K. Khan that cultures vary from country to country, from place to place, from one group of people to another. Our norms, our beliefs, moral values, habits, and collective attitudes, all play their part in our present and future political stability, setting and landscape, therefore, he must write political articles, expressing his views, disagreeing, condemning, and disputing, but not forgetting our culture of BOTHO AND TLOTLO.

Our soldiers are well trained, well disciplined and BDF is arguably the most professional army in Africa.

Can I also remind him that it is not Ian Khama’s fault for the BNF to have missed opportunities in the past and for their present leadership crisis and lack of leadership integrity?

Seretse Khama’s leadership style has laid a solid foundation for Botswana as a democratic society.
It is an insult to our political history as Batswana for Arafat Khan to quote the words of Cuba’s self-decreed lifetime president. It is crystal clear Fidel Castro is Arafat K. Khan’s hero. What a farce!

Lastly, I call on the young man to refrain from writing insulting articles that shame, scandalize and character assassinate individuals within the BDP. He can continue to support the BNF and continue to write articles expressing his political views and condemn the BDP, it is his constitutional right, but politics requires endurance, patience and stamina. It requires integrity. Integrity requires that one be true to principles regardless of consequences.

Macdonald Peloetletse
Gaborone

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