The mighty America has been denied a great President in JF Kennedy through assassination, the Congolese Patrice Lumumba through torture, the South Africans, a great leader in Robert Sobukwe through Apartheid and Steve Biko through torture, the Zimbabweans Joshua Nkomo through tribalism, the list is endless. When Spencer Mogapi said a week after Ian Khama became President that “Khama has the potential to become our best President ever”, he overlooked a very fundamental fact, that Batswana had been denied “NOT” the best President but the GREATEST President in Ponatshego Kedikilwe through an evil system called automatic succession.
This phenomenon of (go rata maemo) is not new. Rre Ra-Gaone and probably its instigators bo Rre Nchindo if there is any truth in it, came up with it to thwart PHK’s ascendancy to Presidency under the guise that he likes power or has high aspirations and ambitions for high office. Back then, I fell for the excuse not because I was convinced but because when I looked around in the BDP and in my family, which has always been pro-BDP and could not find anybody to support me in my disagreement, but in all honesty deep down my heart automatic succession just stank.
Exactly what is wrong with somebody being ambitious or seeking more power?
A teacher wants to become a senior Teacher, then a headmaster and ultimately an Education officer or a Director or Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education.
A Nurse wants to be a senior Nurse, then a Matron or occupy a high office of Administration in the department of Health or Hospital.
Rre Kedikilwe, it was no sin for you to have had the ambition to become State President and you must never ever regret ever having that ambition.
Instead, you must hold your head high and pride yourself in having had that ambition. Let us all remember that was it not for ambition there would be no Aeroplane, no Steam Engine, no Internet, no World Cup, the list is endless. The world would be nothing were there no ambitious people.
So Rre Kedikilwe, to people like me you are to Botswana just as great as the Wright brothers, Martin Luther, the Karl Benz, Albert Einstein and the Bill Gates are to the world. Remember in life there are unsung heroes. Bo Rre Nkate and bo Rre Neo Moroka for example have harboured that ambition and Ramadeluka Seretse and Tshekedi Khama still harbour that ambition of becoming the number one citizen and nobody smells evil in that! Why not?
Today and even in time to come, a lot of people will never know or realize where the pilgrimage to the formation of the Botswana Movement for Democracy began or who actually laid its foundation. Time erodes gratitude more quickly than beauty. It all started when you stood up against all odds to pursue your ambition in Ghantsi and stood against the wonder Boy of BDP and lost to what many called an embarrassing defeat which to me was not embarrassing but heroic because then many Batswana did not as yet understand Democracy.
Only Gomolemo Motswaledi publicly supported Kedikilwe against Ian Khama in the build-up to Ghanzi. It is not surprising that Khama has treated Motswaledi the way he did.
Because of Kedikilwe’s courage today many Batswana understand democracy and republicanism hence so many are rallying behind BMD. Thank you PHK because you laid that foundation of bravery so that today your prot├®g├®s can also stand up and realize that what they thought was God is nothing but another human being made of flesh and blood just like me and you and moreover a human being who is of below average intelligence.
Fate being what it is, just fourteen years down the line, my instinct has come of age even though at that time I could not have predicted what is happening today, the dirtiest linen of this evil phenomenon is out in the open to the glaring eyes of the world to see the evil that automatic succession has brought to our shores. Thank God the reality of its flaws has not come in the times of Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin Dada, Hastings Banda or Mobutu Seseseko.
Back to the main issue, just like Masire and Mogae single-handedly chose their successors; Khama does not understand why he cannot be afforded the same opportunity. But unlike his predecessors who, despite the flaw of the system, chose their successors in good faith, I doubt if his succession plan has good faith in it, that is why his war of attrition with Barataphati.
Let me tell you something Mr. President, Gomolemo Motswaledi is going to be your President. And you don’t have to like it because this is not your country but our country.
We have been denied PHK but mark these words Mr. President; we will not be denied another great President in Gomolemo Motswaledi simply because of an evil system called automatic succession.
It is our birth and democratic right to choose whom we want as President.
Those who hate him call him Morata Maemo and those who love him simply call him Sir G, (ba nthati ba kana ka ba ntlhoi). By the way fear no vengeance from him when he ascends to presidency in 2014. He is not a vengeful guy.
He is a true Christian and those who have seen his heart during that time when it was bleeding after you tore it apart like the Egyptians did to young Jewish boys in the days before Moses led them to the promised land, when you unilaterally denied him his birth right to contest Gaborone Central and thought you were God and could banish a SON of a MAN from ever standing for elections, they say his heart is not made of flesh and blood like yours and mine but of this material called LOVE and PEACE. Ask Ramadeluka Seretse to supply our Government with that material, he seems to be the most efficient when it comes to Government tenders. With that material you would cease to require your other D of delivery because with love and peace your country would flourish like that Promised Land which Moses led the Israelis to. But just like Kitso Mokaila’s tender, it would have to be a selective tender because there is only one manufacturer of love and peace and it is Sir G.
John Jones (Mogoditshane)
*Editor’s note ÔÇô The writer whose identity is known to us has requested the use of a pseudonym