Wednesday, November 30, 2022

‘IF I WERE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA’

When I was a primary school going kid I used to gaze at the blue skies and delight at my childish dreams. Dreaming big is part of most kids, be it day dreams or stupid dreams we have when we are asleep.

Day dreams or voluntary dreams are cute because we can control their contents. Obviously in many cases dreams never take off while others are diferred to some later years. But this doesn’t mean we have not to dream. A day dream is like a vision even though in many instances it could just be wishful thinking.

A day dream is exciting and makes one ecstatic about its possibility. There is nothing wrong with thinking beyond your means. A lot of day dreams have propelled many people to great things. It is the glitter and glaze of future life that gives us something to anticipate even though it may never happen. For poor people, it makes us feel good and trully human.

We forget the ridicule and contempt visited upon us by our arrogant neighbors. We can dream big and imagine ourselves dishing out orders to those who currently torment and abuse us and this gives us something to cheer. It is a kind of an incoherent and improbable revenge.

Even stupid dreams we have when we are asleep can be great. Imagine you wake up to the feeling that you spent a great night with some gorgeous first lady. That would have momentarily made you feel on top of the world. It is like you have accomplished something (whether a fantasy or not) that many of your peers would never get.

Take pleasure in the moment. However weird it might have been, a stupid dream like this gives us a slight hint about the reason we are on this earth. It gives some meanings to life. If you dream having an intimate moment with your neighbor’s dog or chicken, don’t pinch yourself hard. It is just a reminder about life, perhaps about good things to come or a warning of impeding trouble.
It is a fact that whether they be stupid or not, dreams have so much impact on many of us. The simplicity with which it comes and disappears makes it even the more enjoyable and makes you ponder and look beyond your eyelids. Perhaps it is a silent prosaical or poetic expression of emotions.
When Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech famously known as ‘I have a dream’, his enemies dismissed it as a sick joke. Yet his dream revealed his inner self-belief in the pursuit of a goal. People need not be shy to pursue their stupid or strange dreams.

I can see you giggling away wondering whether it makes sense to pursue a strange dream like waking up to realize that you have just been in bed with a Hollywood celebrity or your old bully boss or that dirty scoundrel neighbor. Go for it boy. It actually gives insight into your own self. It is your path to self-exploration.

As children though, we fantasized being surrounded by desperate stupid fans who kept begging for our pictures and a handshake. I guess it was only a child’s dream but it tells a lot about us ÔÇô very ambitious and fame-seeking. Allow me to get lost in such illusions of grandeur and take control of a really tough scenario and have a personal sense of power. I am dreaming being President of the Republic of Botswana.

What will I do if I were President?
First of everything, I will posture as a philantropic-cum celebrity president so that poor people stampede to touch and praise me even when my actions or comments are disgusting. The clamor and jostling for a piece of me will make them forget about their poverty. It would make them believe they are not poor as people want them to believe or that if indeed they are poor, then everyone is poor.

This is probably the easiset way to handle poor people.

Since a lot of people, especially those who think they know better are making noise about high levels of poverty in Botswana, I will devise an easy way to silence them. I will revamp and fuse Ipelegeng, ISPAAD and the Constituency League as part of the economic diversification drive. Remember that the alcohol levy is bringing in a lot of revenue.

Being a people’s president, I will give every poor household P1 million as a way to eradicate poverty and redistribute the national cake (‘pitso ya kabo ya madi’ in Michael Dingake’s words). This would be the fastest way to transform Botswana into a high income economy that ensures the wellbeing of all Batswana.

The tender-preneurs are already enjoying their share. I know that the ‘poor’ millionaires will again spend a sizeable amount of their millions on alcohol. This will help me to recoup my millions.
I know economists and a lot of pretenders would cringe at the thought of this simplified redistribution mechanism, but they can go hang because I would listen to no one, not even the so-called king makers. I would even spit on those who think they are closer to me to have my ear. I will be the sole accounting officer who can divert public monies to anywhere, anytime and splash it at will to turn a boom into a burst. Dream on President Dips, master magician of political stunts!
And then there are people who are calling for the appointment of a substantive Minister of Defense and Security. Well, they are within their right to make such noise. But it will be my prerogative and as a show of power and authority, I would appoint a very close relative and this time, an inexperienced novice so that he takes my orders to the letter. The self-styled litigants would regret ever pushing me to the limits.

My commitment to zero tolerance of corruption would be unparalleled such that all those suspected of corrupt practices would be jailed instantly without any hearing, of course with the exception of my relatives and associates. Why would I jail them when they are merely making hay whilst the sun shines?

In fact I will not accept any resignations from close relatives on account of pressure from some introverts who are just being pretty jealous. My relatives would need to have a tough skin and hard heart like I do.

Citizens have expressed worry about fatal road accidents many of which are caused by drunken drivers.

The situation is likely to worsen after I had disbursed millions to poor households with an inclination to consume deadly alcoholic beverages and use hard drugs.

This does not worry me an inch. It is in fact a great opportunity to clear my roads of impatient drunk motorists. I will give orders to my police to confiscate driving licenses of the offenders even for very petty traffic offences so that there are fewer motorists on my roads. This will allow my drivers to zoom on the roads at supersonic speed as I saunter between the State House and my gym room in Mogoditshane.

To all those who are fond of spreading rumour and untruth about me, especially opposition politicains, journalists and academics, I would kindly ask my DIS operatives to tail them, shame them or even amputate their tongues and other vital organs to instill absolute discipline. These people can be a nuisance even though on many ocassions their accusations hold true.

Teachers have been making noise about extra-curricula activities which they undertake but are not paid for.

I guess they are right and would not bother them. I would instead mobilize my boys from the disciplined forces to supervise sport and other related activities. I can imagine these virile officers oggling at the scantily dressed school girls and even going beyond theirassigned roles and provide school girls with therapy of some sorts.

Obviously the male teachers would become jealous that some outsiders are crowding them out of their erstwhile terrotory and even taking what is logically theirs. Wouldn’t the male teachers back off and demand to be reinstated as netball and volley ball coaches?
Why would people pester me to marry when their own marriages are collapsing? Any way, being a populist president, I would be inclined to appease them. I would go for a tall, slim dirty stinking illegal immigrant. The super ministers and moneyed tenderpreneurs would still have to salute her as the first lady. My tactic would be to silence them without giving away some part of the attention I always receive to my spouse. I want all the glare of publicity to myself.

To those ambitious young chiefs who want to hide behind cultural rennaisance to compete with me for public attention, you are in for a surprise. You would have to put up with trumped up changes for small misdamenors that will see you becoming frequent vistors to prisons until you ultimately accept your folly and calm down or give up on traditional leadership. I would be the sovereign leader and only I.

I have repeatedly complained about our poor work ethics. It seems people are not ready to change their attitues towards work. Financial rewards seem to have failed. On the other hand, I look with envy at the way the Chinese go about with their work.

They are hard-working, disciplined and of course they look after themselves so well. I am convinced that the only way out is to stage-manage marriages between Batswana and the Chinese people. There shall be monetary rewards for those willing to be enlisted. After all due to poverty, many Batswana are vulnerable to money inducements and have inferior sense of morals. I know they long to sleep with light skinned people from Europe and Asia. What a match!

While this dream does not represent the views of a raving lunatic with savage tendencies, it nonetheless makes you think about the simplicity with which we address our national challenges. I imagine what other people would offer if they were to become the state president.
Given what is going about at the apex, anyone can be the President of the Republic of Botswana.

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