Tuesday, March 5, 2024

‘Leaders who make you hate your country”

I have never doubted my love for my country, Botswana and I never will. Thus, I never doubted my patriotism even when some overzealous lackeys started questioning the nationality and citizenship of those who express hard opinions about who this country is being governed by.

I refuse to be a willing bozo and have no intention of toning down as long as the leadership continues to act in a manner that makes my country go to the dogs. And for this, I make no apology even if it takes me to recycle my anger. I was never forewarned that I was born to provide comic relief to privileged bozos, hence will never provide such.

I know that many people have been brainwashed into believing that to show you love your country, you have to love its leaders. This is a stupid fallacy propagated by these clueless political leaders and their corporate gangster friends. You can love your country but hate its leaders.

Better still, you can hate your country because of the tyrants that pass as leaders. There is nothing like blind love. For love to nurture, other necessary factors must be sufficient otherwise it will whither away.

I have overtime developed some physical and emotional attachment to this country. Botswana is not the best country to live in, not even in Africa. Much of it is covered by a desert that is synonymous with sweltering heat. It is dirty and experiencing one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. Nevertheless, I have always loved my country, its physical geography at least. What I hate most about Botswana is its system of politics, or what in contemporary parlance is called governance.

In recent times, I have persistently asked myself why I love this country. It is a bizarre subject but a pertinent query under the present circumstances. It is a bizarre thought because Botswana is generally regarded as a paradise in Africa.

Yet the question is relevant and significant because those who we gave the mandate to govern our country put their personal interests ahead of the collective interests of the republic and do so arrogantly and boastfully. They brag and pride themselves in ruling by patronage and cronyism.
To borrow Sydney Pilane’s words, please ‘nnang le Ditlhong tlhe betsho’. A little bit of decency would probably fool us into believing in the sincerity of your discourteous actions.

Many of the citizens have been conditioned to recite the national anthem without actually making sense of its meaning. Like inebriated monkeys, we have been made to go like ‘Fatshe leno la rona (blessed be this noble land); Ke mpho ya modimo (Gift to us from God); ke boswa jwa borraersho (heritage our fathers left to us), as if the country really belong to us all. The sad truth is that in reality this country belongs to a privileged few who managed to gatecrash established procedures to get to where they are now. This is exactly why former Botswana National Front MP Filbert Nagafela revealed that he never sings the national anthem.

The song actually acts as a psychological dessert in conjuring feelings of pride in one’s country even when circumstances dictate otherwise. Why would a self-respecting someone consciously sing a national anthem that reminds him/her of his indignity and humiliation at the hands of fortune seekers?

Surely, many of us are bona-fide citizens and in possession of the country’s identity documents. By extension, the expectation is that all citizens should lay claim to this heritage our fathers left to us. Unfortunately, this is not the case and this is what really boils my blood. Our country has been hijacked by small group of champagne-popping self-proclaimed sushi kings who go about boasting about their wealth and connections to the highest office; people who have no shame to threaten you that they can buy your wife or girlfriend.

Our leadership often pretends to be acting in the interest of the public yet all they want is to share the riches of this country amongst themselves and their cronies while the rest of us are expected to be content that we at least have the national identity document. They often pretend to be helping poor people but all they want is to make themselves look good. They wish more than anything to maintain the status quo or better still to expand their power and wealth.

Author Aesop (620 BC ÔÇô 560BC) reminds us that ‘the smaller the mind the greater the conceit’. No wonder our nation is flooded with despicable propaganda, with the state president being the chief propagandist. For President Khama to remark that ‘should the two leaders (Duma Boko & Dumelang Saleshando) win power, anyone who differs with them will be killed or imprisoned’ (The Botswana Gazette, November 23, 2011) is highly inflammatory, irresponsible, reckless and objectionable more so that the state president knows very well that he is not telling the truth.

Our political leaders have created a situation whereby some people are more important and deserving than others. This self-perpetuating clique has been able to brainwash their feckless bootlickers to believe that people who express opinions against their self-serving habits are jealous and unpatriotic hence should be marginalized.

Consequently, we have a ruthless gang that masquerade as a party organ; the terrorist arm of the party; a carbon copy of the American Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize political opponents and scribes. These are innocent people who have been psychologically treated to put their lives on the line in defense of their ‘owners’, the same way Al Qaeda has been able to condition its fanatics to become suicide bombers and heartless indiscriminate murderers.

These people want citizens to celebrate when certain constituencies and cabinet positions are reserved for President Khama’s relatives. They do these things with brazen arrogance as to poke fun at those who think they also belong to this country; to cause those who are pissed off to throw out. It is like a direct challenge to lesser citizens to put up or ship out of the country. After Minister Ramadeluka Seretse was re-appointed into Cabinet by his cousin, he made it clear that he is not resigning his post in spite of the fact that the State is appealing his acquittal.

According to the Gazette (2-8 November, 2011), Minister Seretse reportedly remarked that ‘he (Khama) told me that since I have been acquitted I can now take up my post’.
So it has always been his post!!

If this cannot make you angry fellow citizens, there is nothing that can ever make you angry. If we can’t get angry that President Khama had said that he may consider forgiving dismissed public officers only after Guma Moyo had returned to the BDP, what can we get angry about? ‘How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think’, Adolf Hitler.

With all these nonsense, good reader, do you still feel proud of this country the way you used to?
I know you love your country fellow citizens but I also know that circumstances are conspiring against your love for this country. The tragedy is that when the political leadership acts in manners that make you feel as though you are a moron squatting on someone’s piece of land, you wish you had an alternative.

When you curse them for what they have done to your beautiful country, it feels as though you are cursing your country. Many people are really annoyed by this insensitive and pompous leadership that seems to be too happy to declare war on its people.

The truth is that many of us undoubtedly love our country but hate its leadership big time and we don’t hate them for who they are but for what they are doing to our country ÔÇô taking it to the dogs.

The destiny of this republic is determined largely by its leaders who ride roughshod over everyone and portray us as brainless creatures that have been born to eat, sleep and ululate. I know that many citizens are alarmed but are too hesitant to voice out these things for fear of marginalization and victimization. Others are just too complacent as to care about what really happens to their country.

There is just too much tension and a lot of citizens and other people within and outside Africa are very angry with our political leadership. It is not going to take a mere handshake to quash the tension and this toxic hatred. It requires our leaders to respect us and take us for humans who deserve to be treated with dignity and honour.


Read this week's paper