In African culture, people are taught from early childhood the virtue of honesty. There were different methodologies applied to teach a child to be honest. Lies or deception were regarded as inhuman. That is why in Setswana a perpetual liar was regarded as an animal: Se gasemotho ke phokoje. Taboos were used to deter children from becoming liars. Ka setawana rare ha o aka badimo batla go kgaola loleme jaaka tlhapi, so deception especially by elders and leaders was not known. The king’s or kgosi’s words were treated as wisdom. Batswana bare mafoko a kgosi a agelwa mosako. It was so because the king or kgosi will never lie to his people. If there was an issue the king or leader wanted to address, first, he will consult with his close advisors starting with the queen mother and then his uncles. The king would never make statements or pronouncements without the input of his uncles who were regarded as cabinet ministers in today’s terminology.
If it was a difficult decision to make, the kgosi will call a pitso to hear the opinion of his people on the subject matter. When Moremi Wildlife Game Reserve was established by the people of Ngamiland, mohumagadi Pulane Moremi the mother of kgosi Letsholathebe II who was the regent at the time she consulted all people of Ngamiland through kgotla meetings in all the villages in Ngamiland. The people of Ngamiland reached a consensus to establish a Game Reserve. So when the queen mother Pulane Moremi announced the decision to the people, mafoko a kgosi ane ale mantle otlhe, kajalo Batawana baa agetse mosako. That’s why Batawana will never hunt in the Moremi Game Reserve. What it means is that the decisions of the leaders were ALWAYS made in the interests of the community not on the interests on an individual leader and his relatives and friends. It was a taboo to do that.
In contemporary Botswana, the leaders make decisions based on their personal interests, family interests, friends’ interests and party interests and deceive the public that the decisions were taken in the best interests of the nation! This politics of deception is evil because the public is going to pay a heavy price for the decision taken in their name but not in their interests but for the interests of the leaders. Take example of the decision taken by President Festus Mogae to devalue the Botswana currency the pula by 12% and also to allow foreigners to take any amount of money outside the country. The nation was told that this was done in the best interests of the nation. But is it really true? We were told that the devaluation of the Pula and allowing foreigners to take any amount outside the country will attract investors and create more jobs for our unemployed youth.
The question is how many investors came to Botswana and how many Batswana were employed. In my view this decision by Mogae left more Batswana poorer and many of them jobless. Only Mogae benefited from these decisions because those who instructed him to make such decisions awarded him with the position of the chairmanship of Choppies so that he can get annual amount of thirty four million pula from choppies and other invisible rewards in many kinds.
Now because billions of pula are shipped to Asia there is no money circulating in Botswana to create industries and employment. The devalued Pula means Batswana will need more money to buy commodities which used to be cheap and now are very expensive. This is daylight robbery were Batswana a robed of their money and money taken to Asia and else where by these heartless robbers pretending to be investors and capturing our leaders so that they can deceive us.
After Mogae came Khama who deceived the nation that he loves animals very much and he banned hunting in this country without consulting cabinet, parliament let alone local authorities who are real custodians of these animals. The outcome of this deception by Khama was disaster to this nation. Batswana no longer plough in the following regions, Bobirwa, Bokalaka, Chobe, Ngamiland and Okavango. If they plough their crops are destroyed by the elephants and other wild animals. Who benefits from this hunting ban is Khama and his relatives and friends from Europe who come here as tourists. As James Cone said because of the sins they committed to black people they know they can’t go to heaven so they go to African as tourists because that is their paradise. Put differently by banning hunting in Botswana we were creating heaven for criminals. It was later brought up that Khama has shares in some of the big companies involved in tourism industries like Wildness Safaris. So Khama deceived the nation that he loves animals and cares much about Batswana, but the truth is that he loves money and his relatives! In my view, this deception is evil because people innocently love you, respect you and trust you as their leader but deep down in your heart you know that you careless about them, you just use them like any instrument for your own good. The politics of deception is not only confined to the BDP leadership but is also found in the opposition. The recent leak from the UDC whatsapp group confirmed what some of us know or always suspected.
They have been deceiving Batswana that they will create a corrupt free Botswana. How can they do so if they are themselves corrupt?
The death of UDC has been caused by politics of deception. Since 2012 Boko has been deceiving the nation that he was the man behind the birth of UDC and its survival depended on him. He knows this is a lie. It is a well known fact that BOFEPUSO and the conveners gave birth to UDC and nursed and nurtured it from 2012 to 2016 when they were dumped and UDC got sick until it died in July 2018.
It was Gomolemo Motswaledi who humbly requested the conveners after appreciating the wonderful job they had done to make UDC so that their wisdom can nurse and nurture it to its elective congress to elect its leaders. It was an honest Motswaledi who knew that you cannot have a coalition of three parties working together without neutral advisors to assist them along the way.
The truth be told if it was not for the conveners UDC could have collapsed long time ago even during Motswaledi’s time.
UDC NEC was not happy with Boko’s leadership style. He was always coming to the meeting late if he ever comes, he gave a lecture to the meeting and closed them with artificial prayers in the presence of ordained and consecrated church leaders without any sign of shame! In all these scandals the chairman rre Molapise and the secretary general Motswaledi will come to the conveners’ for counseling and the conveners’ will calm them down.
During the 2014 general elections the UDC office was staffed with highly experienced former civil servants who knew what administration is all about and contributed to the UDC success story. From 2012 up 2016 the conveners and UDC team of elders we running capacity building workshops for UDC leaders, MPs councilors, Central Committee members for all the three parties. These workshops were meant to empower all the stakeholders to prepare to take power in 2019 and how to run a morally based new government after taking power. By now we could have been very far in the preparation for the elections and taking power in 2019.
When some people saw this blossoming and shining UDC, they came running and jumped inside without following the proper channels. We tried to advise them, they insulted us calling us all sorts of names including abortionists, partisans without knowing that the conveners were the glue that was binding the UDC together since 2012 to 2016 when they were dumped like a bag of salt. By dumping the conveners the UDC leadership killed the goose that laid the golden egg, so to speak. The nation was deceived that Boko is the brain behind UDC story. This was done so that his name be glorified.
The nation was also deceived by Boko and by BCP leadership that BCP is part of UDC. We tried to reason with them that BCP cannot be a member of UDC until it had signed a Memorandum of Agreement with UDC, which they refused for whatever reason better known to them. Worse still the constitution which includes BCP has not been taken to Registrar of Societies for approval. In a nutshell the so called new UDC does not exist, period.
In Botswana an organization exists only after its Constitution has been approved by the government through the Registrar of Societies. I am told one of the advocates in the UDC leadership is a Constitution expert, and he knows better and that is why he is holding the Constitution so that when BCP wants to remove him he tells them BCP is not a member! In reality all the four parties namely BCP, BMD, BNF and BPP are not members of UDC because their Constitution is not registered, put differently UDC does not exist because its constitution is not registered and it will never be registered.
Under all these tragedy of errors we have to answer the central question which is a political question. The question once asked by V. I Lenin: ‘what is to be done”
To answer this question we need to be honest to ourselves to avoid deceiving ourselves. We have been deceived by others for too long but we should never deceive ourselves. We must start by accepting the painful reality that UDC is dead. And Boko, Pilane and Saleshando were involved in the death of UDC. I am saying so because these are the people who masterminded the removal of Ndaba Gaolathe and the conveners out of the UDC and they knew it was these people who were holding UDC together.
Take for example during Gaolathe’s time; UDC had a functioning office with fulltime staff.
The second question is after accepting this painful reality that UDC is dead and we know who killed it, what do we do with this people? Each member of any party should answer that question. With me I am going to Rakops with a clear conscience, to ask the comference to recall Boko. He has failed the leadership test. We want Boko to be recalled not that we hate him but because we love his country. We don’t want Boko to end up in whatsApp meeting like Pilane and Saleshando putting their dirty linen in public. Saleshando called Pilane a car thief. Pilane responded by telling Saleshando very soon he will be arrested for more serious crime and he will not win the case he will end up in prison! Was Pilane bluffing? I don’t know! What crime has Saleshandondo done? We need to know!
pilane is a seasoned lawyer, when he says someone might not win a case, he means it. Remember Pilane used to work in the Office of the President where secrets are kept. He used to represent the former Director of Intelligence Services. So he knows more about our leaders than we think. The recalling of these leaders will be in their best interest and interest of the nation. If we think is business as usual we will be deceiving ourselves. And if things go from bad to worse for them and the nation, we should blame no one but ourselves for self deception
The time to act is now!
Dr Cosmos K. Moenga a BNF veteran