Sunday, June 16, 2024

President Khama “pays” poor people so that they remain poor

A week hardly passes without the Botswana Television showing a spectacular blanket donation ceremony whose chief guest is often His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana. It makes sense that government (through the leadership) should have an obligation to reach out and help the poor and needy. However, what we are witnessing in Botswana under President Khama is in a league of its own. It is one of the most idiotic and irritating practices since the dawn of civilization.

If president Khama is serious about helping the poor, he must accept that Botswana has a long way to go in promoting a kind of behaviour that frown on dependence as well as dissuade people from becoming wilfully poor and happy beggars. Poverty is a great curse and for a whole State President to use poverty to prop up his image is wicked and highly objectionable.

President Khama’s charity initiatives through donating blankets seem to be intended to spread the message that there is no hope without him. It is a well organized massive campaign to tempt and lure poor people into the illusion that their lives are entirely dependent on President Khama’s benevolence. The simple slogan seems to be ‘follow and worship me and I will give you blankets and other comical items’. Such a mode of using poverty to bargain is very temping but unfortunately it keeps poor people in cruel poverty.

As a result of this massive campaign to maintain poverty, beneficiaries of blankets are stoned on the narcotic of Khama’s sinister charity schemes. Charity schemes have the same effects as habit forming drugs in that they make beneficiaries to think that they are important and get them virtually trapped in the habit until a Good Samaritan comes to their rescue. By making poor people to ride on the coat tails of his deceitful charity work, President Khama has essentially declared himself a serial fraudster who has ensured that people put extra efforts into fighting to stay on his handouts than make attempts to graduate from poverty. After all, why would families and individuals suck it up to raise money to buy blankets when they can get them from President Khama without a hassle?

President Khama’s failure to foster, promote and nurture the potential of this great nation in spite of so much unprecedented public good will make him the big flop of all times. While his presidency promised prosperity, it has actually delivered misery and tyranny. Whereas he showed early signs of success owing largely to his high rate of approval, he has faded irretrievably as his deficient populist stunts got saturated. His was mere seductive appeal based on flawed principles and a leadership style founded on fantasy and deprived of intellectual finesse. Put simply, Khama’s presidency has become a sure formula for failure and bankruptcy.

Whereas charities and welfare schemes are an important constituency of humanity, there is need to strike some kind of balance to provide for those in need without necessarily discouraging them from lifting themselves up. This is where Botswana need a dignified leader with a high level of integrity not the kind we have whose charity schemes are quickly creating modern day slaves whose lives are permanently tied to cheap blankets. We often chastise Europeans for abusing and using native Africans for comic relief yet our leaders enjoy seeing our grannies stampede for cheap blankets.

It is my honest view that President Khama’s charity crusade is bringing more agony to the already suffering precisely because they deprive poor people of the human spirit of full development. President Khama use his charity schemes to control poor people and by extension own their votes. This is so because people who are deprived of the human spirit cannot take any personal responsibility. On the surface, he appears to really care but his real motive seems to be to use these deadbeat voters for personal gain.

Thus, it is compelling to argue that President Khama use the welfare system to perpetuate his power. Naturally and consistent with basic principles of human behaviour, lack of food would lead people to find ways to satisfy their immediate physiological needs. However, President Khama’s weird charity schemes distort this natural phenomenon by providing incentives to poor people to remain poor.

Conclusively, President Khama’s charity schemes do not promote the spirit of enterprise but reward indolence and energizes poor people to remain poor at all costs so that they continue to enjoy sweet fellowship with their saviour as he mischievously crisscross the rural areas.


Read this week's paper