Monday, May 17, 2021

President Khama’s incompetent and uninspiring administration is the cause of Botswana’s calamity

In his farewell address in Serowe, immediate past Botswana President Festus Mogae remarked that ‘we have heard that there are people in the opposition who have vowed to make things difficult for him (Ian Khama) but they will not manage’. I was reminded of these remarks by the apparent indolence and paralysis gripping this formerly versatile and tenacious nation. Perhaps the opposition did succeed in making things difficult for President Khama’s administration because everything seems to be going wrong in Botswana. There is no need to pick on specific and pertinent sectors that are most affected because nearly all things aren’t going right. 
If you move around and talk to people of different persuasions from all walks of life, you will come to acknowledge that there is a cloud of hopelessness, despondency and desperation that has encircled the lives of Batswana to the extent that people have resigned to the vagaries of life. Indications are that citizens have given up any hope that things will get better any time soon, at least under this administration. This disposition, at the very least, bear directly on the integrity of the government.  
Batswana seem to have no idea how they can pull themselves out of the economic and political morass. As a result, each one of us seems to be minding their own business in the wilderness with little hope for a dignified life hence many have a poor sense of life.  Even BDP diehards who not so long ago nursed slim hopes that their party under the leadership of magic man President Khama can conjure up a way out of hopelessness are now full of despair. 
There is no shortage of social problems the world over. However, other serious, industrious, and purposeful governments led by competent and disciplined leaders have enterprised to tackle these challenges with the kind of vision that we in Botswana can only envy. They have put the limited resources to good use while in Botswana there is an obvious obsession with financing pet projects and spending handsomely on senseless litigation. The problem is not so much about there being no money but rather the misuse of limited resources. This is led to a palpable sense of loss of faith in the country’s leadership and this is the single most defining factor that is weighing heavily on Botswana’s future. Thus, the lack of visionary, forward thinking and transformational leadership imbued with a sense of humanity is our biggest challenge. 
Our polity is plagued with uninspiring, good-for-nothing, feckless yobs who are exceedingly interested in selfies and showing off their designer suits at insignificant public functions that nevertheless give them the limelight and a false sense of importance from being waited on and greeted endlessly by their low life admirers. Instead of focusing on finding ways to fix things and dig Botswana out of the mess they have created, they hop about aimlessly hoping that things would turn around on their own while of course assured that their spineless countrymen and women will continue to cheer them in spite of obvious hardship.  
While it is typical for human beings to be nostalgic when life gets tough, I am somewhat convinced that though we never had the best people in the executive, the current administration is so disastrous that it can rightly be accused of sabotaging the country. They just cannot get the basics right; their inability to get little things done right is legendary and makes me believe that we will not be in this mess if we had a different set of people running government. Many of our people do get the feeling that President Khama’s administration is not doing enough to encourage citizens to pull up their socks and sweat it out for the country ostensibly because a majority of his Cabinet ministers are just plain incompetent and unconvincing when they address concerns from citizens. This perhaps explains why we get so pleased when a minister does something different however average. He/she instantly becomes a superman, entrepreneur extra-ordinaire.      
It still puzzles me that at a time that our economy needs their undivided and non-partisan indulgent, entrepreneurial flair and political superintendence to rally citizens across the political divide and set Botswana on an adventurous path of progressive undertaking, the country’s leadership is more interested in scheming to out-fox their political opponents and eliminate public officers they suspect to be pro-opposition. This contempt for the opposition by the ruling BDP borders on the criminal and is taking Botswana backward manifold. If our BDP brethren could summon the same passion they often demonstrate when taking on their political opponents to address challenges facing this country, I bet Botswana would prosper.    
In my fair opinion, the current crop of the executive comprises of leaders who are spectacular failures; fellows whose absence from work for an indefinite period of time wouldn’t negatively affect service delivery in any way; chaps who only think about themselves ÔÇô a generation of leaders most of who are infatuated with personalities, erotic hair-cuts and profile pictures for their face book accounts. Botswana of today needs dynamic and pragmatic leaders who can inspire young people to remain positive and believe in their ingenuity. It must be appreciated that while the older generation is more likely to judge government on the basis of the availability of relief programs, young people measure government by the quality of its leadership and so cannot be inspired by sluggard vanities whose only interest is to turn the government into a feedlot from which they can overfill their stomachs.  
The reason young people are down beat about the perilous state of the nation is because the quality of the people manning the republic is wanting. A unifying consensus among young people across the political divide is that the country’s leadership is unresponsive and uses public resources to enrich themselves and their immediate lackeys whose responsibility is to mastermind a reign of terror against critics. This distrust and low regards of government and the general widespread pessimism has the potential to diminish citizens’ sense of patriotism. The government repeatedly reminds citizens that they need to double their output yet the same government’s overall performance is so lacklustre as to border on criminal negligence of duty. In a developmental state such as ours, people have high expectations for the role government should play in public life which means that whenever government or government ministers conduct themselves like junks, such bears directly on public confidence in the administration.   
This argument inevitably takes us to the practice of appointing Cabinet ministers. If appointment of ministers of government was done on merit, it would be difficult for any level-headed citizen to accept that the present Cabinet represents the cream of the crop from within the BDP members of Parliament, because this Cabinet is a pathetic team comprising individuals who are essentially a liability to the nation. In effect, i is either that a majority of BDP MPs are dead from the neck upward and therefore not appointable or that Cabinet appointments are in actual fact an elaborate ‘jobs-for-the-boys’ scheme which has no room for meritocracy. This is so because many of President Khama’s ministers are not only un-inspiring but disappointingly lack confidence about themselves and their abilities. 

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