Thursday, March 30, 2023

Sedition, Betrayal and Treason

The arrest of Outsa Mokone on charges of sedition, that being; “the crime of saying, writing, or doing something that encourages people to disobey their government”, is more than ludicrous (as in “absurd, ridiculous, preposterous, nonsensical, comical, farcical, foolish, stupid, outrageous and daft”, it is an act of political intimidation so arrogant, that government haven’t even bothered to try and finesse it. Sedition?

When has Outsa or the Sunday Standard advocated any sort of criminality by the population of this nation against this government? Instead he has, as is his role and responsibility as a journalist; editor and advocate of free speech exposed multiple acts of purportedcriminal malfeasance perpetrated by senior government officials, including members of President Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s cabal. And while these allegations of impropriety are yet to be proven beyond reasonable doubt (as in these cases have not seen light of day in a criminal court, and the way things are going they won’t), the seriousness of said accusations, would render or force any government truly invested in good governance and stewardship, responsibility, accountability and zero-tolerance with regard to corruption, to have suspended suspected officials forthwith. As in immediately. And we all know that this hasn’t happened. And because Outsa won’t let this country forget what government want swept under the carpet and forgotten. He presents a clear and present danger to the current regime. That is what his arrest, detention and charge are about.

Outsa has exposed cronyism, corruption, a cavalier attitude to stewardship, heedlessness with respect to transparency and any sort of accountability as well as irresponsible, imprudent and injudicious use of the public purse. He’s done his job, allowed his the Sunday Standard to act as a mirror – the media and its contents are merely a reflection of the current reality ÔÇô by which we can look at ourselves in the eye and judge for ourselves, after taking a long hard look, at what we have allowed ourselves to become.

Perchance the perpetrators of sedition here are the toadies who’ve replaced technocratic leadership, and who like courtiers in the dynastic courts of old, wage war against each other and us in a bid to win the preference of the president rather than placing the best interests of the people as a prerequisite.Perhaps members of President Khama’s cabal are the ones guilty of sedition and selling-out their own and not Sunday Standard’s Outsa Mokone.

He’s put his freedom on the line by allowing Chedza and others of her ilk, to continue, without fear or favor, to write as they might, acting merely as an outlet for society in general. Leaked Directorate of Economic Crime and Corruption dockets, glances into what happens behind the scenes, eye-witness testimony on the state of the relationship between the President and his top officials; these are given, yes given, to the media by cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries, members of the police services and the Botswana Defense Force, members of parliament, the business community, both local and foreign. We are not making-up the stuff we write about, members of theaforementioned groups willingly provide us with this information because they are weary, see Botswana becoming the newest member of “Wa Benzi” Africa, they are ashamed by their own lack of courage or by the fact that they participated in unethical acts that injured the republic and they are aggrieved that they allowed themselves to be compromised.

As his journalists do we in part feel responsible for Outsa’s current plight? Of course yes, but perhaps this was the point of this blatant act ofbullying, wear them down, tear them down and take away their ability to fight. They almost won. Picking up my pen was hard this week, Outsa has children, like Isaac Kgosi, he is a son, father, brother and husband. Outsa has a life.

History, not any editor, journalist, newspaper or social media engine, shows that despots end up either dead or deposed. It is their own actions that ruin their reigns and the lives of the people that reside within their domains. Sedition? Outsa never advocated that the people move against neither the President nor the violent overthrow of the state. Do papers get it wrong sometimes, trusting sources placed deliberately to mislead? Yes. Do papers print mis-truths because some they are those writers who lack principle and care more about their bylineand a mere 15 minutes of fame)? It’s happened and such people do themselves the most damage, because sooner or later they are exposed. But in this instance, what Outsa has done is asked our first citizen to answer the queries that plague us (let me reiterate some of them again); whydid you pardon the Kalafatis killers?

Why have you not removed Isaac Kgosi? Why do you allow officials accused of corruption to remain in office when your government states, re-states and states again its zero tolerance fordishonesty, exploitation, bribery and fraud? Why don’t you address town-hall meetings in the most populous urban areas? Why have you not instituted any Presidential Commissions of Enquiry into spectacularly failed public projects where there’s been suspected mal-administration and corruption? Why do you respond to certain media allegations and not others, don’t you believe the citizenry have a right to know how the nation’s coffers are being used?

I put it to you that Outsa Mokone is a patriot, not a person who could and should be accused of treason. I put it to you that those involved in and behind his arrest are the seditious sell-outs that we should all fear.


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