People are being unfair to the Vice President Mompati Sebogodi Merafhe. Just why do people expect Merafhe to view and label them the way they would want to be labeled and not the way he wants to label them? I mean, I look at myself as a young handsome guy but surely I don’t expect Merafhe to be of the same view about me when in his observation I could probably be an identical twin to a chimpanzee. Such is life. What I see as beautiful or good may not necessarily appear so to the next person. For example, I observe that Hon Wynter Mmolotsi is an intelligent man but that shouldn’t mean the MP necessarily strikes the VP as intelligent.
All the same, some people view Merafhe as an intelligent old man but I shouldn’t be crucified for breaking ranks and seeing him as an idiot. And please note that I shall be using the word ‘idiot’ with the comfort that it is an acceptable word in the public discourse as observed by the VP last week in parliament. Merafhe is said to have addressed fellow MP’s as village idiots and hopeless creatures. I have no problem with his observation just as I don’t expect him or any of his puppets to have a problem with my observations.
According to Merafhe, the MP who once made remarks that the powers bestowed on the President are enormous enough to have him walk into parliament and start shooting MP’s without fear of facing the wrath of the law, is a village idiot. We all know that those remarks were made by MP Wynter Mmolotsi. It therefore goes without saying, Merafhe views Mmolotsi as a village idiot. The English that I know describes a village idiot as someone living in a village and who is very stupid and does not understand the modern world. Fine, Merafhe is of the view only village idiots can think and say what Mmolotsi thought and said in parliament while I, on the other hand, am of the view only modern idiots can dismiss Mmolotsi’s thoughts and utterances. So like I said before, no one should fume when the VP says Mmolotsi is a village idiot while I say Merafhe is a modern idiot.
Mmolotsi could be a “village boy” from Matsiloje whose travels have been limited to Matsiloje, Francistown and Gaborone while Merafhe is a “city slicker” who has traversed the globe during his long stay at the Foreign Affairs ministry thus making him believe he is more intelligent and modern than Mmolotsi. One can therefore conclude that while Mmolotsi’s village background could make him appear like a village idiot to Merafhe, then Merafhe’s globetrotting and endless visits to modern places make him appear like a modern idiot to me.
Oh by the way, the Midweek Sun quotes Merafhe as having said, “Those who use this house as a platform for unsavory remarks to the President will be disabused.” Now that’s my man. He is further quoted as having said, “What kind of politicians are we if we think we can attack people and expect not to be hit back?” This is why I so love Merafhe. Here is a man who readily admits that just as they attack people they in turn should expect to be hit back. So if you thought Merafhe will not be amused by what I write here about him then you could be wrong because according to the man himself, when you bark at others you shouldn’t be surprised when they bark back at you.
Another newspaper, Echo, quotes Merafhe as having said in parliament, “you will pardon my language, Modubule is a hopeless creature”. True, all of us are creatures because the English language describes a creature as anything that is living, but not a plant. We are living and are not plants therefore we are creatures. It is just that in Merafhe’s assessment, Modubule is a hopeless one.
Let us not crucify the old man for his assessment because we too have our own assessments of what kind of a creature he is. Merafhe has an abundance of creature comforts and that is exactly what makes him believe other creatures are hopeless. I mean, Merafhe has held the highest post in the army and it is almost a given Modubule will never hold such a position. Merafhe is the Vice President and more often he gets to act as President when Khama is out of the country, though Khama seems to have a phobia for foreign lands. Maybe Merafhe has no hopes in Modubule ever becoming Vice President and that is why he thinks the MP is hopeless. Let us not attack Merafhe for feeling that Modubule is hopeless. And please let no one grouse about it when I say just as Merafhe views Modubule as a hopeless creature I, on the other hand, view Merafhe as a shameful creature. As far as I’m concerned only shameful creatures can utter statements such as “the integrity of this country cannot be determined by one or two killings.” In my view, only senile creatures can fault people living with HIV/AIDS for behaving normal. I just don’t understand how a leader, who has not even gathered the courage to go public about his HIV/AIDS status, can go on the rampage and question the behavior of those who have gone public about their status as reported by the Gazette.
We had expected the Vice President to go to parliament as Leader of the House, whose main task is to be a link between the executive and the legislature, and address the concerns that had been raised by the MP’s. But that was not to be with Merafhe who we are told instead of addressing pressing issues he was, for the better part of his address, on his hobbyhorse attacking a splinter party of the BDP and telling it’s MPs that they were in Parliament by default forgetting that his party is also a beneficiary of these default MPs through Olebile Gaborone. Merafhe is an old man whom I take no pride in bringing to order but it should be noted that when wisdom eludes the very people we hoped to be the fountains of it, we cannot afford to play hunky-dory.
As such Merafhe’s inflammatory statements warrant our hue and cry. I’m surprised that Merafhe feels opposition MPs are angry at life and everything around it whereas he is the one who is hot tempered and behaves like a juvenile delinquent. Merafhe says Leader of Opposition, Botsalo’s Ntuane’s speech was nothing more than a motivational statement and I say if I am to choose between his insults in parliament last week and Ntuane’s speech I’d rather be motivated.