With only 5 weeks until the end of the year, Sunday Standard gives you a recap of the events that went down during the exciting year that was 2009. From the ups to the lows that circulated in the media.
Newsmaker of the year
It is true that people are most remembered in their demise. So it is for John Kalafatis who gained popularity in death. The story of Kalafatis still rounds the news waves since he was killed by security agents for reasons that remain undisclosed up to now. His death in May will be remebered by many as he was talk of the town anywhere in the country and elsewhere. He brought the world’s nose to snoop around the ‘extra judicial killings’ that were allegedly taking place in the country.
Father and son make history
For the first time in Botswana parliament, father and son sit in parliament at the same time! Who other than the Saleshandos?
Good thing they belong to the same party, else we would worry a span on how far Junior would drag daddy around the floor in parliament. We definitely would not like to see family break-ups now, would we? Party break-ups already have us on our toes!
The result of heroism
BDP activist, Gomolemo Motswaledi, got the bitter end of the stick recently when he went loggerheads with party president Ian Khama in a court case questioning Khama’s authority and challenging his suspension from this year’s election. For Motswaledi, it wasn’t as smooth a ride; he lost the case and, in the end, he did not stand in his Gaborone Central Constituency; he lost his appeal.
And, as if that was not enough, he endured the costs of the trial. At least he gained popularity but, with it, also came a 5-year suspension from the party. We guess bravery does do more harm than good in other places, yeah?
Blow of the year-Ignorance Award
Surprise! The state president has, among other benefits, the privilege of immunity. Presidents around the world know that indeed; it is power by virtue of being president! It might be the bad things that they do, (refer to Zimbabwe) but for years Presidents the world over have enjoyed their power, knowing full well that they were immune.
College students around Botswana were in full celebration for Jacob Nkate’s downfall in politics to be replaced by Pelonomi Venson Moitoi as Minister of Education and Skills Development. Nkate has had a span of bitter encounters with the likes of UB, Limkokwing, GIPS and NIIT over allowances and tution fees, and we believe he should be happy to be away from the brats who were caught so many times allegedly referring to him as “thief” during the many strikes undertaken by the different colleges. Word of advice from Yours Truly: Nkate was a bad man who treated you guys badly, His successor is triple the man he is. Just ask the private media. We are waiting for a specific Bill to deal with all the students in tertiary institutions in Botswana.
Soweto comes to town
It was a sight that could have reminded one of apartheid days in South Africa; we got a glimpse of it in the movie Sarafina, except the cars were more expensive! The policemen were black and as ruthless as the DRC thugs we see on Africa Magic. On the day ‘intellectuals’ of UB were put in their place by the faithful forceful boys in blue. At the climax of the UB strike over allowances and tuition fees (is it ever about anything else?), the ignorant UBSRC decided to match the students across town in a bid to disrupt the reading of the budget speech – mainly to see Nkate in person since he had refused on a number of occassions to visit the campus. Before they could reach parliament, the Police were in place and opened fire on them, with bullets fired all over the GSS grounds, and students being beaten with bats by men who looked like they just featured in a fitness magazine. You might have read about the brutal events in the media, except for when you relied on BTV because then you only saw their side of the story.
Dissapointment of the year
Nowadays, you can actually count the number of people who sit down after a hard day at work and flip their TV channels to tune to BTV. People would rather buy Chinese decoders to watch news that is of little significant to us. With ten years of broadcasting, BTV is as irrelevant as it is unimportant to us. If you think we are being too hard, did you watch the LIVE election updates on 16 October? If you did then you know where we are coming from, if not then good for you, you saved yourself a lot of embarassment. The clock is ticking and word about town is that SA will again cut off her channels from Botswana, someone should save us, we need better programmes to watch!
Snitch of the year
Robert Molefabangwe is now a card carrying member of the BDP. After losing his constituency to BDP’s Botsalo Ntuane, Molf decided ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ and join them he did! Maybe it was payback for being kicked out of his party. The verdict was that he was uninterested in the dying BNF committee meetings.
Molefabangwe has to be the snitch of the year. How does someone spend so many years speaking against a political party, telling Batswana not to trust the ruling party and its people and then, with little thought, just join them in the end? Can anyone spell hypocrisy?
Having a couple of internationals behind bars because they remarked on the president’s looks is only cool if they likened him to an animal, say Baboon. We know a couple of people, not presidents, who would be angry if you told them they looked like a baboon. Some South African internationals were jailed for thinking out loud about how the state president Ian Khama resembled the Basarwa. We ask, what is wrong with the Basarwa that a president can’t look like them? If we knew the president, and could advise him, ours would have been for him to dismiss the officers in charge at the Kasane border that day. We think our president is beautiful, so are the Basarwa people!
Batswana’s worst contribution to the year
The Sunday Standard story of two weeks ago made us think the worst of us as people.
Any woman will tell you that being pregnant and rearing children is a mammoth task. It takes everything out of you, physically, emotionally, psychologically and, to quite an extent, socially.
So we sit here and wonder about that 17-year-old Bokaa girl who already has four children of her own. Even if she had a baby once a year for four consecutive years, it would still mean she had her first baby at thirteen. Where were the authorities, relatives and Social Services?
The unfortunate girl’s dilemma only came to light after her four-year-old daughter was allegedly gang raped and murdered by two juveniles (16 and 10 year-olds) who had been left minding the child.
I shudder to think what this poor girl thinks about us, about herself, about life and if there is any semblance of hope in her mind.
Government must take this girl child and afford her the best possible counseling available.
Someone has a lot of explaining to do. Such things cannot possibly happen in our society.
Double barrel goes triple barrel
The Sunday Standard this year ran a story that revealed that the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs Professor Lydia Nyathi-Ramahobo, was to tie the knot with BCP party President Gilson Saleshando. We just could not help wondering if she is going to adopt the other surname to her already existing double barreled one. Should that be the case, she will then be Professor Lydia Nyathi-RamahoboÔÇôSaleshando.
Speaking of these two, we love them and think that they are a prime example that we should not give up on love, not even when you are a 100 years old.