Friday, July 1, 2022

THE ‘PIT-BULL’ HAS CAUGHT RABIES!

Ever since the release of the JC results, the media has been awash with news about the Minister of Education and Skills Development, Honourable Venson-Moitoi’s threats to send lazy teachers back to their mothers’ homes.

While the nation was still reeling from these offensive remarks, at a recent BDP conference in Tati Siding, the Minister went further to vow to fight teachers’ unions arguing that they are the root cause of the declining education standards. At the core of her declaration of war on teachers’ unions is her determination to recapture the control of teachers from unions.

The Minister is further reported to have remarked that ‘I am of the view that the government developed a sense of complacency and forgot some critical issues in education, like teachers’ accommodation and maintenance of schools’. Here is a senior minister of government who chooses to blame everyone but absolves herself from the mess under her jurisdiction.

Like a 10-year-old petulant girl, the minister then blames politicians across the party divide; the historic 2011 civil servants’ strike and students’ living allowances before directing her verbal salvo at her own BDP government. In the midst of her fumbling, she proudly likened herself to a pit-bull that won’t let go its prey.

This is a childish display of fake charisma spiced with an impulse for rampant arrogance. My simple advice to the Honourable Minister is that she must spend less time on Facebook so that she would have time to read Mmegi Monitor’s ‘Issues in education’ which superbly discusses the critical issues in education that have been forgotten by her government.

I respect Minister Venson-Moitoi as a person of integrity. In fact, I rate her as a special breed in a cabinet crowded with delinquent souls. She is eloquent, articulate and has always been way above gutter politics. But I am afraid that her recent violent behavior points to a ‘pit-bull’ that has caught rabies and has become paranoid, furious and agitated to the point of damaging its image. She is gradually losing it by becoming foul-mouthed, reckless and naughty. The minister must be reminded that she is only as good as the average performance of school leavers. She can shout and thump her chest but as long as the results keep getting poorer, she will be categorized as a disastrous performer and rightly so.

Nevertheless, I am not amused at her choice of words and her terrorist behavior. Honestly, I am rather surprised that she has remained level-headed and self-respecting for this long when intimidation, use of abrasive language and insults have long become the defining features of President Khama’s administration.

Such image was created and institutionalized by, among others, former Vice-President Merafhe who had a penchant to ridicule and verbally abuse ordinary citizens to a point that he publicly wished a village pastor’s death during one of his community meetings in Ngamiland and called an Honourable Member of Parliament a village idiot.

The current Assistant Minister of Agriculture took official insults to another level, chiding Tobane residents about their supposedly dirty underpants.

In truth, there has been a sustained trend towards official vulgarity and lawlessness even though it would seem that some cabinet ministers are adequately cultured to allow themselves to degenerate into archaic thugs. Intimidation, deceit and an aura of self-importance have become the essential characteristics of the Khama administration and Minister Venson-Moitoi appears to have graduated from their initiation school. It has to be borne in mind that ministers are President Khama’s emissaries and their foul language and addictive violent tempers define the image of Khama’s administration.

It is strange that a senior minister of government could publicly blame her government for being complacent, particularly in respect of her ministerial portfolio.

Where has the minister been all along? What it simply means is that the minister herself slept on the job. She has dismally failed to ‘remind’ her government of their responsibility to ensure quality education in public schools.

Essentially, she has owned up to her failures and only a failed president would gladly keep a failed minister.

Minister Venson-Moitoi had always wanted people to believe that all was well in the education sector going as far as dismissing teachers’ threats to boycott invigilation and marking national examinations in 2010 as well as the impact of the 2011 civil servants strike. Now she is coming back to blame that ‘negligible’ strike.

What it means is that the assessment about the impact of the strike as being insignificant was a deliberate big lie intended to fool citizens. There is a saying that ‘lies have short legs’. The minister cannot be allowed to have it both ways and use the strike for her convenience or re-write history to cover up her ineptitude.

Minister Venson-Moitoi is a highly successful individual both as a civil servant and a politician. She is probably at the peak of her political career, which is why she is itching to ascend to greater heights by becoming the BDP’s Chairperson. There is a saying that after reaching the summit, every path leads downward. We saw that with former VP Merafhe when, into the twilight of his career, he started loosing his temper and throwing tantrums like a caged snake.

Once leaders reach the top, they become paranoid that other people are trying to knock them off their pedestal. They lose balance and persistently look for scapegoats to blame for their bureaucratic incompetence. In like manner, they ultimately lose their capacity to think coherently and rationally about important national issues and resort to bully tactics instead of nurturing healthy relations with stakeholders. Minister Venson-Moitoi is certainly following this unavoidable path; a blueprint passageway that leads downward which, by and large, explains her pit-bull metaphor ÔÇô she is morally lost and delusional and needs to be saved by being rested for good to free her from earthly toils or, in her own odd language, she must be ‘taken back to her mother’s home’.

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