Thursday, May 6, 2021

UDC owes the nation Motswaledi’s death report

When they set out to engage experts who would help investigate the death of Gomolemo Motswaledi, the leadership of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) left out an equally important group of experts. It is becoming glaringly clear the party ought to have included public relations practitioners in their quest for answers on the demise of the iconic Motswaledi.

The way the UDC leadership is handling this matter is embarrassing to say the least. Look, the nation would have by now given up on the mysteries surrounding the death of Motswaledi. We had resigned ourselves to conspiracies and the gossip that followed his untimely death and surely at some point we were going to say “only God knows the truth”. A lot of conspiracy theories as to how he died and why he had to die continue to occupy every gossip space in our daily conversations simply because the report is still to be released. Knowing Batswana, had the UDC not launched an investigation, we were only going to talk about Motswaledi’s death for just a few weeks and then move on with our sorrowful lives.

The reason people are still talking about the death of Motswaledi, twelve months later, is solely because the UDC opened the door for this talk but seems not ready to close it. Get me right, I’m not saying Batswana would have forgotten or would not be talking about Motswaledi had the UDC not instituted an investigation that now seems hard to conclude.

Yes, nation would still be talking and will forever talk about Motswaledi the good man but now they still find themselves having to talk about his death more than they talk about his well-lived life. Before I go any further, let it be known that I support the UDC leadership’s initiative to investigate the death of my dear brother Gomolemo. I am actually one of those who still find it hard to believe he died from a genuine accident even as I know he was a speed freak. His accident is just hard to put together and comprehend. I was therefore elated when I heard the UDC leadership has set in motion investigations into his death. I was looking forward to answers. I was looking forward to closure. The UDC leadership, I want to believe, were also skeptical of the authenticity of Motswaledi’s alleged car accident and that is why they launched their independent investigation.

For that, they deserve commendation. Now let me get into why I am of the view the nation has a legitimate expectation to the release of the report on Motswaledi’s death. Firstly, the UDC leadership do not own this report and they have no exclusive rights to it. This is so because when they started the investigations, the party leadership reached out to the public and asked for funds, with the promise the report will be availed to the same public on completion. I know the UDC to have always accused the ruling party of failure to account to the public especially where public funds are used.

I therefore do not expect the UDC to do unto us exactly what they blame the BDP for meting out on us. I also find it reckless that some UDC members are of the view there should be no hurry in releasing the report because the BDP-led government is sitting on several reports. We should never ever make the mistake of thinking just because the BDP is doing things the wrong way that is a license for the opposition to do the same. The opposition promises change and they must show us that change right now before we give them power. The silence that the UDC has adopted is not good for their image and integrity. If they fail to account for Motswaledi’s report, what guarantee do we have they will account for so many projects that they will be handling once in power?

There are times I get to think perhaps the UDC leadership think they were supposed to release the report only if it was different from the one sanctioned by the BDP government but that should not be the case at all. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them coming out to tell us their investigators, just like the Botswana Police, found no foul play in Motswaledi’s death. The investigation should never have been about finding fault in the Police report but rather, it should have been about finding the other truth even if this other truth was similar to the one released by the Police. There is also nothing wrong with telling the nation that the UDC investigation is inconclusive. The only problem is when the UDC opts to keep quiet about the investigation because, perceived or real, they come across as hiding something from the public. Perception is not good in public relations. The UDC must therefore come out clean with the public.

The public is not wrong to demand the report from the UDC because it is the UDC which invited the public to be part of this investigation. The UDC must tread with care lest they squander the public’s gesture of benevolence. The UDC might need the public to assist in future and it will be hard to convince the public that their intervention is worthwhile. Batswana contributed to the investigation simply because of the love they had for Motswaledi. Motswaledi belonged to this nation and this nation always felt duty bound to take care of everything Motswaledi. When the BDP wanted to auction off Motswaledi’s property, this nation came forth and contributed money to put the sheriffs at bay.

BMD accounted for the contributions and called a press conference where a cheque was displayed to the public and a copy of which was sent to the media for publication. It is therefore only plausible that the same token of accountability is extended to the nation once again. I know of cases where investigations failed to turn up anything sinister, only for the truth to surface decades later. If the UDC report doesn’t have anything against anyone for now, let the nation be told because the good thing with such cases is, it can take many years before the truth comes out but eventually, truth has a way of finding its way out. If Motswaledi was killed but it is hard to find the killers for now, one day his killers will be found.

The conspirators will one day have a fall out and one of them will speak out. Who knows, maybe one of them will one day become a born again Christian and will have the courage and urge to confess. I understand the frustration that the UDC must be going through as they try to put together this report because it might be implicating some powerful people that cannot be named without solid proof of their involvement but patience pays off and for now the nation needs an update even if no one is implicated at the moment.

[email protected] Twitter:@kuvuki

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