ILLUSTRATION BY THEBE PHETOGO
Imagine my shock at discovering that our President’s been in the news for more than donating blankets and increasing alcohol prices lately! If you’re not from Botswana, you might think that this is a joke, but I’m sorry to say, it really isn’t.
Our President is notoriously known for applying military tactics when it comes to his movements. From disappearing for months on end with no explanation to the people, only appearing in rural areas to donate blankets and hold hands with old ladies, to confusing the enemy.. I mean, the people.. By introducing alcohol levies that supposedly were meant to go towards building a rehabilitation center, which we never saw.
He travels for wildlife summits, participates in local radio stations’ weight loss/fitness competitions and wins while maintaining a perfect afro, improves his Setswana and runs this country from God knows where, most of the time, without breaking a sweat.
Amazing isn’t he?
He’s like.. Super President.
Except the average city dwelling Motswana isn’t happy with Rraarona. Unlike their village dwelling peers, they aren’t easily impressed. When they do decide to vote, their vote can’t be bought with a few blankets and a handshake.
For some, it is to do with constantly having to change their drink of choice because every other year it becomes even more expensive. One goes from Cabernet Sauvignon to Autumn Harvest and they must wonder who’s to blame for the disorder in their lives.
For others it is because he seems to be a phantom president, appearing only really during election year and on certain holidays. The people want to know where he is, what he’s doing, and if it’s benefiting them.
The more politically/socially aware chaps say what they’ve said since he started making decisions: Why does this feel like a dictatorship? When do WE get consulted? Why don’t things add up? And why is everyone silent?
Save for a few lighthearted [read: fearful] articles by anonymous/brave writers asking all the difficult questions, no one speaks of our Leader. Even the brazen individuals on Botswana Twitter refer to him using code names because nobody knows if the legends of the Big Boss Man making calls to have a pesky citizen “dealt with” are true or not.
We’ve heard rumours that John Kalafatis was shot for a bit more than just being a hardcore criminal, but that’s neither here nor there.
The story itself was probably the first time our generation and possibly the one above it had to question government’s now gangster like tactics.
All we got were vague statements and mentions of ongoing investigations.
The accused got 11 months in jail, only served a few months and are now free to traipse the streets.
And then John’s father was attacked by unknown assailants and left behind Sir Seretse Khama barracks. Unfortunately he did not make it.
A while later, his son and John’s brother, Costa, was shot by what he described as plain clothes officers in a government vehicle and after months of fighting for his life, survived.
And what did our good old government and police force have to say?
Wait for it..
Wait for it…
He’d snatched a handbag in G West and he had been a fugitive.
I pity the fool that believes that nonsense, which, if I’m being honest, might just be a lot of Batswana.
As I read the post explaining why the police were looking for Costa, on Facebook, before the shooting, I rolled my eyes and was both offended and annoyed at what I read.
Costa denied any involvement in the purse snatching and really all I’d like to say is that if snatching a purse gets you murdered, we’d have much higher death tolls.
Theories continue to sprout about exactly why the poor family has been befallen with such grief and more questions are raised in the minds of Batswana.
Evidently there was a silent “D” for “Discretion”when His Excellency got into power.
Yarona FM News reported yesterday that our esteemed Leader “hasn’t attended a single United Nations General Assembly or African Union Heads of State Summit but has attended six Conservation International board meetings since assuming power in 2008.”
This was apparently revealed by Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Mokgweetsi Masisi in Parliament.
“The AU provide an effective forum that enables all Member States to adopt coordinated positions on matters of common concern to the continent in international fora and defend the interests of Africa effectively while the United Nations on the other hand, aims to promote international co-operation.
Conservation International, whose board Khama is a member, empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature. He also has personal interests in the sector with significant investments in tourism.
Masisi said Botswana has been represented in all the AU and UN meetings by either the Vice President or Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on behalf of Khama.”
Now I cannot say why the Father of the Nation did not attend these meetings, I know nothing of the man and can only assume that maybe he feels it more important to be one with nature than to attend to trivial matters brought up by the AU.
He might just be a busy man.
Too busy in fact, to keep up with the promises that he makes to constituents.
Yarona FM news reported again that President Ian Khama has failed to deliver on his promise to help resolve the poor water drainage system in Gaborone West South.
“Khama said during his popular presidential walkabout in the constituency last year that he will address the problem which causes floods during the rainy season.
He told the residents that the new backlog eradication initiative would take care of the situation.”
And yet Yesterday when the area MP Botsalo Ntuane asked when the affected areas in the constituency would be rehabilitated, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso told Parliament that due to competing priorities and budgetary limitations, rehabilitation has not been possible.
The people were told that hopefully, 2014/15 would be the year.
A messy, filthy thing, only for the gullible and those with slick tongues and shifty eyes.
[No, I’m not likening you to snakes. Well, not really.]
It is election year.
After this post I may not be around to see the polls.
Of course we already know how this is going to go.
The BDP is kind of like the ANC and in a sense, ZANU PF, in the sense that, although you don’t know if the people are voting for the political party or the leader, the outcome is always the same.
From what I hear cigarette prices will be going up too soon.
I’ll just be here, hopefully still in one piece, smoking half a cigarette rather slowly.
These are the days of our lives, kids.
I think we’re all grown up now.