politics

Our President, Who art in... Where exactly?

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.

Oh, politics.

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.

Botswana to pregnant women: “You’re either a mother or a murderer.”

Currently, the average sexually active Tswana woman’s choices are rather grim should she fall pregnant and not want to keep the baby, for whatever reason:

  1. Have the baby
  2. Have the baby and give it to someone to take care of
  3. Have an unsafe abortion
  4. Resort to whatever comes to mind to “fix” the situation

All of which are rather damaging emotionally, physically or both.  These women feel powerless and misinformed, and society tells them “You’re either going to be a mother or a murderer.”

Image
Read More

“Not my country. Not my people. Not my issue.”

“Why is it that Batswana pay more attention to South African issues than their own? They’re always in an uproar about issues elsewhere but they don’t know what’s happening here.” I read this a couple of weeks ago and it was the plain and simple truth.

We claim to be patriotic, well, not really, we just support the leading Party because most were raised believing we should and the President is Jesus and MPs his disciples. And as a sign of our patriotism we question nothing and do only what we should, hardly ever what we can.

Looking at the youth, there is an underlying hatred for our country, it’s resources, it’s state of development and it’s people.  As I told my friend, In Bots, we spend our youth blissfully ignorant, you reach your late teens and that’s the time you feel you NEED to leave. You spend your 20s working on getting as far away as possible, but honey, if by your late 20s you’re still here.. You’ll never leave.

I find it difficult to take angry Batswana seriously. Honestly, even when issues concern them, the most they’ll do is discuss them in a Combi ride home and even then, it’s the old drunk guy who has something to say.

A few weeks ago there was an uproar on Bots Twitter over allegations that Choppies sold expired food to people and would merely changes the labels but sell the same products. Apparently they were also selling people products under false pretences  and a few hours later, someone found a cat ear in their meat. I was personally completely unaffected. Why? Because I knew what would happen and it did. They complained for a few days. Then they continued buying from the store and life went on as usual.

It’s hard to care about people who would rather walk around with eyes closed. And I think maybe that’s why it’s every man for himself. You can want to show people that governments don’t always have their best interests at heart, you can try to teach women that they deserve everything men do, you can try to teach the children that obedience isn’t always the key, but when they would rather be Bible thumping, beer guzzling, passive aggressive individuals, won’t the smart man see it more fruitful to better himself and leave well enough alone to a certain degree?

Our people are more concerned with a Leader’s sexual orientation than missing funds. They complain of teenage pregnancy but sex education in schools would be considered taboo and they would think free birth control would be encouraging the kids to have sex. Increased alcohol prices get more attention than failing students from certain parents.  The Power Corporation says we won’t have stable power til June and we… Update our statuses.

Batswana will complain about foreigners coming here to profit but would rather not start small.. Start a tuckshop,buy combis,because what would the neighbours say? They might think we’re poor.

Basically, when it comes to national issues,we understand that change requires effort.. A movement. If people do not share your vision, your hope for progress, what are you to do? That’s what I need to understand. What?

Pro Choice = Anti Life? Bitch, please.

I feel a certain way about being told what to do with my vagina.

I feel a certain way about people imposing their beliefs on me.

I feel a certain way about being judged for making a decision based on what I know and feel.

I feel a certain way about abortion, Life, choice, rights and the government.

While having a conversation with a friend she told me that there’re places that use Dettol antiseptic liquid for abortions. As in, they basically pour that into your vagina and wait for the rest to happen. I know of people who drink water boiled with 5 thebes for this too. Some women use coat hangers, others drink poison. It’s all just a fucking mess.

Now,I’m from Botswana, and here abortion is illegal.  People bring up such issues as It being murder, it being immoral. It’s a child.. If you didn’t want the baby you shouldn’t have had sex..Oh so what if you’re dirt broke and won’t be able to support it? Bring it into the world. So what if you were raped and will possibly hate the child? Bring it into the world.

Because all humans have rights, including those who haven’t seen the light of day, except for women who want to decide what to do with their bodies and their lives.

Listen.

Sex gets messy. Life gets messy. Sometimes, you end up in situations you didn’t bargain for.  We know this.

You believe Life begins the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg, someone else believes it’s when the limbs form and another, when the child is born. We do not think alike, but many are on a bid for us to.

Now, I don’t have an issue with us viewing things differently. I have an issue with people forcing others to be like them and not respecting the fact that they have the right to make their own decisions, as seems to be the norm.

You don’t know nor understand WHY these ladies do as they do. And you don’t seem to understand that in fact, no, abortion is not a luxury. It’s not cute. It’s not like deciding to blow your nose. These women know there’s a baby inside them, a life growing, and choosing to terminate that for whatever reason is NEVER an easy decision to make.

Don’t you think there’s shame at some point,maybe? Indecision? Fear? Guilt?

I think a lot of people throw their judgement around because they think other people lack a conscience. No. We have consciences just as we have rational thoughts and emotions. And you..you are a bunch of cows really.

Being a “Christian” country I assume it’s illegal here for the above stated reasons. Hypocritical leaders are a problem. I promise you, it’s not that THEY don’t get their lovers to abort the children they make, they do..It’s just that making it okay here would anger the people and despite the fact that we know the people never really have a say in shit at the end of the day, we don’t make it happen.

I don’t understand why, to appear morally correct and “fair” to society, you want others to bring children into this world who may be unwanted, may grow up to be abused and will probably lack the things other kids have [affection, resources,etc].

Why force someone to care for something they view as an inconvenience?  You know how people react in situations they don’t like..Plus, in an overpopulated world anyway, where people are starving and shit is just all kinds of fucked u…just, why?

People don’t think. Nor do they respect those who do.

It’s fucked up that a group of people who are only a fraction of our population get to tell us how to live and we think they’re superior to us.

It’s fucked up that there are women dying because a few still wanna hold on to their “morality”.

And the judgement..Is stupid.

The situation is sad.

Image Image Image Image Image