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Venson-Moitoi: Either very brave, or very foolish

Joe Brown

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Dearest Venson-Moitoi

Mma-V wee, today I am just going to bite the bullet and risk the wrath of your fanatics by asking you to pull out of this presidential race thing you have thrown yourself into.

You see, I know your backers will find this queer, but before they have any opinion, they should know that this is between you and I and that no one is inviting them into our engagement. As I intimated to you maloba, I have no qualms with you contesting to become Botswana’s next president – yes, Botswana’s next President, not BDP’s. The BDP will obviously win this general election – ke bontshitswe – and that automatically will make you State President should you eventually beat SisiBoy at the party congress of July. And that will be a good thing – to have a woman State President for a change in this country. It will surely show that our democracy is the real deal, and knowing you, Batswana will know what it means to have a no-nonsense leader.

Kana wena o sengangatlela – once you have put your mind to something, that’s it! Nothing else matters. And usually you don’t give a damn, whatever anyone else says! That’s the kind of State President we will have. Somehow you have those mean traits of the old Mogae who could tell the voters to their face, on election year, gore ene gaa rapele ditlhopho and that o tlaa kabolla bomaipaafela ba Mogoditshane ditshoka! Such bravery you have Mma-V, and that is why it took ONLY you to break from the ruling party norm and challenge your party President on election year. I know of course that some may mimic what former President Masire loved to share with us and call you ‘either very brave or very foolish.’ And yes, nna I know you to be brave. Very brave actually. Tenacious. Unflinching.

At least these are the few traits I have known about you from before. Foolish??? I have no recollection of anything you said or did in the past that I would say was foolish. Nothing that comes to mind right now. Maybe later. But I have to say this presidential tussle you have plunged yourself into is very foolish. If indeed you are a moDomi wa motia as you described yourself on Saturday, you should as a party elder be encouraging harmony and unity within the party, especially at this crucial time of general election. On any other year I would fully back your candidacy for party President Mma-V. You can make State President actually, because you are one of the few tried and tested politicians this country has.

Very intelligent even. And I fully support intra-party competition as it connotes the very essence of what a true democracy should be. But Mma-V wee, timing is everything. Now is not the time to be making your party people to drive in different directions. Especially, when already, there is that other chap who has been busy doing everything to drive a wedge between the party faithful. In an election year where already, tension has been unleashed on the leadership of your party by the former leader – who disliked you – you then choose to help put more strain through your decision to challenge SisiBoy? Where is the wisdom in that Mma-V? After the July congress when you have won against SisiBoy, do you honestly believe your party will be ready in just three months, to ward off the fierce competition coming your way from the combined forces of opposition?

Nna tota I feel that by the time this thing comes to an end, you would be physically spent. Fatigued and perhaps even hovering dangerously over depression. Already, the past week has not been encouraging at all. In that week alone, you have made two contradicting statements – that you were promised the vice presidency, and that you were never promised the vice presidency. You see, this thing is taking a toll on you already. You look tired already. You look troubled. And I am sure even those genuinely close to you by blood and association, are troubled by all this. And assuming that on the contrary, you are as energised as ever, one wonders what exactly gives you the spur to carry on.

Obviously there must be something; someone; some entity lurking in the dark, pushing you to keep keeping on. You have denied gore wena you enjoy the emotional and resource backing of that New Jerusalem cabal of bitter losers and looters. What then is giving you the bravery to be assured of victory both against SisiBoy and later against Boko and his opposition associates? And nna tota even as I could put the issue of timing aside, I would not encourage you to let the nation and your sympathisers see you to be in the same corner with that cancerous New Jerusalem Cabal. Batho bao ba tlaa go senyeletsa. Batswana ga se dibari.

They can see through a number of those losers gore theirs is just the bitterness of being ignored and the discomfort of knowing that under SisiBoy, they will soon have to lay bare the things they fraudulently own. Akere bone from the time Mma Phumaphi of the BDP called for this declaration of assets law, they have done everything to ensure it does not come to pass. Even when later Saleshando of BCP joined parliament and pressed for the law, they dismissed him as a lunatic! Now that SisiBoy is amenable to the idea and has pledged that declaration of assets law will happen under his leadership, they see him as a hindrance to their plunderous tendencies. Their support for your candidacy is THAT fake Mma-V. Mo ga gore hee wee emang basadi, hee wee democratic right what-what, ke maaka hela.

They are supporting NOT you but your candidacy for their own selfish reasons. That’s why they are prepared to spend money they attained fraudulently to defend their interests. If anything, they would rather have the BDP fail to take power under SisiBoy. They have no party interest at heart, and they are using you. I know you have denied you are anybody’s proxy but I tell you, that is how all on the ground see it. If you want to win, se inyalane le Kgama mmata. Le wena hela you know gore everyone feels gore he is using you to return to power. But most of all, Mma-V, do not sell your soul to the devil. Take away all the strain and stress that you have brought unto yourself and perhaps even on those genuinely close to you.

Once again the family resources are at stake here. And for what? To eventually bring back a dictatorship that once degraded you and treated you as an outcast? And apart from your bitterness that you were not made Vice President, what really motivates you to want to challenge SisiBoy? As I said last week, it is not the desire to be State President. There is something else. And why do you not pick anything from the fact that even all party veterans are disturbed by what your candidacy really aims to achieve? They say a leopard never changes its spots – you will win and get this presidency for some people. Yet, as I said, it is not a secret one of them thought lowly of you.

He despised you and never had any confidence in you. He never held you in any high regard. At some point he even dropped you from cabinet, essentially saying you were not fit to serve in his government. He demoted and humiliated you when you were minister of education, a go dira a civil servant of some sort o bitswa ka maemonyana a e leng gore even today ga re itse gore e ne ele soo-mang. Even when you campaigned for that AU Commission position, he never really backed you – he just didn’t care. I tell you, Rre Kgama never really loved you. He just enjoyed toying around with you. He made you a toy with which he could do as he pleased.

Yet you would amaze everyone when you defended him and his actions, especially against you – and people at the time would wonder why you behaved that way as if you owed him your life. Remember, I said I have no doubts you can be President, but I have doubts your intentions to challenge Rre Masisi are genuine. I doubt it came from your heart. Not that ke nyatsa your integrity and independence of mind, but this whole thing you do does not make sense. I know you always say in politics there are no permanent foes, but seeing you allow yourself to be endorsed by that Guma guy who even beat you to the position of party chairman while enjoying RreKgama’s support against you? Despite Guma having freshly arrived back from the BMD? And RreKgama still trusted him more than he did you? And today you think you can trust them with your political life? Mma-V? Some are even trying to play the gender card but are clueless on the larger scheme of how things have turned out in your political life.

The gender thing for them is just a convenience – a facade. They don’t really care about you. They too know that what you are doing is incongruent with the history and culture of the BDP, but then because they have their own hidden agendas and egos to feed, they shout gender equality and constitutional right. Hypocrites! And if indeed it is about gender, wasn’t it at the Women Wing’s congress that a consensus was reached to support the sitting president to avoid distractions during election year, as has been tradition? Please wise up Mma-V. Just do the honourable and noble thing and withdraw from this taxing presidential race thing. If not for party unity on election year, at least do it for your own sanity; your own health; your own peace of mind. Only the bitter and the evil will despise you. And why should you care? The wise and the progressives will respect you. I love you Mma-V.

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Of Kings and Pawns: Tlogela malele ao Mma-V

Joe Brown

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Dear MmaV

MmaV, akere I warned you about the people whom I said did not really care about you but were using you to push their own agendas?
Where were they when you needed them the most last Thursday and Friday at the High Court and in Kang respectively? Didn’t I say in my previous letters to you that their exaggerated support for you was fake and only self-serving, and that you should disassociate yourself from them?
And did you listen MmaV?
You see now what they have done to you? They deserted you during your hour of need and did not want to be seen around you both at the High Court and even later in Kang on Friday.
And I tell you, now that the dust has somewhat settled, they will think you have forgotten about how they deserted you and sweet talk you into thinking that it was just part of a strategy to a bigger picture.
Going towards the congress, they were already dismissing your chances, especially after a number of MPs and councillors you always thought were on your side revealed at the eleventh hour that they were with SisiBoy.
All the other reasons they give for not being by your side are just lies. They did not want the embarrassment of your loss to hit them on the face, especially right under the noses of such flambouyants as that Balopi chap and the Tebelelo woman that you seem to loathe with a passion.
Your so-called allies just couldn’t stand the heat and did as I had always warned you – leave you to burn in Guma’s hot kitchen alone. You should have listened to me MmaV. See how you had to then throw in the towel in shame although you tried to hide it with those flimsy excuses you projected as reasons for your chickening out?
You really disappointed me MmaV. You disappointed even those who supported you. You disappointed the delegates and all those who had prepared a vote for you. You disappointed the masses who were looking forward to an epic contest of numerical supremacy.
You disappointed the opposition party cadres who were rooting for your victory in the hope that you would be easier to beat in October than SisiBoy. You actually even disappointed SisiBoy himself, who must have been looking forward to the contest.
The result would have allowed him to gauge the level of dissent and dissatisfaction against him within the party. Now he will never be sure. You could tell from his facial expression the first time it was announced you had asked your name to be removed.
The way he shook his head, you could tell he was not amused you pulled out. He must have relished the idea of humiliating not just you, but his nemesis Kgama whom he knew all along was the real deal in this contest. And more than anything else, he must have thought: What a waste of resources for nothing!
I mean, imagine the millions you guys put into this campaign. Your combined financial power would have been channeled towards your party’s success at the national polls coming this October. I guess your financiers must be disappointed too, although I have no pity for them because they never stood with you for the sake of You, but for their own selfish reasons.
They were just using you to try their luck at blocking SisiBoy from becoming State President. I hear they now have quickly moved from you to their Plan B of funding the opposition in the same hope of accessing our tourism and mineral wealth in return.
Akere gatwe they realise SisiBoy is introducing economic reforms that will leave them in the lurch and keep them at bay from exploiting our resources? They had hoped your victory would deliver them to Kanana, but as soon as they realised that it won’t work with you, they moved on.
They never really loved you MmaV; they never really believed you could make a great President. And the smart woman that you are, I am sure you knew this too – that these guys didn’t really believe in you.
It’s just that you couldn’t show it. You were already too deep into it that you could no longer hit a retreat of thoughts. Otherwise the nation would have laughed at you, wondering what you thought you had in those two gentlemen in the first place.
That’s why you neither thought much about them when you decided to withdraw from the race. Truth be told, your withdrawal was never really about the race being unfair akere MmaV?
You just had to pick that line for political expediency. The truth is, you saw that the people who had motivated your decision to stand for the position of President were no longer there with you.
Clearly they had realised you stood no chance against SisiBoy and they decided to hide from public humiliation. They couldn’t risk their reputation of being master schemers and perennial winners being trampled upon.
Remember the two guys always see themselves as winners – that they have never failed in any of the contests they have engaged in before. I mean, do you really think Kgama would want people to realise that he is human after all? That he can lose a contest?
He had invested too much into your campaign, wanting to prove that he was more powerful and popular than SisiBoy, and when he realised he was going to lose this one, he hit a strategic retreat.
Otherwise he was going to lose the mental warfare, and people who have always seen him as an invincible would finally realise he was in fact a mere mortal like just like you and me. Now I hear he is sponsoring your refusal to extend an olive branch towards SisiBoy.
Again you are allowing yourself to be used MmaV. For how long are you going to allow yourself to be played by these men? Can you imagine a lot of women saw you as an extension of this patriarchy narrative that has divided national opinion?
Women felt you were pushing the agenda of men and that you had no moral ground to disparage other women for not supporting you. And it got worse when those Sunday Standard guys exposed the grander scheme being put together behind your presidential campaign.
That revelation was bound to damage your campaign MmaV; ke gore there was no hiding from what really was going on. That’s why some of the people who had pledged support for you started backtracking.
When Polson, against all expectation, rallied people to support your rival, the writing was on the wall. Your behind-the-scenes schemes were exposed and many of your people did not want to be a part of the scheme.
But of course your guys read the mood and they quickly slid into hibernation, leaving you to bear the brunt of the cold at the High Court and in Kang alone.
I suspect you might have thought you had it all figured out, only to realise later that your backers were just amateurs in the game, perhaps even playing you to meet their own selfish interests. But I have said this to you before MmaV – tswaa fela mo dilong tse and take a well-deserved rest after your illustrious service to this country.
You don’t want to be remembered as a bitter has-been MmaV, not after the colourful career you have had in both government and politics. Perhaps you feel that this country owes you something for your selfless service – and I believe it does – but at the rate you are going, you will end up being seen as nothing but a selfish and insatiable leader who refuses to let go of power.
And questions will be asked gore why o tshaba go tlogela. Kana the others bone we know what they are scared of. They know what they have done and that is why they want someone – a president – they can control so as go tshaba molelo o tlang. And they chose you to do their dirty work.
And you agreed.
Now that things did not go according to plan, they are on another mission and you will be going back to help push their plan? Nnyaa MmaV, tlogela malele a o ikhutse with your dignity still intact.
Remember you are the one who called this whole thing ‘malele.’ Just as you opted to ‘recuse’ yourself from the malele presidential race in Kang, recuse yourself too, from dintwa tsaga SisiBoy le Kgama, and don’t get yourself involved in the reported dirty schemes of foreigners seeking to plunder your country’s economy. You can’t want to be associated with boBrijete who clearly have a questionable agenda with their backing of Kgama. The way they have dedicated and committed their time, energy and resources to backing Kgosikgolo with anything he wants, ba tlaa go golega MmaV. Tswaa mo go bone before it’s too late. There really shouldn’t be much more to say here MmaV – a word to the wise is enough.

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Enlightening lessons from losing a loved one

Yvonne Mooka

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Last week (April 7) marked three months since my brother Moagi Ditlhase passed.I keep writing about my personal journey with loss in my diary and share it with my social media friends #DiaryOfAGrievingSister.

I agree we handle grief different, and with me, writing really helps.The reason I feel it’s so important to touch on this topic, is because grief, at some point or another, greets all of us. Each of us on this beautiful adventure we call life, encounters loss and pain. The kind that leaves you raw and tender for years. But today I want to share what I have learned from my journey. While we are thrust into the grief, the choice to carefully extract from the pain the very lessons we are destined to learn creates the true beauty. A true human experience. I am still learning. I am a work in progress. Here is what grief has taught me.

Life is short regardless of the number of years. And the small things you get so worked up about are really meaningless when you look at the bigger picture. Life can be taken away from you in less than a second and this thought makes you loosen your grip on life and stop wasting so much time trying to control everything or get so disappointed if it doesn’t go your way. Life is impermanent and so is control.

Like the wisest man in the Bible once said – ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ You realize the importance of memories. And how we should make as many of them as possible with the people we love. It is the only thing that will be left of them and you will want to celebrate their lives when they are gone. Memories are the only way to bring someone back to life. They will always remain. I look at my brother’s photos with a smile every now and then.

A little compassion goes a long way. Others are hurting all the time. You don’t have to look far to see heartbreak and loss written across someone’s face. I cry during Worship most Sunday mornings at church. I am okay with that. It’s my time to let out the emotion, and thank God for the ability to understand that others are hurting, too.

We are all in this together. Lastly, blessings abound. You just have to open your eyes to them. It’s the much needed breeze on a hot summer day. It’s the smile of a child as they run to the car after school. It’s a friend asking if you are okay today. It’s a friend not asking questions but bringing flowers just when they are needed. Perhaps it’s just knowing that you have love in your life.
Or that you were able to truly help someone in need. Praying for you that your faith shall not fail.

Facebook/Instagram: Yvonne Tshepang Mooka
Twitter: @yvonnemooka
Email: yvonnequeen2003@gmail.com

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