Dear Carter Morupisi
I hope all is well with you Carter, and I pray God continues to keep you breathing for longer in the midst of this raging presidential tussle in which you find yourself entangled.
I pity you Carter. For here you are, caught in between two masters you have to babysit and nurse around their petty squabbles, yet there are thousands of helpless people across the country who also need your attention on pertinent issues. I wonder how you manage to do this Carter. You were everything to Khama once. You pushed his heinous don’t-care agenda and attracted the wrath of especially the civil servants and their trade unions.
Now you have to push the suspect agenda of the sitting President at the risk of being vilified by those who, inexplicably, still worship Kgama and the ground he walks on. Suddenly you have to pretend that you do not know Kgama even as he is the one who placed you in that position in the first place. Your Kgosikgolo for that matter! Yours must be a precarious position BraCarter – the only man in this country who can dare the untouchable Kgama and take practical action against him. All these others ke magatlapa. All they do is talk and talk with no action. Barking dogs that never bite. Wena o mo tsena fela and when you want to remind him who is boss, you simply remove his favourite staff and maids and redeploy them where your heart pleases.
Ha a sena go bokolela you show him gore you can return them to him ga o batla. A bo a didimala. For the 10 years he was at the helm, no one could dare him. Bo Wynter, Motswaledi (MHSRIP), Ntuane, Guma, Pilane and Mangole among others, tried where they could but ended up having to scurry away or being cast aside with military contempt. But not you Carter! Somehow you seem to have a password to his short fuse. You know where to press and things just happen as you wish. Just recently you also disarmed him of the housing appeal fund. I have even heard some people say o a ineelela to treat your Kgosikgolo with such wanton derision.
Others have even suggested you be fired by SisiBoy for stoking fires between him and Kgama. But SisiBoy is obviously smart. He knows you know Khama so well you are the best ammunition he has against him. And so far, I must say, you have done a pretty good job. I hear Kgama says you are clumsy, but that, obviously, is a subjective observation. It depends on which side one is sitting. Over the past years, the same Kgama obviously felt you were doing a pretty good job while unions and civil servants felt what you were doing was clumsy. That’s just how the world rolls!
Saleshando often says “tlhomola o le utlwe.” And I hear you do all this against Kgama because you know a lot about him – that’s why a sa go tshose.I hear that while you respect him for the elder that he is, you nonetheless despise him for having been driven by pettiness when making decisions on issues of national interest in the past, which often made you face the wrath of those affected. Which makes me wonder what you in turn feel about SisiBoy, especially that you have known him even before his epic ascendance. Does he also come about as a petty person? Or as others suggest, is he merely being provoked to return petty with petty? And since you work with both SisiBoy and Kgama, do you ever advise them against this elderly-childish bickering they display in the glare of the public? Aargh, rona we are tired of this ugly public spat they now discharge with brilliant mediocrity every single week.
Masisi is your boss – you form a part of his team of advisors. Kgama is under your employ. You make decisions for him, even as he hates to admit and accept it. In a way, you serve both. And when they engage in this catfight that has now become a perfect bore, you get entangled into it all. You are thus in a better position to advise both to just stop with this back and forth badmouthing of each other.
I suspect ba go tsenya too much stress ka these public jabs tsa bone and now you find yourself caught between your professional obligations and your personal take on everything that it entails. Remind them gore you also have an obligation to the rest of the citizens who need your attention. There are burning socio-economic issues that need to be dealt with across the expanse of this country.
You cannot be seen to be on the alert waiting to hear what Kgama says about Masisi so that you write the “mmuso o ganeditse magatwe” and “mmuso o tshwenyegile” press releases that often take up the larger portion of the national television and radio stations’ news bulletins. Of course you were taught to do these rebuttals by Kgama himself, and now you have to do it against him. So boring now that the rebuttals are about two people who should rather be combining efforts towards nation building.
If I were in your position, I would go to the President and advise him to ignore Kgama as much as possible. Kana as it usually happens in a cold war, Kgama is the one who stealthily provokes SisiBoy into public outcries so that we see the State President as a cry baby. But you see, SisiBoy le ene should just learn to keep quiet and let the people judge. Kana Kgama is a military strategist who understands the art of war better than SisiBoy, and clearly it is Kgama who is meticulously playing his cards so cunningly that SisiBoy is the one who now appears to be the problem. Kana tlherra Kgama has no match when it comes to managing combat.
Masisi can’t win against him – kana ene he has nothing to lose. Silently and sleekly, he pokes SisiBoy into ranting and then he makes it appear like he is only responding to SisiBoy’s words. And gullible as many of us are, we tend to easily fall for it and blame SisiBoy for complaining too much. See how this Kgama guy convenes the many gatherings where he then utters words that undermine the Presidency? See how he trapped SisiBoy into complaining about coming late to functions. Kgama has never been one to be late for any event, but all of a sudden he has to arrive late or not arrive at all where SisiBoy is presiding over a gathering.
Sending an apology was obviously just his way of trying to appear modest when he knew exactly what he was doing. I tell you, if it were him in SisiBoy’s position, he wouldn’t tolerate this lateness, apology or no apology. He knows it is against presidential protocol to arrive at a function after the main man, he just does it to provoke the poor Mokgatla. And boy, Mokgatla le ene is falling for everything. He could do better to ignore all these khamantics and carry on with his business especially that he knows all this is deliberate! And the Kgosikgolo is always quick to respond, and he will always respond in such a manner that he wins public sympathy.
It’s called mind games, and through these mind games, Kgosikgolo is winning more people to his side. Very soon people will believe gore indeed SisiBoy ke ene a dictator and that the current DIS is the worst and most feared as Kgama has so strangely been suggesting. Just imagine Kgama saying these words! Gore Masisi is a dictator and that people are now scared of DIS than during his time as president! These are mind games at work Carter, and you are smart enough to know this.
Advise your boss to just keep quiet. The smart man that he is, he doesn’t seem to realise that everything Kgama and his corrupt allies do is intended to unsettle him to the levels where the nation is going to instead see him as paranoid. Look at the timing of the announcement by MmaMoitoi; it was deliberate. Kgama being behind all this, he knew Masisi would have to react by firing the woman. Kgama would have done the same since no straight-thinking leader can continue working with someone who has practically declared him unfit for leadership. And indeed SisiBoy had to sideline anyone else aligning themselves with the dissidents, because he can’t work with people who have no faith in him.
They will obviously sabotage his programmes. But then, they know when he acts such that he surrounds himself with people who believe in his vision; the nation will see him as vindictive. Mind games Carter. Help your boss out of this. He should stop taking the bait.
Now he appears to be a petty president because of this selfish behaviour by his opponents. This battered yet hopeful nation is looking up to him to emancipate the troubled citizens from a plethora of social and economic burdens while he is obsessed with just one man who is past his sell-by-date. Advise him to bring an end to this and focus on us, the citizens.
We need Masisi more. Remind him that the one person he is focusing on has along with his morally deficient associates accumulated more wealth than this country has already, and that they have nothing to lose when his focus is as derailed as it is now. The rest of us have everything to lose. Le ene seriti se a tsamaya. So please Carter, at least gakolola Rre Masisi. Ignore that other power-hungry one. He is beyond redemption.
*Letter reposted as author is away on leave.
Bureaucracy impedes youth empowerment – Tshekedi
Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama said government’s bureaucracy hinders youth participation in economic development.
Speaking during the Youth Awards on Saturday, Khama explained that the society has adopted the word bureaucracy and they live with it. “This word has contradicting terms with the way the youth think, this confirms the space between the youth and how we deliver. The honour is on us to deliver an enabling environment, we talk so much, we have had discussions in pitsos,”
He pointed out that, financial institutions have difficult regulations that hinder youth to access funding for their respective businesses. “When a youth approaches a financial institution, the first question would be where is your pay slip?, secondly, what security do you have? And they will say it’s bank regulations. We live in the bureaucracies of these regulations and it has become our DNA,” said Khama.
Over the years, government has introduced programmes that promote youth entrepreneurship, which include financing, capacity building, market access and marketing an outreach. Currently, the ministry is reviewing the Youth Development Fund to improve training of beneficiaries and encourage consortia and cooperatives.
Recently, when presenting the budget for the Ministry, Khama highlighted that the youth cohort constitutes the majority of the population and this is supposed to present the country with an opportunity to harness the demographic dividend. “Their energy, educational level and technology skills should be exploited to propel our country forward,” he said.
He also indicated that the youth is faced with socio-economic challenges including unemployment, poverty, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. “Therefore we must intervene to give them the best possible opportunities to achieve their dreams and help our country realize the ideals of vision 2036.”
Meanwhile, government disburses P120 million yearly as funding to youth enterprises and about 919 businesses have been funded in the last financial year. The youth have raised a lot of challenges in doing business, including high rentals for operating space, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities.
Have a clear succession plan for peaceful transition
How have we as a people treated succession? Though in our society succession has always been determined along patriarchal lineage, traditional leadership succession has not always been smooth.
There are known stories where families broke up in a battle for succession. Immediately in my mind comes the last split of the Ba-ga-Malete in 1892. The succession was based on the bravery and not on the strength being the first born child. Throughout Botswana many merafe have a history of succession that didn’t follow the rigidity of patriarchy.
Batswana as a people believe that talk is far better than war. Ntwakgolo ke ya molomo. We are a people who would spend a whole lot of time openly discussing a matter before a decision could be reached. Discussions on any matter put before a gathering of family, clan and morafe was never finalised without thorough discussion. All present regardless of their economic strength participated fully without hindrance. Decisions thereat were reached through consensus. Traditional leaders would skilfully announce the collective decision arrived at.
The good thing about this method of allowing all to participate – Mafoko a kgotla mantle otlhe and the Mmualebe bua gore monalentle a tswe lagwe – was basically premised on the principle of what our current crop of men and women who have read big books would call “participatory democracy.” Democracy therefore has never been an imported phenomenon amongst Batswana. Democracy has always been in our DNA. Regarding succession therefore it has always been based on the consensus of the majority.
The leader though selected among the royal family, his character also played an important role in determining his suitability. As we embraced western type democracy we have in our different political homes defined our succession plans. As a nation we have defined our processes of succession. In the age and era where, unlike in our tradition, we have written these, we do not therefore rely on memories. Our forebears relied on memories and nothing was ever in black and white.
However, our forebears knew succession if not properly handled could bring strife and instability amongst morafe. We were then not part of a collective of nations and therefore what transpired in our little morafe did not necessarily impact our relations with other merafe that much. If not handled well it could create a loophole for other merafe to wage a war against the morafe .
If any such person who had been overlooked for whatever reason felt strongly about such decision, he would either remain part of the morafe as a junior leader or migrate with his supporters. Peace would prevail. Even those who had held fort for their younger siblings would want to hand over a united morafe to his successor.
In modern society, a predecessor takes pride in the performance of his choice of successor. Travelling through history one envies the succession of Kgosi Ketshwerebothata Ikaneng and Mokgosi III and that of Kgosi Mmusi and Linchwe II. Such were Batswana leaders who worked together for the better interest of the merafe they led. What now and whither peace and love for the downtrodden?
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