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Have a clear succession plan for peaceful transition

Matshediso Fologang

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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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Bureaucracy impedes youth empowerment – Tshekedi

Keikantse Lesemela

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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.

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Grow through your pain

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No one escapes pain. Pain is universal. Very often in life, we can go through a storm, a devastation, a loss, and feel like we are all alone, like God, the world, and the universe is against us and no one knows how we feel. However, every faith teaches that pain is universal. Even Jesus went through pain. No one is exempt.

It is during a painful time; a loss of a spouse, loss of a child, a job, health, business, career, finances, whatever your pain may be, that we can begin to become bitter, if we take a humanistic look at our pain. If we are not mindful, our perspective may say “why me?” However, the Bible is a reminder that God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts and everything is not about us. There is something good in what you’ve been through. You’ve just got to give God time to show it to you.

Some things, including our pain, is bigger than us. That means, how we are looking at something that has happened to us, may not be God’s perspective on what happened through us, because of us, and for us. There are always two perspectives: our view versus heaven’s view. The greatest examples of this are Jesus, and even globally celebrated icons like Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and more. They endured for the greater good.

Personal pain always has a purposeful agenda when we put in in God’s Hands. That’s really where the battle is. What will you do with your pain? Will you keep it in your hands and allow it to torment you or put it in God’s Hands and allow it to develop you? The choice is yours. You can’t always control what happens to you. But, you can control what you do with what happens to you.
Lost your job? Think about how you can start your own business. Went through a painful divorce? Think about how you can heal, remarry, and help others. Life is not over for you.

There’s more joy ahead, if you commit to moving forward. In college, I interned for an international organization called Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). It was launched by a mom who lost her child to death when he was killed by a drunk driver. Candy, the founder of MADD is an example of how God can use your pain to bless His purpose on earth. Her pain became a seed that God used to produce a harvest to bless other people. God wants to do the same for you. However, you won’t see that if you continue to look at your pain through a selfish lens.

All of us must learn how to change our perspective and stop taking everything so personally. It’s a discipline, but when we condition ourselves to trust God, despite the pain, we can have confidence in knowing all things happen for us, not just to us.

To remain at peace as we grow through pain in our lives, it is imperative we remember, it’s not personal, it’s purposeful. Good things can come from what we’ve been through. I don’t know everything you may be going through right now. But, I do know, as long as you have breath in your body, there’s still time to come back from whatever it is that was trying to shut you down. Grieve your pain. That’s OK.

Search your wounds for God’s wisdom. But, after you grieve, get up. The purpose for your pain is ahead. God has so much more in store for you. To learn more about the empowerment ministry of Tera Carissa Hodges, please visit www.teracarissa.com

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