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Stop abusing Kgosikgolo borra – e seng mo ngwaneng!

Joe Brown

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Dear Pastor Biggie

I hope this brief finds you in a relatively stable state of mind my dear pastor. Having been one of the few people in politics whom I have had the bravery to defend as a genuinely caring and honest man, I must admit that over the past few days you left me defendless and helpless as those who differed with me on you in the past, came raining down on me with a barrage of ‘we-told-you-so’ artillery.

You see, these are the people I have on many occasions told that along with Ndaba and Robert, you are one of the few politicians I could risk a vote of confidence for being honest and principled.

In a lot of my past letters to the likes of Dlodlo, Gladiator, SisiBoy and Kgosikgolo, I have parroted the notion that politicians are self-serving and dishonest people who just care about what matters to only themselves while cunningly perpetuating a picture of caring, loving and selfless Good Samaritans.

Yet I have included you in my four-man list of those I could cite as an exception. You see, I still remember how you stood a lone ranger in Parley going against Kgosikgolo’s sentiments and those of his erstwhile party when you fought for the monumental recognition of the late Motswaledi and others.

Whenever people labelled you ‘moruti-ka-lefitshwana’I was always the first to defend you – demanding proof that indeed you were as dishonest as they said you were. I never accepted anything that suggested that you were as cunning and self-serving as other politicians.

But these past eventful weeks you proved me wrong Moruti Butale. You left me cowing in shame and unable to face my friends about you. You proved to be a disgrace to anything you have always claimed to be. That Friday I listened to your vitriol and felt so ashamed to call you my pastor. Moruti, all you did in Masunga two weeks back was to expose yourself as just another self-serving political fraudster who even used God’s name to preach hatred, regionalism and tribalism.

You should be ashamed of yourself Pastor. Before your meeting, I had read somewhere in a newspaper that you were hellbent on saying and doing anything to ensure people get to hate SisiBoy at whatever cost. Ao rra? Kana I didn’t believe the contents of that article. I thought, Nnyaa ba akela moruti. No moruti reacts this way to anything.

And to even drag your dear wife into such witchery – making her defend you after preaching hatred to your followers! Come on Biggie. This time you stooped too low. At this very moment you should rather be on your knees, praying for a better and united Botswana, not out and about preaching hatred.

I understand you are frustrated that you lost in the primary elections of your party, but moruti, what has happened to Grace? Is it not you who has preached about being Graceful and Thankful to the Lord even in defeat? (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Yes pastor, you taught us about handling defeat, advising that despite whatever else life dishes out on us, we should still thank God and allow Him to deploy us elsewhere.

Now look at you! I heard you moruti when you said SisiBoy is a criminal and a fraudster who has among other things robbed the Bank of Botswana and created a body-double of yourself to engage in some corrupt undertaking.

I have no facts to say for sure if you were telling the truth or just lying for political expediency – so I won’t go there. I am more concerned about the dishonesty you so blatantly displayed much to the disappointment of many of us who really wanted to clutch at anything to continue trusting your word and defending you as a principled man.

An honest man as I have thought of you should have been able to say these things about SisiBoy and his BDP when those things were happening. Or are you going to say they held a gun to your throat threatening the life out of you if you spoke of their corruption?

The honest and principled man that you are, why have you been quiet about such thievery all this time? Where were you when the likes of Moswaane and Polson told it like it is to the faces of both SisiBoy and Kgosikgolo? Those are the men we could perhaps give an ear if they spoke like you today. They have never hidden their feelings about the things done by the leadership. They never waited until they lost elections to start making their feelings known.

Wena I am worried we were never going to hear all these things from you had you won ka Bulela Ditswe. From the day you lost, you have been all over telling all sorts of stories relating to threats on your life, obviously to plant seeds of doubt on the character of the man you so openly hate today, Rre Masisi. All that talk of cows being pushed onto the road by police officers and the stories of six tyre bursts, you only reminded me of the trobled life the late Motswaledi lived. At the time, people said your idol Kgosikgolo was behind the mishaps, including the eventual demise of poor Sir-Gee. Now you are copying from that script and now claiming it is SisiBoy who is behind the tyre bursts? It is almost like someone is sending you to say out those things – someone haunted by some form of guilty conscience. It has become very difficult to trust anything you say Moruti. Imagine you even asked your gathering of constituents to help you decide if you should pull-out from politics and return to boruti. Who in their right mind will still find any inspiration in your teachings after you rallied the nation to hate its leader?

Kana by asking your followers to hate their leader you were almost asking your flock to hate God and follow Satan. No wonder a lot of people who reacted to your meeting called you Devil Incarnate.

You disappointed a lot of them moruti. They never expected such vile and lie from you. Most were angered and disappointed, including the opposition fanatics you were definitely trying to impress. They called you moruti-ka-lefitshwana and labelled you a diabolic makgorwane.

I tell you, not even Ndaba or Boko felt any feather of flatter at your mention that they are better leaders than SisiBoy. They simply saw you for who you are – an angry and bitter man who after being rejected by his own people suddenly opens up about the age-old corruption and evil he has been embracing, praising and defending while it served his interests.

The two gentlemen still have memories of how you used to say the UDC and other opposition leaders can’t take this country anywhere. Now that you are grieving over your numbered days mo letlepung, suddenly the opposition and its leaders are better than the BDP and SisiBoy whom in several expressions you labelled an undemocratic crook and a liar.

And yet wena in Masunga – through your MC – you made it clear you were not going to entertain any comment from the floor that attacks you. You call that ‘democratic’ pastor?

And here is the classic part – you asked for direction from your people, imploring them to decide if you should quit politics and return full time to boruti; or to join AP; or to join UDC; or to join – in your own words – a party formed by Khama.

A number of your people suggested you join AP like Peter Ngoma, giving reasons why it would not help the constituency and yourself if you went with Khama’s party. Ao moruti? Why were you taking your people through such a tedious exercise when you already knew you had registered, joined and written the constitution of the new Khama party?

Who can ever trust such deception – from a moruti for that matter? Kana the next day ke fa Khama a go tlontlolla jaanong when he informed people gore a few days earlier you and Guma had already indicated to him that you will be standing for elections under the new party which he, characteristically, also tried to give the impression he knew nothing about.

He would later sell himself away too, when he revealed the colours of the party by pointing to the jacket he was wearing. See the kind of leadership you want your people to follow moruti? A leadership that asks for Tsholofelo Hall and tell the Town Clerk that it is for a family gathering when you know it is for a political activity? Why lie? What is there to hide if indeed you are a body of honest people?

And you see now why I say you left me with little to defend you? The lies. Because even a few hours after your Masunga meeting, you were in Serowe telling people that you have registered a new party whose constitution you are still finalising. Overnight Moruti?

But then again, what should we have expected? Akere even your idol did just that – asking people to give him direction when he already knew what was cooking. Banna tlhe le fitlhetse Batswana! And how they can’t see through your ilk puzzles me.

Right now I am tempted to agree with those who say a new party would never have been formed had that Isaac Kgosi guy not been fired from DIS by SisiBoy and had SisiBoy made a Khama sibling Vice President.

Le wena I say we would not be seeing this melodrama from you had you won Bulela Ditswe. You see, I have no qualms with reasons given for your institutionalised hatred for SisiBoy – I just don’t trust the word of a man who speaks ill of his ex-girlfriend only because she dumped him; and when he never even uttered a bad thing while he was still joyfully sleeping with her. And this from a Pastor?

What desperation is this Moruti? Gore o bo o khubame le ka mangole tota? I think your excitement about rubbing shoulders with Kgosikgolo should be guarded with caution. I mean, everybody be talking Kgama Magic.

Naare magic wa teng oa hemisa? I mean, I saw some people who hail from Tlokweng, Lobatse, Jwaneng and even Gantsi saying Khama ke Kgosikgolo ya bone. Like really? And even more disturbing, everyone in Serowe, including my favourite Rosebae, kept saying where and when Khama dies, they will die with him. It got me thinking: what if Khama indeed dies tomorrow? God forbid! What will become of this new party?

Kana he is the soul and sole provider and his death will surely signal the sudden death of the political aspirations of all those reneging from common sense in his name – because you guys are just following him; not any political ideology. You and him only formed your movement for the sole purpose of removing SisiBoy from power – the new party is not even interested in taking over power or doing anything for Batswana. Top of its mandate is to see SisiBoy out of power. It would be interesting to see what you guys will do should SisiBoy stand up tomorrow to say he is stepping down from the presidency of the ruling party. Kana you will be left with no sense of purpose.

And you guys must please stop misleading Kgosikgolo by giving him the impression that he is doing what is right for this country – just because you have hope for a quick dash and return to Parley.

Many say he is using you guys to serve his bruised ego and to spite SisiBoy, but I also think you are all abusing him and using his lack of foresight for your political survival. You are all after his money and popularity. That’s why you have no shame telling people gore kana he is the most popular politician in the country. Try unpopular Moruti. And perhaps even confused. I mean, what is he saying? He will support UDC, launch you and Guma as BPF candidates and support some good BDP MPs? Banna tlhe le a re confusa. Imagine the poor old men and women you are continuing to tricking with lies and deceit – Modimo o tlaa le bona tlhe borra. Modimo ga se moshianyana. Stop misleading our old folk with your distorted facts borra. It is evil. I don’t care about the more intelligent ones who follow you – kana bone even as they see that yours is movement of the bitter, they have only found an easier platform to get back at their opponents within Domi, and they are only looking to benefit from the financial resources said to be falling from some western and South African merchants interested in the mineral and tourism resources of our country. And that Moruti, is wicked. We need peace in this country moruti, and these shenanigans you so strangely embrace and support are a recipe for civil strife. Lesang go dirisa mogolo botlhaswa banna! I hear he never listens but come on Moruti, the man needs your advice. Honest advice. Stop using and abusing him. E seng mo ngwaneng wa ga Ruta borra. E seng mo go Kgosikgolo.

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Now BPF calls Khama His Majesty!

Ernest Moloi

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My good friend Biggie Butale has upped the ante in the hazy maze of traditional leadership and politics.

I hear that he is now addressing the Patron of his party – Botswana Patriotic Front – Lt. Gen. Dr. Ian Khama Seretse Khama, as “His Majesty.” Nothing wrong with this if it’s meant as mere reverence for the traditional position that Khama holds as Chief of Bangwato. However, I sense a completely different motive! Biggie is appealing to the gullibility and sensibility of the hoi polloi; he knows that village folks revere traiditional leadership and trust it with their lives. It is much easier to sell Khama as a ‘King’ or ‘Emperor’ if you will than to introduce him as ‘Patron’ of BPF. Most ordinary folk would be confused – it’s best to appeal to their tribal sentiments.

In many parts of Central District Khama is loved as Kgosi, former Army Commander; former President and son of Foundiing President. These titles are etched in the minds of many. But as for Patron of a new party – a party that broke away from his father’s Botswan Democratic Party, that is unheard of; it is sacrilege! But being a smart man, Biggie is quite aware of all these hence his uncanny approach, if some would consider it so.

He must manage the delicate balance of pleasing the masses of the people and maintaining the enigmatic character of his Master! I tell you this requires special, in fact rare skills! But somehow, Biggie’s approach is also fitting like a glove to the hand, in the subtle narrative, that has long held Ian Khama as Paramount Chief of Botswana. Some people have told me that they always suspected that our founding president (MHSRIP) could’ve unknowingly encouraged this narrative when he installed Ian Khama as Kgosi of Bangwato on 8th May 1979 in Serowe, the capital of GammaNgwato! Unlike other Tswana magosi, Khama was draped with a lion’s skin and not the leopard skin as is customary. Magosi in Botswana are revered as ‘Maapara Nkwe’ but in many respects, Ian’s coronation was a departure from this norm.

Further, he was installed Kgosi whist still serving in the army and so on that day, he wore his military uniform! Although in his speech Sir Seretse Khama counselled his son with so much wisdom, telling him without mincing any words that in Botswana there is NO Paramount Chief; that he is Kgosi of BaNgwato only – it will appear that time has completely washed away that counsel. Otherwise how do you explain Ian Khama’s insistence to hold on to both traditional and political leadership roles? As President he derived so much pleasure in reminding some of his subjects in his Cabinet that he was their Chief.

And to this day, although immersed in the murky ‘dirty’ partisan politics he continues to remind everyone that cares to listen that he is Kgosikgolo! And this nomenclature is also problematic, as his father had indicated back then, because it implies supremacy over other tribes. A kgosikgolo is in the true sense of the word, an emperor, one who lords over the whole nation. But problem with Botswana is that we are not homogenous but groups of diverse cultures and languages! Each and every tribe as Sir Seretse Khama counselled, has its own Kgosi! That is why to this day we have Ntlo Ya DiKgosi as an advisory body to the Legislature.

But of-course we understand that Magosi have cried foul that politicians have usurped their powers, but that is a debate for another day – and anyway as a collective in that august house, Magosi have the perfect opportunity to bargain for better conditions of service just like all other public servants! I say this because Kgosi is a Kgosi because of the people he leads (Kgosi ke kgosi ka batho)!
So, we must understand BPF’s interim president Biggie’s newfound title for Kgosi Khama in this light. This thinking was further reinforced in my mind on that day in 2008 when Khama installed Kgafela II as Kgosi of BaKgatla. In his speech I remember him telling Kgafela that as ‘Kgosi of Bangwato ke go roma mo morafeng yo’ – I was stunned that one Kgosi was sending another into another’s tribe.

The question that remained unanswered in my mind then was, to do whose bidding? But there was a twist at that ceremony which was characterised by pomp and pageantry. Kgafela sat regally on his throne as Khama draped him with the leopard’s skin, yet a closer observation would have revealed that he used the lion’s skin as his footstool! When we remember that it was during Khama’s presidency that Kgafela was ‘derecognised’, imprisoned and ultimately fled into exile just because he had dared challenge the Constitutuion of the country – we can now see clearly why Khama wants to remain both Kgosi and politician.

But we don’t know what will become of President Masisi’s overtures – as he has promised to do everything in his means to return Kgafela to Botswana. As for me, I have my doubts that it is meant in good faith, but that it is a ploy to use BaKgatla Kgosi to lure votes for his younger brother, Mmusi, who is a parliamentary candidate for BDP! Whatever happens surely this year promises to be the best, as Khama has told us!

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Of Bundle of Joy and Sisiboy’s broken bromance

Keletso Thobega

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I studied European history in secondary school and Hitler was my favourite subject. I especially enjoyed learning about the Policy of Appeasement.

I recall that one of the textbooks we used had a cartoon that depicted Stalin and Hitler seemingly chatting to each other in a friendly embrace. However, both of them were holding shotguns at the back. This cartoon summed up my views on politics and life in general – never let your guard down because there are no permanent friends in life and politics. Those who have read influential books such as Art of War and The 48 Laws of Power would know that most scholars of philosophy attest that as much as it is good to live at peace with your fellow human beings it is also equally good to be “aware” because it is better to be safe than sorry. Let’s just say that dynamics of human relations can be complex.

This thought came to mind when a picture of our current and former Presidents looking cosy recently surfaced on social media and set tongues wagging. It is a beautiful picture of happy people but it is also loaded when you consider that the two apparently don’t get along. Some people claimed that they are fooling us and actually best friends. So, should they size each other up, hump chests and avoid greeting and touching each other prove that they don’t see eye to eye? And then what?

We all have people we have had fall-outs with or don’t see eye to eye with. But as an adult, you learn to “contain” issues. Ee, botshelo ga bo ratanelwe. Go na le batho ba ba sa re emang sentle. Mme ga o ka ke wa raya motho o re ‘ngaka ya me ya re wa ntowa’ kana ‘ke a itse gore o ne o reng, o dira eng’ jalo jalo. O dididmala fela. Le fa motho a kile a go direla bosula, o mo golola mo moweng, fa o mmona o a ikoba, ga o simolole o sinalla e ka re o hupile santlhoko!

Disagreeing with someone, not sharing their ideology or having a fall-out does not mean that you hate them and you should take the matter publicly even on platforms where it is not necessary to parade your “issues.”

Mind you, despite the said betrayal and deception that prevailed between the two, once upon a time they were in a strong bromance. They worked and spent a lot of time together. As to who is the right or wrong between is a topic you can discuss with your friends over beers or wine.

Despite the highly documented hostility between the two, it would be diabolic and psychotic to expect them to always be at each other’s throats at every turn to the extent of snubbing each other publicly.

Pardon my analogy, but it is like expecting ex-lovers to hate each other because they are not together anymore or former friends to not speak to each because the relationship ended. Relationships start and deteriorate daily; it is no train smash – it is part of life. But civilised people know that you don’t suddenly refuse to speak to the next person; sometimes you just pretend, o ichinamisanyana hela.

At the end of the day you have history with that person and were at some point close to them. Tota motho fa o kile wa tshela le ene ga gona gore o ka mo itebatsa kana wa mo itatola, le fa lo sa tlhole le utlwana. Sisiboy and Ruta’s bundle of joy probably missed each other. They are human after all!

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