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What’s going on: Mob justice is not the answer

Matshediso Fologang

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This time I was sitting alone under the cool Motswere tree as the famous Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” song kept playing in my head. It is because as I sat there, I couldn’t help but wonder what really was going on in our society.

Somewhere in the media – both social and print – I had seen stories on rape and mob killings. Not in the not so distant past we had also as a society had to endure the so called ‘passion killings.’ After much pondering over this, I walked across the fallow fields to join my partners in crime – those fellows with whom I share traditional beer every Sunday. I must have looked like a spook as I got in. All they wanted to know was what was eating me.

Yes something was eating me. I asked the same question as in Marvin Gaye’s song. I simply asked, “Banna go diragalang kante.” Everybody looked at me as if I was a looney. What really has gone wrong with our people? Media across the country had since the beginning of the year been awash with stories that tarnished the image of our once innocent society. It is reported that during the festive period a great number of women were raped.

Prior to the festive period in 2019 we had Botswana placed second after South Africa among the ten “Top Countries by Highest Rape Crime,” prompting even The Midweek Sun to brand Botswana the ‘Rape Nation.” And in relation to that, we get weekly police reports from all over the country showing that several women continue to be raped with each passing day.

As we continue to hear stories of men killing their lovers in what is called “passion killing,” one is tempted to ask what this word ‘passion’ really means. According to Cambridge English Dictionary, it is “a very powerful feeling, for example of sexual attraction, love, hate, anger and other emotions.” Passion is about strong feelings towards someone. Nowhere is it about maiming and even killing.

Is it now that men in our midst have these strong feelings towards women? Even with whatever reasons one may advance, is the killing of a partner a solution? And with almost all of these crimes done by males on females, can this be explained by the claim that the boy child nowadays is neglected, with empowerment programmes only meant for the girl-child? Our parents and their parents before never knew of these rampant killings of girls in love.

Traditionally our parents had something called “go lobela dintsi.” Such was the deterrent medicine one was given for wayward behaviour. Any person whose deeds were deviant of the accepted behavioural norms and standards was with the knowledge of community leadership lured away to a letsholo. At such a gathering of men outside the village, such a rogue would be severely punished – a lobelwa dintsi. In no time civility and conformity would be restored and peace would prevail among the villagers. It was never about a random mob meting punishment on an individual – it was a structure sanctioned by the community leadership. Today things are different.

Within one week our society witnessed acts of mob justice in Mogoditshane and Paje. An then there were further such reports in Serowe, Francistown and lately Palapye. In one case a man lost his life while in others the victims lost limbs and blood. In the end no one is innocent of a crime. Yet we are a 21st century society guided by statutes, institutions and legal instruments regulating our social interactions. Such institutions have replaced our traditional structures.

We have been made to believe and abide by the principle of justice and ‘not guilty until proven otherwise.’ We have never been a society that believes in the “eye for an eye” justice. Though all of us have in one way or the other been victims of crime and we have also not received satisfactory service from those responsible to “police” us, rampant mob justice is not for us. We are now no better than the criminals themselves, and even as the police have tried to warn against such acts, more and more cases of mob justice continue to be reported. Hence we ask: What’s going on?

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Congratulations on your appointment Nchadinyana!

Joe Brown

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Dear Tebogo LebotseSebego

My dear friend Tebbie, I send my heartiest greetings to you and your bosom buddy Tebbie in the hope that you are both at your healthiest state considering all things past in your otherwise eventful lives.

But more than anything else, I write to congratulate you on your recent ascendance to the position of Vice Chairperson at the BNSC. Ke gore golo fa you are at the very apex of this country’s sport administrative pyramid and I am quite sure even Tebbie must be wondering how you made it past him.

With the new position, I bet things are now awkward between you two given that somehow the man now has to listen to you for a change. Ke gore when he wears the head of family hat to try and armtwist you into submission, you can equally change topics and talk about sport administration issues, where he would have to submit to your authority. Should he return to lead that beleaguered Botswana Football Association, you can use your position to order that he be suspended so that he goes back home to take care of the family without external interference.

Ke gore his position as President of Notwane Sporting Club is no longer anything to brag about around you. You are her boss now and while he bleeds thousands to serve in his inferior position as President, wena you will be paid some handsome allowances to make decisions for him o le Vice Chairperson. And let’s say for whatever reason that Morule guy is incapacitated and you take over as the ultimate boss, you can either use or abuse your powers to make or break this poor Tebbie guy shem. In fact, you should use maemo ao to ensure he does not go back to that bewitched BFA position.

He is just fine where he is as Notwane President. See how much peace there is around you and your family ever since he quit the position albeit unceremoniously? Le go nona o nonne. I guess even your family and business finances improved for the better as he was now able to focus on what ideally should be dearer to him than anything else. Kana rre yoo o kile a batla go go bolaisa baloi ba bolo! Remember how his football enemies, seeking to topple him from that BFA top post, sought the intervention of traditional doctors, witches and wizards to eliminate him! And because you both used the same name and surname, the wizardry missiles got confused on their intended target, not able to distinguish between Tebogo Sebego and Tebogo Sebego.

You got inexplicably ill for some time during that period of heightened tensions between him and his sworn enemies. And remember the people who wanted to eliminate him were the very same who had once claimed allegiance to him, and once his use for them had expired, they connived to stab him in the back. Where are they now? It looks like the gods have turned on them as well. Nothing has gone right for them and suddenly no one wants to associate with them anymore. I guess a new crop of pretenders has now emerged and they will again use your darling Tebbie to ascend to the summit of the ill-fated sport body only to disown him again once their mission is accomplished.

I tell you even he would be a fool to return to that fire again. But you would be the bigger one to advise and make him believe he still has something to offer up there. If any chance my dear, abuse your new position in any how you can, to block his path back there. Use a weakness of him that you know too well, to enact a new law into the election process of BNSC affiliate bodies, that will disqualify him from standing. Kana ke gore I keep seeing flashes of information that suggest he wants to return there. Don’t let that happen. He is more appreciated where he is now than he will be where he wants to go. I know the guy, just as you are, is made of sterner stuff and can parry away any negativity bedeviling the so-called beautiful game, but I am scared for him – that this time the wizardry missiles might just hit him where it hurts the most – and surely you can’t survive that!

It seems to me there is just something to eat within the BFA leadership that people will kill or die for. Yet when they are up there they never have peace. Imagine the strain on your family when he is restless as a BFA President and you on the other hand have to deal with a new wave of evil pretenders who will be jealous to see where you are now in the hierarchy of Botswana sport.
I hope you have not fooled yourself into thinking that everybody is happy for you.

There are those within your circle right now who are already concocting a cauldron of witchery against you. People who ask in hushed tones what exactly you are being thanked for while they claim ‘happy-for-you’ and ‘proud-of-you’ in the public space. The angels who publicly sing your name on social media but are the same devils who under the cover of darkness ask what your electors see in you after failing the local netball association. Batho ba! Tlhe mma rona we see and hear them. Nna mme ga ke moloi ga ke bue ope ka leina – but be careful who has the most flowery words for your epic rise. There are serpents beneath that innocent looking flower. Mme kana le wena you know gore this our Botswana is infested with people who are never happy to see others do good for our sport. If you do anything progressive, you are the enemy.

So I hope as you sit up there and plan things out with Morule, you are aware there will be those on counter-attack mode – invalidators who will always be looking for any wrong in any right you do. And they will make sure to amplify the wrong such that the right even looks insignificant. Baloi! But I know you all too well to know and understand what your ascendance could be coming with. Forewarned, they say, is forearmed. Get down to business with this knowledge that you have three sets of people to appease – those who genuinely want to see our sport grow; those who want to thrive in the chaos that is besieging our sport; and those who just hate you and would want to see you fail just for the heck of it.

Your starting point should be to work and serve with all the three in mind. That way you will go about setting up your strategies of growing the sport industry with the right ammunition to thwart any such negative energy as to dampen your spirit. I know they say the higher you go the cooler it becomes – I hope wena you will not disappoint those who believe in you. Whatever you do up there, remember at some point you were down there crying for this and that, and blaming those with the powers for not helping you achieve your goals.

Do not suddenly forget what is going on ko tlase mma. Be the fiery fighter you have always been and let your documented love for local sport energise you even further to fight fire with fire. Even if you have to step on the toes of the minister who put you in the board; and even if you have to be a pain in the necks of your board colleagues who then elected you Vice Chairperson, as long as it is for the good of the sport you love, then just do it.

It is better to fall and die for the truth than to live and thrive on the dishonesty of sycophancy. I know you to be brutal in your thoughts and such should be the trait that was key to your initial appointment into the board by an honest minister who truly wanted to see things change for the good. The minister put you there without fear of hate nor to seek any favours, and therefore prove to him and those who entrusted you with the VC position that you are just what was needed to help turn around the fortunes of our sport. The problem with the past leaders was the tendency to be ‘too nice’ with the ultimate leadership that appointed them.

They were often afraid to upset those who ‘made them who they are,’ forgetting that actually, it was who they were that put them in that position in the first place – never a favour! How many times have we celebrated the appointments of certain individuals because we knew what they could offer, only for them to cool down and offer nothing once they are up there? Don’t be that kind of person. If you have to resign because for whatever reason you are not allowed to do what you think is best for local sport, then do so. And be public about it. Otherwise what would be the purpose of the appointment in the first place? And don’t hide behind existing laws. Don’t hide behind Morule and say kana wena o Vice fela.

Rona we see you as THE LEADERSHIP. Gore o Vice or eng we don’t give a hoot. O nne s’thulaphoko and make us remember you and your mates as the sport leadership that changed Botswana sport for good. Just do about anything at whatever cost – be it reputational or monetary. Sometimes as a leader you have to be unpopular for doing what is right. Seek no favours, fear no hate. Afterall the haters ba tlaa ba strong! And while at it, again do about anything – anything at whatever cost – to ensure the BNSC affiliate bodies are led by people who deserve to be there.

We are tired of sport codes that are on autopilot led by people who are only in it for themselves. And remind Chillyboy that I have since asked him to see to it that mass national sport bodies like volleyball, netball and basketball receive funds – just P1 million per sport code per season – to run national leagues. That is little money that won’t hurt government coffers. And le wena, together with your colleagues, should push for that. But more importantly, congratulations on your rise Nchadinyana!

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Diligent people

Yvonne Mooka

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I was listening to the late Dr. Myles Munroe’s podcast on Diligence recently. I should admit it left me challenged to revisit the way I do things.

He says that diligent people get up early enough to arrive on time to appointments and to complete chores prior to arrival. He advises that appearing punctually shows others that the person is dependable. In addition, a diligent person takes initiative to complete tasks rather than waiting to be told what to do.

Therefore diligence is simply giving your best on anything set before you. Munroe states that diligence requires continuing on a task that is unpleasant. Even if a task is difficult to complete, a diligent person does his best. If the work is physical and the person is out of shape, a diligent person finds ways to improve his physical fitness or health in order to complete the task.

The book of Proverbs in the Bible talks extensively about the different traits of a lazy person versus a diligent person. If you desire to grow in diligence, the book of Proverbs offers timeless wisdom on how to do so. Without further ado, here are five must-have traits of a diligent person.
A diligent person is an excellent planner

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5 Achieving a goal requires a detailed plan with a deadline. A friend of mine, who is studying Mechanical Engineering, has wisely exclaimed many times, “Plan your work and work your plan!” Diligent people give themselves directions and then follow through on their plans. A diligent person will both plan well and pace themselves, thus finishing assignments without getting burned out.

Produces excellent work
“Do you see the man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” Proverbs 22:29
Excellent work attracts the attention of excellent people. A diligent person not only works hard, but does his or her best work every time. When you are a diligent, excellent worker, you will be offered opportunities that you never could have orchestrated on your own. Excellent work is truly the best promoter.

Is faithful in everyday tasks
“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” Proverbs 28:19
The diligent person in this verse is faithfully tending to their daily responsibilities. In other words, a diligent person will take their everyday work seriously. Instead of wasting time on things that bring no reward, a diligent person will focus their energy on productive activities, even if that work is not particularly exciting. Thankfully, even boring work will reap a harvest if we remain faithful.

Is self-motivated
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

A diligent person stays on top of their work without their leader constantly cracking the whip! They refuse to procrastinate, instead choosing to fulfill their duties in a timely manner.
Facebook/Instagram: Yvonne Tshepang Mooka
LinkedIn: Yvonne Mooka
Twitter: @yvonnemooka
Email: yvonnequeen2003@gmail.com

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