Royal greetings to you Bra Stanford aka Tshekedi Khama II of the Royal Bamangwato clan.
I hope this brief finds you in good health Your Royal Highness because of late I have not been too convinced that all is well with you.
Silly me – what would I really expect of a man whose whole life had been attended by supreme privilege and then suddenly at the dusk of his life got a lot of these childbirth privileges taken away from him? You must be thinking I am out to diss you with my proffer of concern in relation to your apparent boredom and disinterest in the governance affairs of this country.
Akere tota it should be pretty obvious that since you are now on the wrong side of the ruling party, you can no longer be that vivacious and seemingly omnipresent chap who made sure to charm his audiences as a minister, irrespective of which ministry you led. Kana wena tota you were a workaholic who took to your assigned roles like fish to water. Wherever you were, you always made sure to create and leave a mark. No ministry was too overwhelming for you. From the tourism ministry to the sport and youth, you made sure to make officers feel your presence.
How you let yourself be tempted by the devil that made you dump the ruling party still beats me. Le fa e bile gotwe blood is thicker than water Bra Stan, the shenanigans that engulfed that pressure group you joined in October last year were too shameful and so below you that I never saw you going in their direction. I just wonder if you indeed joined out of your own volition or you were forced into that silly move by some form of blackmail from your royal uncles and aunts through the godly influence of Big Brother. Whatever happened Bra Stan? I personally think it was a ridiculous stunt you pulled there just on the eve of elections.
I understand you were made to believe that your erstwhile ruling party was going to lose the elections and that you genuinely thought you were joining a winning opposition bloc. The unsung comedian in you, it would amuse me so profusely when immediately after quitting the BDP you called it a “party of drunkards.” You even proclaimed they would lose the elections with flying colours, the opposite of which would later happen. Now you are out there looking lost and casting a figure of a bored person. Kana I saw you recently in parliament – I tell you Bra Stan, you cut a forlorn figure and the way I saw it, you must have been regretting your decision to go with that mob that blindly followed Big Brother to the doomed land.
I mean, who in their right mind would have thought that a pressure group of bitter Bulela Ditswe losers would win the elections and become this country’s ruling party? Kana that is what the hopeless members of that group thought – gore they could win the elections even when they knew they had not even fielded enough parliamentary contestants to give them even a sniffing chance.And you joined that joke of a cabal Bra Stan? Really? I always thought you were smarter than that Brazen. In fact, of all the ministers during both eras of Big Brother and Sisiboy, I always enjoyed listening to you talk. You always made sense and you were never afraid to defy even Big Brother himself whenever you had something better on your mind. In fact, many even concluded that there was no love lost between you and Big Brother.
I recently listened to you again when you were sharing your thoughts on the Youth Development Fund and how it would benefit the economy if each ministry had its own YDF. As usual you made a lot of sense but on that particular matter I wondered why you never questioned Big Brother about it when he was still in charge. I thought to myself then: this is hypocrisy. Why is it now that you go vocal on an arrangement you had no qualms with under Big Brother? Neither did you use the advantage you had as a minister to push the matter through. No wonder people are now saying you only begin to sound like an intelligent man after quitting the ruling party. It is now common narrative that when people are still Madomi, they don’t use their brains – that their brains begin to function once they join the opposition camp.
I am not sure if that is true Bra Stan but le wena the way you have been behaving lately, it might lend credence to such claims – that the brains of politicians function differently depending on which side they are. I was listening to you maloba o lela ka some MP’s constituency office o re the ruling party was deliberately depriving you of an office and staff because you defected to that pressure group ya Serowe. Ao Bra Stan – le wena you know you were not telling the truth. Yours was just some sympathy-seeking stunt; a trait I guess you learnt well from the leaders of that pressure group you joined. Kana those ones master the art of making themselves look like victims even where they are the rabble rousers. And so you have taken to that habit le wena and you are similarly making sure to invite members of the press to come and hear you out on how badly you are being treated.
We remember how Big Brother also did that with distinction and managed to win hearts and minds of those who failed to see through him. To say your not having a constituency office is sabotage is disappointing from a man I so respected as you. Kana even in my constituency right now, my area MP Fox Moagi, has no office and prospective employees are yet to be approved. Just before that MPs budget analysis seminar/retreat that you boycotted, citing lack of MP’s office as your reason, my area MP was on our village’s facebook page pleading with his people to be patient as the process of getting him an office was at an advanced stage, and that soon the matter would be resolved.
Yet he never called babega dikgang to cry sabotage the way you were doing. I am happy to hear that his office will open this week, eventually. In fact, I learnt later that actually 13 more constituencies were facing a similar problem to yours. 13 other MPs did not have constituency offices at the time you cried sabotage, including Honourable Motsamai of UDC in Ghanzi South and Matsheka in Lobatse. Other MPs without offices to date include those of Chobe, Lerala, Kanye South, Gabane and Goodhope. It is a fact and you know it Bra Stan. Yet only you of these MPs viewed the lack of office as sabotage and only you of the affected MPs decided to boycott the MP’s retreat in Phikwe.
Akere you even went on record to say wena you are not attending the MP’s retreat in Phikwe because your constituents have no office at which to consult you. Like since when TK have you had time for consultations with your constituents at the office of the MP in Serowe West? Kana ke gore you politicians have this way of thriving on falsehoods and knowing that we, your voters, are often ignorant and in the dark about how a lot of things work. In the past you have again had to wait for your office to be ready after elections, and you never cried foul. As Big Brother’s prime nemesis would want to ask, why now?
It must really be hard to suddenly find yourself in unfamiliar territory where you have to adjust to all manner of situations. I mean, from being driven around in a big black Beama to having to fend for yourself; and from having to shift seats to some obscure side of the isle in Parley, it must really be uneasy for you. Afterall tota wena you are not used to that opposition lifestyle where instead of your party dishing out the goodies for your upkeep and survival, you have to dig deep from your pocket to fund the movement you belong to.
Bo Masimolole, Guma and Makgalemele were once in that situation at BMD and when they couldn’t cope, they retraced their steps. I know wena your pride won’t let you go back there, but if you regret quitting the BDP Bra Stan, you are making it easy for us to see it, with these recent outbursts.
You must relax and take it easy as it comes. Stay calm and serve your new political movement and constituents without such unnecessary drama which in any case is paradoxical and borders on hypocrisy. You were at the helm of brewing and cooking everything that we consume today, and suddenly sitting on the other side of the fence and shouting how bad it all tastes makes you look and sound more like you are bitter to have been pushed to the outside.As I said earlier, you are a respectable and honourable man who often speaks a lot of sense on issues of national interest. Continue to speak for us in that manner without letting emotions get the better of you.
Forget about everything past and focus on being the great man that I know you to be. Dorcus is gone. I hear she has even decided to quit politics for good. It’s a pity you quit the BDP because of her. If you are going to let that resultant bitterness define you, ene o tsweletse le her life and does not think much about you. So le wena let go Bra Stan, and lead us as only you can. Cheers brother.
Does Mma Atsile ever talk to you about Malete land theft?
It’s been such a long time re sa bue tlhe Big Brother – kana to this day I await your reply to the last letter I penned you.
You cannot avoid that issue forever Sisiboy, the sooner you tell us exactly what happened between you and Former Big Brother the better for all so that we initiate corrective measures and move on.
This Former Big Brother I tell you is not gonna let go until you are wiped off the face of power. In fact, he has said it in his own words maloba ko Palapye that he will not rest until you have been removed as President.
Imagine a former army intelligence man saying such ominous words in a public gathering for all to hear! Don’t you just fear for your life?
As I warned you in that letter, neither will I rest until you have come out in public to tell us gore nnete nnete fela – as Phagenyane has asked – o jetse ngwana wa moswi eng. Some of us just don’t like these cat and mouse tales to which you two have been subjecting us and thus neglecting the salient issues of national priority that have to be dealt with for the prosperity of our people.
I don’t know why you don’t listen – I have warned you gore you can’t win against him. He is no ordinary man we all know, and trying to go neck and neck with him can only end in tears for you. Here we are talking about a guy with eyes, ears and tentacles in every arm of Government. Ke gore a o tsena ko DIS, his eyes, ears and hands are there; a o ya DCEC, he is covered; try the ministries and their attendant departments – his people are inside, countering and undoing whatever evil or good you try to fashion through your people. He knows your every move even before you make it. I suspect even your speech writer is his man. Gompieno jaana you have refused go nna ko State House – why? O itse se o se tshabang! So take my advice once and for all – just give up the fight morena. You just can’t win against that man. O itiela nako – unless you dismantle all these governement agencies and departments and make fresh appointments. Need I say more?
We are here talking of a man not just draped in royal blood, but he is also an agile and smart army man who according to legend, could turn himself into a fly when cornered; and that one day he spilled streaks of dark-red paint from his fighter jet after it was shot by Ian Smith’s ground forces – fooling those Rhodesian army men to think it was his blood and he was dead – only to hit back at them when least expected.
So tota wena o tlaa bo o le mang – the ordinary peasant that you are with no combat background and only depending on the curious intelligence of that inept Peter!
Just give The Former what he wants so that he focuses on his many farms that are littered across the country. Heela, kana that man has a lot of land – just too much land for one man.
I just wonder what our grandparents were doing in the days his parents were taking to land ownership that today has made him one of the richest men in Africa with obvious tourism and farming interests at every corner of Botswana.
And to imagine, Sisiboy, gore some of us have been queuing up for land for decades without success, just to own a simple and small residential plot making up only 0.00000001 percent of the land he owns!
Tota rona batsadi ba rona ga baa re direla sentle. It beats me how they could not see value in land when your parents le ba ga ene The Former were amassing chunks and chunks.
Kana if I could tell you, right now, where your beautiful wife Neo comes from, ke selelo sa khuranyo ya meno. Heela, bagwagwadiago have no land – both for farming and residential.
It actually has become worse with this new dispensation that says any Motswana can own land anywhere. With Balete clustered around Gaborone, many Batswana from all over the country prefer plots from the Malete tribal territory.
The natives are often left with nothing as outsiders get all the plots because no formula seems to exist ko Land Board to ensure the poor people of GaMalete find a place to erect their homes.
Even worse, I hear their land is being stolen from them to please some foreign investors whom we gather have applied to build some tourism resort with golf courses and malls and all.
For some inexplicable reason, this land that Balete have rightfully owned since 1925 is being forcibly taken away from them by your government – or should I say by the government of The Former?
Kana these things started when he was at the helm and I know that the Malete royalty approached him at his office to seek his intervention in the matter. Gatwe ba ne ba itswela fela.
You will recall that whenever he came to address any form of a kgotla meeting in Ramotswa, the Bamalete Paramount Chief, Kgosikgolo Mosadi Seboko, would somehow absent herself, just to spite him for also snubbing them. I remember one time people asking ko kgotleng gore kante Kgosi Seboko o kae a sa tle go amogela Tautona. Twice she did that if my memory is not betraying me. Imagine Kgosi Seboko a ngalela Kgosi ya Bangwato like that? Yet their parents were great friends!
I don’t know what they were expecting The Former to do as the decision to take that land at Kgale Farms was motivated by some curious Court of Appeal judgment – I wonder who the judge was – ka that quarry company that was trespassing into that very land owned by Balete Development Trust.
Kana tota The Former could not interfere with the decision of the judiciary, unless they felt he was remotely a part of the grand plan to disarm Balete of their land for that tourism project. Akere he has business interests in the tourism industry.
Yet it still beats me wena Sisiboy gore why would the land be deemed to belong to government simply because of that judgment allowing the quarry company to continue using Kgale Farms as their transit route.
I think le wena you have to ask questions and help your people get back what is rightfully theirs. Kana from what I gather, Balete families of the time – the forefathers – contributed a lot of money to buy that freehold farm forest hill No.9KO land from one Aaron Siew in 1925, and have since held the Title Deed to that land.
In fact, several times when the government needed to use some part of the land for developments, including the expansion of Gaborone Dam, negotiations were entered into with Balete Development Trust, and compensation was always given with the understanding that the land belonged to Balete.
At the time, even the land board agreed they had no jurisdiction over the freehold land.
Now jikijiki we hear gore BITC has applied to use the land for an investor? And that the Title Deed should be cancelled as the land was tribalised in 1973 by some amended Act of Parliament?
Don’t you find it curious le wena Sisiboy gore a piece of freehold land whose three large paddocks were sold to three different entities – Roman Catholic Church, Rre Kirby and Balete – would later be claimed back from only Balete gotwe the land is tribalised, while the other two bone gotwe they still own their portions?
Something doesn’t add up here Sisiboy. The poor Balete are now in court to fight for their own land against your moneyed Government. The poor morafe may only lose their case because they do not have enough money to pay the attendant legal bill.
Why should government waste resources to fight a community for land that they own and want to use for economic growth? Le bone ba batla go ruela diphoko mo teng! Gape fela, all along the land was known to belong to morafe, with the Title Deed first held by Kgosi Seboko I in 1925. The title deed would then be handed down to other Magosi until today that we see it is in the care of Kgosi Mosadi Seboko.
So, why would BITC apply for the land ko Land Board? Why would the quarry guys challenge the Morafe? Who told them the land no longer belongs to Morafe? Kana gatwe if you want to see real corruption, o tsene ko Land Board.
Some of us the ordinary mortals cannot be blamed to think gore there is some big hand behind this daylight robbery of the land of BagaMalete. If I were a legal guru I would surely volunteer my services to help the morafe.
They need and deserve that legal assistance, otherwise ba ya go utswelwa fela ‘tsatsi le penne. I mean, if you can take Morafe’s freehold land on the excuse of the Act of 1973 that you say tribalised the land and therefore should belong to the Land Board, why not take the land ya Roma le Kirby as well?
Akere the three bought that freehold land – ka 1925! Why then do the goalposts shift for Balete’s land only? Ka gore bone ga bana madi le dithata tse the other two have?
I wonder if your beautiful wife Neo, whose forefathers parted with their hard-earned shillings to buy that land, ever asks you questions about this matter.
I know you may hide behind not wanting to interfere with the judiciary Sisiboy, but in this case you need to ask questions and make people leave that land alone.
Go riana I hear gore next week there will be some court case that seeks to force Kgosi Mosadi Seboko to hand over the Title Deed to the Land Board so that it is taken further for cancelation. Nnyaa Sisiboy – that will be theft.
Bua le batho ba gago ba tlogele Morafe – I do not want to see you o tlile ko kgotleng ya ga Malete one of the good days only to find Kgosikgolo gotwe o iketse States! O botse The Former!
This lockdown is going to plunge many into depression
Dear Mokgweetsi Masisi
Today, Wednesday April 1, 2020, marks exactly two years since you were sworn in as President of this republic, and I wonder how you will be celebrating this milestone while under quarantine. Kana right now we could be coming over there to celebrate with you had you not blundered by attending that State House pool party in Namibia. Your residence would be lit this time, ree ja joy in celebration of your second anniversary since your ascendance to the highest office on the Tswana land. Knowing you, this corona thing would have been shoved aside to allow the world to know gore you are turning two years as President – even after announcing a lockdown on Tuesday. Akere wena you are often thus – you say this, you do the other. Kana gape it would be your chance to show that Namibian President gore le wena you can gather people for a celebration even amidst this state of public emergency. Akere le ene despite global warnings against international travel he decided to host a party and invited you – the result of which you are now in quarantine. I just wonder how Atsile and MmaAtsile are coping with an absent Daddy and Hubby. In fact, we haven’t heard much of our lovely First Lady since you went into quarantine – even at this odd hour when a mother-figure is needed to reassure the nation that all will be alright. O re costile motherlove Morena. Kana if it wasn’t for that reckless trip, we could be seeing her around with you. Jaanong mmanyana gatwe a seka a go atumela shem…
Anyway, it was great to see you looking fit and strong on Tuesday morning BraMEK, and we are glad you are showing no signs of infection. Kana yo mogare e bile ga o tlhaole. It doesn’t care if you are a British Prime Minister, German Chancellor or a Royal Prince. Neither does it care if you are a Head of State, or popular football star or internationally-acclaimed movie star – e ralla anyone Covid-19, rich or poor; black or white and everything in between. So seeing you looking that healthy after that risky Namibia trip has helped reassure us that within the gloom and doom of the socio-economic crisis created by the virus world-wide, there is that silver lining of remembering that it does not just infect unless invited to, and that even when it has infected one, death is not always a given. I realise however that you waited for your anniversary day to pass without impediment before you could institute the start of the lockdown tomorrow. We support your decisiveness nonetheless and promise to abide by the guidelines laid before us to boost our survival chance against this monster of a virus. I see you have even tried to do all in your power to ensure individuals and business entities do not feel the extreme wrath of this Covid-19 and the attendant lockdown. Among the things in your rescue package I see you talk of tax holidays for businesses; access to credit; immediate reconnection of water; decrease in fuel prices; an economic stimulus package; loan guarantees for businesses; restructuring of loans with banks; relaxed payment of insurance premiums for both individuals and companies; provision of a wage subsidy for citizen employees of businesses mostly affected by the virus in order to enable them to retain employees; expedited payments to business entities by government and parastatals … and other interventions intended go fokotsa manokonoko a Covid-19. Yet there are those still in tears Big MEK, who ask gore bone gatwe bone ke ba ga mang. These are the folks who live from hand to mouth, who worry that the lockdown will kill them even faster than the virus itself. Akere Tautona there are people who make an instant daily stipend from clearing the weeds, doing laundry, selling fatcakes, selling cooltime, veggies, sweets and mabudula on the streets as well as those who sell traditional beer? How do they make money for their groceries ne Tautona? What measures do you have in place for them? In your address on Tuesday morning you did not elaborate on that and I pray that by the time this letter reaches you, you would have clarified the matter. Kana these are the people who will not comply because one way or the other, they would have to go out there to hassle. I bet they were wondering who exactly you were talking to when you mentioned the issue of panic buying. You need to urgently come up with a plan for them BraMEK, otherwise they may have to choose between death by hunger and death by corona. Go riana there is one mosadimogolo in Ramotswa who was made to spill away her traditional brew last week, despite having started the fermentation process two days before Trade Minister Peggy Serame decreed that there would be no sale of alcohol. Gatwe mosadimogolo o sale a bedisa ka Tuesday before the ban on sale of alcohol was announced ka Thursday. Her brew got ready for sale on Saturday but your men of the law came hard on her, making her throw it all away. Imagine such instances BraMEK on our oldies who seem to have been left out in your disucusions ahead of the sale ban of bojwala. Others BraMEK say you never even bothered to address their worries against landlords who will still demand rent for their houses despite the tenants not going out to work and make money on the streets. There are also these chaps who depend on our absence from our homes to make a living – the ones who take advantage of our absence to break into our homes to take what they never had to sweat for. Ba re o ba bolaile because homesteads will be occupied throughout the day. They worry that with soldiers and police officers expected to be unleashed on the streets, they may have a difficult time to do any work at night. And in the case these chaps continue to work and flout the lockdown and extreme social distancing rules, what can we expect you to do with them Tautona? Could they straightaway be charged with attempted murder should they test positive for coronavirus? Akere by coming into our homes they would have exposed us to harm? And then there are the ladies of the night BraMEK, although I know you would argue that the law does not recognise them. But hey, they are there and their hassle is real. If you are going to keep their customers under lockdown, how will they survive? Kana e bile these days they are a bit sophisticated – they rent houses from which they operate, where their clients meet them for a roll in the hay. They have to make money for both the rent and their meals. If we don’t aid them they too pose a risk as they might sneak out to go and meet their clients ‘halfway’ and end up infecting each other. As I said earlier, I hope you do something about these forgotten citizens, even if it is it could mean dropping a bag of Tsabana in each household. Note also that suddenly – after you announced the lockdown – some employers out there are beginning to label their traditionally lowly-regarded workers as ‘essential service employees.’ Yet they have nothing to offer them commensurate with the new label. Others are dismissing employees already, claiming the lockdown will kill their business. And with the grounding of public transport vehicles, these companies have no plan how to get their essential service workers to the workplace. Ne kere le bone ba o ba tlhodumele Tautona. And on a more serious note, I worry about our mental health BraMEK. I tell you this lockdown is going to have its toll on the mental health of many. There is too much anxiety right now and there is a general fear of the unknown. With no light visible at the other end of the tunnel, many will be choking in there, worried about the uncertainty of everything including the well-being of relatives, the security around their jobs, the inability to attend funerals of their loved ones… resulting in rising stress levels and possible depression. Some couples will be annoying each other and expect cases of GBV to rise during this period. I hope you will look into such matters to ensure people are given some form of counselling and advice, especially through television and radio. Otherwise we thank you for acting on this lockdown thing sooner than later – although I still feel it should have come earlier. It was always going to be pointless to wait for deaths to go uncontrollably high before we could take the virus seriously. You had no choice but to put us down into extreme social distancing. Mistakes are going to happen along the way, and I hope we will help you go through correcting them amicably together without pointing fingers. And what an opportune time for bonding to happen! Parents will school their children and tertiary students will have enough time to reorganise themselves in preparation of the next time the coursework rooms open. Husbands and wives who all along did not see eye to eye will emerge from this lockdown a lot closer. And during the potentially lonely days, I hope there will be enough and clear communication to keep people at ease. For now it is Goodbye Mr President. Pass my warmest regards to my cousin Neo and her little girl. And sorry about the sleepless nights you and especially Health Minister Lems Kwape have to endure. I really feel for the poor chap; and pass this message to him that we all love him. We see what he is doing and what he is going through. Cheers for now MEK.