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"No One Heals Himself By Wounding Another"

CORRESPONDENT
Khama
Is the new administration intent on taking Botswana to higher levels of success only by means of pushing the old administration down? Are we teaching younger people that you look good only when you make others look bad?

Unfortunately these are some of the questions I ask myself lately. In a recent local paper, I read an article that I happen to have found appalling by how much I constantly felt subjected to this particular columnists venomous negative attitude towards our former president and this seems to occur on a week-by-week basis.

I have to say I was not at all surprised really as I have always noticed and wondered why this particular local newspaper seems to have a strong personal and hateful bias towards the former president for so many decades, and it seems this is evidently to go on ad infinitum.

To me this just seems to border on gross pettiness and childishness on the part of this paper and is an unfortunate misrepresentation of who we are as Batswana. It is an affront and gross abuse on the sacred values of press freedom that we all strive for. Personally I find it is highly disrespectful to us as readers and takes us for granted that we have no intellectual capacity to be given facts so that we can make our own judgements and conclusions without being subjected to people’s personal vendettas and resultant vitriolic ranting’s. Unfortunately, I am no expert, just a reader.

I have at times heard it said that when a person is overly critical of someone’s personal traits it is usually because these are traits actually evident in themselves, this is apparently called projecting – in other ways “the person with an itch can’t understand why everyone’s not scratching” – Marty Rubin and “suspicion will always haunt the guilty mind”- William Shakespeare.

I wonder when someone is labelling our former president a bully I tend to wonder if the age old adage “it takes one to know one” applies here? The point here isn’t to call other people bullies but to just say even though sometimes criticism of  policies not people is warranted, we need to be careful of how we criticise each other and also knowing that we ourselves are not the angels in this equation surely.

Simply put as readers we expect to read facts, commentary and opinion that has a basis in actual empirical evidence, in short people need to keep their ranting’s to themselves is that not so? We would like to read a paper and

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not have to come across so much bitterness and negativity; is that really too much to ask?

It’s one thing to have political differences and to criticise public figures on policy, ideology and political view points, but to use a public forum to call people names and attack their personal character without basis simply because you disagree with them politically is disgraceful and surely should be beneath us as a society. One wonders upon what kind of qualification or authority he is able to make such statements or assertions.

This media bias towards certain public persons in our society is unfair and in the past we have even seen media reporting on everything from peoples personal lives to even the colour of their hair, how that has any relevance to governance or public discourse is beyond anyone’s comprehension. “Strong people stand up for themselves but the strongest people stand up for others”

I think Batswana are capable and should be allowed to support any political persons and ideologies without being accused of being blindly in support of someone because of tribal affiliations, granted that tribalism in politics is undesirable but I think we should also be careful of making such accusations even when they are not warranted.

Batswana are a great people who have always shown an ability to disagree on facts in a mature manner. The fact that people support different people for different reasons does not make them enemies. Let’s allow each person to have a voice and advance their case as it may be. Is it possible to make a point to continue to be civil and courteous in our discourse especially in public forums, more so that as older generations we need to set the right example for the youth?

Laying out the facts and examining and presenting both sides of an issue is important and will empower readers and Batswana in a more informative and meaningful way. Let’s have more investigation and analysis and well thought out arguments in articles. Bias can be avoided through allowing both sides of a particular issue a voice. Accusations need to be given a chance to be responded to. The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.”  

Ndagariro Ellen Gwekerere



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