The fuel increase pandemic

A few years ago we heard some people dipped their sticky fingers in the National Petroleum Fund (NPF). They were brought before a court and after a lot of court shenanigans and gymnastics we were left with one lingering question, ‘were they found guilty’.

In our country when the court cannot make up its mind, instant lawyers and judges sprout all over the place. People that do not even have a certificate of attendance in Arguing at the Customary Court 101, which is actually the most basic form of law training, suddenly become law experts. People argued about this in little courts in combis, leisure spots, streets and bathtubs. People argued about what the outcome should have been. People argued about the most competent judge to preside over the case. People argued about the colour of the suit the judge should wear when handling issues of petroleum. This case sort of petered when the lawyer for the accused had a massive argument with a law enforcement officer and the whole encounter ended in a meme as the meme mill got to work.

The law enforcement officer was advised to choose his playgrounds carefully. Seemingly the law enforcement officer was fond of playing and he had unwisely chosen the lawyer as his playground. Amidst a torrent of rebuke, he was advised to play very far away from the lawyer. We were perfectly prepared to stash this away in the Confusing and Annoying Episodes file until one day we woke up to a year where fuel increases started happening every month. When the president donates a ram, fuel prices increased.

When the Vice President messes up a whole speech, fuel prices increased. When the president of the opposition collective starts spewing more Latin terms than is necessary, fuel prices increased. We were being battered from all sides by an unrelenting wave of wallet attacks. It seemed a huge Price-Increasing Monster had emerged out of the surf waving the Claws of Gloom. NPF is like a rich aunt who bails you out when you cannot afford stuff and when your legal guardians budgets are too stretched to support the family expenses. Everyone wondered where the rich aunt was as we kept being bombarded from all sides. The aunt now seems to have gone AWOL and we are left to fend for ourselves. Whenever fuel prices go up. the Bus Association wants to increase bus fares. The Taxi Association wants to increase fares.


People selling chicken feet mixed with gizzards want to increase prices. The only thing that doesn’t increase is your miserable salary. People have tried to force government to increase salaries by sitting under trees in 2011 and singing songs. Unfortunately, the leaders then did not like the songs and the salaries stayed in one place. The bus and taxi associations are usually very powerful and have huge leverage. If they fail to persuade the government, they will bring out their heaviest artillery. Strike action.

There would be no buses to transport you to the village. There would be no taxis to ferry you around town and people would have to walk as far as Tsolamosese. There would be no chicken feet mixed with gizzards or if they do serve this delicacy, it would be bland without barbecue spice. Now people hate walking and eating chicken feet without barbecue spice.

This is enough to galvanise government into action and the government will relent and increase fares and prices. The people will cry blue murder and threaten to vote for opposition but they are not as powerful as the above associations and so government ignores them. There’s a narrative from the confused brigade that the National Dieselium Fund should be watched with hawk eyes so that the sticky-fingered don’t get a sniff.

In their world, the National Petroleum Fund is for petrol while National Dieselium Fund is for diesel. In their world, should this happen, we would get a fuel increase most likely every week. Which would be more stressful than a mother-in-law visiting with two suitcases in tow. Alas! (For comments, feedback and insults email [email protected])

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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