In the mature democracies of the world, the citizenry generally has a sense of what the government stands for.
It appears that in Botswana, one has to be a relative of somebody who occupies a senior place in government to gains an inkling of what the governors could be up to. On paper, the government proclaims itself to be a guardian of freedom of expression, the right to life and the rule of law, but there is little evidence of that on the ground. One need not travel too far back in time to find evidence of reckless degradation of the principle of 'the rule of law'. In the last month, the country's newspapers have been engrossed with the John Kalafatis story, which tells about the execution of the man in a hail of bullets by agents of the state, despite the existence of the courts.This government has savagely brutalised whatever vestige of freedom of expression was left and it is now hell bent on vandalising the little morsel of what remains of it. It would have been begrudgingly acceptable if the intention of the government was to manage government advertising with increased efficiency. Who does not know that the government has failed to demonstrate any capacity to manage information, even after the creation of the Botswana Government Communication Information Services? The newly added responsibility can only suffocate the failing structures that already exist, especially because they are predisposed to failure as they do not even have the expertise to handle such an undertaking. There can only be one reason why government is overburdening this failed structure.
Government cannot use advertising to whip the media into compliance
- Judge Isaac Lesetedi