My gripe with public expenditure

I have two problems with my government. One regards public expenditure, which I think has moved from insane to plain headless, and you guessed right; the EVM. Curtailing public expenditure will be the incoming President�s first challenge.

Much as I am opposed to hanging people, I am tipobet a proponent of both defence and self-defence. I am at peace with government on shooting rhino poachers in legitimate defence of the animals.

I would rather these thugs go extinct than have future generations robbed of so precious a heritage. Just how on earth do these guys and their handlers hope to survive after the last rhino is killed and its horn has been sold and used up in some Vietnamese misadventure? Would it spell the end of sex in Asia? And why exactly, do Asians want to enjoy coitus at Africa’s expense? I am getting ahead of myself.  I am talking about public expenditure.

My gripe is personal and has nothing to do with party politics. For example, I will not relent on calling Bot50 “highway banditry” because that is what it was. Soon, all constituencies will be given P10 million each to spend on only Hon.

Mathambo knows what. A year or so back, we spent millions of pula literally chasing after, singing to, and praising a paraffin lamp, something the government found very intelligent. I am not going to criticise the procurement of the Grippen fighter jets. My anger has subsided. After sober reflection, I think we need them. If you read on until the end, I might tell you why. Meanwhile, whilst we dole out five hundred plus millions, Selebi-Phikwe is going the way of the Munhumutapa Empire.

And guess what? We are about to spend hundreds more millions procuring a divisive and worthless Indian calculator to do the standard four arithmetic required for counting ballots.

Whilst at that, I have often wondered how much money goes into printing the Daily News and keeping the state media empire running. I have wondered, in particular, if we cannot do with half what we have. To be sure, I have no trouble with government having an information system. I would be wasting breath best saved for my dying day. It is perfectly African for a government to have a publication like the Daily News .

State media outlets are important for regime survival and for countering opposition and private media “fake” news. If the opposition were to ascend to power, they would likely hang on to state media for the same reasons as the BDP. The few governments that have sought to depart from the norm, like our southerly neighbours, have regretted it. Forget having an independent public broadcaster like the BBC. An African President would sooner give you his wife.

So, what

is my gripe with the Daily News ? Firstly, I have a problem with it being a daily. That means that its pages have to be filled up, often, pure junk. The junk is printed in good “graduate” English, which ensures that the better fraction of the masses it is intended to reach do not comprehend it. My take is that the Daily News should be an indigenous languages publication. That way it would serve several purposes. Firstly, it would deliver the government’s electoral messages more effectively. Secondly, it would contribute to the preservation and development of our local languages. What more? We would have less complaints about some indigenous languages being in the same existential situation as the rhino.

Considering that the Daily News  is published daily, one must wonder how much it costs to produce in a year. I am talking ink, paper, machinery, labour and distribution, amongst others. Almost certainly, government is spending an astronomical amount which could be more usefully spent on tons of dynamite necessary to blow up fat cat dam walls upstream Gaborone Dam ahead of the next rains.

In this era of belt tightening, the Daily News should be coming out weekly, if at all. After all, government owns a celebrity magazine called Kutlwano, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a thousand websites, and almost every self-contained government department has a self-congratulatory newsletter dedicated to its head.

The two radio stations and television station complete what is undoubtedly an overkill. Currently, the opposition are so distracted 2019 will pass with them still quarelling over which BMD is the BMD. In the interest of democracy and fair play, however, government could keep one radio station and donate the other one to the opposition to fight over. But they must keep BTV.

Once a year, Multichoice go on their madness cycle and I boycott their services in a fit of rage before my daughter frog marches me to reconnect at the threat of some child abuse offence. I am told that soon we may have another government television station, which must be a lie. Just imagine two BTVs. They would hurt like two IAAFs.

Save the budgets of all these media houses and we would likely have a budget surplus big enough to buy a second set of Grippen jets which, by the way, are necessary to bomb the IAAF terrorists. For the change, we may just be able to buy ourselves a place on the blocks in the next 400 metre championship from the IAAF Mafioso.

Chief On Friday



I have won dammit!

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