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Letter to Seretse: Masisi 100 days

The Presidents's father, Edison Masisi served in the first Parliament
Phew! Dumela Phuti. I think this one needs a glass of your finest beverage, sipped neat. We have just clocked 100 days in the administration of President Mokgweetsi Masisi – the Edison Masisi’s son whom Ian tipped as his successor – and I wanted to give you an update as to how Masisi’s boy is driving your beloved nation.

Judging from the 100 days the man has been on the driver’s seat, it is safe to say Ian has picked the right man for the job. Many doubted Ian’s choice saying that Mokgweetsi was part of a master plan by Ian to rule from his retirement. 

Heela, kana four years ago there was court drama when Ian was unflinching and adamant that Mokgweetsi must be endorsed as his Vice President. Most people, even within Domkrag were said to be resentful of Ian’s choice.

So your boy being the most fearful leader that he was and whom no one never wanted to cross, he stuck to his guns that the voting of the endorsement of VP should be done the way Alfred Merriweather did during your days; by show of hand. We ended up at the courts of law on a case dubbed Lehenza or ‘Hands Up Case’. 

And while we are on the issue of fear, tota Phuti what did you do to your boy that got him this intimidating repute? Or it is the morafe secret? Kana Ian was so intimidating that some people have reported that he could cause their hair to stand just by talking to him. Unbelievable stuff Phuti.

But I suspect that the lion skin you draped him during his coronation is the root cause of all this frightening stature. I mean, all other dikgosi in Botswana are draped with leopard skin but you chose the lion!

But today I am happy to report to you that we survived Tshetlha Ya Dikgwa Sebatana Se Mariri. Although he made us sleep early, our liquor got unaffordable, and at some point we were even scared to talk on the phone, we have pulled through his iron-fist reign. 

When he finally bid the nation farewell (some people were saying he was not going to leave), he promised us that under Mokgweetsi, the new guy, “go tsile go nna monate”. It is only 100 days and I am convinced that he was spot on.

Mokgweetsi has brought back the fundamental pillar that you and bo Rre Masire used to build this country. He has brought back consultation – therisanyo mong wame. Botswana today feels like the days of Rre Masire and Rre Mogae where issues were confronted in open consultations, merero, and solutions gathered from the people not just from the select few.

Mokgweetsi has chosen to take the slow route of lengthy consultation process on issues that Ian force-fed us believing that he is doing us good. Kana morwao did not have that morero patience.

Issues like heavy alcohol levy that Ian yoked us with and the kneejerk decision to summarily ban hunting without any mitigation are now being put up for fresh debate to decide whether we really need them.

In the 100 days Mokgweetsi has already engaged the media – heela Ian one a re ila lebaibai, a re rea mo thasela. We have sat down with Mokgweetsi and openly probed him on any issue and he has happily answered without any fight or reprimand.

The media is enjoying the engagements and due recognition in the contribution to our democracy something that was missing during Ian’s era.

I have observed with interest that Mokgweetsi has been paying courtesy visits on the veteran legislators. He has already visited Rre Kenneth Nkhwa and Rre Richard Eaton from the first and second Parliament respectively.

We only have two surviving members from the first Parliament being Nkhwa and Obed Chilume. So I applaud Mokgweetsi for this noble gesture to recognise these pioneer nation builders who have worked for this land before there was anything to steal but now fading into oblivion.

Mokgweetsi has appointed an old timer, Slumber Tsogwane from Boteti as the VP. It looks like it is a tribute appointment like the way Ian did when he gave his former boss Lt Gen Mompati Merafhe the number two seat.

Your boy TK is still in the Cabinet holding the wildlife, environment and tourism portfolio. I think the

boy will have to work hard to survive in there because it looks like those people who were frustrated by Ian are venting their frustrations on the younger brother.

Collins Blackbeard’s son Roy who gave Serowe North constituency to Ian when he left the army has finally been recalled from the UK mission after 20 years.

Mokgweetsi has also proved to those who doubted his power by firing the most feared and powerful Spy Chief Isaac Kgosi.

He went further by refusing to rehire the man after Ian considered him for his personal secretary post.  I have to add that the most heartwarming appointment by Mokgweetsi was entrusting the ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry on a brilliant, youthful and beautiful woman by the name of Bogolo Kenewendo. She is an inspiration to young Batswana, especially women.

Sadly the opposition parties are still at it with their perennial infighting and self-destruction that are not helping to provide an alternative government for Batswana.

Although Ian had managed to break up your Domkrag and things were looking rather brighter for the opposition, it now appears their light has dimmed and they are once again lost in political wilderness.

Just this week, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Duma Boko, a young advocate who fancied to take over power before their opposition coalition violently crumbled in Bobonong, surprisingly tabled a motion of no confidence on the new President.

His only victory however was for the motion to have reached a debate stage in Parliament – a feat he celebrated as development towards cracking the Domkrag.

Also this week, Mokgweetsi resuscitated the All Party Confenrence (APC) by inviting all political party leaders for an open meeting at the Office of the President.

It is that open discussion with opponents that brings hope and normalcy to the Botswana you envisioned.

But despite all these political games, Batswana are still facing challenges of high youth unemployment, undiversified economy and poor land distribution.

Sometime the National Anthem is choking us mong wame because it is hard to sing out loud and proud to Fatshe Leno La Rona when you do not have land.

Mokgweetsi has promised to work on the land problem, but that is the same promise we got from Ian so it is not inspiring until we see results.

Sir another issue that Mokgweetsi is grappling with lately is Ian’s transport demands. Mong wame Ian loves fly-machines so bad yet I do not understand why he is not buying one for himself.

I believe he has enough money to get at least one chopper and small airplane. Nowadays everywhere he goes he borrows a State chopper, even when he goes to Serowe to drink soup with dikgosana ko Makolojwane he requests for a flying machine.

Re ta kgona tota Mong wame? Kana ke jone bokwete ja Sengwato? Maybe he does not want to arrive like a commoner at his capital village! Did I tell you that he even constructed an airstrip next to his house at Mosu with State resources? But now gaana plane! Even when he was still a president he went to Sweden to buy some fighter-jets and did not have a problem facing Swedish media to argue why a poor African landlocked country is procuring such state-of-the-art war machines.

I am hoping morafe would advise Ian to get himself a nice chopper and quit begging like he is not a paramount chief of such a pompous morafe – kana segolo a kope Bangwato bamo kolekele, ba ta ntsha tse ba ntseng ba di beetse bogadi ja gagwe.

This constant borrowing of aircraft might start to sour his relations with Mokgweetsi, and we do not want that. 

Akalo Phuti.

P.S. That young beautiful girlfriend I told you about in March is still with Ian. The lady has an identical twin and recently they were photographed intimately together, all three of them. Ian looked very happy, but the uncles have not yet been called regarding the beautiful lady. I promise to keep you posted Mong wame.




UDC, BDP Caucus

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