Shame on both of You

My focus this week is on the two leaders who wasted yet another year of our national life over an elitist brawl.

I mean, at one point the nation was fixated on how many cooks the former president should have and how often he must be given a government plane to fly for free.

We never had such tripe with Rre Mogae and certainly, not with Rre Masire. Our leadership standards as a nation have plummeted.

The nation has no interest in a shouting match between two over-privileged grown up men, both living at State expense, who should know better. Our heads are spinning. 

We are tired of the juvenile brawl now way into its second year. Firstly, we do not know what these men are really fighting over, and I doubt that we would care if we really got to know.

What we do know though, is that whatever it is that they are fighting over has nothing to do with the welfare of the over two million people they pretend to care about.

Don’t be fooled, the brawl is selfish to the core and has nothing to do with the national interest. It is all about them and patently unlawful promises they made between themselves.

That is why they cannot take their feuds to court. Their dispute is clearly, not justiciable.

As a nation I don’t think we owe these men anything. In fact the former has received from the country more than he ever gave to it.

He should say thank you and bow out and leave the nation to go on with its socio-economic struggles. For the record, we care about jobs and that is not what these men are fighting over.

We care about clean water and better medical care and that is not what they are fighting over. We care about good roads and cry about declining education results and that is not what they are crossing swords over. It is all about them. Batswana are nothing but a means to their personal ends.  Where is the patriotism?

Let us take the former president. We are yet to know what his problem really is. It cannot be the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) because the DIS, under his administration, was a rogue institution.

It committed burglaries, interfered with people’s communication and even did poaching whilst pretending to fight it. It was a criminal entity with no respect for people’s rights and certainly, no respect for the Constitution. 

Don’t tell me it is about corruption because corruption festered under his reign and he seemed totally disinterested in doing anything about it.

The nation was looted under his watch and the only people who were ever prosecuted were those that had no connections to the political elite.

And don’t tell me about the economy because

it was virtually on autopilot. The regime was simply throwing money at problems and apart from his very credible and commendable efforts regarding conservation and the presidential housing appeal, he left no legacy to speak of. He is the last person to tell us that this country could be any better under any president.

And then there is his hand-picked successor, President Masisi who simply won’t shoe in. Under him, oversight institutions are going rogue and are being used to fight personal battles against his enemies.

Institutions like the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have caught the lying bug and are a disgrace. They even lie under oath.

They act under dictation of the Office of the President just as it was with the former president. Whilst at it, the current President is behaving like a bull in a china shop, knocking down the former regime’s dysfunctional institutions and its stooges and replacing same with his very own.

To be fair to him, there was indeed a lot to destroy when he ascended, but he is turning out to be no better.

He is simply replacing Khama’s Judges with Masisi’s Judges and Khama’s Directors of departments with Masisi’s Directors of departments.

The last time oversight institutions were owned by, and truly served the public was when former President Mogae left office.

President Masisi’s administration is only hiring his stooges in top positions just as President Khama did.  Both men profess to be fighting corruption when they are not.

President Masisi has returned corrupt ministers to Cabinet because they fought his corner in his war against Khama. Just like the Khama administration, his government only prosecutes those not close to him, the likes of Bakang Seretse and Butterfly.

I am getting more and more convinced that there is really no substantial difference except that one was more authoritarian than the other.

President Masisi and former President Khama ascended to power with tremendous amounts of goodwill and all they ever successfully executed were condemned prisoners.

President Masisi is coming out as a weak president. He is coming out as weak as former President Khama was hopeless. For everything the former regime did not do right, it should be possible to deal with it decisively but he is failing miserably. He is acting with extreme caution as if he also has skeletons to hide.

This country cannot wait on President Masisi and former president Khama’s one more year. There are pressing socio-economic issues to deal with. Frankly, I don’t wish them a merry Christmas. I wish them a Christmas exactly like the year they both gave us.

Chief On Friday



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