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Masisi needs to refocus or he will leave without a legacy

KGOSIETSILE NGAKAAGAE
President Mokgweetsi Masisi has been in power for a period in excess of two years.

Loyalists have been hard at the oars pushing the narrative of a reformist president, a Moses of sorts, who has arrived to deliver economic prosperity, and to deliver us from corruption and extrajudicial killings. Really?

I would be quick to point out that Masisi didn’t find things in the best order. To that extent, it is fair to pay attention to all mitigating factors that may be pleaded in his defence. But his situation is no different to that of all others before him. As soon as he had hit the ground, former President Ian Khama had to deal with a debilitating recession, a task not unlike swimming with weights attached to your feet. We came out of it in one piece, and the economy returned to stability.

Credit is due, to the man, and his government. President Masisi, likewise, must deal with COVID-19, so early into his presidency. I dare say that he has done fairly well so far. Cases are growing, but we are not overwhelmed. It is not an enviable place to be. But these predicaments do not furnish excuse for failure. Former president Festus Mogae faced a pandemic and gave no excuses. He never even gloated about it. President Masisi applied for the job.

All said and done, we are now north of two years with President Masisi’s administration. There has been more drama than there have been developments. I do not mean to disparage. His success is the nation’s success. We owe him all the encouragement and support we can give.

But things have been rather discordant, to say the least. In fact, many Batswana I have met, who were enthused by his coming into office, now doubt their judgement. His problem is the same problem the former president had; surrounding himself with bootlickers, and the love for vain fanfare over credit for tangible achievements.  Meanwhile, the national mood is somber.  The economy is moribund, and it is like we are all just waiting to die. 

To his credit, reforms at CEDA are inspiring, and His Excellency can well take credit for them. But there is a problem with CEDA. CEDA itself is a cesspool of corruption at a super scale. The kind of corruption that His Excellency would rather look away from precisely because it implicates, in no small measure, some of his immediate lieutenants. 

Masisi has a problem of hiding the corruption of those he likes or those who massage his ego. That makes him, more like his predecessor. Corruption is only corruption, if it is committed by those outside the bootlicking circle. Some of the ministers in the present Cabinet, and Politically Exposed Persons, have

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been looting CEDA and the new reforms come out to me as an excuse for further looting. President Masisi knows that. I have no doubt he has seen a forensic report to that effect. He is probably thinking no one knows about it. Wrong. I have it.

President Masisi needs to refocus. There has to be a better way. He cannot spend his entire presidency fighting with Butterfly and Bridget Motsepe, and former president Khama. It isn’t helping the nation in any way. It is frustration progress at all levels and eclipsing all his efforts. He must retreat and refocus or he will come out as a presidential catastrophe.

Former president Khama did speak of his four D’s, which later became five. That gave us a clear picture of his areas of emphasis. The jury is out on whether he achieved any of them. Frankly, I think not. I do not say he has been a failure. I just don’t think the objectives were substantially met. But former president Khama, championed poverty eradication. There was a clear narrative even if same turned out to be a circus. 

The policies were not well thought out. Civil servants set up executive camps in the bush, slept with remote area dwellers, and left them in their poverty. In the end, the whole poverty eradication campaign was just a super scale sex orgy; and a total waste of public money. We are going the very same direction.

It is fair to say that since His Excellency assumed the number one seat, Botswana’s politics have had the look and feel of like a badly written soapie.

Law enforcement agencies have been obsessed with petty Office of the President decreed assignments. As it is, we are still obsessed with a lady called Butterfly, and another called Bridget. Whether the State has a case is one thing. What is playing out is a farce. The soapie is even more boring because I don’t know if Butterfly is beautiful. I intend to ask Uyapo Ndadi because she covers her face. Bridget is not.

The DCEC has changed heads three times, and the unsmiling vice president Slumber Tsogwane is always in a fighting mood. Right now, we hear that the backbench have been told to sponsor a motion for an extension of the State of emergency to save jobs. Just more depression!

I do not know if the BDP will be in power in 2024. I doubt.  If the present national mood subsists until 2024, we might just have a change of government. Sadly, His Excellency will have no legacy to point to. What a sad day, that would be!



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