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It's more than a chicken war; it's State capture; its armed robbery

KGOSIETSILE NGAKAAGAE
The country is grappling with commercial bullying that government and the related authority, being the Competition Authority ought to attend.

They have chosen to bury their heads in the sand. Government is nowhere to be seen. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), is nowhere to be seen. They are on mute mode, pretending nothing is happening hoping it would all fizzle out, after a while. To them, this is a short-term inconvenience. Batswana will resort to National Petroleum Fund (NPF) and Butterfly.  After all, “Batswana ba lebala ka pela”.  Wrong.

The silence of the BDP, and government to monopolies in this country and in particular to the chicken industry, under discussion is not a mistake  The monopoly operators are the biggest funders of the ruling party, and are the game behind the game. From poultry, pharmaceuticals, auto industry, beef, construction, farming, retail, sand mining and petroleum industry, it’s the same swan-song.  So, it does not surprise me, therefore, that His Excellency is yet to make a comment on the abuse meted against his people. 

I have nothing against Satar Dada. This war, is not about any particular individual. It is about a system. It is about state capture. State capture is the reason why we are here. And it must end, if the banner of the state must return to the side of the people. South Africa has been struggling with the subject of state capture. Our season, has only just begun.  Sad as it may sound, Tsholetsa House is mortgaged to its Indian and Chinese funders. As a corollary, the country is mortgaged too.  Competition Authority is helpless in this state of affairs. So are oversight institutions.   Our laws to be sharpened.  The entrenched patronage network running through  the executive, has enabled an environment in which market abuse goes unchecked, and Batswana are left out of their only economy.

As said, our summer is only beginning.  The stain on resources, and household incomes, exacted by COVID-19 is forcing society to be more vocal and belligerent. Society is asserting its rights on how its leaders behave. It is demanding the true meaning of the opening line of the national anthem, since ceded by our leaders to organized cartels.  Our leaders can’t speak transformation, and then do the opposite when it comes to the very basic industries in which Batswana derive a living.  Before the electric car, we demand our country. That six non indigenous people share the spoils at Central Medical Stores, is a travesty of the highest order and an insult to all self-respecting Batswana.   We need to break down monopolies and ensure an open and level playing field in all sectors of the economy. It will not be easy, but it will be done. Some ruling party kingpins were on radio yesterday to

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denounce our struggle. That’s how big the problem is. In this battle, we will fight our own. Before we fight the foreign enemy, we shall have to fight their biggest protectors; our very own.  Sad as it might be, its just the way it is. 

But it all starts at Tsholetsa House.  His Excellency must recant. He is the one person with power to bring about meaningful change. Right now he is not with us. He is with the monopolies and organized capital. He is with the abusers and needs a Damascian experience. He admonished us for speaking against the cartels. Where is he now? He is silent. Time for palliative care and brinksmanship, is over. He must attend to the insidious behaviour that we are seeing happening with economic bullies. He must audit our economy for all factors which prevent indigenous Batswana from playing a meaningful role in key sectors of the economy. He must dismantle the cartels that have infiltrated the party and the state. I know I am asking for too much. But he will have to do it, or Batswana must dismantle his government. There are no two ways about it. We want our country and our economy back. This is armed robbery, and our leadership is complicit. It is complicit because it alone holds the power to right wrong but is not doing so. It is complicit because it feeds off the hands of those who rob families of modest opportunities to earn a living. 

Of course the apologists of the system and clever blacks will always find fault with Batswana. They say the woman who grows day old chicks behind her house and sells in the open market away from the corrupt chicken franchises and retail giants must invest big.  This is a woman, who struggles to buy her children school uniform. It is such absurdities that we must deal with. To them the market is fair game. I say it again, that the small scale sector cannot compete against organized capital. Ours is a third world economy with its own realities. Batswana must be protected and let us not make any apologies about that. No educational institution leaves the vulnerable to bullies because after all, “every student can fight for themselves”. We are told that different rules apply in reference to the economy. And yes, I would like to say it for the umpteenth time. Batswana do not want freebies as apologists are forever quick to suggest. Batswana are demanding their country and their leaders back.



Chief On Friday

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I have won dammit!

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