Critique to Emmanuel Botlhale’s toxic economic analysis

Really bites: Many graduates are roaming the streets jobless
Really bites: Many graduates are roaming the streets jobless

This piece seeks to address articles that appeared on the issue of Mmegi (dated 17th April, 2015 and The Botswana Gazette, 21st April, 2015) authored by none other than Professor Emmanuel Botlhale of the University of Botswana.

These rather lengthy articles titled “The problematique called youth unemployment” which covered acres and acres of usually rare newspaper space seems to have been motivated by a previous debate on Facebook  where I had initially posted a piece  critiquing   Prof  Botlhale’s  style of analysis in matters pertaining to economics. I made the Facebook post after listening to a Yarona FM taped interview where to my shock the learned prof supported the not so well thought idea of introducing the Graduate Voluntary Scheme (GVS). In that post I critiqued Prof Botlhale’s rather mainstream economic analysis (which I have for a long time followed through his column, television debates, radio and newspaper clips) which I felt were more often misguided, misinformed and therefore posed a danger of pacifying the public to subscribe to his rather toxic view of Botswana’s economic climate. Nowhere in the post did I ever insult or use any derogatory language as I strongly believe in clean and mature intellectual debates. The Facebook post attracted a lot of comments from equally concerned citizens who shared my views that indeed Prof Botlhale’s analysis of economics seems to be that of a mainstream economic praise poet who is always more than willing to sword dance with the powers that be in implementing pet projects that offers no long term economic solution to the poor people. I must be quite honest that many of the comments on my Facebook thread were hard on Botlhale, but far from what this emotionally fragile academic labels as insulting and derogatory.  To me these accusations are nothing but a cheap gimmick by this academic in his desperate attempt to redeem himself and stay intellectually relevant amid a barrage of political scud missiles fired at him.

The truth of the matter is that Prof Botlhale for all these years as an analyst and a self-styled darling of the mainstream media (both print and electronic) has never been put through a baptism of fire as majority of the populace often have that distorted perception that economists profess intellectual hegemony and their economic views are often passively consumed as nothing but absolute economic truths. My innocent critique of Botlhale came as some sort of “culture shock” to him and  also caught him off guard because for many years the learned prof  has always enjoyed the lime light which disastrously  resulted in him been cocooned in  an aura of intellectual complacency. It is quite frustratingly disturbing to learn that instead of Emmanuel Botlhale thanking me for liberating him from a dangerous “comfort zone” of intellectual complacency and take a deep introspection of his rather archaic or toxic economic views, the learned prof took offence and in a fit of rage, went on the rampage and made a barrage of accusations to my person and others who view economic issues from different lenses. He then took his delusional ranting from Facebook to the mainstream media (particularly Mmegi and The Botswana Gazette of which I have decided to respond) crying foul that he has been labelled “lelope,       sematla, etc. accusations which are totally running at parallel with the truth. For those commentators who called for the recall of his professorship( not meaning it in a literal sense) were fed up with this analyst who instead of coming up with economic prescriptions that would resuscitate the poor from economic intensive units they have been transfixed in, was very busy endorsing prescriptions that will sink them  further deep  into  economic quagmire.

Editor's Comment
Shame on the Police!

According to a press statement from the police, unidentified armed men attacked on duty police officers at the station in the early hours of Tuesday.During the attack, the suspects stole 14 riffles, five pistols and an undisclosed number of ammunition.Although unconfirmed, it is alleged that the suspects were just carrying knives and axes, which they used to scare the men and women in uniform before they took them hostage to help themselves to...

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