Walking into a coup d'etat – internal conflict

Walking into a coup d'etat – internal conflict PIC. LESEGO NCHUNGA
Walking into a coup d'etat – internal conflict PIC. LESEGO NCHUNGA

I suppose the historical context of coming from a former British colony, and the privilege of having grown up here (Botswana), shielded from the experiences of my fellow Africans have a lot to do with shaping how I was moved by the experience of living through a coup d’etat.

I don’t think that even with the numerous shocking changes to our lives (enter petrol changes, electricity rates hikes and numerous losses of public funds to poorly prosecuted cases) over the last three years, a coup would be something I would ever imagine. Maybe thoughts of a vote of no confidence have crossed my mind. Perhaps along with the sobering reality that we are a people who would rather the devil we know and we really believe in religion more than real action. So even when thoughts of change have shown up in my periphery, it was always in a gentler way, and in ways of asking for permission to exist or hoping that in our existence is not offensive – it was always with hopes that someday, permission may be granted for us to sit at the table and boldly declare our positions and views. But, a coup? No!

A colleague of mine pointed out to me that there is no English word that means coup d’etat. So although we can describe it, it is a construct that is completely foreign to the Brits and most of their colonies. Of course, on the one hand, it also evidences the continued coloniality of power, and how we continue to fail to interrogate our experiences through any other lens but the one we inherited lock, stock and barrel from colonial masters; but on the other hand and perhaps at a more personal level, for Botswana, it speaks greatly to our complacency and the ways it translates into how we engage with everything, including our own leadership, and how questioning leadership is culturally unheard of, in much a similar way as to how confidence is confused for arrogance. I suppose these are the ways of coming from a small country – everybody knows each other and so respect and deference are conflated into toxic obedience, blind to the deteriorations we tumble into as each decade goes by, solely because we will not be caught dead disobeying the ones who control our fate – can look a lot like peace even when it is really just silence!

Editor's Comment
Inspect the voters' roll!

The recent disclosure by the IEC that 2,513 registrations have been turned down due to various irregularities should prompt all Batswana to meticulously review the voters' rolls and address concerns about rejected registrations.The disparities flagged by the IEC are troubling and emphasise the significance of rigorous voter registration processes.Out of the rejected registrations, 29 individuals were disqualified due to non-existent Omang...

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