Towards the end of last year, a hardworking and inquisitive member of Parliament for Ngamiland, Thato Kwerepe, asked a very important question in the House.
He demanded to know if weather forecasts are genuine. His question was prompted by a ‘promise’ of floods by the weather department. As usual, social media commentators had a field day on the honorable members making fun of his question, and ridiculing him. I am putting my head on the line to defend the honorable member. I’m doing this not only because I have a soft spot for him, not because he is a “loving man” or because he is my MP, but for the simple reason that he reminds me of my days at primary school.
You see, there was this guy in our class, who used to raise his hand whenever the teacher asked a question. He would snap his fingers to get the teacher’s attention, only for him to give a wrong answer.
He did that so often that the teacher ended up ignoring him whenever he raised his hand. This did not discourage him and would do anything to get the teacher’s attention. Our teacher finally made friends with him and he was assigned to clean the board, and ring the bell for break time. He enjoyed the chores for a full year until we graduated to an upper class.
Comrade Kwerepe was right to ask if these weather forecasts were genuine. At the time, a certain Mr Radithupa warned the nation of an impending flood across the country. The warning was repeated on national TV, radio and the national newspaper.
I am one of those people who took the warning seriously and went into full swing to prepare myself for the worst. I procured a boat, a tent and stockpiles of food stuffs. I trained my family for 24 hours non-stop on how to survive the impending flood that was presumably going to be equivalent of Noah’s flood, according to Radithupa. I was devastated when the floods failed to show up.
First, the store that sold me the boat would not take it back. Secondly, I felt betrayed by the national television station for failing to interrogate this warning further, by asking questions on the type of equipment that Radithupa and his company relied on to issue this warning. Even worse, Radithupa never apologised for the misinformation.
It is very important for us to question whether these forecasts are genuine or not. Just last week, Americans were warned to brace themselves for worst snow blizzard in decades. They were told that the snow was likely to be two meters high, and that they should stay indoors. Guess what happened? It did not snow and they are still waiting.
Radithupa and his company also issued another warning last month; that we should not plough crops that are vulnerable to high temperatures such as maize. This time I am going to ignore him and will go ahead and plant maize in my field, unless he apologises for the December flood warning.
We are tired of being fooled by these civil servants. We know that they are on a go-slow and now they want us to starve ourselves.
Since when man is able to know what nature has in store for him? Just as a reminder, two years ago, Americans were hit by a typhoon they named Hurricane Sandy, which they only saw a few days after the storm had formed in one of the oceans. Now, where did Radithupa acquire his technology, that is able to tell him three months in advance that there will be no rain?
Comrade Kwerepe had every right to ask if these forecasts are genuine and he should continue fighting for genuine forecasts. The same civil servants gave us budget this week, they want us to just agree with their figures. I appeal to Comrade Kwerepe to table an urgent motion, without notice, demanding that the debates on the budget be halted until everybody is sure that there is money.
The money should be brought to parliament in trucks, under security from the BDF, and be counted for everyone to see. The counting should be broadcast live on national television, regardless of how many days it will take us. Just a few months ago we went to elections and we spent nights counting the ballots. Why can’t we do the same with our budget?
Why should honorable MPs waste two to three months debating about money they have not seen? I doubt if you would allow yourself to be part of this unfair arrangement. What guarantee is there that the money is available. Every year we are told there is a budget but we never see developments in our area, which explains why I suspect that there is no money.
Comrade kwerepe, don’t be intimidated by what social media people will say about you and this brilliant demand, for they are nothing but a bunch of spectators who are good at cursing and criticising without full appreciation of issues. They are not different from football spectators who often argue over what a player should have done with the ball to create a goal.
I still remember that day when I was standing in the sun for more than two hours waiting to cast a vote for you, and therefore I expect you to payback.
You should not allow urbanites to silence you. You should represent us fully and make sure that we are not fed with weather forecasts that are not genuine, or budgets for which money we have not seen.
Lastly, I urge you Comrade to fight hard for developments in our area, including a transparent budgeting process where everyone witnesses the counting of money in public. If they dismiss your call, you should walk out in protest and we will support you!