By the next update from the Presidential Covid-19 Task Force around 500 Batswana would have succumbed to the dreaded pandemic, while thousands others would have added to the 33 429 positive cases reported on Thursday night.
We watch with trepidation as our people perish while the Head of State, fully armed with a State of Public Emergency (SoPE) presumably obtained to wrestle the invisible enemy, goes gallivanting around the continent. We shudder to imagine the possibility that President Mokgweetsi Masisi is on a whirlwind tour of countries primarily to market the Permanent Secretary in his Office Elias Magosi, as the best man to take control at SADC House in August. We hope not!
While we are alive to the fact that Government business has to continue, we hasten to remind proponents of such a view that where we are now, it is not business as usual. An invisible enemy is ravaging our people, who look helplessly to President Masisi to step up to the plate and at the very least assure them that he is in control. To give them hope. To allay growing fears. To assure them in no unclear terms that his Government is aggressively working to secure Covid-19 vaccines after which without procrastination a clear vaccination programme will kick in to save lives. No other priority can be perched above that, none! What else could possibly be more important than saving lives?
Covid-19 has degenerated into a matter of national security. Heads of States around the world are all hands on deck, their eyes glued to the ball fighting the Covid-19 with all at their disposal. But not in Botswana where the Head of State has relegated such a mammoth task to the periphery, to his subordinates while he saunters to his counterparts in other jurisdictions to chat about this and that. When President Masisi asked for SoPE, he said he needed it for fight Covid-19 full force. But such has turned out to be a fallacy, as President Masisi’s energies are dedicated to other areas less beneficial to the nation that goes to bed uncertain if they will see the next day.
President Masisi’s attention should be focused on saving the nation from the claws of a deadly monster threatening to wipe off humanity. Like other countries, including other African states less endowed with resources like the diamond rich Botswana, by now President Masisi should have brought Covid-19 vaccines to save us, just as he promised when he sought the SoPE.
But we dare say, lately his posture does not portray a man bothered in the least! In the battle against the pandemic, the greatest threat to the country’s very existence, we expect the most senior man at Government Enclave to be leading the fight from the front, mobilising the civil service and the greater community, negotiating with pharmaceuticals for better vaccine deals. Instead, he is missing in action or rather playing a reluctant starring. The lukewarm VP, on the other hand, does not inspire confidence that he can pull us from the throes of death, either.
As others long observed, indeed Covid-19 will expose the world’s weakest leaders, we hope President Masisi will not make the statistic. We cannot be waiting for donations from other countries while our loved ones die like flies. As experts advise, the time is now to start vaccinating to achieve herd immunity in the population before the virus mutates into other more dangerous variants .
Please Mosau, we beg you please get Batswana Covid-19 vaccines and start saving the nation. Re a swa raa nyelela!