The Covid-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge to public health and economic activity all over the world. The pandemic has ushered in unparalleled poverty and loss of life. Botswana has not been spared. The pandemic came at a time when the country was still reeling from a decade of a dictatorship that had crippled the economy through deep rooted corruption, cronyism and blatant disregard for the rule of law. The health system had crumbled while the education system has become dysfunctional with alarming failure rates. Infrastructure had crumbled and there wasn’t a single economic stimulus project that the dictatorship could show. All the dictatorship could show were the failed projects (Glass factory, Power station, Morupule Mine and many others) that drained the country’s coffers.
The intelligence apparatus of the regime has instilled fear in the nation; it was running amok, causing destruction to lives and looting as they pleased. Media was muzzled, there was no freedom of speech. People were speaking in hush tones suspicious of each other. The country was at its lowest ebb where even the colour of your clothing was questioned. Any government official wearing a clothing material with a colour resembling that of opposition party colours was vilified and considered an enemy of the State. We were a nation in despair.
Masisi’s ascendancy to power ushered hope. For the first time the President shared with the nation a vision for the country. He set a direction for the country unlike with the past regime where there was no strategic direction – where the only objective was self-enrichment. It is disheartening that Batswana seem to have quickly forgotten all the horrifying deeds of the dictatorship. Indeed the economic hardships are stressful and depressing but we should not disregard or choose to forget where our problems emanate from. Those responsible for Government Communications did the current government a great disservice by not informing Batswana about the State of the Nation when President Masisi took over the reins. Had they done their job, the vilification of the current government wouldn’t be so misplaced.
The reality is that the past regime planted its ‘moles’ in every sphere of government. These moles will do everything in their power to ensure President Masisi’s government fails. They are sponsored to derail government economic revival plans. These people must be rooted out. President Masisi is being accused of leading a dysfunctional and unstable government. This is not the case. Setswana sa re ‘Go kgoberega ga metsi ke go itsheka ga one’. When the detractors have been rooted out, stability will naturally follow. Unfortunately, some innocent souls may also suffer in the process of rooting out the moles. This sadly will happen because there are some that the President trusts who use their close association to him (President) to peddle lies in order to settle their personal vendettas. These are the unethical and wicked ones who abuse the name of the President to destroy upright men and women who mean well for the nation and are supportive of the President. Their wickedness will be exposed. There are also those that are perpetuating corrupt deeds of the past regime. I trust the President when he says they will be exposed and flushed out.
President Masisi needs support. It is time for all of us to rise up and rebuild the economy. Batswana must rise above their negativity. We must move away from our ‘trademark’ traits of slander, petty talk, gossip and laziness.