What concerns me about the various statements and acts that continue to be released and done by Dr Phenyo Butale is that they are not informed by specialist scholarship sociologist, anthropologist, political scientist et al in media studies? Rather, they seem to be fueled by visceral reactions without the benefit of broader understanding and knowledge that comes from scholarly investigations into these phenomena. It almost appears to some of us that his criticisms are willfully ignorant of the scholarship. I find these continuous visceral statements coming from a scholar difficult to understand. This rendering me to conclude that it is either he is ill-advised or simply a Humpty Dumpty copycat.
Dr Phenyo Butale continues to give glorious theatre, brilliant and passionate performance as UDC parliamentary caucus spokesperson and BMD spokesperson but all his acts are ultimately vacuous. His recent ousting in parliament perhaps has woken a third sense in his character that has sent him on a ramped of charlatanism. Dr Phenyo Butale clearly is concealing from truth about the water and electricity issues, intriguing, the subterfuges of the UDC always come to roast subsequently.
Through this writing I do not ask anyone to accept anything I have said in the past, although my information has been dead accurate. I draw the attention of the people, and in particular the attention of the press and every organ of communication, to the facts as presented months ago regarding the return of Sidney Pilane to the BMD, hurtful but truthful, the BMD faces far greater problems than water and electricity problems, it faces prospects of extinction solemnly due to Humpty Dumpty copycats and public sympathy gallopers equal to Dr Phenyo Butale basking on leadership positions.
Nonetheless, the one infallible rule of a team game is that unless you are a team player you are a burden. You will detract from the team. With that in mind, those Batswana who, in good faith, voted for Dr Phenyo Butale to be Member of Parliament in a constituency so dear to all of us must be somewhat disappointed. To further worsen things, having a Humpty Dumpty copycat as a member of parliament for one’s constituency, we now have a member of council who miraculously landed on the Mayor-ship seat turning the mayor’s office into a travel agency.
Here me you, I don't share many of Dr Phenyo Butale’s views but so what? I believe it is in our interest to promote a society where we all enjoy freedom of expression. That freedom gives each of us the right to express ourselves. Importantly it also allows us to benefit from the rich diversity of views expressed.
The downside of it is we all occasionally have to listen to views with which we might strongly disagree. That in itself is no great hardship for people with a modicum of emotional intelligence. However, it is much less palatable when someone chooses to exercise their right to freedom of expression in a way that deeply offends others using deliberately inflammatory tactics. It seems then to be more about creating a fight and wanting the inevitable media attention than it does about expressing a view.
Dr Phenyo Butale appears to deliberately choose his acts in order to get that attention. While I think it is stupid and juvenile to do so he is entitled to choose that path. He is, of course, preaching only to the converted. He is revving up his supporters. He is not converting anyone.
He is not showing us he has the skills to win people over. In politics the capacity to win people over, to convert people, is vital. Anyone can get in the ring and hurl abuse. Winning votes is another matter altogether. The real problem is not his views. The real problem seems to be that by his own actions, he repeatedly reveals himself to lack the discipline needed to live up to the shoes of Gomolemo Thatayaone Motswaledi.
His latest foray into the water and electricity is a case in point. It is well known that Hon Kitso Mokaila has had to deal with the fact that many Batswana disagree with his views in this area. He has worked hard to in assuring us as a nation that soon all shall be well. Clearly, significant effort was made during the past parliamentary seating to show that the likes of Dr Phenyo Butale are simply blokeys blokes. The issue was finally off their agenda.
Then along comes yet again Dr Phenyo Butale and his copycat tactics. Raising the issue with his Operation Tsaya Puso (OTP) clique of charlatans through a public demonstration destined to get significant publicity. The state President, Sir Seretse Khama Ian Khama is big enough and busy enough to bypass such self-exposing Humpty Dumpty tactics, but that isn't the point. The point is Dr Phenyo Butale showed either a lack of judgment in raising it or, worse, an indifference as to whether it would cause a problem. If you are not sensitive to, or just don't care about, the problems you could cause your leader you clearly don't care enough about the country. With friends like Dr Phenyo Butale who needs enemies?
The other aspect of Dr Phenyo Butale's outburst is how it seems to be so loaded with bile about Ian Khama. One wonders why Dr Phenyo Butale isn't out advocating for the building of more accommodation rooms for University of Botswana students let alone living up to the standards of the man he so enjoys his short-lived work in Gaborone Central. Dr Phenyo Butale has had more than one chance at showing us all what a good leader he can be. He was given another chance following his humiliating loss for the position of BMD Policy Director in Gantsi a few months ago by reappointing him as BMD Spokesperson. He couldn't resist another public gibe at the government of the day and it’s President. Accorded the rightful respect, one would assume he was yet healing from the Gantsi loss.
In a sincere manner, perhaps none ever accorded to Dr Phenyo Butale, it would be wise for those close to him to advise him that the year 2019 is around the corner, surely Batswana do not forget easily, these Humpty Dumpty copycat acts of his won’t win him general elections in the year 2019. He should focus from now onwards on his constituency and desist from poking his nose in affairs being dealt with diligently by the government of the day, or simply request for Gomolemo Motswaledi’s death report.
In serenity I remain
Kabelo Masvingo Mhuriro
Gaborone Central Resident