THE OBSERVER: Sebina Village issue - Misguided anger!

SHARE   |   Thursday, 12 May 2016   |   By Simon Gabathuse
Sebina Councillor, Kemmonye Amos Sebina Councillor, Kemmonye Amos

Our society is going through a painful path of misguided anger. Misguided anger has a tendency of being selective. In our case, finding ourselves for the first time as a nation, waking up from the hullabaloo of trying to be better African than the rest of the diaspora, we realise we missed the flight. Not only did we miss the flight to be industrial, innovative and be creative to be able to sustain our economy, we have failed to provide ourselves with jobs. In failing to provide ourselves with jobs, we have failed to provide ourselves with meaningful economic standing. Quite often lack of economic comfort naturally so leads to social discomfort. Trying to find social comfort often breeds a lot of anger in oneself and such anger is in most cases passed to other humans. Other people either through bullying, emotional abuse or simply being disorderly or in some cases being a danger not only to others but to oneself. We are at that stage. Anger is all over the place and spilling over to the innocent. We are finding a new space, a space to use every incident as an advantage to political mileage. In many instances we are not being helpful to the concerned, but to ourselves.

The Sebina case, whether defilement or not, is not an isolated incident. But the society has opted to treat it as such. We all reside in this society where defilement has been going on since eternity. Defilement has all along been happening right in our own backyards, some sadly in their own households. Some are direct victims of defilement and yes, though hard and sad to say, it is true that some are biological products of defilement. Yet we are quite about it all and quick to point out a single case in Sebina village where a ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor is alleged to have defiled and impregnated a girl child. The disturbing allegations mount to the suggestion that he has been engaging in this conduct for a long time. The question that should arise is: Why is this case so important? Are we seriously saying this case is unique? We all know it is not. We have worse cases, not only of defilement but of painful incest. This, however, does not make the current case any much better; they all and both deserve outmost outrage. But in doing so we must not forget to deal with the real problem. We must know the problem is not a political one but an existing social nuisance.

The problem is that we are engaging this deeply in this Sebina matter purely for political mileage. We might want to deny, but it’s out there in the air. Should it be a crime only when politicians are involved? Why has it not been a ‘recognised’ crime all along? Are we sure this is political anger manifesting itself. Are we not taking advantage of the girl child for our political gains and fights? Are we seriously and genuinely feeling for the affected family? Are we cursing the perpetrator because he has done badly or we are cursing him for his political colours? What if this was done by another person and not a politician? Would we still be shouting at the top of our voices? Why do we experience and witness defilement at cattle posts, lands (masimo), farms, villages, towns and cities and not shout loud? Every day at night clubs, at bars and at festivals, the girl child is compromised. The girl child is bought alcohol in exchange for sex, when the girl child does not voluntarily offer sex her drink is spiked, drugged and later she sexually used. Every day the girl child is given a lift to school and after school in exchange for sex. Every day the girl child is confused for a youth for they grow fast, tall, and turn into giants and grow obese! But who cares? No one.

We care now for it is a politician involved. We care now that we have found the space to blame all our woes on our political frustrations. But as the editorial comment of the Gazette Newspaper did rightly put it some months back; the problem is that those who refuse to vote, those who refuse to take part in decision making through the vote are the most frustrated at the end of the tunnel. Of recent, everything has been blamed on politics and we have in the process failed to interrogate ourselves as individuals. A wrong done by an individual who is associated with a political party is coming across in our current angry nation as the only wrong that can be condemned by the society. Wrongs done by individuals not associated, or without any relation to any political party, or not ‘known’ by the society is swept under carpet and seen as a minor and forgivable mistake. This includes the many defilement incidents taking place right in front of our eyes that we have ignored, that we continue to engage in yet able to shout out loud to a single incident far away in Sebina. 

I must be not misinterpreted. The Sebina incident is wrong and unacceptable. Whether the girl child is by law sexually available or not, she was a student who should have been afforded an opportunity to at the very least complete her secondary school for a promising future.  I am simply refusing to be dragged into the mud. We have all at the beginning of this matter even concentrated more on the Sebina Councillor, Kemmonye Amos and that he is a friend to Member of Parliament for the area, Fedelis Molao. We have in the process forgotten that, in our households, our neighbourhood, our villages, cattle posts, fields (masimo) and farms; defilement is galore. That should be our starting point. Yes, we can shout out loud in unison against a particular incident, but if we are ashamed to mention defilement happening at our own back yards yet are quick to voice out at defilement incidents happening far away in Sebina then our voices of concern are not genuine. I doubt the social genuineness of the voices, I see political malice in them. I hear in the voices shouting political party slogans. This cannot be correct. This shall never be correct.

We have reached a stage were we only hear what we want to hear and not what we have to hear. The bell is sounding a social fabric problem and we are all hearing a political belonging problem. Our anger should be directed at our past, not our present. Our main assignment is to ask ourselves; how did we arrive here as a society? It is surely through false policies and government structures that were inherited at independence. Some one might want to blame the current regime, which is not only erroneous but grossly a deviation from the problem at hand. Those are political problems that should unite us as a society rather than divide us. Sadly, we have reached a stage where we use our social problems for political gains. This is not solving the problem; it is rather more like enjoying the existence of the problem so that the problem could afford us a political opportunity to cry foul and benefit a vote in the process. This, I must point out, is a societal mental lapse. My point is that before shouting loud Sebina village incident at the top of your voice, look around you and ensure you have exerted the energies to handle and bury not only defilement but all other forms of social ills afflicting our societies, our schools, our churches, our political parties (for it is an open secret that worse is within political parties), families and social circles. Before you shout loud Sebina village incident think about that friend of yours, that family member and that work colleague whom you have heard from or from somebody else that they were and or are sleeping with a minor and or that they have helped a minor commit illegal abortion.

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