BOT50 drama aside, lets celebrate independence!

SHARE   |   Monday, 12 September 2016   |   By Simon Gabathuse
Charity Kgotlafela Charity Kgotlafela

That the BOT50 Coordinating Committee has not done things in a manner that was expected is a given. No matter how they might want to justify their actions, it just does not add up. Amongst those moments I recall is when the lead person herself; Charity Kgotlafela, admitted that she knows almost nothing about what she is supposed to be doing. She was admitting that she is clueless. When the head is empty, and so is everything and the results shall be just that; empty. But then, we have always celebrated Botswana’s independence every 30th of September of every year without fail for the past 49 years. We did not have all this drama and controversies surrounding the 50th anniversary and subsequent planned celebrations. It is money. The problem with money is that all of a sudden suspicious hands get closer to the cookie jar.  Such has been the case with the current situation. But then again, we must be able to distinguish those who have used money in a manner that looks and smells suspicious from what 50th anniversary is all about.  Saying there is nothing to celebrate is purely nonsensical. You can’t celebrate for the past 49 years and then on the 50th year, you all of a sudden see nothing to celebrate. There is a lot to celebrate. Actually, there is everything to celebrate.

Whilst the urban dweller thinks there is nothing to celebrate, the rural dweller understands that there is just so much to be grateful for. The rural dweller understands that amongst those many things to be grateful for is that they have had to work so hard to send their children to school and the children have become urban dwellers. The only unfortunate thing is that the rural dweller does not understands that the urban dweller is not grateful for all the sacrifices that this nation has collectively made for that very urban dweller to be comfortable. We must all go out there and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the independence of Botswana. We are not celebrating corruption. We are celebrating that we have been running our own country for the past 50 years. When we celebrate that we are 50 years old, we are not celebrating unemployment and poverty. We are simply appreciating the journey thus travelled. Many countries still wish to be like us. We bash ourselves too much and unnecessarily. We have gained so much in many sectors. Challenges that we are facing are not failures, they are those moments in the journey when storm and thunder dictate that we must make another plan; on top of a plan. We have done that in several ways, we have had to institute bodies to safe guard the gains. Such institutions such as the DCEC, no matter how they continue to face their challenges, have become a part of us in guarding national interests for the benefit of all. It is called governance.

Pundits say we should not compare ourselves with countries such as Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe etc. Pundits forget that we are a developing country and we can only compete within our range of development. Pundits want to deny us the opportunity to point out that, compared to most of the developing countries, we have done so well without the support of westerners. South Africa for example was built by the Dutch and the British during the many years of colonisation since Jan Van Reinbeck arrived at the cape in 1652.  Those blacks enjoying it simply did not develop it. They were busy fighting for human rights. The economic situation in South Africa says it all, the monies are literally in the hands of the whites. Another neighbouring country being Namibia was developed by both the Dutch and Germans. It remain predominantly German in economy and the life disparities can only be sorted out by God. Zimbabwe is just one example that everyone knows about. They look back to 1980 as the year of their independence and the many years they had the label: food basket of Africa. In Zimbabwe, poverty has become a lifestyle of the masses. But regarding infrastructure, Zimbabwe was developed by the British. The Zimbabweans simply enjoys that which they never worked for. In both these scenarios, the whites were developing those countries thinking that they will rule them for ever. The blacks were simply slaves, and the blacks remain economic slaves. Some of those slaves have entered our borders. We have given them only new titles as herd boys, helpers, nannies, maids, gardeners etc. But they are simply our slaves, but pundits don’t see this.

We on the other hand have had to work through dirt to develop our own country. We have had to literally engage the community and our history of self-reliance on the aspects of ipelegeng, motho le motho kgomo, dikoporase, village development committees etc. These traits came about because we had no one to do it for ourselves. We were considered to be poor to be on any value. We are lucky to have discovered diamonds after independence. They will have not left us alone. They would have claimed ownership of us. We must be glad that in all the poverty of materials, we had the wisdom to do things right. Many countries still envy our peace and only in Botswana do pundits we say we should not celebrate it. Many countries still look at us as a shining example of Africa and only In Botswana pundits are saying we are not. Our challenges, many as they maybe, should not make us forget that we are still the best amongst the best in governance. We have had our problems, and we will continue to have our problems, like many country do, and we shall continue to react to those challenges and deal with them. But whilst dealing those challenges, we cannot then deny ourselves the unique opportunity of going out there to shine that we are simply the best! Pundits must be told this truth.
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