The nation is not well. In less than four weeks the nation has had to find itself between questions of ethics, morality and law. The nation, naturally so has in all these debates opted for morality and ethics. And we have in this column agreed that these are points of morality and ethics and not points of law. One such clear is when some young boy from Maun, only a few weeks ago distributed some picture of President Khama. Some wanted us to view such as humour more so the culprit himself is reported to have explained that it was simply meant for humour. The nation has refused to see lack of respect on a State President as humour. There was yet another one who said all the things that I cannot write here. Some said there was nothing wrong with what was said. Some wanted to play technicalities saying: how do we know the picture depicts President Khama. But the young boy himself confessed that indeed he was depicting President Khama only for purposes of humour. The nation disputed such an assertion and pointed out that is unacceptable in the Botswana of today and the Botswana of tomorrow. Little did we know that such was only the beginning and the leader of the opposition will join and throw around words and expressions long shunned by the society of Botswana.
This past week Duma Boko has gone out to post on Facebook wall that “A black man spends a bit of time in white man’s land, falls in love with a white woman, and gets married. Pardon me, but I don’t see the political heroism in that mundane occurrence.” Yes, the post has since been pulled down. But the damage has already been done. Many have copies of the post and continuing to distribute it either out of shock, as a political mileage, to simply discredit him or for whatever reason. This will not be happening had Duma Boko thought long and hard about posting such things in the public domain. He is a leader and the reaction he got from the masses for posting such cannot be seen to be wrong. Mixed feelings as the reaction came, some from the opposition tried hard to defend him and some from the ruling party did their best to justify their points that Duma Boko is not worthy of a leader. My communication here is derived from insinuation as to whom Duma Boko is referring to. I have not come across anyone who does not see Duma Boko’s words being directed at Sir Seretse Khama. If he has not directed his words to the founding father of modern day Botswana, I apologise.
It is shocking to say the least, that moral decay has now found place in the thoughts of leaders; or those who are supposed to be leaders as in the case of Duma Boko. He has not distanced himself from this post nor explained what he meant and therefore no one is wrong or was wrong to deduce reference. Besides, Boko has said so many things in public. Things which were said in public and are on record that were never before expected to be heard of. Especially from a leader or anyone thinking of being a State President. The nation will recall his utterings at a rally in White city, Gaborone where he said “a naare golo mo ditseno dirata molelo”. He might want to defend what he meant. We all insinuated what he meant. Besides, he always wants us to behave like literature students and him being a literature teacher. We don’t necessarily have that time. In future if he does not want us to insinuate he must just quickly say exactly what he wants us to hear and what he intends to say. We are tired with his politics of personal attacks. His personality and social status is so vulnerable that he must know best that once he goes into the mode of personalising politics, he is opening a can of worms. That the masses are silent about his vulnerable personality and social status does not mean that the nation does not know the ‘deeds’. It is out of respect of a leader. Or the one supposed to be a leader.
Words such as these cannot be said by a leader who stays in a country that has its perfectly fitting pride in blue, black and white. We were taught, at primary school social studies classes what the colours in the Botswana flag represents. History is rich that when we took over independence from the British Government, we had to plead with white people to remain in Botswana because we needed their skills. They also had the resources. We also pleaded with them to encourage their families to come and join them here. We were so poor that except from the land, there was virtually nothing anyone could steal from us. History is also rich that in our neighbouring countries the wars between black and whites took many innocent people to the graves earlier that God had probably planned. Botswana did not only adopt whites and allow them to inter marry, Batswana allowed all other ethnic groups including the Xhosas to stay here and have children! The Government of Botswana, through little taxes from this nation, schooled, fed and clothed all children.
We grow in a society that defines how leaders must present themselves. Amongst those is that leaders must not behave like the ordinary masses. Leaders cannot say things loudly and recklessly like the ordinary masses. Leaders must not easily get excited like the ordinary masses. Boko happens to be of a different society. He is within a wrong belonging. He must be reminded that he is the leader of the opposition. The things he says go beyond our borders. The opposition is looking for friends overseas who can fund it. But who funds a political party led by those who are so reckless in bile? The opposition is by default tasked with providing hope, future and alternatives on governance. Boko must be leading that default expectation that we all inherited as a society from the former Leaders of the Opposition in Parliament namely; Dr. Kenneth Koma, Gilson Saleshando, Botsalo Ntuane, Dumelang Saleshando and Otsweletse Moupo. We have never in our lifetime expected leaders of the opposition to lead in personal and social differences. We have always expected them to lead the opposition in presenting views that justify why there is a need for reforms in the way the country is governed.
Slow as we might be as a nation to react to change, or a need for change, we have continued to debate earnestly. And we have never been disappointed. Until recently, when we began to be led by people such as Duma Boko, we have deviated from governance debates to insults. If you don’t know what I am talking about, attend a political rally addressed by Duma Boko. Nothing relating to the welfare of Motswana is mentioned. It is just insults thrown around. I still ask myself; where did we go wrong? His language is not that of a man capable of ruling. He does not exhibit a sense of statesmanship. He exhibits the pinnacle of a man landed by mistake at the fort. And rightfully so, a man who landed by mistake at the fort shall steer the ship into a mistake. The mistake shall be an accident. This is where we are as a nation. We are at a point of mistake. We have several choices and one of them is to reprimand. I apologise for my fuming, it is not in my nature.
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