A POLITICAL LANDSCAPE WITHOUT FOCUS

SHARE   |   Sunday, 01 March 2015   |   By Kealeboga Ntshebe


Greetings from the land of Bagammangwato. I am hopeful that far away from the capital city I will be allowed to express my view point on the conduct of the media. I seek through this interdiction to provide a view and perspective regarding the relationship between; local politics, trade unions and the media.  It has become increasingly clear that the media is in cohort with the opposition. As a citizen far away from the glitz and the glamour of Gaborone, and to be precise as a sympathiser of the BDP who has at one point thought of joining the opposition, I find myself detached from opposition every time my simple mind raises a concern of this directionless cohort.
We must be aware that this political gimmick excised by a three legged cohort does nothing good to the electorate. But rather waste ample time that could have been used to focus on pertinent issues that are more important to the country and particularly to the opposition block, to attain state power. I am one of those who have mixed feelings about changing our government. Though I feel change is good, I also feel irresponsibility on the part of the opposition block is too scary to be mandated with the running of a country.
On the 06th of February 2015 one local newspaper reported that BWP 500 million has been stolen from the government. It was on the 09th of February 2015 that the Government refuted the allegations. The newspaper had run a story that the money has been given to a company to do some work for the government in 2010 went on to report that such a company has not completed the job. The Government has on the other hand stated that the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) job in question has not been awarded. This then simply presents that the newspaper was not being honest and only published rumours as facts possibly as a deliberate onslaught to the BDP. Gona leselo gatwe ‘it is alleged’ and the other gatwe ‘ a highly placed source’ by our local journalists.
It becomes difficult to trust the opposition if its role is not to offer alternative plans but to merely depend on the political activists posing as journalists to sell half-baked stories. I also read a sister publication of the same newspaper in the past few days were some concerned citizen was raising points regarding state payments.
Back then at University we learnt that the art of revolutionary leadership consists in providing leadership to the masses. And not just to its most advanced elements, but as for our local opposition parties we are learning a new leadership of leading the young generations stray. We also learnt at the University that politics is in the subjective realm and it is about the ultimate subjectivity; freedom. We were taught that politics can only have an existence within the limits of objective realities. Unfortunately we are seeing a different thing by the local opposition block and the media is giving this more prominence failing in turn its role to educate and inform. It is as if the media perceives Batswana to be stupid enough to believe everything that is written by a newspaper.
The media should rather be educating these anarchic bubble-gum politicians to understand that political achievements does not require disruption of a country through falsified politicking  but a clear and workable plan of action. These include understanding that running a country differs extensively from running a political party or a law firm. That to transfer BWP 500 million requires a chain of civil servants such as PPADB, Accountant General, the Governor of the Bank of Botswana, and politicians in the name of Ministers of finance, Defence etc. to apprise on payments.
The nation is thirsty to listen to the opposition block offering alternatives considering the external economic challenges that we are facing. Just like someone who mentioned in one of the local newspapers last week; the problem is that these newspapers are read by both locals and foreigners and present the country in bad light though such are hardly truths. Given the many times every week that local newspapers publish retractions and apologies is enough to tell the quality of reporting. Perhaps the government must go back to law suits.

The media reports towards the past general elections did prove that indeed the opposition block, some trade unions and the media have planned an onslaught against the BDP. I deliberately mention the trade unions here because it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that some union leaders continue to mislead the union members with a sole intention to fraudulently hand over state power to the opposition block. Most of those union leaders are known opposition party activists such as Johnson Motshwarakgole. They will prefer the opposition block to obtain state power fraudulently. And with outmost honesty, are we expected to be able to trust such new government? Well, if it is to see the end of the day. At the level the opposition block is going it becomes difficult to disassociate its character from the youthful hooligans of the South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters wrecking a country unaware.

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This entire fracas must come to an end. One would have thought that since the 2014 general elections are over, accurate reporting would be reinstated without gimmicks. The purpose of the media as we now is to report and inform and not to create news for themselves. Gentlemen and ladies of the media please stop being agents of opposition parties and their sponsors. The opposition must also know that if they continue using such agents in the media fraternity for political fraud, such agents shall do the same once you are in power and no longer opposing just as a Setswana saying that “molaakgosi waabo aiitaela”.

Kealeboga Ntshebe
Palapye



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