I write as a concerned Motswana. I have observed over a prolonged period now the lies and fabrications about the Directorate of Intelligence and Security. I have been sick worried about the conduct of the DIS and scared as to the monster that was presented to the nation week after week, day after day. I have been worried sick until the DIS engaged journalists on a tour that very few reported about.
You see, this is our country and everything that happens in this country concerns all of us particularly when such involves the economy of the country. And so now the Directorate of Intelligence and Security is being accused of dividing the media. A while ago the DIS was blamed for not engaging the media and now that the DIS is engaging the media the concentration goes to accusing it of dividing the media. Maybe there is something we don’t understand. May be there is something the media wants to get across that we are not picking up. It is a shame that so many lies and fabrications were made about the DIS and no apology has been rendered to the consumer of “news”.
Towards the country’s general elections it was reported that the DIS was constructing an escape tunnel that runs from the state house up to the DIS Phakalane facilities. It was reported that the state president was going to use such tunnel to escape after elections. Such has been proved to have been a total fabrication. Sadly no one came back to apologise for such lies and fabrications. This is a nation we have become, a nation where news are fabricated and sold to the innocent citizens.
Then there was a supposedly DIS torture chamber in Kopong which also has been proved not to be true. The DIS has given its accounts of the story and even took MISA and journalists to the supposed torture chamber and such has been proved to have been lies and fabrications. Yet no one came back to apologies to the nation about such lies.
There is yet another matter where the state president was supposedly involved in car accident whist travelling alone at night. The office of the president gave its account of the story. Proving that the story was not only misleading but was also a total fabrication of lies sold to the unsuspecting citizens.
Some exiled themselves to countries they have always loved. Towards the country’s free and fair 2014 general elections, there was reporting to the effect that ballot papers were smuggled by the DIS into the country from some company in Israel. This was proved to be untrue and yet no one came back to the nation to apologise for such lies and fabrications. How do we as a nation then trust our own media houses? In an interesting twist of events, the DIS has gone all out to engage the media in batches and already some are saying the DIS is dividing the media. Lack of positive reporting has taken predominance in Botswana. Tag lines such as “fearless and responsible reporting” have now lost meaning.
It appears when there are no news to report the media decides to create news. That is not being responsible. That is rather being irresponsible. Friends, please let us refrain from such lies and fabrications. It does not help but damages to sell to unsuspecting citizens stories that are far from the truth and not even come back to apologise. Feeding the nation with lies is not only presenting the country as negative but it is building wrong cultures. We are raising children in a country where lies and fabrications have been made to be normal. The role of the media one would assume is to educate and create awareness rather than mislead. There seems to be an all-out war against the DIS and yet one does not immediately pick exactly what the matter is. I would like my children to grow up in the Botswana I grew within. The Botswana where botho and respect dominated the social space. I get worried week in and week out when I see this growing trend of portraying everything about Botswana as negative. What happened to the Botswana we knew? What are we saying to the young ones when lying and fabrication is not shunned? Colleagues, please let us refrain from lies and fabrications.