Author fired after scathing book

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 24 September 2014   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang
Book cover artwork Book cover artwork

Richard Khumoekae, a budding author who has written a scathing book on the democracy of Botswana has been fired from his government job. The former University of Botswana Student Representative Council president has written a book that is highly critical of president Ian Khama’s rule, titled,’ Scandalous Murdering Of Democracy’.

Khumoekae was working as a lecturer at the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education where he says he was called and told by the school management that his position is not tenable as the institution has gone bankrupt.

“Then the principal let it slip that I have written a book that has ruffled feathers, adding that he listened to me on radio discussing the book. However when I sought to know from him what the book had to do with my work, he suddenly changed the tone and said it was a good book,” said Khumoekae.

"If people have lost lives, what about a job. They can take away my job, they will not take away my brain. They have terminated my contract, they cannot terminate my agenda of emancipating the beautiful people of this country. My ethos, my beliefs, my creed and my convictions shall go with me wherever and shall remain unblemished. This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I knew it was coming. Let the perpetrators receive the favour Christ prayed on behalf of ignorant Jews: "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing," he said.

Khumoekae has said that he suspects the passage below that might have contributed to his job loss. In Chapter 12 titled ‘What is to be done?’ it reads;

“In fighting the 'military rule' as instituted and executed by the Regime, BDP members must be strategically lobbied and persuaded to help demolish this militarization program—to rescue the nation from the sharp claws of oppression. Underground caucuses with the democrats must be initiated to help in eliminating and erasing this militarization agenda from Botswana's soil. It is the duty and responsibility of 'the agents of change' to free even the BDP members: many of them are certainly trapped in this cage of military rule, nonetheless remain helpless and hopeless. They need to be inspired to demolish the deepening authoritarian power.

That said, the BDP members themselves must avoid living in denial. They must appreciate that their 'baby' has grown horns that are even dangerous to them. The 'baby' is no longer what they thought he was: a leader! It is no malice that the BDP has not been spared of Khama's wrath. Apart from the fact that they are the creators of this monster that is terrorizing the nation, they must realize that they are now its victims themselves. BDP general membership has been put in exile in their own party. Only a buffoon who is ignorant and moribund can remain aloof to this reality. Reality is that, we are in this together. We share the enemy. The enemy of trade unions is the enemy of SRCs; the enemy of the opposition parties is the enemy of churches. The same enemy of the media is the enemy of the BDP. We are all the 'plaintiffs' in this matter—none of us is the 'defendant”.

Efforts to reach the school principal by press time were futile.