The year has finally come to an end and the nation has started winding down to celebrate the long-awaited holiday amid the heat, both political and metrological. By next week many of us will be scattered across the far-flung corners of the country and indeed the world. Unfortunately, this year ending is markedly different from the many we have enjoyed over the past fifty-two years of relative peace and prosperity as a country. On the eve of the 2019 elections the air of uncertainty is so thick, you can cut it with a knife.
The tension between our current and former presidents has long passed boiling point. In fact, at this very moment, ruling party politics are a festering cauldron of infighting, scheming and what seems to the average Motswana a party on the brink of self-destruction. After 10 years of misrule, it’s time to “call a spade a spade.” We are currently facing an affront on our constitutional democracy because of the actions of one man, and that is the former president of this country, Ian Khama. While your back and forth over his meddling plays to the peanut gallery, the stark reality is that they are machination of a palace coup which has the very real potential to plunge our country even further back than the dark days of the Khama regime.
At the centre of all this you Mr. President. The recent reruns of Bulela Ditswe and the unprecedented legal action questioning the legitimacy of your presidency from within your own party reveals the true extent of your embattlement. The nation breathed a collective sigh of relief when SKI “stepped down” and there was a glimmer of hope, emboldened by the hashtag #gomasisi. Batswana had some modicum of faith that you could at least sail this ship with a broken rudder to another democratic election, but alas prevailing circumstance have blown it way off course and the only destination seem to be a fast approaching abyss.
Sir we are concerned. By virtue of being an African country Botswana, albeit lauded as beacon for continental democracy has always walked on a knife’s edge, teeter-tottering on becoming another African banana republic. The world may think we are better off than the rest of the continent, but frankly on the ground we are scared that this situation can degenerate into something we have always feared.
To be honest with you, we want more decisive action. Now is not the time to reshuffle corrupt ministers who clearly deserve jail time while you make a play for your next move. Now is the time to fire and hold them accountable. Politician and civil servants alike. Now is not the time to traverse the world looking for investors. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and clean house.
Sir, if you are the honourable and principled leader you claim to be, take the bold action and dissolve Parliament, call for an election and let the people decided who should lead this country. Every day Batswana grow wearier, and be cautioned, that when the poor no longer have anything to eat, they will inevitably eat the rich. The streets of Gaborone have burned before, and the kindling has not been this dry in a long time.
Mr. President, the ball is in your court and how you return the serve will depend on how you will be remembered; Eric Masisi the man who watched us fall to ruin or #gomasisi, the man who saved the nation.