The foundation is faulty
This nation was doomed from the beginning just from the drafting of the constitution. Most of the policy makers had ulterior motives and bringing a better Botswana for Batswana was really the last thing on their minds.
Having self rule is a great achievement but how much has this self rule empowered Batswana. In 2016 we celebrate fifty (50) years of independence but if you look at the life of an average Motswana, nothing can say they live in a mineral rich country that was never oppressed by colonizers.
Most Batswana can barely afford to get by, most youth are unemployed, so they can’t even get access to the minimal essential services like water and electricity. The Capital City can go weeks without electricity and water. Dr Myles Munroe once said there is truly something wrong with Botswana, it is world largest diamond producer but poverty levels do not reflect that.
In the colonial ages, most people who owned freehold land were white people and when the constitution was made that was maintained. The only Batswana who own freehold land in this day and age are those who bought it from whites or the founders of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). Land is the most important thing in the world, people die for their land, but in Botswana the constitution has only empowered a few elite to have land with the most protection.
Masire in his book showed how they outplayed Dikgosi to ensure that in this government they have the least power. Today’s society is really an eyesore and this is because of the decaying culture made by demeaning the role of Dikgosi. Most Dikgosi have overtime left their royal seats for parliament, some can even leave their seats for jobs. I always find it ironic how a chief who went against his culture to marry a white woman can be quoted saying “a nation without a culture is a lost nation.”
The electoral system in the nation has ensured that it is hard for any other party to wrestle the ruling party out of power. Opposition in this nation has just been confined to a bunch of loud-mouths who make noise in parliament. In a multi-party government where all parties are stakeholders to the running of the nation, the ruling party has always ensured that any effort made by opposition is frustrated to embarrass the opposition.
Worst of all, the president can do anything that pleases him/her. To a large extent the power and control arms of government should be independent of each other. In my eyes, it’s unconstitutional that one arm of government can control the happenings on another. Overall the president essentially is the government. Worst of all this Supreme being is not directly elected.
We also see reports everyday of how money is disappearing with no trace. Sad part is that it doesn’t start with the current administration. Some of the most lucrative land in the nation is owned by the people who were in the past administrations. Key government positions are given to those who are loyal to the ruling party, and this is done to protect the interests of those in power.
Recently the government blamed civil servants for not running “mananeo” efficiently, they forget that they never hired the best managers, but loyalists. Sadly the fight against corruption has been long lost from the beginning. The founders of Botswana were corrupt and the seed was sown, we see a big tree now and it has really deep roots dating back to 1966. Police in Botswana are really some of the best in the world but corruption is really beyond them. There are more people who have been trailed and jailed for countless petty crimes when those who are corruption escape untouched.
I always find it amazing when people who were in past administrations criticize the current administration. In some regard I pity them; whatever is going on right now is just an up scaling of what was happening in their tenure. Corruption and the failing of the education, health and other sectors are the results of poor planning. A typical example of lack planning is the address system of Botswana; the whole world uses streets but Gaborone a plot number system is used. Masire further states in his book that he never imagined Gaborone to be the size that it is now.
We really had leaders with no vision for this country and we still do now since they are still doing the same thing they have been doing for years. Currently the infrastructure that is in Botswana is in bad shape because when something is built there is no plan to maintain it. All efforts to diversify the economy have never taken off. If you really have no vision for the nation it’s hard to bring anything new.
I admire Magang but sometimes I find myself struggling to support his criticism of the government. He owns a large piece of land beside Gaborone that is so expensive, the government can not afford to buy a piece to give to Batswana. At one point he was a shareholder at the Lerala Mine, I fail to see any effort he made to ensure that Batswana can easily gain freehold land and not buy from him and also be part of the ownership of a mine.
This government suffers from what I call the Emergency Syndrome. Nothing is done until it is an emergency, and people run around being super heroes about problems they could have prevented. Kids from Matsha had to die before the government could show that it cares for the welfare of the students. There has to be no water first before anything is done to give people access to safe water. Electricity has to be short before anything is done to power the nation.
Diamonds will have to fall and lack a market before any diversification can be done. The foundations of this nation are the biggest limitation to the future of this nation. It was always made to benefit the president and who ever he/she selects to be close to presidential power. The sad reality is that we need a constitutional reform.
Kenneth Keeme Nelson