The Fallacy Of Masisi’s ‘Reset’

After dismissing President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s Reset Agenda for blaming failures of the Executive on public servants, political scientist DR. PATRICK MOLUTSI turns his attention on what he calls the President’s one-phoko scheme and concludes that doing something similar to bull camps would benefit more farmers and create more jobs.

This piece focuses on the fallacy of the so-called “Reset Agenda.” President Mokgweetsi Masisi recently addressed the nation on what he called Reset and his Transformation agenda. According to the President, the decision to reset came from two retreats which they had, an earlier one with the cabinet and senior public servants and the other later with BDP backbench Members of Parliament.

Because H.E. (His Excellency the President) said the Reset Agenda came from the BDP, I am assuming that he had also been consulting with councillors and other BDP structures. If he didn’t, there lies the first problem of lack of internal party democracy. We cannot expect to be consulted as non-BDP members and as the nation if the BDP, which is closest to his responsibility, was not fully consulted.

Anyway H.E. says the Reset comes from the BDP’s introspection and, as a result of that introspection, they have decided to run or govern the country following his own ‘transformation agenda.’ I must say I for one I am yet to see and understand this much talked about ‘transformation agenda.’ I know there is some task force, but like the one on COVID-19, I am yet to see any serious advice that they are offering. I only hear the latter blaming people for having spread COVID for travelling to their homes during Christmas and New Year holidays.

Isn’t it funny that they asked for money from us and the government, which was given? They asked for a legal instrument, the State of Emergency (SOE), and this too they were given. They developed control tools, travel permits and others, and yet when the disease spread, they blame us. Until our leaders learn to accept their failures and mistakes and apologize to us for them, they will never be accountable.

Look at the Reset, it is on based false allegations of a ‘failed’ public service. The proponents of Reset forget that constitutionally, the supervisor of the public service is the Executive, which is the Cabinet. So if the public service has failed, it is the cabinet which has failed. Anyway, in all fairness to His Excellency the President, he did concede that for the past 30 years (I would say the past 57 years), the BDP government has failed this nation.

H.E. correctly observed that the development of Botswana has bypassed the citizens, hence a malnourished middle-class and intolerable levels of poverty and inequality in the country today. It is exactly at this point that one begins to see the fallacy of the Reset ideology. It is yet another bluff like transformation, EPR, diversification, and so on.
How do you cause so much damage and destruction and then turn around and say you have solutions to solve the endemic decades-long problems? Let me offer free advice to H.E. I do this knowing that he has a tendency of ignoring advice. After the recent reshuffle of the cabinet and transfer of senior public officers, I wrote cautioning him against these frequent transfers of personnel because they are harmful to the development of the country. He ignored this advice and went on to transfer and promote more than 30 senior officers. Be it as it may, my advice is:

  1.  Please note that “Mabele a anyesitse matlhale otlhe.” You need to recognize that your BDP may not necessarily be holding the best brains in this country.
  2. Please note that some of your advisers are bootlickers and you choose them because they are yes-men and yes-women without requisite competencies. They want to tell you what you prefer to hear not what is good for the country.
  3. In the spirit if democracy, kindly reach out to the whole nation and consult if you want to reset, and start by admitting your failures without blaming them on public servants.
  4. Let me give you an example of what Reset should entail. Please stop going around the country giving one or two people diphoko and diphelefu as gifts from you and your friends. Instead use government resources to build insemination farms around the country similar to bull camps. Ask smallstock farmers to take their female sheep and goats there for artificial or even physical insemination/mating. Look at the outcomes:
    1. More farmers will be covered than your one phoko scheme;
    2. Improvement of smallstock will be quicker.
    3. More jobs will be created in the ram/he-goat camps.
    4. Vaccination and care programme will be improved and jobs created.