This situation was deliberately created by those in power to serve the interest of the colonial masters or to let the colonial masters rule us hiding behind those we see as ruler’s backs. The situation has done so much damage that the victims will never allow themselves to listen to anybody who could try to bring a different thinking to empower the citizens. The problem is so deep that even opposition political activists find themselves defending the systems in away thinking that they are being modern or under pressure to be tolerated by the mass. Even the BDP leadership is victim of the cruel situation created deliberately by Khama and the Queen.
The BDP founders made sure that they create a need for people to always come to the leaders and beg by using the following critical things which our politicians never talk about but rather the symptoms on them. This has created a situation where people think capitalist and the open market is the best thing ever happened to our country. They just put a bite in form of infrastructure development but nothing on human progressive development. It is very important for whoever talking about changing the lives of the people to look at the following critical.
• Education system
• Not to industrialize
As a country, we need to reform and do the basics things right.
For us to see that change happens, it is we the poor, the farmers, the workers who need to stand up and lead the struggle for regime change. Capitalists will only lead us to change power holders but they will always protect their interest first. Our problems are as follows.
1) Tribalism: We are trying hard to pretend that Botswana is not a tribalist country but our tribalism is both constitutionalized and institutionalized. We have been simply defeated on it by the masters who wanted to create a monarch out of a republic. The best approach used was to deceive the other seven tribes that they are part of the 8 major tribes, while in actual fact they were just used to block the so-called minority tribes from rising and demanding their rights in a republic. Currently even opposition activists become divided when the subject of tribalism is being discussed. This has affected us in economic development as we failed to use our diversity as a nation made of different tribes- to create means of production and wealth from our traditional and cultural practices. We were all taught that anything that is not Tswana is either evil or barbaric. It is a pity because it is not easy to see it but if you look at things that Batswana were doing but later dumped after independence to become destitute, you will understand. Batswana should be leading in the tourism industry, agribusiness industry, cultural and artifacts. It is the same capitalists who turn around and invest on these things and export millions of pulas in revenues to their countries. If Batswana were taught that they can be either Mosarwa or Mokalaka or other tribes some of these industries could have never find their ways in the hands of Asians and other foreigners. Imagine herbs that are called green teas or ginger teas, do you think Batswana never had those? They were discouraged. If you want to destroy a nation you destroy its roots: Batswana can’t compete in anything because they have un-learned to be themselves for the past 50 years.
2) Land: It is a primary means of production. If people can be allocated land they can produce enough food for themselves and sell the surplus. Land should be used by the indigenous citizen as their capital in partnership with foreigners who want to do business on such land. Alternatively the land can only be leased or rented to such foreigners. This can create a long-term revenue generation for the peasants. No foreigner should own land rights in the republic. All those who acquired land through dubious means have to hand it back without being paid for developments they did on that particular land. But as we speak, all prime land in this country is in the hands of foreigners who speculate with it when Batswana are just tenan ts. The land policy is even so outdated that it does not encourage any Motswana to start a multimillion pula agribusiness project.
3) Education system: Ours is not any education system but a propaganda machine used by the rulers to believe that we can’t afford to do anything by ourselves. We need to develop our education system that can produce individuals who can see opportunities in our environment. We need to educate people to develop and utilize their culture not to shun and destroy it. We could be far if we could have protected our traditional farmers, basket markers, fishermen, and changed our hunters to safaris owners. But what our education did was to discourage them and later on foreigners took all those opportunities and they became slaves of those foreigners. We killed everything by trying to centralize people into thinking and behaving the same way instead of taking advantage of our cultural diversity as a nation of different tribes. If you look how Zimbabweans, Zambians and other nations turning themselves into millionaires in Botswana you will understand how much time we have wasted in learning languages of other people.
4) Industrialization: As I said above that education should be focused on what we have, by now Botswana could be exporting less raw material and importing less goods. This could help the economy to grow as people would find jobs and value for their products. We could have long started the processing of meat, diamond, copper, iron, leather to make finished goods and semi-finished goods. We could be importing expert knowledge to come and train us in our country as both investors and workers. We could design a transitional take over with well-planned succession plan.
5) Labour: Workers should not be treated simple like only wage earners because they can start thinking that way. This can kill creativity, innovation, sense of ownerships and results in poor service delivery and corruption. Workers should be seen guarding their profession and their companies. This can only happen if their labour is treated as an important element of production charged with a % to revenue to be allocated to workers as salaries, pensions, bonus, dividends or shares in the company. But our system has turned workers into tools that are sharpened every month end to be thrown to namula leuba at the end of their working life.
6) Indigenous protection policy: Even though we are living in a global village every country protects its people. We should have polices limiting what kind of business can be done by foreigners and what standard a foreigner should meet to register and run a company in Botswana. We can’t have Asians in chicken business, selling cloths and fat cakes then think we can be counted as one of the developing countries in Africa. This business needs to be reserved for the indigenous citizens as they don’t have another country to run to.
In conclusion, our country does not do anything to improve the life of its citizen. Our government can be credited for creating employment opportunities for Asians in Botswana than creating the jobs for our citizens. The situation needs men and women who can see far from their size 50 stomach and understand that we are destroying what we have simply to protect few people.