Dear Masisi: A journo’s letter to the President

Greetings Mr President. Please allow me to join the chorus and congratulate you on your resounding victory.
I trust that you have been well after what seems to have been a tumultuous period of your life. My name is Tefo Pheage and I come from Bokaa in the Kgatleng District, the land of the crazy Gods where a state within your country may soon be born.

I am personally amazed by the love Batswana have for you.

A friend warns me that the same happened when Khama took office in 2008 but I differ. Batswana at that time were merely celebrating a light-skinned chap yo goneng gotwe oja dinoga le di phepheng. Khama turned out to be scandalous, like no other before him. A mammoth task lies ahead you Mr President. You owe Batswana for the love, protection, blind loyalty, sacrifices and commitment the extended you.

Batswana did not vote for the BDP but voted for you personally. Staunch opposition followers voted for you, because you come across as genuine.

Students, elders and the working class, voted against improved monetary benefits promised by the UDC, because they believed in you.

This is despite your party’s unfulfilled promises for the past 52 years. PhD holders and highly respected characters like Ndaba Gaolathe lost because of a vote of confidence on you. Batswana ba go ratile rra, and I worry if this could lead to what we experienced under Khama where the destructive maxim “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” was the order of the day.
Apart from ending the Khamas centuries misrule and grip on our economy, you have not really done anything special yet.

You see Mr President, a presidential call and blessing is a rare anointing from above and must never be taken lightly. It is a gate entered through a miracle and divine destiny. It is God’s mission and assignment. Please take note.

On your impressive fight against corruption, I hope you are genuine and not just being vengeful towards your transgressors. Not that we care about Khama and his family’s cry for pies in the sky but rather because we expect milk and honey from you and this is the ball your eyes needs to be fixed upon.

Botswana has so much potential, political stability, stable economy to mention just a few, but look at how much Batswana wallow in poverty, how debt-trapped they are, the high income inequalities, where the rich own everything while the poor have nothing.

What a waste of God’s everlasting mercies on this nation.

Mr President, there are already worrying things about your government which we must speak of before it’s too late. I will just sum them up: most of the big fish cases before the courts do not make sense.

We are tired of seeing fall guys being victimised while accomplices cross paths with us. Charge all the chaps including those who let the dogs out. You and I know that the list is endless. Selective justice ke yaeng?

The nation including your keepers must have a dinner chat over these things Mr President because by so doing, Prophet Isaiah (35:4-7) says faith in a God who will save us will set: “The eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy.” In other words, God will rescue us from our moral turpitude by opening our eyes to the evil that surrounds us. It is on this dinner table where we shall warn you about competition for your attention by Malope who will now be frequenting you to elevate themselves by bringing others down. Take heed!

You see, Mr President, for so many years our economy has benefited the same old chaps and their families. They need no introduction. You know them. In fact, some if not many are just on your left and right axis. When are we, the ordinary folks without connections going to eat from the palms of our motherland? For decades and centuries we have behaved ourselves and like many nations rejected a culture of rebellion and cowardly acts of mindless thuggery. We have faced our fate with boldness and sacrifice even in the face of naked social injustices delivered to us by those whom we had entrusted with our lives. For years, it has not been our land as claimed in the national anthem. There are families who have turned Botswana into their private business farm, milking it dry when we, the ordinary folks, can hardly afford a can of coke to impress even a tertiary student.

Mr President, as you may be aware, it’s now back to reality for multitudes who were chanting “Sisi Sisi” with clenched fists. Yes the ballot beggars have also vanished and are not picking calls. Remember, these are the same guys who braved the scotching sun on long election queues following brazen campaigns for you when the rich families had used the long elections holidays for vacations.

These poor chaps are now pregnant with hope but wary of how harsh a long history with the BDP has treated them. They have been the last in line when Botswana was on the dinner table. How painful. For them, Brian Adams in his song ‘Heaven’, sums it up well when he says “”we have been down that road before” and later says something to which you only can only attest to when he says “but that’s over now.”

The nation is pregnant with hope. And this presents you with an opportunity to make yourself and Botswana great. They are right, a challenge is always accompanied by an opportunity. The challenge is to free your people from economic bondage. How you do it is up to you. But take heed! The task could be a hard-nut to crack and may even result in life and political threats. Oligarchies will do anything to stay in control. But I trust you; I have seen you win the toughest of battles with ease and style. Wait, could you be the Moses we have been waiting for? Only time will tell.