Government catching the myopic vision of the news media
In the year 2011, we saw on Botswana Television the state president showing an act of kindness by giving money to a woman who was clearly in need. This was in Lobatse as the president was doing his famous walkabouts. This town is one of the worst hit in terms of unemployment.
Coincidentally the president came across a woman who had not been receiving her monthly wages for some time due to a countrywide industrial action. Workers Unions had directed their members to lay down their tools until government acceded to their demand of 16% salary hike. This action was starting to bite their members and Khama came to this womans doorstep on the hour of need. The woman shed tears and praised the government and the president for his act of kindness while damning the unions for her predicament.
This is a true story that was staged by the president and his men to catch the myopic view of the news media. And remember that it was no coincidence that the P200 note handed over to the weeping woman came from Tsaone Nkarabangs wallet. There was an intended significance why the president did not get the note from his own wallet.
This is the same fellow who has now made significant headlines in the private media of this country. Nkarabang has always occupied centre stage and he is often highly visibility in many of the presidents visits. He is clearly the presidents blue-eyed boy.
History always likes repeating itself and this often happens through the actions of political leaders or those in government. This repetition happens through attempts to catch the myopic eye of the news media. Government has always wanted to impress the media for their own intended results. Often the leadership would go all out to convince the public by way of using the news media as a conduit.
Members of the public have strong faith in the news media and particularly the private one. It is therefore imperative that government leadership goes on to do such acts of kindness in public view in order that the news media may transmit it to members of the public.
Unfortunately government executives and the news media always have divergent objectives. The government wants to subdue the public while the news medias objective is to dig for the truth.
This is exactly what put Sonny Serite into such trouble with the authorities. Even though the governments objective is to be viewed in a certain way, (which is myopic) by the news media, they often do it in less covert ways that give up their true intensions. Serite wanted us to know the truth and that is why he risked an arrest. Spending a night in a smelly police cell was a reward for a man who risked it all to get us to know what our government has been hiding from us.
Most of the information that is treated as secret and or confidential is basically files that tell the tales of corruption. Every government has its own secrets, but for the government of Botswana most secrets exist to protect the personal interest of the leadership and those serving their interests such as Nkarabang.
Because of the level of controversy that Nkarabangs file has attracted, the governments spokesperson, Jeff Ramsey should have by now addressed the media on the issue. This is an issue of public interest and hence the need to bring the issue to the public domain by the government of Botswana. By this time the government should have addressed a press conference to answer a lot of unanswered question surrounding the issues of Nkarabang.
There are so many things that government does not want us to know as members of the public. In that way they will attempt to mute the news media or offer stories that are half truths and only intended to catch the myopic view of the news media.
The biggest secret that any government would want to keep away from the media is that of corruption. The leakage of such secrets is the source of frustration for those in government leadership. And what has been going on at the Office of the President is sheer corruption, nepotism and favouritism. Politicians would certainly want to burry such stories at all cost. When a story such as this has leaked, they just wish the public could soon forget the event.
Journalists are the number one enemy of governments because they are always sniffing for the wrong things. Governments all around the world have resorted to arresting and detaining journalists on account of breaching government secrets. Governments are either sweet talking the news media or attacking the fourth estate through all means at their disposal.