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PRESIDENTIAL AWARD: I used this opportunity for a comment for a story. I travelled to Japan to beg for the candid 2010 interview with you. You didn’t even know that I had requested for that interview for over a year!

I am not amused by the chaotic state our country is currently in.

Most readers think the absence of my column lately is because of the Presidential Award I received in 2010.

They think the Award has silenced my column and the candid reportage on topical issues facing Botswana today.

Far from the truth Mr PresidentÉ The reality is that every thebe from advertising, counts for us to pay production costs, tax and salaries.

When you came aboard amidst a lot of uncertainty and even deep-rooted hatred of what you stood for, some of us provided a dissenting voice and said, give Lt General Khama a chance so that we can see what he offers. He is disciplined!.

Since you were born with a silver spoon, we had hoped, you would curb  corruption, which would result in poverty eradication.

I have tried in vain to seek an audience with you but those who guard you so fiercely have denied me the chance to have a one to one chat with you.

THINGS ARE NOT GOOD SIR
I love this diamond clad country of fauna and flora with a passion Mr President and Botswana is the only country I have. But your trusted Aides hardly tell you the truth about our country and her people.

They tell you lies and what you want to hear. These “vultures” Mr President are milking the country dry and escalating poverty at a high rate.
Smell the coffee Mr President, the ones you trust are the ones who will bring you down.

You will ask yourself, “where did I go wrong. I gave the have nots blankets’ I encouraged youth empowerment and even asked social welfare to give the Ipelegeng recipients fat cakes and drinksÉÓ
But it will be too late Mr President. What the population needs right now are not blankets but sustainable projects that can improve their livelihoods on a longer term, not from hand to mouth.

WATER
There is an acute shortage of water. I had resorted to use a shower daily to save water but the water pressure (when this rare essential commodity is there) is too low to run a shower in Gaborone.

ELECTRICITY
We have to daily plan for load shedding and in the era of healthy eating for a healthy mind, we sometimes find ourselves ordering home delivery pizza.

COMMUNICATION
Mr President… needless to say  communication is my lifeline.
We need the internet as a basic tool to execute our duties as journalists.
The same way a Soldier needs a gun. For over five months, my landline has not been working and automatically my internet line
This fault was reported but as I type, it is still not working.

LOW PRODUCTIVITY AND POOR SERVICE
When you came aboard there was a buzz about the service delivery in our public service. It improved drastically!
Since the strike, service delivery has reached an all time low.
It is appalling that some parastatals have joined the bandwagon too. Which is why I don’t have a landline at the moment. Nobody cares!

YOUR CHOICE
You can choose who you want in your cabinet whether it’s your brother, friend or cousin.
I can see the pressure you are under Mr President. With the “vultures” being dishonest, you want those who are able to say, No Baas to you and tell you the truth.
I don’t see your brother Tshekedi telling you lies as he doesn’t need any favours from you.
Drastic situations calls for drastic action which may be the explanation of his appointment which you knew would raise eyebrows about nepotism etc etc, but still went ahead.

WORK PERMITS
The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs dictates who we should employ.
We are not allowed to work with innovative, creative hard workers of our choice who we believe can contribute to the growth and development of this country.

CHANGE OF GUARD
50 years in power is far too long for one party to rule a country.
This is the reason why your five Ds now seem like the joke of the century. Those you entrusted to implement your ideas have failed you.
As a decisive and disciplined man who loves the upliftment of others especially the disadvantaged, you should look into doing what others will term crazy or impossible.
Endorse public funding for opposition parties to level the playing field, Mr President.
It is obvious that the Botswana Democratic Party  (BDP) will win the coming 2014 elections mainly due to our fragmented and sometimes confused “opposition”.
But do you sleep at night when you know that your victory is mainly because these alternative government hopefuls are incapacitated by lack of funding as well as greed which prevents them to form one strong contender?.
It is like a sjambok wielding opponent fighting with someone holding an AK47?

ALCOHOL LEVY
The money for this can come from various sources including the alcohol levy’
These struggling political parties are also citizens of this country.
Let the best politician win through the will of the people and  the fairness of a level playing field.. It may sound crazy but it can save our country from a one party rule.
You will sleep at night knowing that you earned your space as the First Citizen.

Have a lovely weekend Mr President, and remember I am available for a chat.

Beata Kasale

“IT’S SUCH A SHAME “

hello Ausi Beata,

I trust that you are well. I have been meaning to call you for about a month now.

The headlines a month or so ago regarding ARV treatment and that we could possibly start paying for ourselves reminded me of something you once said at a workshop for journalists at Maharaj in 2006

What you actually said at the conference was that, whilst we are fortunate enough to have a President (Mogae), who is passionate about HIV and related issues, you were worried about the absence of an Act of Parliament/Law that compels the government to provide ARV treatment.

You questioned, what would happen when Mogae leaves, and we were to suddenly find ourselves with a President or government that didn’t see HIV as a priority?

Your questions may have come across as rhetoric then, but I am afraid you were right.

Well just thinking aloud. It’s such a shame.

Regards,

Kgomotso Maembolwa via email

Dear President Seretse Khama Ian Khama…

This letter is the only way I can reach you.

When I received the above email on Wednesday morning, it occurred to me how silent we are about the challenges facing our country.

Mr President, I am silent because I can’t afford to write anymore. This weekly column is sacrificed for placements of advertisements.

We have the desire to write every week, but our newspaper, has lost weight (in size) in an alarming way.

As the largest circulating newspaper, our printing costs are high but we can’t cut our figures as we would deprive our readers who continue to support us in large numbers every week.

It is all about cutting costs like many a Motswana is doing at the moment.

And worse still the corruption that runs amok in our country spells where advertisements go, not to the biggest selling newspapers but to the whim of the advertiser, especially in the public sector and parastatals.

Not that we can do anything about it as these days, those with power do what they like, with no fear of reprimand. This is Botswana today.

HIV and AIDS
As the email states Mr President, the thought of the day when Anti retroviral drugs are no longer free is a big worry. We pray that this time won’t come now because the thousands who depend on these life saving drugs will simply perish from the face of earth.

Most of them can’t afford a loaf of bread, let alone a bag of mealie meal. How can they afford monthly refills of ARVS?.


GHETTO

GHETTO

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