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#ThePeopleMustFall III

Let me show you where the scriptures are. Ezekiel 4:4, "Lie on your left side." I believe that was Ezekiel; he finished making everything that the Lord made as a symbol of Jerusalem. Having finished it, he would probably have worn his robes or whatever. I mean, he is going to wear that robe for one year in the rain or sunshine. It says he was the one to lie down. The moment he lies down he was locked in the power.

And he was released after the set number of days. God doesn’t turn him, the power doesn’t catch him and turn him. He was released and then he went to the right side and lie down and then he was locked in that position by the power of God. 
What is that saying to us? When the power of God is flowing, there is a part that is from us that must learn to yield and there is a part that is from God that gives the flow. So when the power of God is flowing, you have a choice to yield or not to yield.

Now these are spiritual things. When the power was flowing, there is a point of time that you could choose not to let it go. Up to the moment where Ezekiel has not lay down yet, he could choose to disobey. He could choose to walk away from his call. He had a free choice. But from the moment he obeyed and agreed to lie down, the power was fully released and locked in.

The moment he was locked in there was no way out of that. There is a moment and a very thin, fine line from free choice into being bound in the Spirit. Paul said in the book of Acts 20 to the Ephesian elders at a place called Miletus that he went bound to Jerusalem. He called it being bound. He is being bound by the Holy Spirit. This is the magnetic drawing that he chooses to yield to. The same Greek word used for bondage is fully used there but not in a negative sense. He yielded so much that he is now like a bondservant to God. Not only as a servant but a bondservant. In the year of Jubilee, a servant can be free. A bondservant chooses not to be free. 



In Matthew 4 and Luke 4 it says Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. That sounds very dignified, sounds very pleasant. But wait till you read Mark 1; "and the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness." There is a point where you can choose, and as you choose, God understands your commitment, God understands your love for Him. God knows the freedom He can now have with you because you love Him so much and He takes you over. You move into the bondservanthood. As you move towards the tidal waves, you can still back off. But when you plunge yourself into the tidal waves, it is too late to back off. The tidal waves now carry you. By this time, even if you want to choose to come out you cannot.

You are flowing there now. 

Now this is one possible illustration that you could experience. For example, if the power and the presence of God is strong. It depends on the type of that anointing that is manifesting. Sometime I could yield to the power of God that is being manifested. Not all the time but sometimes as I worship God, I sense that His power wants to shake my hands. Note this: as I am shaking my hands I have full control and I can stop it anytime. But as I yield to a certain extent, it reaches a point where it comes to the level of the subconscious. It can come to the point where I keep on yielding until the movements are more on the subconscious level.

I could purposely move my hands this way and that but it is definitely conscious. But as I keep yielding to the anointing more and more, the hand movements come faster and faster until it cannot be at the conscious level any more. It sends a signal to your brain and say just keep it going. It's just like when you lock your car at a particular speed using cruise control. You don’t have to press the pedal any more. You could press the kilometers per hour all you like and you could just lock it in. And you could take your legs off the pedal. To release it you just press it again. So your brain sends a signal to the automatic department and he locks it. So there is a realm where it goes into the automatic section.

But that is under the power of God and not under our voluntary shaking. 

Under the power of God there is a certain realm. For example, the Spirit of God moves into your life where you could chose to yield or not. Then as you yield there is a certain level of yielding where you still can choose to stop. But you could yield so much that you are literally caught in the flow of the current of God. At that point, even if you want to stop you have to wait till the current subsides before you could really stop.

There is such a realm in the power of God in the anointing of God. 

I could have a relationship with you and I know you well enough. If I don’t know you well enough, before I visit your home, I make sure I call you. I don’t want to catch you in your pajamas or when your house is in a mess. I make sure that I don’t embarrass you. If I know you on a normal level, I make sure you know that I am coming.

If I know you very well and you gave me the liberty to come to your house anytime, I would do so. So according to our relationship, we take liberty. If I really know you very well, sometimes I make myself at home in your house. I will be the one who welcomes your guests. I go to the fridge and help myself and serve all the food. It is not my house but you have given me the liberty to treat the house as though it were my own. So God’s relationship with us is the same since He knows our level of free will. 

There are different levels of our free will. And that’s the position where your free will has been surrendered to God and you say, “Lord, do anything you want with me. Send me anywhere; I will do anything.” But yet you need to pray that prayer of consecration and dedication. God sees the depth of your meaning. People pray that but with different degrees of meaning. As God knows your meaning, He takes the liberty at times to just flow through you while you appear to sit at the sidelines. You welcome it and God knows you welcome it. That is why He took the liberty.


Another illustration is when you fall. There is a position where you could lean back a little and you could still get back and don’t fall. But you reached a certain position and you start falling even if you want to get back to standing you cannot get back any more. The gravitational pull is too strong already. There is no way you could resist it. So to a certain extent when we work with the power of God in different degrees, there are different degrees of yieldedness that you could choose to go through. Sometimes the power could be operating at fifty volts but yet there are different types of responses. Although it’s fifty volts, yet it’s flowing in some people at fifty, some at forty, some at thirty and some at twenty.

The manifestation may be at fifty volts but the degree of resistance in the people prevents the electron of the Holy Spirit from fully flowing through them. So there is what I call the phenomena of falling under the power and if you understand how it operates and what it’s operating, you could flow along and open yourself to the things of the Spirit of God instead of closing yourself up.

For that reason some people never fall. 

Now let me put all these things together. It is not necessary to fall to get a blessing. Sometimes you fall and don’t get a blessing. Sometimes, you remain standing, but you may still get a blessing. Falling under the power as I mentioned has nothing to do with your spirituality. Some people say if you don’t fall you are very resistant to the Holy Spirit. That is why you don’t fall. On the other hand there is another group that says if you fall there is something wrong with you.

For that kind of reasoning then the one who remains standing is a stronger Christian. The one who falls is the weaker one. It’s the opposite altogether. It has nothing to do with that. God’s power as I have illustrated has different ways of working. You have people who fall under the power who are very spiritual people in the Bible like Ezekiel, Daniel, and Paul. But you have other people who fall who have nothing. When Jesus came out from the Garden of Gethsemane and the soldiers came for Him, Jesus said, “Whom do you seek?” They said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus in the gospel of John said, “I am He.” They all fell (John 18). Nothing happened to them. They just got up and arrested Him.

Their hearts were not changed. 

In the book of Acts 26 Paul recounted the incident in Acts 9 where he fell from his donkey. He said he was not the only one who fell. Because in Acts 26 he said "we fell." That tells us Paul and his team was going along. And when the light of Jesus came, all of them fell but only one got touched and changed. So falling under the power has nothing to do with spiritual level. The bottom line is people have always fallen when they encountered God, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. People are falling today. And people will keep falling. So, let them fall! 


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Opinions

The Taiwan Question: China ramps up military exercises to rebuff US provocations

18th August 2022

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosis visit to Taiwan has violated the One-China policy, and caused the escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Experts and political observers across the spectra agree that Pelosis actions and subsequent pronouncements by US President Joe Biden gave impetus to an already simmering tension in the Taiwan Strait, provoking China to strengthen its legitimate hold on the Taiwan Strait waters, which the US and Taiwan deem as international waters.

Pelosis visit to Chinas Taiwan region has been heavily criticised across the globe, with China arguing that this is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US Joint Communiqus. In response to this reckless move which seriously undermined China’s sovereignty, and interfered in China’s internal affairs, the expectation is for China to give a firm response. Pelosi visit violated the commitments made by the U.S. side, and seriously jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

To give context to Chinas position over Taiwan region, the history behind gives us perspective. It is also important to note that the history between China and Taiwan is well documented and the US has always recognized it.

The Peoples Republic of China recognises Taiwan as its territory. It has always been the case even before the Nationalist Republic of China government fled to the previously Japanese-ruled Island after losing the civil war on the mainland in 1949. According to literature that threat was contained for decades first with a military alliance between the US and the ROC on Taiwan, and after Washington switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC in 1979 by the US One China policy, which acknowledges Beijings position that Taiwan is part of One China. Effectively, Taiwans administration was transferred to the Republic of China from Japan after the Second World War in 1945, along with the split between the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) as a consequence of the Chinese Civil War. Disregarding this history, as the US is attempting to do, will surely initiate some defence reaction on the side of China to affirm its sovereignty.

However, this history was undermined since Taiwan claimed to democratise in the 1990s and China has grown ever more belligerent. Furthermore, it is well documented that the Biden administration, following the Trump presidency, has made subtle changes in the way it deals with Taipei, such as loosening restrictions on US officials meeting Taiwanese officials this should make China uneasy. And while the White House continues to say it does not support Taiwanese independence, Bidens words and actions are parallel to this pledge because he has warned China that the US would intervene militarily if China attacked Taiwan another statement that has provoked China.

Pelosi, in her private space, would know that her actions amount to provocation of China. This act of aggression by the USA seriously undermines the virtues of sovereignty and territorial integrity which has a huge potential to destabilize not only the Taiwan Strait but the whole of the Asia- Pacific region. The Americans know very well that their provocative behavior is deliberately invoking the spirit of separatism masqueraded as Taiwan independence. The US is misled to think that by supporting separatism of Taiwan from China that would give them an edge over China in a geopolitics. This is what one Chinese diplomat said this week: The critical point is if every country put their One-China policy into practice with sincerity, with no compromise, is going to guarantee the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Therefore, it was in the wake of US House speaker Nancy Pelosis visit to Taiwan, that China, in a natural response revealed plans for unprecedented military exercises near the island, prompting fears of a crisis in the Taiwan Strait and the entire Asia-Pacific region. The world community must promote and foster peace, this may be achieved when international laws are respected. It may also happen when nations respect the sovereignty of another. China may be in a better space because it is well capacitated to stake its territorial integrity, what about a small nation, if this happens to it?

As to why military exercises by Beijing; it is an expected response because China was provoked by the actions of Pelosi. To fortify this position, Chinese President, Xi signed a legal basis for Chinas Peoples Liberation Army to safeguard Chinas national sovereignty, security and development interests. The legal basis will also allow military missions around disaster relief, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping. In addition the legal changes would allow troops to prevent spillover effects of regional instabilities from affecting China, secure vital transport routes for strategic materials like oil, or safeguard Chinas overseas investments, projects and personnel. It then follows that President Xis administration cannot afford to look weak under a US provocation. President Xi must protector Chinas sovereignty and territorial integrity, of which Taiwan is a central part. Beijing is very clear on One-China Policy, and expects all world players to recognize and respect it.

The Peoples Liberation Army has made it clear that it has firepower that covers all of Taiwan, and it can strike wherever it wants. This sentiments have been attributed to Zhang Junshe, a researcher at the PLA Navy Research Institute. Zheng further said, We got really close to Taiwan. We encircled Taiwan. And we demonstrated that we can effectively stop intervention by foreign forces. This is a strong reaction from China to warn the US against provocation and violation of the One-China Policy.

Beijings military exercises will certainly shake Taiwans confidence in the sources of its economic and political survival. The potential for an effective blockade threatens the air and shipping routes that support Taiwans central role in global technology supply chains. Should a humanitarian situation arise in Taiwan, the blame would squarely be on the US.

As Chinas military exercises along the Taiwan Strait progress and grow, it remains that the decision by Nancy Pelosi to visit Chinas Taiwan region gravely undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sent a wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatist forces. This then speaks to international conventions, as the UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres explicitly stressed that the UN remains committed to the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758. The centerpiece is the one-China principle, namely, there is but one China in the world, the government of the Peoples Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is a part of China. It must be noted that the US and the US-led NATO countries have selectively applied international law, this has been going on unabated. There is a plethora of actions that have collapsed several states after they were attacked under the pretext of the so-called possession of weapons of mass destruction illuminating them as threats – and sometimes even without any valid reason. to blatantly launch military strikes and even unleash wars on sovereign countrie

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Opinions

Internal party-democracy under pressure

21st June 2022

British novelist, W. Somerset Maugham once opined: If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.

The truism in these words cannot be underestimated, especially when contextualizing against the political developments in Botswana. We have become a nation that does not value democracy, yet nothing represent freedom more than democracy. In fact, we desire, and value winning power or clinging to power more than anything else, even if it harms the democratic credentials of our political institutions. This is happening across political parties ruling and opposition.

As far as democracy is concerned, we are regressing. We are becoming worse-off than we were in the past. If not arrested, Botswana will lose its status as among few democratic nations in the Africa. Ironically, Botswana was the first country in Africa to embrace democracy, and has held elections every five years without fail since independence.

We were once viewed as the shining example of Africa. Those accolades are not worth it any more. Young democracies such as South Africa, with strong institutions, deserves to be exalted. Botswana has lost faith in democracy, and we will pay a price for it. It is a slippery slope to dictatorship, which will bring among other excess, assault on civil liberties and human rights violations.

Former President, Festus Mogae once stated that Botswanas democracy will only become authentic, when a different party, other than the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) wins elections, and when the President of such party is not from Serowe.

Although many may not publicly care to admit, Mogaes assertion is true. BDP has over the years projected itself as a dyed-in-the-wool proponent of democracy, but the moment its stay in power became threatened and uncertain, it started behaving in a manner that is at variance with democratic values.This has been happening over the years now, and the situation is getting worse by the day.

Recently, the BDP party leadership has been preaching compromise and consensus candidates for 2024 general elections. Essentially, the leadership has lost faith in theBulela Ditswedispensation, which has been used to selected party candidates for council and parliament since 2003. The leadership is discouraging democracy because they believe primary elections threaten party unity. It is a strange assertion indeed.

Bulela Ditswewas an enrichment of internal party democracy in the sense that it replaced the previous method of selection of candidates known as Committee of 18, in which a branch committee made of 18 people endorsed the representatives. While it is true that political contest can divide, the ruling party should be investing in political education and strengthening in its primary elections processes. Democracy does not come cheap or easy, but it is valuable.

Any unity that we desire so much at the expense of democracy is not true unity. Like W. Somerset Maugham said, democracy would be lost in the process, and ultimately, even the unity that was desired would eventually be lost too. Any solution that sacrifice democracy would not bring any results in the long run, except misery.

We have seen that also in opposition ranks. The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) recently indicated that its incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) should not be challenged for their seats. While BDP is sacrificing democracy to stay in power, UDC is sacrificing democracy to win power. It is a scary reality given the fact that both parties ruling and opposition have embraced this position and believe democracy is the hindrance to their political ambitions.

These current reality points to one thing; our political parties have lost faith in democracy. They desire power more than, the purpose of power itself. It is also a crisis of leadership across the political divide, where we have seen dissenting views being met with persecution. We have seen perverting of political process endorsed by those in echelons of power to manipulate political outcomes in their favour.

Democracy should not be optional, it should be mandatory. Any leader proposing curtailing of democracy should be viewed with suspicion, and his adventures should be rejected before it is too late. Members of political parties, as subscribers of democracy, should collectively rise to the occasion to save their democracy from self-interest that is becoming prevalent among Botswana political parties.

The so-called compromise candidates, only benefits the leadership because it creates comforts for them. But for members, and for the nation, it is causing damage by reversing the gains that have been made over the years. We should reject leaders who only preach democracy in word, but are hesitant to practice it.

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Opinions

The Big Deal About Piracy

21st June 2022

Piracy of all kinds continues to have a massive impact on the global creative industry and the economies of the countries where it thrives.

One of the biggest misconceptions around piracy is that an individual consumers piracy activities, especially in a market the size of Botswanas, is only a drop in the pool of potential losses to the different sectors of the economy piracy affects.

When someone sitting in Gaborone, Botswana logs onto an illegal site to download King Richard online, they dont imagine that their one download will do anything to the production houses pocket or make a dent in the actors net worth. At best, the sensitivity towards this illegal pirating activity likely only exists when contemplating going about pirating a local musicians music or a short film produced locally.

The ripple effects of piracy at whatever scale reach far beyond what the average consumer could ever imagine. Figures released by software security and media technology company, Irdeto, show that users in five major African territories made approximately 17,4 million total visits to the top 10 identified piracy sites on the internet.

The economic impact of this on the creative industry alone soars to between 40 and 97.1 billion dollars, according a 2022 Dataprot study. In addition, they estimate that illegally streamed copyrighted content consumes 24% of global bandwidth.

As Botswanas creative industry remains relatively slight on the scale of comparison to industries such as Nollywood and Nilewood where the creative industry contributes a huge proportion to West and East Africas respective GDPs, that does not imply that piracy activities in Botswana do not have a similar impact on our economy and the ability of our creative industry to grow.

When individuals make decisions to illegally consume content via internet streaming sites they believe they are saving money for themselves in the name of enjoying content they desire to consume. Although this is a personal choice that remains the prerogative of the consumer, looking beyond the fact that streaming on illegal content sites is piracy, the ripple effect of this decision also has an endless trail of impact where funds which could be used to grow the local creative industry through increased consumption, and revenue which would otherwise be fed back into Botswanas economy are being diverted.

Why cant our local creative industry grow? Why dont we see more home-grown films and shows in Botswana? are questions constantly posed by those who consume television content in Botswana. The answer to this lies largely in the fact that Botswanas local content needs an audience in order for it to grow. It needs support from government and entities which are in a position to fund and help the industry scale greater heights.

Any organisational body willing to support and grow the local creative industry needs to exist and operate in an economy which can support its mandates. Content piracy is a cycle that can only be alleviated when consumers make wiser decisions around what they consume and how.

This goes beyond eradicating piracy activities in so far as television content is concerned. This extends to the importation and trade in counterfeit goods, resale of goods and services not intended for resale across the border, outside its jurisdiction, and more. All of these activities stunt the growth of an economy and make it nearly impossible for industries and sectors to propel themselves to places where they can positively impact society and reinvest into the countrys economy.

So what can be done to turn the tide here in Botswana in order to see our local production houses gain the momentum required to produce more, license more and expand their horizons? While those who enforce the law continue to work towards minimizing piracy activities, its imperative that as consumers we work to make their efforts easier by being mindful of how our individual actions play a role in preventing the success of our local creative networks and our economys growth.

Whether you are pirating a Hollywood Blockbuster, illegally streaming a popular Motswana artists music, or smuggling in an illegal decoder to view content restricted to South Africa only, your actions have an impact on how we as a nation will make our mark on the global landscape with local creative productions. Thembi Legwaila is Corporate Affairs Manager, MultiChoice Botswana

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