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Could gender inequity be a monster created to destroy us?

The gender movement should pause for a moment and consider a fresh approach towards addressing the gender imbalance. The fundamental aim should be to achieve a more balanced and fulfilled family rather than a divided, undisciplined and unstable family. The aim should be to build a stable, disciplined and a fulfilled nation.

We must start from the premise that the present generation did not create the gender imbalance we face. It is something that was inherited from many generations before us. It is not a women against men issue; It is neither a political issue; It is an issue that needs open mindedness; it’s an issue that we must deal with soberly without attempting to appease the gender movement. We must acknowledge that men and women were created differently to perform the different roles in building the family and the nation. This does not in anyway imply that one gender greater or more important than the other. 

The mistakes of the past must be solved jointly without undue cohesion from one gender. Remember the letter I quoted last week. The man raised very important questions that many of us are afraid to raise. The letter raised question of dishonesty in dealing with gender issues and insinuated that the gender movement was a deliberate creation by some capitalists who want to destroy the family structure and weaken nations in order to wage economic wars against these unsuspecting nations.

I believe the target countries are in Africa. One is tempted to say this is a gross exaggeration, but what is the major cause of any war and instability in the world? Is it not control of economic resources? But do the perpetrators ever accept this as the reason?

They do not.  What is the cause of wars and instability in the Middle East and North Africa? Is it not the oil?  We are told it is religious intolerance and dictatorships but if you study these closely you will find that both of these are a creation of those powerful countries in the developed world. Is religion not meant to unite not to divide nations? This world is without doubt full of people who will do anything to control others using whatever convenient excuse there is.  

The SADC region is one if not the only region in the world that is still to be fully exploited and is currently relatively stable. Its huge minerals and wildlife resources are the envy of many from the developed world.  We cannot rule out that the gender issue is not being used as musk to create instability in Africa in order to gain access to its rich and untapped resources. So the gender card can be used as a convenient weapon to fuel discontent and weaken us in order to gain control of our natural resources. We have to be careful that we do not fall into this carefully engineered trap meant to ensnare us and make us forever weak and dependent.

Well that maybe scary, but hopefully it will move us to honestly begin to face the real underlying causes of the gender imbalance and help us establish what needs to be done to build a cohesive and balanced society that God intended for mankind. This is a call for social dialogue not a call for finger pointing, not a call for men to stand on one side and for women to stand on the other side and to start throwing salvos and stones at each other. This is not a time for the ruling party to stand on one side and the opposition parties on the other side and fight to win the hearts of women and their manipulators. 

This is the time to start building bridges that will bring men and women closer together as complementary partners in building our nation. We do not need unhealthy competition between men and women where the only winners will be those who want to tear us apart in the name of gender equity.

If you go to many of the developed countries you will see how men and women in general relate to each other, you will see how husbands and wives treat each other and how together they bring up their children. Also while there, see what percentage of women hold leadership positions in their countries. It seems some of us have lost the plot here and followed the evil one who is continually deceiving us for his own good.
Let us look at some pertinent gender issues that are potential timed explosives;

We must accept that the gender movement has created explosive societal divisions which we are failing to face head on for reasons that border on timidity or lack of foresight.  We have coined and accepted new words and phrases. Words and phrases like; passion killing, alarming rates of divorce, gender based violence, gender based abuse, sugar daddies, sugar mummies, increasing levels of prostitution, increasing levels of homosexuality, increasing use of habit forming drugs; we are now even contemplating legalizing some of these vices. I believe this is a result of a nation that is at war with itself. When we start gender and age based movements, we are unwittingly dividing the nation into groups which groups will start fighting each other. 

It is fine to have women movements and programs to address issues that relate only to women and men like wise can have theirs. It is also good to have youth programs for addressing issues that relate only to the youth.  But if you discriminate only based on gender and age you are dividing the nation and unwittingly planting seeds of discord in your society. Such a situation could ultimately result in the nation becoming increasingly ungovernable allowing opportunists to take control. History is littered with such takeovers.

Let me give examples to explain what I mean. When people talk gender in this country and perhaps elsewhere, they are talking about women. Gender programs as currently fashioned are essentially for women leaving men behind. This means that as women become more and more assertive and more and more aggressive in pursuit of their voice as a result of these programs, men are left behind wondering what has become of their women. This inevitably results in men becoming angry as they do not understand their women fork any more.

Men begin to feel that they are not respected by their women anymore. Men respond either by becoming physical abusive or behaving in wayward manners. Is this not perhaps the reason for passion killing and gender based abuse that is ravaging this nation? 

What is leading to the growth of sugar daddies and sugar mummies? Could it be because women have become too independent from their men counterparts and men have turned away towards vice resulting in both men and women doing as they please? 

Is the gender movement not undermining family values thus creating a selfish free for all mentality which mentality promotes the notion that it is fine to care only for oneself as opposed to caring for the family and the nation?  If men have been brought up and socialised in a particular way reversing that is a process that need to be managed by the gender movement.

Let us consider another explosive scenario. You are a middle income couple both working with a typical family of two boys and two girls who have now graduated from university and cannot find meaningful employment or business opportunities. Further you have an uncle and aunt aged around forty and both have never worked and are struggling to make ends meet.

They both have their own children boys and girls who through government scholarships have graduated at university and are also not employed. Your boys and your girls are looking for opportunities, would you accept a situation where the establishment favours your girls more than your boys because of gender? How would your boys feel if their sisters are offered employment and business opportunities only because of their gender and they remain at home struggling to survive? 

How about your uncle and aunt who have struggled to raise their kids and suddenly their children get youth funding and grants from government to start some business! Your uncle and aunt have applied to get funding from CEDA to no avail, then your aunt because of gender is given a gender based project and your uncle is left out in the limbo despite his desire and known superior capabilities. If this happens to more and more families what will happen to the nation? Will this promotes peace and harmony in families and the nation at large? You can make your own deductions and conclusions.

Recently a number of women were sent to India to study solar systems and were paraded on BTV on their return. The question is why only women? Do men not need the same exposure? Is this not dividing the nation? The gender department seems to be a department meant for women alone. How about men? Do men also need a parallel men’s gender department? The gender department should be entrusted to build and not to destroy the family. The family is the nucleus and sanctity of a nation.

The family is a foundation and role model to teach us to love, to respect and to value each other. Our government through the gender department should foster the same principles in order to build a loving, caring and respectful nation that values people equally.  The gender movement should also be driving the same agenda of nation building.    

I believe the gender movement has gone over board and has allowed some women to take advantage and do as they please regardless of consequences and men have stood aside and wondered. When you see a very young girl who should be at school, going out with an old white man in full view of the public and we turn a blind eye, what are we saying about the future of this girl child? Unfortunately we are allowing the future of this girl child and many others who will follow her example to be permanently ruined.

But we have powerful and intelligent women in this country who I am sure will not want to be given positions of responsibility simply because they are women. They work very hard and compete fairly. They deserve what they have achieved. Let these women stop being political correct and only demand fair and equal treatment of all people regardless of gender. Men must also stop stooping to this gender biased pressure that is pitting our sons against our daughters in a contest that neither of them will win which contest will eventually destroy this beautiful land of ours if not stopped early in its tracks.

Let us work together to build this nation. Let us address the real issues that cause gender imbalance in a manner that does not destroy our national and moral values. Evil is evil, it must be addressed by society fairly and firmly whether it comes from a man or from a woman, whether it comes from the West or the East, whether it was intentionally done or not.

Perhaps we have gone too far away from our creator and we perhaps need to reconsider our ways and seek his intervention more than ever before in order to amicably address this gender imbalance monster.

Email: bernard.busani@ Cell: 71751440

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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 Botswana’s 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, Mogae’s 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 the Bulela Ditswe dispensation, 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 Ditswe was 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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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 consumer’s piracy activities, especially in a market the size of Botswana’s, 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 don’t imagine that their one download will do anything to the production house’s 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 musician’s 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 Botswana’s 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 Africa’s 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 Botswana’s economy are being diverted.

“Why can’t our local creative industry grow?” “Why don’t 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 Botswana’s 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 country’s 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, it’s 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 economy’s growth.

Whether you are pirating a Hollywood Blockbuster, illegally streaming a popular Motswana artist’s 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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Our Strength is our Unity

18th March 2022

Putin Chose War.  We Remain United with Ukraine.

U.S. Ambassador Craig L. Cloud

This is a dangerous moment for Europe and for freedom-loving people around the world.  By launching his brutal assault on the people of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has also committed an assault on the principles that uphold global peace and democracy.  But the people of Ukraine are resilient.

They’ve had a democracy for decades, and their bravery is inspiring the world.  The United States, together with our Allies and partners across the globe, will continue to support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country.  By choosing to pay for a war instead of investing in the needs of Russians, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will be a strategic failure for the Kremlin and ravage the future of the Russian people.

When the history of this era is written, it will show that Putin’s choice to launch an unprovoked, unjust, and premeditated attack left the West more unified and Russia exponentially weaker.

United in Our Response

This will not end well for Vladimir Putin.  Together, the United States and our Allies and partners are taking action to hold Russia accountable.  As a result of unprecedented global sanctions coordination, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Japan, and Canada have removed selected Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system and imposed restrictive measures on the Russian Central Bank.

President Biden announced sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls that will damage Russia’s economy, financial system, and access to cutting-edge technology.  After Putin began his invasion, the ruble hit its weakest point in history, and the Russian stock market plunged.

Along with the United Kingdom and European Union, the United States imposed sanctions on the architects of this war, including Putin himself.

By moving in close coordination with a powerful coalition of Allies and partners representing more than half of the global economy, we have magnified the impact of our actions to impose maximum costs on Putin and his regime.  In response to Putin’s war of choice, we will limit Russia’s ability to do business in U.S. dollars.

We will stunt Russia’s ability to finance and grow its military.  We will impair Russia’s ability to compete in the global economy.  And we are prepared to do more.

In addition to economic penalties, this week President Biden authorized an additional $1 billion over the $350 million of security assistance he recently approved, and a $650 million in 2021, to immediately help Ukraine defend itself, bringing America’s total security assistance to Ukraine over the past year to $2 billion.

We also stand ready to defend our NATO Allies.  President Biden has coordinated with Allied governments to position thousands of additional forces in Germany and Poland as part of our commitment to NATO’s collective defense.

He authorized the deployment of ground and air forces already stationed in Europe to NATO’s eastern and southeastern flanks:  Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.  Our Allies have also added their own forces and capabilities to ensure our collective defense.  There should be no doubt about the readiness of the greatest military Alliance in the history of the world:  NATO is more united than ever.

The United States has also coordinated with major oil-producing and consuming countries to underscore our common interest in securing global energy supplies.  We are working with energy companies to surge their capacity to supply energy to the market, particularly as prices increase.

Putin’s Unprovoked and Premeditated War

This was an attack that Vladimir Putin has planned for a long time.  He methodically moved more than 150,000 troops and military equipment to Ukraine’s border.  He moved blood supplies into position and built field hospitals, demonstrating his intentions all along.

He rejected every good-faith effort by the United States and our Allies and partners to address his fabricated security concerns and to avoid needless conflict and human suffering by engaging in diplomacy and dialogue.

Putin executed his playbook exactly as we had warned he would do.  We saw Russia’s proxies increase their shelling in the Donbas.  We saw the Russian government launch cyber-operations against Ukraine.  We saw staged political theater in Moscow and heard outlandish and baseless claims made about Ukraine in an attempt to justify Russia’s aggression.

Russia continues to justify its military aggression by falsely claiming the need to stop “genocide” in Ukraine – despite there being no evidence that genocide was occurring there.  We saw Russia use these tactics before when they invaded Ukraine in 2014 and Georgia in 2008.

And then, at almost the very same moment the United Nations Security Council was meeting to stand up for Ukraine’s sovereignty and forestall disaster, Putin launched his invasion in violation of international law.  Missiles began to rain down, striking historic cities across Ukraine.  Then came air raids, columns of tanks, and battalions of troops, all riding a renewed wave of disinformation and outright lies.

We have been transparent with the world.  We declassified our intelligence about Russia’s plans so there could be no confusion and no cover up.  Putin is the aggressor.  Putin chose this war.  And now his people will bear the consequences of his decision to invest in war rather than in them.

Transatlantic Unity and Resolve Stronger Than Ever

Putin’s goal of dividing the West has failed.  In the face of one of the most significant challenges to European security and democratic ideals since World War II, the United States and our Allies and partners have joined together in solidarity.  We have united, coordinating intensively to engage as one with Russia and Ukraine, provided assistance to Ukraine, developed a broad response, and reaffirmed our commitment to NATO.

Putin has failed to divide us.  Putin has failed to undermine our shared belief in the fundamental right of sovereign nations to choose their destiny and their allies.  And Putin will fail to erase the proud nation of Ukraine.

The next few days, weeks, and months will be incredibly difficult for the people of Ukraine.  Putin has unleashed great suffering on them.  But the Ukrainian people have known 30 years of independence, and they have repeatedly shown they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards.

The world is watching this conflict closely, and if Russian forces commit atrocities, we will explore all international mechanisms that could be used to bring those responsible – whether members of the military or their civilian leadership – to account.

Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will cost Russia profoundly, both economically and strategically.  The Russian people deserve better from their government than the immense cost to their future that this invasion has precipitated.

Liberty, democracy, and human dignity are forces far more powerful than fear and oppression.  In the contest between democracy and autocracy, between sovereignty and subjugation, make no mistake:  Freedom will prevail.

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