Connect with us
Advertisement

DO YOU REALLY HAVE A CHOICE?

We make choices everyday. And, for the most part, they are freely made, independent of any external causal factor. Or are they? One of the fundamental teachings of Christendom amongst Evangelicals is the teaching that man is a free moral agent.

We are taught and reminded over and over that we have free will. In fact, I dare say that soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) is based on the assumption of free will. Without free will, we are only left with the extreme Calvinistic position of predestination. Calvinism has five pivotal pillars upon which it rests. Of the five, perhaps the most contentious is the doctrine of predestination. At its core, this teaching effectively nullifies man's independence to choose.

Here are the pillars of Calvinistic theology: The five points of Calvinism can be summarized by the acronym TULIP. T stands for total depravity, U for unconditional election, L for limited atonement, I for irresistible grace, and P for perseverance of the saints. Here are the definitions and Scripture references Calvinists use to defend their beliefs: Total Depravity – As a result of Adam’s fall, the entire human race is affected; all humanity is dead in trespasses and sins.

Man is unable to save himself. Unconditional Election – Because man is dead in sin, he is unable to initiate a response to God; therefore, in eternity past God elected certain people to salvation. Election and predestination are unconditional; they are not based on man’s response because man is unable to respond, nor does he want to. Limited Atonement – Because God determined that certain ones should be saved as a result of God’s unconditional election, He determined that Christ should die for the elect alone.

All whom God has elected and for whom Christ died will be saved. Irresistible Grace – Those whom God elected He draws to Himself through irresistible grace. God makes man willing to come to Him. When God calls, man responds. Perseverance of the Saints – The precise ones God has elected and drawn to Himself through the Holy Spirit will persevere in faith. None whom God has elected will be lost; they are eternally secure. In this submission, my main interest is informed by Calvin's second point – Unconditional Election. It has grave implications on the subject matter at hand – free will.

In Calvin's theology, there is no such thing as free choice. Man cannot choose for himself. God has already decided or, if He hasn't, influences man's choices. We are reduced to mere pawns without any independent decision-making capabilities. Moral free agency is at the heart of the salvation message. Man, the doctrine goes, has the ability to determine his own fate – eternal fate – by his free choices.

Whether he ends up in Heaven or in Hell is entirely up to him, the belief in moral free agency posits. This is very critical. In Calvinistic theology, this stance is obviously refuted. Man has no free will to control his fate. But what is free will? It is useless to have a study on this term "free will" unless we stick to a strict, concise and precise definition of the term. As will be seen from our dictionaries, "free will" does not have for a concise or precise definition the ability to "make choices." Yet this is the way it is often defined.

The American Heritage College Dictionary: "free will n. 1. The ability or discretion to choose; free choice. 2. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will." My Meriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary/Eleventh Edition has an even more precise definition: "free will n. freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention." Notice that our dictionaries are specific in stating that it is "FREE choice." That is the definition of "free will," rather than just "choice" alone. To be an expression of "free will," choices must also be free. Free from what?

There are six fundamental areas that must be satisfied: 1. Free from PRIOR CAUSES. 2. Free from CONSTRAINT. 3. Free from EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES. 4. Free from FATE. 5. Free from DIVINE WILL. 6. Free from DIVINE INTERVENTION. Those who would argue for free will, however, refuse being held to these precise and concise definitions. They want the mere ability to "make a choice" to be considered an act of "free will." Well, it is nothing of the kind. It cannot possibly be so. That would be a very narrow and misleading definition. Making a choice has absolutely nothing to do with the doctrine of "free will." This is easily demonstrated by an example. Computers can be said to make "choices."

They can make trillions of choices per second. It would take a trillion people to make that many choices in a second. All that these marvelous machines do is make choices. Now then, will anyone contend that computers have un-programmed and uncaused, free wills? So, now we have proof that making choices is not the same as "free will." Just as computers make choices, billions of them, but cannot be said to have free wills. Computers do not have "free wills," yet THEY CAN MAKE CHOICES. But those choices are anything but free.

Their choices are all a matter of pre-programming. They cannot think and act independently of "causes." Neither can man think or do anything outside of the realm of "causes." In order for an effect to be present, there must first be a cause, and once something is caused, the effect must follow, and neither could have been prevented.

By "unconditional election," Calvin meant that some are elected to Heaven, while others are elected to Hell, and that this election is unconditional. It is wholly God's prerogative and without any condition. By unconditional election, Calvin meant that God has already decided who will be saved and who will be lost, and the individual has absolutely nothing to do with it. He can only hope that God has elected him for Heaven and not for Hell.

This teaching so obviously disagrees with the oft-repeated invitations in the Bible and indeed in our evangelical circles to sinners to come to Christ and be saved that some readers will think that I have overstated the doctrine. So I will quote John Calvin in his "Institutes," Book III, chapter 23, "….Not all men are created with similar destiny but eternal life is foreordained for some , and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say, he is predestined either to life or to death."

So Calvinism teaches that it is God's own choice that some people are to be damned forever. He never intended to save them. He foreordained them to go to Hell. And when He offers salvation in the Bible, He does not offer it to those who were foreordained to be damned.

It is offered only to those who were foreordained to be saved. As should be obvious, even from a cursory reading of Calvin's position, the idea of a free will simply does not hold. Indeed it cannot. This teaching further insists that we need not try to win men to Christ because men cannot be saved unless God has planned for them to be saved. And if God has planned for them to be eternally lost, they will not come to Christ, no matter how much we preach to them.

In other words, it cannot be their fault for not responding to the gospel because God never gave them the power or willingness to respond. They have no choice! There is the Bible doctrine of God's foreknowledge, predestination and election. These are Biblical terms. Paul introduced them to the New Testament.

Most knowledgeable Christians agree that God has His controlling hand on the affairs of men. This cannot be denied. They agree that according to the Bible, He selects individuals like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David as instruments to do certain things he has planned.

Most Christians agree that God may choose a nation-particularly that He did choose Israel, through which He gave the law, the prophets, and eventually through whom the Saviour Himself would come – and that there is a Bible doctrine that God foreknows all things. Did it ever occur to you that nothing ever occurred to God? God, in His foreknowledge, knows who will trust Jesus Christ as Saviour, and He has predestined to see that they are justified and glorified.

He will keep all those who trust Him and see that they are glorified. But the doctrine that God elected some men to Hell, that they were born to be damned by God's own choice, is a radical heresy not taught anywhere in the Bible. Nowhere does the Bible teach that God wills for some to go to Heaven and wills others to go to Hell. No. The Bible teaches that God would have all men to be saved. Second Peter 3:9 says that He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

First Timothy 2:4 says, "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." Those who teach that God would only have some to be saved, while He would have others to be lost are misrepresenting God and the Bible. Does God really predestinate some people to be saved and predestinate others to go to Hell, so that they have no free choice? Absolutely not! Nobody is predestined to be saved, except as he chooses of his own free will to come to Christ and trust Him for salvation.

And no one is predestined to go to Hell, except as he chooses of his own free will to reject Christ and refuses to trust Him as Saviour. John 3:36 says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Nothing could be plainer.

The man who goes to Heaven goes because he comes to Jesus Christ and trusts Him as Saviour. And the man who goes to Hell does so because he refuses to come to Jesus Christ and will not trust Him as Savior. This is what the Bible teaches. But let's come back to the myth of free will. There is not one example that can be presented by a scientific method that can demonstrate that man’s will is free from causality.

Neither is there an example in all Scripture that can be shown to be the exercise of a will that is free from causality. And that certainly includes all that our Lord Himself ever thought, said, or did. We will explore this shortly and at great length. Up until the very last day with their Lord, the apostles all believed that they possessed the power of free will, which could enable them to choose their own destiny, and that they could and would have the strength of self determinism and free will to maintain that course.

I doubt not that this is what they had been taught and believed with staunch orthodoxy. It was a beautiful illusion as they were soon to discover. They firmly believed that they could choose their fate independent of any external causal factor. But Jesus told His disciples that they would all forsake Him. In other words, Jesus was foretelling events that would cause (yes, even ‘force,’ if you will) them to change their wills, against their previously stated wills.

They of course, all denied that Jesus knew what He was talking about. "And Jesus said unto them, all ye shall be offended because of Me this night; for it is written, I shall smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered" (Mark 14:27; Zechariah 13:7). The disciples all said that they would remain loyal. They no doubt believed it. But Jesus said that they would all be offended because of Him.

Was there a reason for God causing the disciples to will loyalty to Jesus and then in the same night to will to deny Jesus? Does God do anything in vain without a reason? This was all part of their conversion process. God totally humiliated them by proving to them that their own will was not free to do what they wanted, but that "…it is God [not man] which works in you BOTH TO WILL [God causes us ‘to will’] and TO DO [God causes us ‘to do’] of His good pleasure" to bring about His intentions (Philippians. 2:13).

In just one night God smashed the presumed free will of all the disciples. They lost confidence in their flesh after that night. James later shows us just how well he learned this lesson of so-called free self determinism: "Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.

For what is your life? It is even a vapor, which appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that" (James 4:13-15). Free will? Where? James dismantles it here! He plainly states that man's will is subject to God's will.

James certainly agrees with Scripture and Science that man has the ability "to will." But he also fully recognizes that there are two factors that constantly oppose and change the will of man, so that it cannot be said that the will is free to will its own destiny for even a day or an hour. Man can will, but his will is not free. It cannot be. What are these two factors over which man has absolutely no control whatsoever?

1. CIRCUMSTANCES: What did the Holy Spirit of God inspire (cause?) James to explain as a major factor in what determines the true outcome of man’s will? Answer: "Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow." God changes the minds and wills of mankind around the world, a billion times a minute, through circumstances that "you know not" are actually the cause of your choices and your changed choices. We are often, if not most of the time, completely unaware of what actually caused us to do or say or think as we do.

We only flippantly, and sometimes ignorantly and arrogantly, believe that nothing caused us to think, say, or act in certain ways; that it was all us. How did all the disciples will to remain loyal to Jesus no matter what at one moment in time, and in the next moment in time they all changed their wills to forsake Him? What changed their wills? Circumstances.

One moment they were at ease and safe in the upper room, and at a later moment they were in the garden surrounded by Roman soldiers! Fear was the circumstance that caused their (un-free) wills to change. So, it was the presence of certain circumstances that caused the disciples to will as they did.

But what caused the circumstances to be as they were to ensure that they would will appropriately to fulfill Christ’s prophecy concerning their denying and forsaking Him? 2. GOD’S WILL: Notice the second thing that the Holy Spirit inspired James to write regarding what will or will not happen on any given day to any given person. "…if the Lord will…" Who was in charge of all these circumstances, which caused the disciples to change their wills? Why God, of course! They did not want to change their wills.

They did not desire to deny their Lord and Savior. They did not wish to make liars and fools of themselves.

They did not want to be shown that they were all cowards. Well then, why did they change their wills if they did not wish to change their wills? Were they free to not change their wills? No, they were not free. Or, were they? Someone might say, "Of course they were free! They could have stuck it out even if it meant being arrested with Jesus."

But is that really the case? I don't think so! Remember, Jesus (God), had already told them how things would play out. If the disciples willed themselves through the incidents of Gethsemane and followed Jesus anyway, He would have been proven a liar. Can God lie?

Continue Reading

Opinions

Elected officials should guard against personal interest

23rd September 2020

Parliament was this week once again seized with matters that concern them and borders on conflict of interest and abuse of privilege.

The two matters are; review of MPs benefits as well as President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s participation in the bidding for Banyana Farms. For the latter, it should not come as a surprise that President Masisi succeeded in bid.

The President’s business interests have also been in the forefront. While President Masisi is entitled as a citizen to participate in a various businesses in the country or abroad, it is morally deficient for him to participate in a bidding process that is handled by the government he leads. By the virtue of his presidency, Masisi is the head of government and head of State.

Not long ago, former President Festus Mogae suggested that elected officials should consider using blind trust to manage their business interests once they are elected to public office. Though blind trusts are expensive, they are the best way of ensuring confidence in those that serve in public office.

A blind trust is a trust established by the owner (or trustor) giving another party (the trustee) full control of the trust. Blind trusts are often established in situations where individuals want to avoid conflicts of interest between their employment and investments.

The trustee has full discretion over the assets and investments while being charged with managing the assets and any income generated in the trust.

The trustor can terminate the trust, but otherwise exercises no control over the actions taken within the trust and receives no reports from the trustees while the blind trust is in force.

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Mpho Balopi, has defended President Masisi’s participation in business and in the Banyana Farms bidding. His contention is that, the practise even obtained during the administration of previous presidents.

The President is the most influential figure in the country. His role is representative and he enjoys a plethora of privileges. He is not an ordinary citizen. The President should therefore be mindful of this fact.

We should as a nation continue to thrive for improvement of our laws with the viewing of enhancing good governance. We should accept perpetuation of certain practices on the bases that they are a norm. MPs are custodians of good governance and they should measure up to the demands of their responsibility.

Parliament should not be spared for its role in countenancing these developments. Parliament is charged with the mandate of making laws and providing oversight, but for them to make laws that are meant solely for their benefits as MPs is unethical and from a governance point of view, wrong.

There have been debates in parliament, some dating from past years, about the benefits of MPs including pension benefits. It is of course self-serving for MPs to be deliberating on their compensation and other benefits.

In the past, we have also contended that MPs are not the right people to discuss their own compensation and there has to be Special Committee set for the purpose. This is a practice in advanced democracies.

By suggesting this, we are not suggesting that MP benefits are in anyway lucrative, but we are saying, an independent body may figure out the best way of handling such issues, and even offer MPs better benefits.

In the United Kingdom for example; since 2009 following a scandal relating to abuse of office, set-up Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA)

IPSA is responsible for: setting the level of and paying MPs’ annual salaries; paying the salaries of MPs’ staff; drawing up, reviewing, and administering an MP’s allowance scheme; providing MPs with publicly available and information relating to taxation issues; and determining the procedures for investigations and complaints relating to MPs.

Owing to what has happened in the Parliament of Botswana recently, we now need to have a way of limiting what MPs can do especially when it comes to laws that concern them. We cannot be too trusting as a nation.

MPs can abuse office for their own agendas. There is need to act swiftly to deal with the inherent conflict of interest that arise as a result of our legislative setup. A voice of reason should emerge from Parliament to address this unpleasant situation. This cannot be business as usual.

Continue Reading

Opinions

The Corona Coronation (Part 10)

9th July 2020

Ever heard of a 666-type beast known as Fort Detrick?

Located in the US state of Maryland, about 80 km removed from Washington DC, Fort Detrick houses the US army’s top virus research laboratory. It has been identified as “home to the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, with its bio-defense agency, the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, and  also hosts the National Cancer Institute-Frederick and the National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research and National Interagency Biodefense Campus”.

The 490-hectare campus researches the world’s deadliest pathogens, including Anthrax (in 1944, the Roosevelt administration ordered 1 million anthrax bombs from Fort Detrick), Ebola, smallpox, and … you guessed right: coronaviruses.  The facility, which carries out paid research projects for government agencies (including the CIA), universities and drug companies most of whom owned by the highly sinister military-industrial complex, employs 900 people.

Between 1945 and 1969, the sprawling complex (which has since become the US’s ”bio-defence centre” to put it mildly) was the hub of the US biological weapons programme. It was at Fort Detrick that Project MK Ultra, a top-secret CIA quest to subject   the human mind to routine robotic manipulation, a monstrosity the CIA openly owned up to in a congressional inquisition in 1975, was carried out.  In the consequent experiments, the guinea pigs comprised not only of people of the forgotten corner of America – inmates, prostitutes and the homeless but also prisoners of war and even regular US servicemen.

These unwitting participants underwent up to a 20-year-long ordeal of barbarous experiments involving psychoactive drugs (such as LSD), forced electroshocks, physical and sexual abuses, as well as a myriad of other torments. The experiments not only violated international law, but also the CIA’s own charter which forbids domestic activities. Over 180 doctors and researchers took part in these horrendous experiments and this in a country which touts itself as the most civilised on the globe!

Was the coronavirus actually manufactured at Fort Detrick (like HIV as I shall demonstrate at the appropriate time) and simply tactfully patented to other equally cacodemonic places such as the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China?

THE FORT DETRICK SCIENTISTS’ PROPHECY WAS WELL-INFORMED

 

About two years before the term novel coronavirus became a familiar feature in day-to-day banter, two scientist cryptically served advance warning of its imminence. They were Allison Totura and Sina Bavari, both researchers at Fort Detrick.

The two scientists talked of “novel highly pathogenic coronaviruses that may emerge from animal reservoir hosts”, adding, “These coronaviruses may have the potential to cause devastating pandemics due to unique features in virus biology including rapid viral replication, broad host range, cross-species transmission, person-to-person transmission, and lack of herd immunity in human populations  Associated with novel respiratory syndromes, they move from person-to-person via close contact and can result in high morbidity and mortality caused by the progression to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).”

All the above constitute some of the documented attributes and characteristics of the virus presently on the loose – the propagator of Covid-19. A recent clinical review of Covid-19 in The Economist seemed to bear out this prognostication when it said, “It is ARDS that sees people rushed to intensive-care units and put on ventilators”. As if sounding forth a veritable prophecy, the two scientists besought governments to start working on counter-measures there and then that could be “effective against such a virus”.

Well, it was not by sheer happenstance that Tortura and Bavari turned out to have been so incredibly and ominously prescient. They had it on good authority, having witnessed at ringside what the virus was capable of in the context of their own laboratory.  The gory scenario they painted for us came not from secondary sources but from the proverbial horse’s mouth folks.

CDC’S RECKLESS ADMISSION

In March this year, Robert Redfield, the US  Director for the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  told the House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee that it had transpired that some members of the American populace  who were certified as having died of influenza  turned out to have harboured the novel coronavirus per posthumous analysis of their tissue.

Redfield was not pressed to elaborate but the message was loud and clear – Covid-19 had been doing the rounds in the US much earlier than it was generally supposed and that the extent to which it was mistaken for flu was by far much more commonplace than was openly admitted. An outspoken Chinese diplomat, Zhao Lijian, seized on this rather casual revelation and insisted that the US disclose further information, exercise transparency on coronavirus cases and provide an explanation to the public.

But that was not all the beef Zhao had with the US. He further charged that the coronavirus was possibly transplanted to China by the US: whether inadvertently or by deliberate design he did not say.  Zhao pointed to the Military World Games of October 2019, in which US army representatives took part, as the context in which the coronavirus irrupted into China. Did the allegation ring hollow or there was a ring of truth to it?

THE BENASSIE FACTOR

The Military World Games, an Olympic-style spectrum of competitive action, are held every four years. The 2019 episode took place in Wuhan, China. The 7th such, the games ran from October 18 to October 27.  The US contingent comprised of 17 teams of over 280 athletes, plus an innumerable other staff members. Altogether, over 9000 athletes from 110 countries were on hand to showcase their athletic mettle in more than 27 sports. All NATO countries were present, with Africa on its part represented by 30 countries who included Botswana, Egypt, Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Besides the singular number of participants, the event notched up a whole array of firsts. One report spelt them out thus: “The first time the games were staged outside of military bases, the first time the games were all held in the same city, the first time an Athletes’ Village was constructed, the first time TV and VR systems were powered by 5G telecom technology, and the first use of all-round volunteer services for each delegation.”

Now, here is the clincher: the location of the guest house for the US team was located in the immediate neighbourhood of the Wuhan Seafood Market, the place the Chinese authorities to this day contend was the diffusion point of the coronavirus. But there is more: according to some reports, the person who allegedly but unwittingly transmitted the virus to the people milling about the market – Patient Zero of Covid-19 – was one Maatie Benassie.

Benassie, 52, is a security officer of Sergeant First Class rank at the Fort Belvoir military base in Virginia and took part in the 50-mile cycling road race in the same competitions. In the final lap, she was accidentally knocked down by a fellow contestant and sustained a fractured rib and a concussion though she soldiered on and completed the race with the agonising adversity.  Inevitably, she saw a bit of time in a local health facility.   According to information dug up by George Webb, an investigative journalist based in Washington DC,     Benassie would later test positive for Covid-19 at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

Incidentally, Benassie apparently passed on the virus to other US soldiers at the games, who were hospitalised right there in China before they were airlifted back to the US. The US government straightaway prohibited the publicising of details on the matter under the time-honoured excuse of “national security interests”, which raised eyebrows as a matter-of-course. As if that was not fishy enough, the US out of the blue tightened Chinese visas to the US at the conclusion of the games.

The rest, as they say, is history: two months later, Covid-19 had taken hold on China territory.  “From that date onwards,” said one report, “one to five new cases were reported each day. By December 15, the total number of infections stood at 27 — the first double-digit daily rise was reported on December 17 — and by December 20, the total number of confirmed cases had reached 60.”

TWO CURIOUS RESEARCH HALTINGS

Is it a coincidence that all the US soldiers who fell ill at the Wuhan games did their preparatory training at the Fort Belvoir military base, only a 15-minutes’  drive from Fort Detrick?

That Fort Detrick is a plain-sight perpetrator of pathogenic evils is evidenced by a number of highly suspicious happenings concerning it. Remember the 2001 anthrax mailing attacks on government and media houses which killed five people right on US territory? The two principal suspects who puzzlingly were never charged, worked as microbiologists at Fort Detrick. Of the two, Bruce Ivins, who was the more culpable, died in 2008 of “suicide”. For “suicide”, read “elimination”, probably because he was in the process of spilling the beans and therefore cast the US government in a stigmatically diabolical light. Indeed, the following year, all research projects at Fort Detrick were suspended on grounds that the institute was “storing pathogens not listed   in its database”. The real truth was likely much more reprehensible.

In 2014, there was a mini local pandemic in the US which killed thousands of people and which the mainstream media were not gutsy enough to report. It arose following the weaponisation at Fort Detrick of the H7N9 virus, prompting the Obama administration to at once declare a moratorium on the research and withdraw funding.

The Trump administration, however, which has a pathological fixation on undoing practically all the good Obama did, reinstated the research under new rigorous guidelines in 2017. But since old habits die hard, the new guidelines were flouted at will, leading to another shutdown of the whole research gamut at the institute in August 2019.  This, nonetheless, was not wholesale as other areas of research, such as experiments to make bird flu more transmissible and which had begun in 2012, proceeded apace. As one commentator pointedly wondered aloud, was it really necessary to study how to make H5N1, which causes a type of bird flu with an eye-popping mortality rate, more transmissible?

Consistent with its character, the CDC was not prepared to furnish particulars upon issuing the cease and desist order, citing “national security reasons”. Could the real reason have been the manufacture of the novel coronavirus courtesy of a tip-off by the more scrupulous scientists?

Continue Reading

Opinions

Masisi faces ultimate test of his presidency

9th July 2020

President Mokgweetsi Masisi may have breathed a huge sigh of relief when he emerged victorious in last year’s 2019 general elections, but the ultimate test of his presidency has only just begun.

From COVID-19 pandemic effects; disenchanted unemployed youth, deteriorating diplomatic relations with neighbouring South Africa as well as emerging instability within the ruling party — Masisi has a lot to resolve in the next few years.

Last week we started an unwanted cold war with Botswana’s main trade partner, South Africa, in what we consider an ill-conceived move. Never, in the history of this country has Botswana shown South Africa a cold shoulder – particularly since the fall of the apartheid regime.

It is without a doubt that our country’s survival depends on having good relations with South Africa. As the Chairperson of African National Congress (ANC), Gwede Mantashe once said, a good relationship between Botswana and South Africa is not optional but necessary.

No matter how aggrieved we feel, we should never engage in a diplomatic war — with due respect to other neighbours— with South Africa. We will never gain anything from starting a diplomatic war with South Africa.

In fact, doing so will imperil our economy, given that majority of businesses in the retail sector and services sector are South African companies.

Former cabinet minister and Phakalane Estates proprietor, David Magang once opined that Botswana’s poor manufacturing sector and importation of more than 80 percent of the foodstuffs from South Africa, effectively renders Botswana a neo-colony of the former.

Magang’s statement may look demeaning, but that is the truth, and all sorts of examples can be produced to support that. Perhaps it is time to realise that as a nation, we are not independent enough to behave the way we do. And for God’s sake, we are a landlocked country!

Recently, the effects of COVID-19 have exposed the fragility of our economy; the devastating pleas of the unemployed and the uncertainty of the future. Botswana’s two mainstay source of income; diamonds and tourism have been hit hard. Going forward, there is a need to chart a new pathway, and surely it is not an easy task.

The ground is becoming fertile for uprisings that are not desirable in any country. That the government has not responded positively to the rising unemployment challenge is the truth, and very soon as a nation we will wake up to this reality.

The magnitude of the problem is so serious that citizens are running out of patience. The government on the other hand has not done much to instil confidence by assuring the populace that there is a plan.

The general feeling is that, not much will change, hence some sections of the society, will try to use other means to ensure that their demands are taken into consideration. Botswana might have enjoyed peace and stability in the past, but there is guarantee that, under the current circumstances, the status quo will be maintained.

It is evident that, increasingly, indigenous citizens are becoming resentful of naturalised and other foreign nationals. Many believe naturalised citizens, especially those of Indian origin, are the major beneficiaries in the economy, while the rest of the society is side-lined.

The resentfulness is likely to intensify going forward. We needed not to be heading in this direction. We needed not to be racist in our approach but when the pleas of the large section of the society are ignored, this is bound to happen.

It is should be the intention of every government that seeks to strive on non-racialism to ensure that there is shared prosperity. Share prosperity is the only way to make people of different races in one society to embrace each other, however, we have failed in this respect.

Masisi’s task goes beyond just delivering jobs and building a nation that we all desire, but he also has an immediate task of achieving stability within his own party. The matter is so serious that, there are threats of defection by a number of MPs, and if he does not arrest this, his government may collapse before completing the five year mandate.

The problems extend to the party itself, where Masisi found himself at war with his Secretary General, Mpho Balopi. The war is not just the fight for Central Committee position, but forms part of the succession plan.

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!