Former Cabinet Minister David Magang has revealed that the reason he delayed launching his new book, “Delusion of Grandeur,” was because of the advice vented by his family to wait for October 2014 general elections in order to avoid being blamed for Botswana Democratic Party’s poor showing.
Magang said the book was completed in 2013 and when he was about to approach the publisher, his family advised against such move because he could have been blamed for the party elections result in case the opposition gave the party a hiding. The Magang family understood that the book, in the former Minister’s usual element would divide the opinion and prove to be controversial.
Magang’s first book, “The Magic of Perseverance,” which was an autobiography was controversial as Magang bluntly attacked his former government and party colleagues over a number of policy issues including diamond beneficiation, citizen empowerment and favouritism of foreign owned businesses at the expense of Batswana by the government.
His second book is no different, and in a party which was already ailing ahead of the elections, the decision not to publish back in 2013 made perfect sense for Magang. In the aftermath of the 2014 general elections, BDP emerged from the elections bruised, losing a significant number of strongholds to opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the process. Its popular vote fell for the first time in its history to 47 percent.
Magang said that the results would have turned out even worse had he published before the elections and he would have been blamed for aiding opposition to take power with his excessive criticism of his own party and a government he was once part of. “We had to wait because I was also not in a hurry, and had to avoid a situation where the opposition young Turks had a field day in using the book as reference,” he said.
Magang said he was aware that the former Speaker of the National Assembly Margaret Nasha’s “Madam Speaker Sir” received its own share of blame for the party’s poor performance, adding that, had he too published earlier he would have been equally blamed.
Magang also shared his worries over a growing trend in which people are victimized for expressing their views by publishing books, saying it could be the reason former influential politicians did not write or publish their own books.
He also bemoaned the prohibitive publishing process saying it deterred a lot of people from publishing their own books. He said publishers are skeptical about publishing anyone’s book in the fear of not selling enough copies, and therefore not making profit.
Magang further expressed the desire to see the University of Botswana establishing its own press for the purpose of publishing books mainly for academic purposes. Magang says it was a world trend for universities to have their own press to easily publish journals and books from their academic staff.
Professor Brothers Malema, a guest of honour at the book launch said the unapologetic book embodied the current state of affairs and why Botswana has not prospered contrary to what the world has been made to believe by the international credit institutions.
Malema observed that while Magang is not an economist by training, the book is up to standard and somehow exceeded expectations; he encouraged local economists and academics alike to read the book.
The launch of the book was attended by high profile personas in form of ambassadors, Members of Parliament, Cabinet ministers (present and former), and other influential members of the society.
President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has identified at least 12 cabinet ministers who form part of his long-term plans owing to their loyalty and tenacity in delivering his vision. Masisi, who will see-off his term in 2028 — provided he wins re-election in 2024 — already knows key people who will help him govern until the end of his term, WeekendPost has learnt.
Despite negative criticism towards ministers from some quarters over a number of decisions and their somewhat cold deliberations and failure to articulate government programs, Masisi is said to be a number one cheer leader of his cabinet. He is said to have more confidence in his cabinet and believes going forward they will reach the aspired levels and silence the critics.
The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.
WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?
Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.
Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed. This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.
In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’ The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.