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Where History Is Headed

Joseph Nkwatle

“Based on accepted principles of textual and historical criticism, the Gospel records–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John–are found to be trustworthy historical documents which furnish valid data for the life of Christ.” John Montgomery

What the Bible states about the shape and meaning of history and of life itself is of great consequence. God controls history, God will bring history to a culmination, God acts in history, and God is interested in humanity. These four aforementioned are the principal features of biblical philosophy of history I would love to underscore. Galatians 4:4 draws our attention to the fact that, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law.”

There is overwhelming evidence in Scripture that God is directing the big picture of world events. Even as world events transpire at lightning like pace, God is not taken by surprise; His lordship over history is not moved by an inch! In the words of prophet Daniel after God revealed to him the interpretation of king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream; pointing to the world kingdoms that will rise subsequent to his (Nebuchadnezzar’s) empire; this is what the Scripture say, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and set up kings…”

The biblical view differs acutely with cyclical or open-ended views of history that project infinite progress or regression in that, the biblical view is that God is decisively bringing the course of history to a consummation or conclusion. The book of Ephesians 1:4 make a remarkable statement in that even before creation, God was at work designing and mapping out redemptive strategy for humanity.

Considerable to note is that of Genesis begins with the account of God’s creation process of the universe and Revelation opens with an account on verse seven pointing out that Christ’s ministry is moving toward a final triumph. God’s plan of redemption is introduced as early as Genesis 3:15, after man disobeyed God. The God of creation is the God of redemption.

The God of redemption is the God of consummation. God who began the whole work is the God who will continue to perform it until to the end. Acts 3:19-21, attests that God will restore all things that He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.

God through the person of Jesus Christ marched into history in a very special in response to the prayers of His people; this is the biblical conception of history. In insuring that the ultimate triumph of His kingdom is not spoiled, God controlled and continues to control in history the flow of great world events.

The Church which is the extension of Jesus Christ’s ministry in our day is God’s choice through which He has chosen to act in history present. While God stands apart, it will be grave error to perceive that He is lost in the flow of history – He is so much involved.

God is deeply compassionate and concerned about humanity unlike the deists who paints a picture of God as the absentee landlord of the universe. One might say or ask if God is what I say He is, “Why does He allow bad things to happen?” God is working with the will (ability to make decisions in favor of or against) of people, pleading with them to His view point, what this mean is that, God has given people the freedom to make their own choices; He cannot override the will of an individual.

But God yearns that every person be fashioned in the image of Jesus the Christ. According to 2Peter 3:9, God is not willing that anyone should perish. The whole purpose of world history is that man (human being) as the crown of God’s creation becomes the praise to the glory of God.

At the center of God’s will is a great concern for the lives of individuals; not only that, but also a concern about the course of world events. God’s ultimate is for humanity to move with His intention for the future, and the good news is, we can fit into God’s plan. God’s intention for the future is to destroy death and Satan the arch adversary of God and humanity and to establish a new order under the rulership, power, and authority of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Right in history, we are now in between times!  Prophecies about the coming of Jesus Christ into the world: the first time as Savior, which has occurred and the second time as King, which is to take place – these are the times frame we are caught up in between.

History seems to be sweeping toward a climax, prophecies or predictions are being speedily fulfilled in our own generation which point to the reality that the return of Jesus Christ as per Acts 1:11 is imminent. History appears to be drawing to a close. Amid the tumultuous confusion of voices crying aloud in a generation so filled with disorientation and despair, there is a pressing need to discern where history is headed. Every person also needs to establish for themselves how he or she fit into the sweep of events!

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Is COVID-19 Flogging an Already Dead Economic Horse?

9th September 2020

The Central Bank has by way of its Monetary Policy Statement informed us that the Botswana economy is likely to contract by 8.9 percent over the course of the year 2020.

The IMF paints an even gloomier picture – a shrinkage of the order of 9.6 percent.  That translates to just under $2 billion hived off from the overall economic yield given our average GDP of roughly $18 billion a year. In Pula terms, this is about P23 billion less goods and services produced in the country and you and I have a good guess as to what such a sum can do in terms of job creation and sustainability, boosting tax revenue, succouring both recurrent and development expenditure, and on the whole keeping our teeny-weeny economy in relatively good nick.

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Union of Blue Bloods

9th September 2020

Joseph’s and Judah’s family lines conjoin to produce lineal seed

Just to recap, General Atiku, the Israelites were not headed for uncharted territory. The Promised Land teemed with Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These nations were not simply going to cut and run when they saw columns of battle-ready Israelites approach: they were going to fight to the death.

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Security Sector Private Bills: What are they about?

9th September 2020

Parliament has begun debates on three related Private Members Bills on the conditions of service of members of the Security Sector.

The Bills are Prisons (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Police (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and Botswana Defence Force (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bills seek to amend the three statutes so that officers are placed on full salaries when on interdictions or suspensions whilst facing disciplinary boards or courts of law.

In terms of the Public Service Act, 2008 which took effect in 2010, civil servants who are indicted are paid full salary and not a portion of their emolument. Section 35(3) of the Act specifically provides that “An employee’s salary shall not be withheld during the period of his or her suspension”.

However, when parliament reformed the public service law to allow civil servants to unionize, among other things, and extended the said protection of their salaries, the process was not completed. When the House conferred the benefit on civil servants, members of the disciplined forces were left out by not accordingly amending the laws regulating their employment.

The Bills stated above seeks to ask Parliament to also include members of the forces on the said benefit. It is unfair not to include soldiers or military officers, police officers and prison waders in the benefit. Paying an officer who is facing either external or internal charges full pay is in line with the notion of ei incumbit probation qui dicit, non qui negat or the presumption of innocence; that the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies.

The officers facing charges, either internal disciplinary or criminal charges before the courts, must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Paying them a portion of their salary is penalty and therefore arbitrary. Punishment by way of loss of income or anything should come as a result of a finding on the guilt by a competent court of law, tribunal or disciplinary board.

What was the rationale behind this reform in 2008 when the Public Service Act was adopted? First it was the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

The presumption of innocence is the legal principle that one is considered “innocent until proven guilty”. In terms of the constitution and other laws of Botswana, the presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, and it is an international human right under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.

Withholding a civil servant’s salary because they are accused of an internal disciplinary offense or a criminal offense in the courts of law, was seen as punishment before a decision by a tribunal, disciplinary board or a court of law actually finds someone culpable. Parliament in its wisdom decided that no one deserves this premature punishment.

Secondly, it was considered that people’s lives got destroyed by withholding of financial benefits during internal or judicial trials. Protection of wages is very important for any worker. Workers commit their salaries, they pay mortgages, car loans, insurances, schools fees for children and other things. When public servants were experiencing salary cuts because of interdictions, they lost their homes, cars and their children’s future.

They plummeted into instant destitution. People lost their livelihoods. Families crumbled. What was disheartening was that in many cases, these workers are ultimately exonerated by the courts or disciplinary tribunals. When they are cleared, the harm suffered is usually irreparable. Even if one is reimbursed all their dues, it is difficult to almost impossible to get one’s life back to normal.

There is a reasoning that members of the security sector should be held to very high standards of discipline and moral compass. This is true. However, other more senior public servants such as judges, permanent secretary to the President and ministers have faced suspensions, interdictions and or criminal charges in the courts but were placed on full salaries.

The yardstick against which security sector officers are held cannot be higher than the aforementioned public officials. It just wouldn’t make sense. They are in charge of the security and operate in a very sensitive area, but cannot in anyway be held to higher standards that prosecutors, magistrates, judges, ministers and even senior officials such as permanent secretaries.

Moreover, jail guards, police officers and soldiers, have unique harsh punishments which deter many of them from committing misdemeanors and serious crimes. So, the argument that if the suspension or interdiction with full pay is introduced it would open floodgates of lawlessness is illogical.

Security Sector members work in very difficult conditions. Sometimes this drives them into depression and other emotional conditions. The truth is that many seldom receive proper and adequate counseling or such related therapies. They see horrifying scenes whilst on duty. Jail guards double as hangmen/women.

Detectives attend to autopsies on cases they are dealing with. Traffic police officers are usually the first at accident scenes. Soldiers fight and kill poachers. In all these cases, their minds are troubled. They are human. These conditions also play a part in their behaviors. They are actually more deserving to be paid full salaries when they’re facing allegations of misconduct.

To withhold up to 50 percent of the police, prison workers and the military officers’ salaries during their interdiction or suspensions from work is punitive, insensitive and prejudicial as we do not do the same for other employees employed by the government.

The rest enjoy their full salaries when they are at home and it is for a good reason as no one should be made to suffer before being found blameworthy. The ruling party seems to have taken a position to negate the Bills and the collective opposition argue in the affirmative. The debate have just began and will continue next week Thursday, a day designated for Private Bills.

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