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BDP, why torture Motswaledi even in Death?

Ndulamo Anthony Morima

If the departed Gomolemo “Sir G” Motswaledi were to be asked which decision he regrets the most, the most probable answer he would give is that he regrets the decision to join the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). This answer would not be without cause for the BDP has tortured Motswaledi in life and in death.  

When Motswaledi’s death, especially considering its untimely manner and the horrendous and suspicious circumstances in which it occurred, is still so vividly clear in the memory of Batswana and his family, the BDP has already began dancing on his grave. That the BDP Parliamentary caucus, reportedly cajoled by President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, resolved to compel Member of Parliament(MP) for Tati West, Biggie Butale, to withdraw the motion to name a major government facility in honor of Motswaledi is testament to that.

One wonders why Honorable Butale made notice of the motion without first securing the support of not only enough Members of Parliament (MPs), but also that of President Khama considering that the motion was always going to be sensitive in view of the acrimonious relationship the BDP and President Khama have had with Motswaledi. If Honorable Butale had done that he would have saved Batswana and the Motswaledi family from having a healing wound hurt.

Knowing the BDP, Motswaledi’s relationship with the BDP and President Khama and the dirty game that politics is, when some of us heared of the motion we never believed it would be passed in Parliament. We, however, thought that it would at least be debated. After all, the BDP has enough Parliamentary majority to ensure that the motion is defeated if it so wanted. But as it would turn out, it is either the BDP or President Khama so hate Motswaledi that it cannot bear to have his name echo in the halls of Parliament or it did not trust its MPs to tour the party line when it came to voting.

A motion to name a major government facility in honor of Motswaledi cannot have been so bad as to bring division within the BDP Parliamentary Caucus. Certainly, Honorable Butale being the Pastor he is and a new comer to politics must have thought that it is enough that the motion was in good faith. Though he, like every politician, knew he would gain political mileage from Motswaledi’s good will, it is doubtful if he ever thought that his party can stoop as low as compelling him to withdraw the motion on the basis that it will give credence to the flourishing Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and hurt the ailing BDP. No wonder in withdrawing the motion he, obviously having been humiliated, said “Madam Speaker, it is with deep sorrow and regret that i have to withdraw the motion.”

Has the BDP not tortured Motswaledi enough when he was alive? Despite being elected as party Secretary General, his position was undermined even by agents of the party. He was later, in August 2009, served with a sixty day suspension by President Khama which rendered him unable to contest the Gaborone Central Parliamentary seat on the BDP ticket.

It is now common cause that Motswaledi’s efforts to overturn his suspension at the courts were unsuccessful not because his appeal had no substantive merits, but because our Constitution raises the President above the law and protects him from prosecution. In the High Court judgment, Chief Justice Julian Nganunu (as he then was) said “the Constitution has granted to a sitting President of the Republic of Botswana immunity against criminal prosecution for all activities done both in his private and official capacities. The same provision … also grants him total immunity against civil suits in his private capacity.” This judgment was later upheld by the Court of Appeal.

It may be remembered that Motswaledi’s loss of the court battle attracted him a huge bill of costs of suit which he had to pay to the BDP and/or President Khama. Following threats of attachment and sale in execution of his property in enforcement of the judgment, Motswaledi was in part saved, if he indeed was, by Batswana who made contributions towards payment of the judgment debt. The contributions notwithstanding, Motswaledi’s estate was diminished at the instance of the vengeful BDP and President Khama. His estate also suffered attrition because of the legal fees he paid to his own Attorneys.

It is common cause that Motswaledi later left the BDP and joined the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). When, he, as Party President, having tirelessly worked to build the BMD, and having immensely contributed to the establishment of the UDC, to which he was Secretary General, died in a mysterious car accident just before the 2014 general elections he was dealt a final blow, at least in human terms. This man, the best MP that was never one, was once again, either by accident or human involvement, denied the opportunity of being an MP in his life time.

Even when all Motswaledi needed was a decent farewell, the BDP used its machinery to down play his legacy. Despite the public interest in Motswaledi’s death, Botswana’s state media, Radio Botswana (RB) and Botswana Television (Btv), did not impartially cover his funeral arrangements and memorial. Instead, they gave airtime to the remarks about his death which the President made while addressing political rallies. Btv’s failure to cover Motswaledi’s funeral, which some say attracted more mourners than those that attended Sir Seretse Khama’s funeral, was unpardonable to say the least.

Though that has not yet come to pass, immediately after Motswaledi’s funeral rumours broke that Btv was working on a documentary the object of which was to use Motswaledi’s memorial service and funeral to show the BMD and UDC’s political intolerance. This was following reports that the BMD Youth League denied some BDP and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leaders the opportunity to speak at the memorial service and funeral by booing them off the podium. Reportedly, Btv wanted to milk the rivalry between the BCP and the UDC by interviewing BCP leaders to prove the BMD and UDC’s political intolerance. Thankfully, the BCP is reported to have not acceded such interviews.

Even if Motswaledi has wronged the BDP and/or President Khama, as a departed soul that needs rest the BDP should stop torturing him. It should let his soul rest in peace. Though his legacy will no doubt influence Botswana’s politics for some time to come, he no longer poses any direct political threat to the BDP and/or President Khama. As to who between Motswaledi and the BDP and/or President Khama won the battle, God will be the judge. But, my God tells me that while the BDP and/or President Khama may have won the battle, Motswaledi won the war.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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