Rre,Mathambo, don’t force my Unity Dow to resign

12th February 2018
From me to you


By Joe-Brown -

Dear Unity Dow

Madam Minister, I hope my letter finds you in good health. I know a lot has been happening around you lately and it would not come as a surprise if very soon news come through that you have had a heart attack.

The Form 5 results are about to be released and your stress levels must be raising. The usual hounds are waiting - the Tom, Dick and Harrys who have been on your case, giving all manner of advice on how to run your ministry in an effort to see every school child get a Grade A.

I would like to live in a country where all that is possible. I bet the pieces of advice have already been written, waiting for the announcement so that a bit of editing here and there will be done and boomm!!! The trigger will be pulled. They will remind you of what a failure you are; they will ask what wisdom saw you being made a basic education minister. Some will even take it a step further to remind you of how corrupt your government is, and how you chaps spend billions on firearms rather than just a few thousands on basics such as books… Ooh, they will also ask you to resign.
That one is coming for sure!

Yet I know you won’t be bothered – when have you ever given them attention? Again you will just be reading their vitriol and listening to their condemnations while you lounge and drink coffee in the comfort of your own luxurious space without a care in the world. These noise makers never learn do they? When will they ever realise that you are never bothered by their mumblings? In fact, which education minister ever bothered to listen to their expert advice and analyses? The likes of Sisiboy, MmaVee and even the old horse PHK have been there before and over those many years, the same load of counsel has been thrown at them. What changed? Were they ever bothered? Why should you? I mean, none of them took heed; they just listened to the incessant noise until the barking dogs got tired and went back to another year of sleep.

Meanwhile the eduministers waltzed on with their political lives as if nothing had happened. And look where they are now – Sisiboy and PHK have gone on to become Vice Presidents of the country, just as MmaVee will become Vice President in a few months’ time. They have gone on to become Chancellors at government’s highest institutions of learning – PHK is Chancellor at Botswana Open University while Sisiboy is at University of Botswana.

They have even forgotten that the likes of Justin Humaaka and Chippa DiLion used to label them failures at the education ministry. Life is good for them and I guess you look at the lives of these predecessors of yours at the ministry and think; what the heck, these barking dogs will get tired while I move on to greater heights in my political career as well. Come to think of it, even MmaVee almost became the most powerful leader on the African continent – and they call her a failed eduminister! This ministry does seem to have great rewards for its purported failures after-all! Perhaps you too will become VP one day and you would have forgotten about Tobokani and Co. For you these bashings are just a territorial phase, and soon the hounds will be on the case of another soul who will be unlucky to be loaded on to that ministry as has been done with you and the rest. Nna tota I struggle to remember any education minister who was praised for doing a good job there.

I so pity anyone who will step into your shoes when SisiBoy moves you to replace that Sure guy of Bobirwa at the justice ministry. Tota wena that is where you belong. Why anybody thought you could prosper where the likes of PHK failed and resigned baffles me. Sometimes I wonder how you guys are placed at ministries. Go dirwa khupelekhupele? Kana I was at your offices last year when you shifted blame and attacked parents and unions for the poor JC results that had just been released. I knew then that whoever made you education minister had made a big mistake. I still remember how angry you were, even accusing unions and other observers for their silence that they only break at the last minute when poor results are released. Yet, as I said, unions have always been vocal on issues of education even in the era of BOFESETE and bo Rre Radibe.

There is never a time they were silent as you claimed then.
Of course nna I understood you to mean they do nothing to help improve the students’ performance, only to complain when they have failed. No wonder they have been repeatedly calling for your resignation. If only they could equally recommend the person they feel could lead that ministry better! I mean, of all who are eligible at the moment, who can do a better job than you? Even the A-Grade workaholic that is Dorcus would fail there. See how she is struggling to make ends meet at the similarly orphaned health ministry? Nna tota I fail to understand our government’s priorities sometimes. Just like Dokhi at the health ministry, you have been thrown into the deep end where there are no resources and nobody cares. Bare ke dibona ke wena!

In fact, even if Big Brother himself could upon retirement offer to work at your ministry, he would fail with flying colours under the status quo. That ministry tlhe mma ga se wa bana. Botsa PHK. Ene he did the honourable thing and resigned. The honourable man that he is, he was never going to pretend that he had the magic wand to turn the ministry around. As soon as he realised the burden that the ministry was, he honourably quit.

I wish you too could take that route. O tlaa bo o sa tlhole. After all you may still go on to become VP and a Chancellor. It’s how things roll in Bechuana. Truth be told, that ministry is not for you. They just placed you there to make us forget your good deeds that made us admire the powerful woman and human rights advocate that you were – the legal thorn that you were to government. Wow, Dow!

I remember those good old days when everyone then raved about some pretty lass called Unity Dow who eventually downed mmuso in that landmark citizenship case. Kana batho ga ba itse dilo ka bontsi – you used to be an exploding bomb that was hated more by madomi and a little less by the male folk. The petit tigress in you would stop at nothing in that bitter fight for women’s rights and equality with men, and your legal brains taught you never to patronise as others seem to do, when you again dealt Govi a blow as one of the judges in that Basarwa and CKGR case. You were the in-thing babe, o le mo fashioneng. Now they have made us forget all that by placing you at that thorny ministry. When you resigned as Judge, they should have rather made you justice minister. Eseng that Sure guy. They know that ministry needs more than just an individual to turn it around. The ministry needs the collective political will of all to see it become what we want it to be. A lot more has to be done than to just look at you with that ‘The-Buck-Stops-With-You’ rhetoric. They will say that after the Form 5 results in the next week or two.

Mme o sa fiwe ditsompelo. O tle o utlwe Mathambo ka Mmantaga – national security this, national security that! This time I hope he does the right thing and allot you enough bucks to aid the education system transformation. After all there is no better security for us than in being healthy and educated. What do they expect you to do with so much expectation on your shoulders to ensure an informed and educated nation under the sordid environment in which you operate? You have dilapidated infrastructure to worry about; corrupt officers, some of whom are misleading you; dying children in local and overseas schools; a university that is losing its shine; colleagues that seem happy to see you suffer; unruly students and disgruntled teachers who can’t be paid enough because of some jealous officers at headquarters who feel they can’t have teachers earning better than they do.

Then there are parents who do not give a damn what happens with their kids while away at school, yet will threaten the lives out of the poor teachers trying to give their child a lesson!… These people should set their priorities right and cut you some slack. Otherwise you should just quit re bone gore who will prosper in that ministry under the current status. For now let’s wait for Mathambo’s allocation. If he gives you less than anybody else, except if it is Dorcus, o bo o resigna!

Rre,Mathambo, don’t force my Unity Dow to resign

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