As I write this the civil service strike continues in the country. This means there is little to no education taking place. Hospitals are barely staffed and most clinics are closed. Government offices are nonfunctional. It has now become an indefinite strike.
Sadly our president has failed completely as a leader. Instead of leading his people according to Setswana culture, a culture based on consultation and compromise, on negotiation and respect he has chosen to dig in his heels. He is doing his best to create dangerous divisions between Batswana in the hope that he will find support among the poor and the unemployed, the very ones most affected by this strike. It is a path that could backfire on all of us.
Our national television station (BTV) has become a complete sham. In the initial days of the strike they produced propaganda reports posing as news stories saying all was fine. For them students were in the classrooms being taught and clinics and hospitals were fully operational. On the ground we could all see with our own eyes that this was a lie.
Since then President Khama has been shown on the BTV news/propaganda report speaking at the kgotla telling the gathering that he will not talk with the Unions and he doesn't care if the strike goes on for months or years. He went on to insult the strikers in Setswana, an insult that enraged many people and has pushed many people sitting on the fence regarding this issue firmly on the Unions' side.
Last night on BTV Minister of Education and Skills Development Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi went on the BTV news/propaganda report and told the nation that a letter had been found on the ground at one of the secondary schools (Lobsec) urging students to revolt against the government. She blamed this letter on the Unions. To me it sounded like a lame justification for the government to take sterner action against the strikers. I fear for the worse.
So far we've had no violence. Still, everyone is sitting on the edge of their chairs. We snatch up private papers in an attempt to find out what is really happening. We discuss each development on Facebook. All of us are upset. All of us are nervous for what might happen next.