It would be difficult to forget 2010. It was the year of the Orange Revolution – when men and women, armed with conviction and the fortitude of the divine, crafted a new path for themselves and a nation in desperate need of change. They introduced to the nation a movement and not a party – a swelling tide of those who said: “Not in our name!” Botswana wa rona! It became an anthem of change whose drumbeat reverberated across the land and abroad and after a long sweltering heat of mirages of democrazy, a thirst for democracy was felt. 2010 will go down as the year of Gomolemo Motswaledi, Botsalo Ntuane, Wynter Molotsi and Sidney Pilane. We must remember the other two – Masimolole and Makgalemela who having just arrived, left. They were not the only retreats. Gaborone retraced his steps back to the BDP, while Molefhabangwe followed suit – a man who was earlier rumoured to have committed suicide – perhaps a metaphor of his political life!
It was the year that the sun set in Kanye, never to rise again, as the last King standing was laid to rest together with his queen. Kgosi Seepapitso IV of the Bangwaketse exhaled his final breadth to signal the end of an era. He will be remembered for many years to come. It was the year that Nchindo’s sun set never to rise again. The Oxford graduate was reported to have died a gruesome death in a secluded place. It was the year of the bull-frog voice which posed the searching question that peeled away at the pretentious standings of men and women when he asked: Ke mang yo o sa rateng maemo? The question exposed the lies and public posturing which consumed those with an excessive love for handshakes from the ill-trained. The man with the bull-frog voice rescued maemo from the black brush that was used to intimidate and exclude those who legitimately aspire for political leadership.
It was the year of the P46000 fridge and the man – the man with eyes fixed to the heavens, from whence cometh his help. The power of the fridge was felt at the heart of government, the fridge, so powerful that it affected government recruitment – all employment were frozen! Then there were “rubbish, false and without justification” allegations surrounding the man and the RTF Botswana company. The claims were that there were clear instances of conflict of interest between the man and a company owned by his wife and brother. The man has since resigned to clear his name from lies peddled by the media and members of the opposition parties. It was the year of the P300,000 spent on one minister’s furniture. It was year that we heard that over P26 million was inappropriately taken from the National Disaster Relief Fund, ditiro tsa Modimo, and used to establish a spy agency. The minister who authorised such financial transfers seems to have been an extraordinary man with the ability of prophets and Hercules. He is quoted as having observed that he was “…confident that there was, in the circumstances then prevailing, minimal chance that the funds would be required for disaster…” How could a mortal, motho wa nama le madi, know such things? This was a wonderful year in which His Excellency let a gathering of BDP faithful know that he was looking for a “Tall slim, good looking” woman, not the Tshireletso type. He said: “Ga ke batla motho yo o tshwanang le ene[Tshireletso] Ga ke batle go tsoga maphakela ke fithela gore kgoro… eh… e thibilwe ke motho.. o jemile mo teng.[more ululations and laughter!] Difenechara di senyegile… dikoloi tsa ga goromente dishock absorbera tsa bone di bolailwe ke motho yo o kana.” He was joking, the BDP style: “Koe go sha kae? Koe ke eng?” Sengalo was to later to ask. It was a wonderful year in which the 20 year old, Ms. Emma Wareus, made the nation proud, by being crowned Miss World First Princess. Sadly we were later to hear Sengalo’s unfortunate proposal: “As the party’s Women Wing, we shall immediately play a leading role in taking Emma Wareus on board as our choice for First Lady.” That was a joke, BDP style. It was the year that Amantle Montsho, Eureka the Cover boy, Zeus, Lister Boleseng, Shanti Lo, Tshepo Lesole and Moroka Moreri did us proud. It was the year that Kgosietsile Ngaakaagae shone. It was the year of the first Setswana rhyming dictionary, the year of Google Search in Setswana. It was the year that Maruapula came alive yet again with the arts and remained the national centre of cultural excellence. It was the year in which the Zebras made the nation proud but their success was nearly eclipsed by the constituency league. Yes 2010 was a great year in which Mochudi made the headlines for the wrong reasons. It was the year of the floggings of pastors, pregnant women and anyone who appeared to be a nuisance. It was the year of the damaged Mascom towers which became a symbol of the damage that was about to befall the village leader. It was the year that Kgosikgolo of the Bakgatla, Kgosi Kgafela was remanded in prison by Chief Magistrate Barnabas Nyamadzabo. It was the year that in Molepolole Kgosikwena went to prison for stealing a billy goat while in Tlokweng, Kgosi Puso Gaborone, demonstrated great focus and leadership. It was the year of the village clown, the village idiot and hopeless creatures. It was the year of one or two shootings can’t tarnish the image of our country. This was the year of a useless battle between teachers and BEC – a fight which threatened the integrity of BGCSE exams and the image of the country. It was the year that Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo did not see a distinction between the BDP and the government. If you work for the government, you work for the BDP. It was the year that the poorly educated Gloria Kgosi continued to rule and government at the Mass Media Complex, ka lerato le le kana. Botswana! It was the year that government reassessed its services to the community and attempted efficiency – something which is being achieved in some sectors and it is still illusive in others. This has been an incredible year.