As I See It


Wikileaks cables are welcome
According to reports, the US government is seeking a date with Julian Assange, the man behind Wikileaks cables.

In Botswana, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani is itching to catch this naughty trespasser, trespassing on classified minefield of the Republic of Botswana territory.  The minister plans to swoop like a hawk on him!

Why does it appear Wikileaks is being hounded and demonised by governments?  Some individuals too get agitated and embarrassed when their private conversations get published.  The standard reaction of victims whose private conversations get intercepted, leaked and published in the newspapers is to deny they ever made the statements attributed to them.  Former Minister of Education, Jacob Nkate, current Minister of Education Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Assistant Minister of Local Government Botlhogile Tshireletso all deny the conversations they are alleged to have had with the chatty former United States of America envoy in Botswana.  Interesting is that the ambassador associated with these conversations neither denies nor admits the conversations ever happened, which strongly implies the denials may be standing on a very slippery ground. What the threesome is alleged to have said against their boss, Ian Khama, who was then vice-president is what the opposition critics continue to say about him as the President.

In 2005 while Khama was Vice President, Nkate is reported to have said: “He would be a President unfit for the job…. (would)  surround himself with idiot yes-men..” Mma-Tshireletso was of the opinion he would not last three years and Venson-Moitoi noted: “He had no patience for criticism or dissent”. Except for Mma-Tshireletso who did not think he would last three years in the saddle, the other gossipers seem to have been spot-on, if one knows how Khama has performed in office so far and how observers and critics  perceive him.

Don’t haul the gossipers over the coal for lack of guts to admit making ‘unpatriotic’ remarks about their Kgosi and president-to-be; this gossip like any other gossip is perfectly deniable, as it is tantamount to (back) biting the hand that feeds you. It is not a done thing! Backbiters couldn’t have guessed Wikileaks was eavesdropping to later embarrass them with impudent revelations!  The revelations exposed them to the president’s firepower.  Those who know him say he is a sniper who does not waste ammunition!  I doubt however whether in his new role as prudent balancer of the budget, he would be reckless to waste a single, let alone three bullets on the happy-go-lucky chatterers behind his back.  They never meant to condemn him to eternal hellfire, but were merely expressing their exuberant, sincere and honest opinion about the man, in confidence.  The yap-yapping with one of the most sociable envoys the US has ever posted to Botswana was in no way malicious.  That is why the threesome continue to deliver diligent services to the best of their ability under Khama’s dictates.  Who knows they might have been deliberately selling a dummy to this nosey-parker trying to score offside goals. Beware the Yankees when they come wearing sweet smiles and speaking in diplomatic verses!

Moreover if Khama knew ambassador Joseph Huggins, the talkative and consummate socialite, he would have known that he himself must have had a hard time fobbing him off from coming clean on his boss, Festus Mogae.  We await with eager anticipation the next Wikileaks dump. Very much impressed by Assange’s work rate: 257,287 diplomatic cables on America! He claims he is working for transparency.  His chutzpah is phenomenal. “I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable,” he is reported to have told Der Spiegel last summer,”…. And I enjoy crushing (the) bastards.” Hear, hear!

Big powers own the world since they are well informed about what goes on around the globe.  Now and then, they get caught napping like what happened in Tunisia and Egypt when they were caught snoring in the Arab Spring.  That is exceptional and undesirable.  The ideal is to be fully informed at all times.  In the olden days, a diplomat was defined as someone who was sent abroad to lie about his/her country, (to feed the insatiable gullibility of the host nation.)

These days when the self-styled democracies talk transparency and free access to information, but resist to pass Freedom of Information laws, while the so-called state security secrets are embedded deeper and deeper in the secret vaults of the DIS and its counterparts, to the extent the checks and balances of the three arms of government have become obsolete, it is the Wikileaks-sniffers who give hope in the minds of civil society.  Wikileaks is a godsend to the besieged human society; the author of Wikileaks  must be applauded and encouraged to spread his tentacles wider.

Since private citizens are being deprived their privacy with impunity in spite of what constitutions say, why must the public institutions of government be spared Wikileaks legitimate snooping to strip them naked and force them to live the transparency and accountability principles which should be their defining feature? Anyway, why shouldn’t common people backbite government officials when they rise to become public property and lords of the manor?  Public property is fair game to unlimited public scrutiny.  And private citizens deserve to have their privacy restored!

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