Sonny Serite Says He Forgives Tiro Mekgwe For Threatning To Kill Him
This week the news of a BDP member threatening to ‘assassinate’ journalists who write badly about the ruling party have been trending. An audio from Whatsapp has been circulating on social media of a BDP member identified as Tiro Mekgwe saying how the likes of Sonny Serite should be eliminated.
The young man who is said to be only 25 has since apologized publicly to Serite for his utterances. The Gazette reporter has stated that he is forgiving the said Mekgwe for a number of reasons among them being the reason that he is young and that he (Sonny) deserves peace.
#AudioFile:“Kill journalists who report BDP corruption” – Leaked audio from alleged WhatsApp group that includes ministers and BDP leaders • “Gazette reporter Sonny Serite must be targeted” • Says BDP should behave like Boko Haram • Reporters lie about ministers • We should have ‘team assassination’ • I can be very cruel- Mekgwe Story By Lawrence SeretseBotswana Democratic Party (BDP) member Tiro Mekgwe has confirmed creating and circulating on his party social network groups an audio recording inciting members of the ruling party to kill journalists and close down media houses that expose corruption in government. Mekgwe is heard in a WhatsApp audio leaked to The Botswana Gazette in which he is making illegal utterances inciting mass violence and political intolerance as well calling for the annihilation of anyone who speaks negative about the BDP. The inciteful and inflammatory voice recording was allegedly posted in a WhatsApp group that includes ministers and BDP leaders. “I am going to open a case with the Botswana Police so that they can investigate the veracity of these threats to harm myself and some members of the media,” Serite said when interviewed. Contacted to account for his ‘kill the reporter’ statements Mekgwe quickly confirmed that he made the audio clip in the BDP Whats-App group and said he thought it was a joke. “I did not think the members of the group will take it to other platforms, I thought we were just having fun and a stupid BDP member shared it with the public, what I did was not right,” Mekgwe pleaded. Find the full story in this week's issue of The Botswana Gazette.
Posted by THE BOTSWANA GAZETTE on Monday, March 12, 2018
“WHY I FORGIVE TIRO MEKGWE
Yesterday I opened a case against Tiro Mekgwe. The Police opened a docket and charged him with ‘threat to kill’, a very serious offence in the penal code.
This morning Duma Fm invited me to listen to their interview with him. I listened to him. Thereafter, I had a meeting with the investigating officer at CID office. Tiro was later summoned to the CID office.
All the while, I was being inundated with calls and messages from concerned friends, family, associates, colleagues and a lot other citizens who were worried about Tiro’s death threats. They implored me to go ahead and press charges. They gave very solid reasons why I should not accept Tiro’s apology. Some even reminded me of how Tiro’s BDP-led government once threw me in jail and that this was the time to revenge. They said Tiro must be prosecuted to teach people of his ilk a lesson. I fully concur a lesson must be learnt from Tiro’s irresponsible utterances.
I have, however, decided to forgive him and drop the charges laid against him. I forgive Tiro and while he may not be deserving of forgiveness I forgive him because I deserve peace. I forgive Tiro because:
1) When I apply my mind to his utterances, the motive I readily deduce is he so desperately wanted to endear himself to his BDP colleagues in that WhatsApp group more than he really wanted me dead. He comes across as someone who was trying to prove to his leaders that he was ready to do anything to prove his loyalty to the BDP leadership and in the process chose a very foolish way of proving his bootlicking capabilities.
2) Tirelo appeared sincere and remorseful in his apology both on radio and in person when I met him at the CID office. Only a person who fully appreciates and acknowledges his wrongs can put aside his ego and say publicly on national radio, ‘‘I was very stupid to do what I did’’ (a risk of his girls now viewing him as weakly and cowardly).
3) Tirelo was trembling and visibly shaken by the repercussions he was now facing. If he was acting/ pretending, then he is good and should try a career in the film industry.
4) Tirelo is only 25 years and while we expect them to be mature at that age, we cannot completely ignore the fact it takes a few more years for some to mature. I mean, we already have political leaders, old enough to be Tiro’s father but still refuse to be mature. I’m more worried about political leaders who spew bile and hate at journalists than I really am with Tiro who really has no influence on society.
5) I fully concur with those who care about my safety and wanted me to pursue the case so that Tiro can be held accountable for his irresponsible utterances. It just demoralizes me to pursue Tiro to account and feel the heat when we have our political leaders arrogantly refusing to account to the nation. These are the people who should account more than anyone else in the society.
6) I look at the poor youngster and ask myself, why do we expect Tirelo to be friendly to the media and appreciate the work of journalists when political leaders never fail to express their disdain for journalists and the noble job that we do for the nation.
7) If our leaders embraced the media and appreciated their invaluable contribution to our democracy, perhaps we would not have their followers such as Tiro calling for our assassination. These youngsters learn from their masters.
8) How do we expect these youngsters to exercise tolerance when the political leaders they look up to have no tolerance even amongst themselves. They insult each other at rallies, in parliament and on social media. Political leaders insult and degrade journalists on Facebook and radio just because the stories or satirical newspaper content depict them in bad light. How can a small boy like Tiro (yes he is way younger than me) be of good manners when leaders fail to lead by example. How can he be immune to emotional outbursts when leaders catch feelings even on issues that ordinarily come with their positions, positions they shouted hoarse asking to be elected into?
9) I hope Tiro’s near encounter with jail will serve as a deterrent to such kind of irresponsible behaviour by political supporters who have made it a habit to abuse me (and others) even where I shouldn’t even feature.
10) By virtue of my job, I am not delusional to think everyone will embrace my work of exposing the rot done by politicians. I accept the hatred and the criticism. But don’t shoot me; I’m just a messenger, sometimes of news not good to your ears because it is bad about your leaders.
11) I forgive Tiro because, as they say, forgiveness doesn’t excuse their actions but forgiveness stops their actions from destroying your heart.
12) Vanessa Guzman said, it takes a strong person to say sorry, and an even stronger person to forgive.” He wrote.
Big up to Sonny. It only takes a mature person to forgive so easily.