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“Why ‘Say No To SOE’ Movement failed” – Tshwanelang

Some few weeks back a celebrity lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae started talking against the extension of the State of Public Emergency (SOE). In opposing the SOE, Ngakaagae also called on to the nation to do the same.

While he was so vocal and seemed determined at first, the movement he tried to build lost momentum along the way. Setlhomo Raymond Tshwanelang, a criminologist and social media commentator explains why the movement failed.

  1. Ngakaagae’s circle of associates
    Tshwanelang recalls how Ngakaagae was vocal in his support for the ruling party and the President ahead of 2019 general elections. Ngakaagae’s friends whom too were in support of the ruling party have eaten the fruits of their toil, so says Tshwanelang. Due to these, Tshwanelang believes the masses became sceptical of Ngakaagae’s motives with the movement and pulled back.
  2. Communication barrier.
    The language the celebrity lawyer uses is blamed for the fall of the movement. His jargon and English are viewed as barrier as only those within his bracket can understand and relate to what he is saying. Those who can relate, Tshwanelang says cannot follow the movement as they have a lot to lose by joining. “Those men and women have more to lose: loan repayments, mortgage arrears, β€˜pending investigations’, promotions, tenders & dubious connections. Their kids are still in private schools. It takes a phone call, silence followed by a simple question β€œo bata go dira eng?” [what are you trying to do?”] And they will abandon you. They and their kids do not have the backbone to fight the system that continues to benefit them.”
  3. Failure to address the masses properly
    There was a certain incident where Ngakaagae lambasted someone for asking how SOE negatively affects people’s lives. Ngakaagae’s response is seen as so harsh that it pushed potential followers, the masses, away. “The mistake you can ever make is to dismiss them. You need to answer their questions in detail using a language they can understand, silly as some of those questions might be. Bring everyone on board” Tshwanelang observed.
  4. Lack of consistency & Missing oppotunities
    Tshwanelang thinks Ngakaagae was posting about different things at the time when he should have been building the movement momentum. That led to people loosing interest and getting discouraged. Moreover, Raymond believes Ngakaagae should have aligned himself with those who opposed some developments perpetuated by the SOE. He mentioned Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) case against the government for banning the sale of alcohol, Educators Trade Unions (BTU and BOSETU) lawsuit threat, and #vaccinateBotswana trend.
  5. Indecisiveness
    Failing to pick a side and sticking to it. Tshwanelang is of the view that Ngakaagae was not consistent, sometimes he condemned the government, and sometimes praised the same government for the same thing. Even when he condemned the government, he tried to protect President Masisi and potray him as a saint.

“These are signs of a man who in my view, is apologetic, o loma a hodisa. A man who is unsure whether he is for or against the government.”

Setlhomo Raymond Tshwanelang

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