Basarwa: genuine targets of empowerment or pawns in a political power game?
Lucas, Taolo Boipuso
PublisherBotswana Society, www.botsoc.org.bw
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Different stakeholders work with Basarwa. Ideally these different stakeholders in the empowerment of the Basarwa should work together in a mutually symbiotic relationship where each may benefit from one another to meaningfully address the situation of the Basarwa. However, in practice the stakeholders have formed what is referred to in this paper as power blocs that compete with one another for self aggrandizement. The power blocs include government (Politico-Business power bloc), donor agencies, bureaucracies, the judiciary, intellectuals (members of academia), the citizenry and the Basarwa themselves. Instead of empowering the Basarwa, these power blocs are involved in a relentless conflict to achieve greater power for themselves. Manipulation, intrigue, bickering, posturing, tokenism and mere symbolism often characterize the relationship of the various stakeholders. The ultimate result has been failure to empower the Basarwa.