VP tells off BTV and its journalist
Vice President, Lt. General Mompati Merafhe has lashed out at the Botswana Television(BTV) and its journalist for focussing the camera too much on him at the expense of the audience.
The ailing Merafhe exploded when Btv lens man, Kefilwe Keosentse pointed the camera towards him as he was about to deliver a keynote address at the unveiling of the Botswana Housing Corporation ( BHC) in Mahalapye last weekend.
Dignitaries and Mahalapye residents who attended the BHC event listened in shock as Merafhe unleashed his verbal barrage of accusations on the embarrassed Keosentse and the national tv station in general.
‘’Hey you, What is your problem? Merafhe launched his attack, taking both the audience and the cameraman by surprise.
Weighing in on on the unsuspecting journalist for what he called a ‘tendency to focus only on his face at the exclusion of the audience, the VP went on: “You have a tendency of just focusing on me and leaving other people out of the picture. What is so interesting about me and my face anyhow that you have to show it all the time and not show all these other people’s faces? Merafhe asked, prompting the crowd to burst out in laughter.
Unfazed by the reaction, the visibly perturbed VP continued: ‘’Last time when I was opening a church in Sefhare you just showed my picture on BTV the whole time although there were many other people that attended that function. This television belongs to Batswana and they want to see themselves in it. Just imagine an old woman from a village attending that event and you don’t show her on TV.
When the crowd laughed out loud some more, Merafhe went on to tell Keosentse who was by now shifting around uncomfortably in the middle of the room that he was aware that BTV was highly characterised by jealousy and hatred.
“I am aware that you are controlled by certain people at the station who tell you which clip to show and which one not to show! Batswana are a nation full of gossip and jealousy and to them it is just a social pastime. But you need to know that your television station is doing a disservice to this nation. I don’t care what you say or what your supervisors would say. As you can see these people agree with me,’’ he said pointing to the crowd.
It was not until the photo journalist turned his camera to the guests to avoid further public humiliation that Merafhe turned his attention away from him to address the BHC CEO statement in his address that the corporation’s houses in Mahalapye were built by Batswana contractors.
Expressing doubts on BHC’s top man claims, the VP said, “I used to pass by here and see certain light skinned people whom I am sure can not pass for Batswana working on this site. So when you say Batswana built these houses whom are you exactly referring to?’’
But before the puzzled looking CEO could offer an answer, Merafhe had already shifted his attention to the village leaders whom he lambasted for not inviting Mahalapye residents to the BHC event.”I am surprised to see councillors and chiefs alone here. Where are the people? If it was not for them some of you would be in the bush right now herding cattle, but now that they have put you in power by voting for you, you have forgotten all about them”.
Mahalapye chief, Duncan Segotsi who was one of the objects of the VP’s fiery attack later told The Voice in an interview that he was totally shocked by the Lt General”s outburst.
“We were not even given time to defend ourselves. Had he given us a chance to respond to his accusations I would have let him know that I received the invitation late in the week and it was addressed to me personally and not extended to the community or the general public.” he said
Keosentse refused to comment on the incident.