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Home » News » Letters » Open Letter To Professor THABO FAKO: Your Resignation Is Good Riddance!!!

Open Letter To Professor THABO FAKO: Your Resignation Is Good Riddance!!!

Publishing Date : 27 February, 2017

Author :

Kago Rapula Mokotedi is a former UB student and SRC President
Writing from South Africa


Receive my revolutionary greetings Professor. I hope you still remember me. I am your former student whom you terrorized for four years of my five year stay at the University of Botswana. I am penning this open letter to you to finally find closure and to heal the emotional wounds you have afflicted on me. I received the good news of your resignation while I was in Hartbeespoort, South Africa. Good riddance!! Good riddance!! I shouted at the top of my voice to the surprise of my colleagues. 

 

I then informed them that you have finally done the honorable thing by resigning as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana. Please pardon my manners for writing this open letter whilst you still licking your wounds. Yours has been a brutal fall, but I could not contain my excitement to celebrate your downfall. After all, you have finally realized that you are a mere mortal like the rest of us. The only difference is our CVs. While you possess the highest qualification known to men, I am just a nobody in the academic circles.

You managed UB as a personal fiefdom and you brutalized anyone who attempted to remind you that the University is public property.  Just like the gods condemned Sisyphus, I long condemned your leadership style.  As expected, your leadership suffered a Sisyphean failure.  


I vividly remember in 2012 when I together with Richard Khumoekae led a student demonstration at the University of Botswana. We were protesting for the reinstatement of supplementary examinations and the improvement of learning conditions of Medicine students who were being taught in an abandoned factory near the Bus rank. By any measure, these were legitimate issues. Instead of calling for dialogue with us as the Student leaders, you pounced on us.

 

Your administration suspended us for six months from the University without being afforded a hearing. Your ill-thought decision angered the student community to rise against your maladministration. In the end University property was damaged and classes were suspended. You must take responsibility for that strike and the resultant damage which occurred.  You must take personal responsibility for that rapacious and nefarious decision to suspend the SRC. I remember how I and Richard Khumoekae were victimized and isolated by your management after the strike. We were the only student leaders who were arrested and detained for a good two days without any charge.  


After you suffered a defeat in Court, you were itching to avenge the embarrassment after the Court interdicted the suspension. You later instituted afterthought charges against us to justify your desire to expel us from the University. I remember that after the Disciplinary committee finalized its proceedings you conveniently postponed announcing the verdict until examination time.

 

I remember that Richard Khumoekae was a final year student who was due to submit his final year project. You cared less Prof. On the eve of the examination you pounced on us early in the morning at round 530 am.  We loitered the streets of Gaborone and a Good Samaritan housed and fed us. Our parents were terrified and anxious. Their hearts were bleeding!!


We were emotionally strained. We wondered what will become of our futures. While you fed us to the lions, you were relaxing at that spacious VC official residence. You even went globe-trotting at one of those European countries.  Fast forward to 2014, I led a strike at UB protesting against the Bookstore monopoly and the sponsorships of students with retakes. I still maintain that we pursued legitimate demands and I am proud to have led the strike.  


Given your authoritarian leadership style, you failed to engage with us. Instead you kicked us out of the University. Your administration even instructed our sponsor, DTEF to cease sponsoring us by reason of our involvement in the student demonstrations. The letter from DTEF was clear that they are acting on the advice from the University. You once more threw my future in the doldrums. I was later rescued by Hon. Duma Boko. Prof you have planted a seed of hate in my heart.

 

I carried this seed until the day I learnt of your ignominious   departure.  I had carried this burden for almost 5 years. No matter how much I tried, I failed to forgive you. The harder I tried, the harder I despised you. You were ruthless and merciless to me. You treated me like a second class citizen who did not deserve to complete his degree. You later suspended me together with one Tiro Diepo for reminding you that in our view, Professor Brian Mokapakgosi would have made a better Vice Chancellor.

 

You see Prof, something that my poor parents taught me as a young boy was to always speak my mind openly and freely. That’s what I did and it annoyed you.  I had to drag you to Court again to interdict your whimsical decision to suspend me when the Examinations were just around the corner. It does not end there. You pounced on me once more a day prior to my final examinations. Hon. Boko had to go to Court at 2am to challenge your decision and you lost. It must have angered you big-time!  I just want to know; why did you treat me in such a degrading manner?  


Back to my celebratory open letter. After learning of your much awaited resignation, I immediately contacted all the former student leaders who suffered your wrath. I hope you still remember the likes of James Mathokgwane, Muzila Muzila, Richard Khumoekae, Tiro Diepo, Callistus Ramasa, Larona Selala, Katlego Mosiane and many others who were abused by your administration. Unlike these comrades, I could not forgive you for the emotional pain you inflicted on me.

 

At some point I even dreamt about you. Believe me, in all my dreams which you appeared on, it was a nightmare. That’s how torturing you have been to me. I tried counseling while I was studying in South Africa to deal with what my counselor referred to as ‘the Fako Syndrome’. Despite my counseling sessions, the nightmares still occurred more vicious. I wondered why u hated me that much. What pleasure did you derive in seeking to destroy my future? I am excited to inform you that since your resignation, my nightmares are all gone.

 

I can now dream about my future wife, and other pleasant scenes. Finally, I have closure. Your resignation has uplifted the burden I carried for 5 years on my tiny heart. I applaud you for affording me closure. Your resignation has uprooted the seed of hate which you planted and nurtured inside me. I have forgiven you Prof. Believe me. I guess we all deserve a second chance.

 

I hope and pray that all students who felt like me have forgiven you. I hope and pray that all academics whom you brutalized will forgive you. I remember how you dealt with Prof.  Happy Sephambi and dethroned him of his Deanship. Many of us were deeply hurt. But that’s all in the past now. Let’s begin a new chapter characterized by love, tolerance and pleasant dreams. In all honesty, your resignation is good riddance. Many of us will not miss your leadership style. Goodbye my professor. Goodbye my professor.

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