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BORDER RESTORATION COMMITTEE

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The likes of former army commander Fonono Dube are surely living enchanted lives which, for the majority of the people, remain a pipe dream.


Not that it is bad to dream, because humans are driven by dreams to reach the highest possible summits of their potential in order to live wholesome and successful lives. After all, no one deliberately sets themselves up for failure. But, as I see it, dreams of whatever nature, have to be realistic for them to be attained, otherwise they have a tendency to remain just dreams; impossible and even impractical to attain.


Erstwhile


At the conclusion of the formation of the new government, which included the appointment of the various emabandla or royal advisory committees, Dube, the erstwhile army commander, is on record trying to explain why he still believes he remains an integral part of the Border Restoration Committee (BRC). His rationale, real or imagined, being that the Border Restoration Committee that has been responsible for his upkeep is not one of the royal advisory bodies but rather a project committee tasked with the onerous responsibility of ensuring the readjustment of the Kingdom of eSwatini’s international borders to include land that was erroneously ceded to neighbouring South Africa and, to some extent, Mozambique, well before independence in 1968.


Dube is apparently of the opinion that until the project of the BRC is accomplished its composition should not be tampered with. He avers, rightly or wrongly, that his omission from the committee was erroneous since the project for which it was established has yet to be accomplished. His reasoning is that until the committee has successfully seen to it that the kingdom’s international borders are adjusted to encompass the lost land, he remains in office until the mission is accomplished. What is interesting, however, is that not long ago the self-same Dube went on record saying that he was taking a healthy distance between himself and the committee after a number of its members had succumbed to death.

Apparently, he somehow reasoned that the demise of the deceased members was attributable to their membership of the BRC rather than natural causes. By progression, he must have been inferring that had the deceased not been members of the committee, they would still be alive. Without being privy to what he knows, it is extremely difficult to interrogate his thinking and apparent conclusions.


But assuming that Dube is correct in his interpretation of the BRC as a project committee whose existence is premised on achieving its stated objective of restoring the kingdom’s borders to their original position, the question that arises would be over the determination of its progress or its success rate so far. We know for a fact that millions of the taxpayer’s Emalangeni have been committed towards the committee’s existence over the years. But what we do not know is the progress the committee has made since its inception. Unfortunately, the public has had no insight into the committee’s progress in the event it is making any headway with its stated mission.


Without having the hindsight of what the committee has achieved so far, outside being a source of livelihood for its successive members, one is in no position to ascertain if and when it will ultimately achieve its stated objectives. The nature of projects, as it were, is that they are scientifically defined through a set programme of action and activities accompanied by strategies and timelines that have to be assessed from time to time and that assure it is still on course.

Unfortunately, the taxpayer bankrolling the activities of the committee is in the dark about this particular committee’s activities. Perhaps it would be asking too much of the committee to let the nation into its confidence, even if this was to justify why it needs to continue to be bankrolled. As I see it, even if Dube and others were to remain in service to the BRC until it achieved its stated objectives, there is no telling how many lifetimes this would take; that is even assuming that its goals will one day be achieved. But given the numerous attendant international conventions on national borders that this country is a signatory to, it would seem that the committee is unlikely in any given lifetime to achieve its goals and that what Dube fears most, the natural attrition of Homo sapiens, would be unavoidable.


Ultimately, death has no respect for even accomplishable but unfinished projects, let alone those that are impossible to finish such as the readjustment of this country’s international borders. Maybe it is time the likes of Dube gave in and enjoyed their pensions for what remains of their tenure on earth, without exerting undue pressure on the taxpayer’s purse.
 

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