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They can yap, shout, scream, lie or hobnob with the powerful nations or showcase their connections with the underworld of organized criminality but surely the reasonable people of this gifted country are biding their time to take back their country from the jaws of pompous predators and take it on the right path towards justice and fair play.
They can lie as much as their energy permits; they can corrupt facts as far as their immorality can take them nearer to hell; they can sabotage or threaten to set the country on fire as much as their greed motivates them but the good will always triumphs over evil. When the present has come and the past is gone, we can only be here, and here we are.
Batswana and perhaps much of Africa heaved a sigh of relief when on 1st April 2018 Dr Khama’s presidency came to an end. Many had watched and waited with bated breath as the day of reckoning drew nigh and well up to the very last moment when Dr Masisi concluded his inauguration speech with, ‘I think you. Pula’.
We waited with bated breath because many were worried that Dr Khama was going to refuse to step aside. We almost danced in celebration. When he ultimately stepped aside, we were overjoyed no so much because Dr Masisi has stepped in but so much because the blue-blooded aristocrat was gone. It was like a victory for a celebration of a return to proper humanity.
This change in leadership reminded us that no matter how one individual can become powerful and evil, they are never indispensable. Fundamentally, the departure of Dr Khama was a cue that evil leaders are glamorised mainly because they are in charge of state security organs and that moment that the occasion is ceded, the warlord turns into frail rebels. We Batswana bear witness.
We have embraced the change of leadership and the accompanying reforms that were and continue to be initiated in the best interest of the country. However, we are taken aback by what seems to be concerted attempt to bring back the past, a repeat of the evil regime or the leading figures of that regime that tormented Batswana for two decades. It is grotesque!
By stating that he feels a bit hurt that what he spent many, many years building is being reversed by none other than the person he trusted, and that he will not rest until he had restored that which has been reversed, what it implies is that his team – that grouping of heartless pirates – is campaigning on calls to bring back the dictator or to re-establish a dictatorship superintended by a new dictator. This is a hard fact, scary as it is!
As days thin down to the 2019 Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) elective congress which will for the first time in local history, witness a contest for the presidency of the party, we again find ourselves on squeaky bum time; sitting on a cliff and watching with baited breath as fears of a Khama come back start to haunt us.
The prospect of former president Dr Khama making a comeback through his blind-folded porters make this BDP congress extraordinary. There is more than intraparty interests in the contest because the world is watching. International interest in the outcome of the congress now overshadows its local importance. This is an unprecedented congress for it is about testing the moral value of our fellow BDP members and Batswana in general.
The congress, particularly the presidential contest is about the future direction of this republic. It is about choosing to live happily or choosing to live in bondage until death intervenes. It is an opportunity to choose between good and evil or at least to choose the lesser of the two evils. Choosing evil will be the equivalence of choosing Satan and his blood-thirsty buddies.
Choosing the lesser evil is a step towards choosing the greater good because while not being absolutely good, the lesser evil is much better than the Devil. We cannot say to the BDP delegates, ‘of the two evils, choose neither’ because someone has to be chosen from among the two contestants. A choice has to be made and it will be made by BDP members for and on behalf of the rest of us.
Thus, behind the dirty dogfight for power and influence in the BDP, behind this seemingly innocuous competition, there is something quite profound which is the ensuing struggle between good and evil; a struggle between heaven and hell. And this is what awaits the delegates to the 2019 BDP congress in Kang on April 5. The delegates have to choose between good and virtuous men on the one hand and evil corrupt, immoral, dangerous and pompous parasites on the other.
The delegates will have to choose between promising governance on the one hand and absolutely corrupt governance on the other. While for the BDP members the congress may take on the character of a fight for the soul of the BDP, for the rest of the citizenry it is a fight for the soul of Botswana much as it is a choice between what is morally right or wrong.
The delegates will have to choose whether to place the future of Botswana in the hand of a fairly naïve yet courageous shepherd who shows glimpses of a selfless leader or in the hands of a proven recalcitrant pack of wolves that cannot control their greed. It is a tough call; an onerous task that requires the poor delegates to be bighearted, decisive and courageous enough to put principle before personal preferences and tribal loyalty.
Certainly we cannot be dragged back to the tragic yesteryears when our leaders looted the economy with reckless abandon to the extent of exhibiting their loot in public shows. We cannot be hauled back to those painful times when there was no place for merit and fair play and when greed reigned supreme; we cannot go back to that time when thieves were rewarded for their daring acts while honest citizens were brutalized for refusing to become partners of racketeers.
A common refrain is that the BDP members always allow greed to put them under a spell and take senseless, self-serving decisions. However, this time around I trust the young generation, our decent, enterprising and purposeful colleagues to do what is good for the nation. I trust and enjoin them to bury any likelihood of evil ever triumphing over good. I know we do differ in as far as party politics go but when it comes to the future of our country; greed aside, I know that our dear brethren in the ruling BDP do share our worldview and cannot stand the smell of the neighbour’s vomit hence they are determined to get rid of vice and restore hope, belief and decency in politics and society.
This dreaded congress offers the BDP members an opportunity to debunk the widely held view that many of them are bogus members who readily dance to boiling pots of stolen meat and self-glorifying thieves who derive pleasure in fattening themselves on that which is not theirs; an army of lunatics who can and do rob themselves if only to maintain momentum and boast about their prowess; a bunch of unfinished human species that often sell their souls for a cup of expired cappuccino.
The congress is an opportunity for BDP members to reassure the nation that the masses are not just pompous primates who are always willing to push other people’s agendas. Thus, the congress offers the BDP members a hundred and a half reasons to prove that they as well stayed in school long enough to think and act better than cloned dinosaurs.
Go there and do the right thing fellows or you shall burn in hell. God is watching you!!