The Umbrella’s hidden agenda
by Comrade Monang
Umbrella will never work and it was only manufactured to target and delay BNF from engaging its members on more important issues like rebuilding structures, politically educating the members more especially the youth and making Batswana and BNF members understand its policies and constitution in depth. The recent Tlokweng by election results clearly show that umbrella is no way an option for BNF nor for Batswana. Using the same tactic BDP has used to force Batswana own what BDP elites think it’s good for them, the umbrella elites have imposed the idea that Batswana want umbrella.
It’s a lie and Batswana continue to tell it better. Yes, the public have demanded that opposition parties cooperate to overthrow BDP from its long unhealthy rule but the public has never proposed umbrella as it has been portrayed by the umbrella cabal and the media.
The model is not only fatal to the BNF but also to the political consciousness of the nation at large. This is so because the umbrella cabals in their fight to force it to succeed, do all they can to limit the nation (which is said to be in support of umbrella model) to umbrella praise poetry. They do not want the people to discuss the fate of the conflicting class ideas of the people and the current ruling class and what exactly will happen if the umbrella was to lead the nation. Will the umbrella produce its own capitalist exploiters and at whose expense? History has taught us that all human societies that have existed have had their own class struggle. That is to say today as much as umbrella elitists claim to be in the opposition, they have the same class interest as the BDP cabal and that will be reflected in their rule since the ruling ideas are in every government the ideas of the ruling class as Marxism teaches.
The umbrella does not only lose by elections as in Mokoboxane, Tlokweng and many that may come; it tries to hide the truth from the people, it isolates political ideas from political organizations. It diverges the suffering people from the realization of the causes of their suffering. The umbrella deludes Batswana from their political ideas, their analysis, their real potential strength and from the class politics and class struggle that need be to completely free them from all forms of exploitation, suppression and capitalist slavery.
The spirit of desperation has been spread by opposition opportunists to accommodate and accelerate their short cut to first class citizenship and the luxuries attached to the ruling class status in a capitalist nation like Botswana. This desperation must not blind us. The umbrella model is only weakening both the opposition parties and the opposition politics at the benefit of BDP. The theory of umbrella winning BDP for Batswana is failing at every turn of elections. Not only is the umbrella failing in elections but it is also failing to construct a platform for self education of the oppressed people and is failing to tell the nation what it has for them.
People have been made to think umbrella is the answer to the problem the ordinary Motswana faces everyday but the opposite is true as is a road for opportunists to ride to the top. Tlokweng been a rural/urban area the least one is expects if it is a national project is its consistent loss.
Cooperation that the BNF have talked about for years is not the cooperation that the opportunists are using today. As Marxists when we say cooperation we mean the cooperation in the entire struggle against BDP and the whole economic system. We speak of organizing together and striking together. For example, what we mean by cooperation is actually:
Unity to fight discrimination on minority tribes by the society and the Botswana constitution. The case of Basarwa, Bayei, and other so called minority tribes comes to mind.
Cooperation to fight for direct presidential elections and to have a national assembly that constitute representation of workers and other social and economic groups such as minority groups, NGOs and other sections of the society.
Cooperation to fight the yellow monsters that have demolished the houses of the poor
Unity in fighting exploitation of workers in different work places such as; supermarkets, manufacturing industries, security guards, technicians and even the public sector. Our own government exploits hundred thousands of youth through ipelegeng and the umbrella leadership praises the slavery.
Uniting student communities both at primary, secondary and tertiary education level suffer while the umbrella leadership watches by.
The state, foreign and local owned companies continuously step on the rights of Batswana and they have no voice as the judicial system only appreciates justice for the rich those who own the means of production. Botswana Labour law encourages the employer to exploit its employees and the same will become umbrella governance.
The poor people in Botswana have been reduced to beggars that only put their hope on the BDP elites to throw to them their leftovers and evidently the umbrella does nothing but to promise them that they will live better if the vote them.
Batswana majority Batswana have no shelter, they have no land of their ownership, they rent shelter from foreigners as the system land rights are based on ones financial power which many Batswana lack. The Ministry of land and house continue to confiscate ‘undeveloped’ plots while the state have failed to develop the people and the infrastructure in the country and no one mobilizes the people to confiscate the state power, not even the umbrella.
Many people have died from curable illnesses either from poor health care service or simply because they do not have money to pay for the necessary treatment and the same will continue under the umbrella party governance.
It is evident we realize the social, political and economic problems that the nation faces. It is evident we will continue to face it if the umbrella was to win any general elections. The question that we must then ask ourselves is;
what is to be done?
BNF need to recollect and reorganize itself to a front that it is. The BNF was created to unite all sections of the oppressed people as described in the 10 cooperation objectives above and many others. It has never and will never be necessary to form any kind of cooperation that dumps the standards set by the BNF evident in its literature. The organization needs to abandon its new gentleman style of political activism and organize and unite Batswana to fight BDP and free market economy day and night. Every political assault on one Motswana must be enough to make BNF act on it. The revolutionary character of the BNF has been reduced to solidarity press statements that do no challenge to the BDP misrule and abuse of resources for few capitalists. Whereas BNF has many revolutionary able bodied cadres who can direct the people, the leadership bureaucracy have made crippled our organization and has rendered BNF Revolutionaries Socialists who must be leading the nation to true independence useless debaters who are delusional about a revolutionary way to freedom.
The majority rule has been abused both by the opposition managers to set their agenda for us and the potential that the BNF and the nation have has been limited to election pessimisms. We need to sit down as BNF and re-grasp our literature that emphasizes participatory workers democracy that faces capitalism every day of the each five years term after Election Day. One day democracy is a mockery to the people and the strike is the language of the oppressed people. The BNF must channel all its energies and finances to educating Batswana of different age groups, gender, ethnicity, workers, students and the unemployed rather than wasting the organizations recourses. Our priority must be political education, unity of the oppressed, structuring of the revolutionary force, organizing the people to demonstrate and strike, and finally the overthrow the capitalist system and the exploiter, not umbrella.