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The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) introduced him into politics allegedly against his will; they parachuted him to the state presidency without having to sweat it out with others; they forced him down our throats without much resistance mainly because of royalty; they supported and defended him religiously; they give him the aura of a distinctively unmatched president and for 20 years Ian Khama was to many a magnificent image of leadership par excellence.
When critics warned about him and questioned his leadership style, they were hunted down, abused, insulted, intimidated and threatened with physical harm. People were sponsored to operate Facebook accounts to intimidate and harass critics of Dr Khama’s leadership style. Spooks were let loose and political thugs were unleashed to force everyone to toe the line.
Many BDP members laughed and savoured it as we ordinary mortals cowered like border jumpers and as senior citizens had to constantly and publicly beg for forgiveness from botate often rolling over on dusty ground like dung beetles to show remorse. Today, like some felines and primates that sometimes feed on the young of their own kind, their Godfather has come to use them as cadavers.
While their resultant yapping of outrage, frustration and anger and all sorts of expressions of disapproval of the behaviour of a renegade is understood, the BDP must accept that theirs was an expensive error of judgment. In Dr Khama, the BDP made a silly choice to get into a damaged leaking boat available to try to get to where they wanted to go. In politics, regretting one’s actions and the realization of a mistake is the beginning of wisdom and in the context of this matter wisdom is to disown the bully, the bigot, the narcissist, the warlord. It is to isolate the bandit and everybody who support him to carry out his agenda.
Of course, the BDP had thought that Dr Khama was the best person for the job of the president of the party and the state. Yet, all signs were all there – blatant hypocrisy, childish need for approval and questionable brains. For too long, the BDP has shown their unwavering loyalty to Dr Khama when in actual it should have been the other way round. Going forward, the BDP must be prepared to do something to correct the mistake and this will require them to do more than just the yapping of uncertainty.
Fundamentally, the BDP must assure its members and well-wishers that it is bigger than an individual. Like in the blockbuster film, Jurassic Park that show cases the recreation dinosaurs that ultimately threatened to wipe out the human race, the BDP has created chaos with far reaching implication for both party and country and they must take responsibility to normalize the situation.
Others and this include all who do not consent to association with the agenda of a warlord are perhaps willing and ready to play their role but the reality is that the BDP must take the initiative to disown former President Dr Khama so that the rest of us will not fear organized reprisals from the party and institutions of the state that have always been used to silent dissenting voices. The BDP knows what kind of a person Dr Khama is. They know his strengths and weaknesses and should capitalize on these.
They should know that Dr Khama desperately craves fame, adoration and pre-eminence. For fame and pre-eminence, one needs to be talked about and for adoration one needs a willing flock to show and display behaviours of pets being fed like most of their members usually do in the presence of Dr Khama. The BDP has made all these readily available to Dr Khama and to make things right and have him where he belongs, the BDP ought to deny him the audience he so desperately craves.
The BDP must have the balls of steel to swiftly go after all their members who are loitering around Dr Khama like flies tracking bad smell. By hanging around him, they are directly showing the party the middle finger and this cannot be tolerated unless the party has morphed into a holy mess where anybody and anything do as they please and then get rewarded for their mood disorder.
Dr Khama has always been a member of the BDP in good standing but whatever relationship the BDP had with him has changed as a consequence of his intransigence. Political parties act the way they do based on circumstances on ground in which case the BDP’s reluctance to take action against Dr Khama is a mere necessity of politics. Yet, at a certain point, after the party has painstakingly tried to accommodate a rebel, in the process contradicting what the party believes in, that should be enough of political posturing.
Crucially, Dr Khama has vowed not to rest until he has got what he wants, highlighting that he was not just going to lie idle and watch as he lose the ground that he had gained over the years. In effect and true to his words, he has sustained a smear campaign against the party and state presidency and has been spreading malign activities to both party and country. He has been behaving unethically, making inflammatory comments that are injurious to the Botswana state.
Dr Khama has been openly and aggressively sabotaging national interests and has vowed to use external forces to destabilize Botswana. His behaviours and actions depict an acutely flawed individual; someone lacking emotional maturity and necessary discipline; a dishonest former president who speaks in the hyperbole of a delinquent. The BDP cannot be proud of their association with such as character.
Dr Khama’s controversy has brought unwelcome attention to the BDP, pointing to a simmering tension with the party’s rank and file. We have known the BDP as a party that had adequate political courage to deal with indiscipline within its ranks. It is not a secret that Dr Khama offends many in the BDP and outside the BDP. On this score, the party ought to clearly and unequivocally denounce him because he is ruining their best laid plan and is plotting to overthrow the government.
At this stage, even as we know that the BDP is Mafia-like club, it is difficult to understand why the BDP still want to identify with Dr Khama when the most tolerant GOD has given up on him. Dr Khama has actually finished discrediting himself and is now going for the BDP and the Botswana nation.
Dr Khama is determined to never go down alone and this is why the BDP must disown him so that the rest could follow in distancing themselves from him. His liability now overweighs any good he may have done. He is no longer the great and genius we were made to believe. His behaviour is repulsive even to opposition activists who supported him only to extent that he was causing chaos in the ruling BDP.
Batswana should thank God and feel quite fortunate that Dr Khama’s evil theatrics and a revolting personality came to the fore after he had vacated office. It is clear that his ultimate plan was to rule from the grave but President Dr Masisi is having none of it because Botswana can only have one president at a time.
Nothing prevents Dr Khama from seeking to influence the outcome of the BDP elective congress but the nation is concerned about the extent he had gone such as threatening to enlist external powers to tune up Botswana to his liking. These threats cannot be dismissed as idle frustrations because while Dr Khama has always been insincere about his ultimate goal in politics, not once did he ever conceal who he is – a dangerous warlord that could cause immeasurable havoc if his agenda is not comprehensively disrupted.
More than just ending the current feuding between Dr Khama and His Excellency President Dr Masisi, disowning former president Dr Khama will help the BDP to put an end to the beginning of rampant indiscipline among party elders that is threatening to render the party ungovernable.