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As a people, we need to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that Botswana is losing it as a point of reference for an orderly democratic society in Africa; that politicians are playing us like their out-of-use keyboards and thus leading our country to a point of no return.
What is really going on in the continent’s beacon of hope? What does it mean to African democracy when a known ruthless dictator consort with the main opposition that a few months back was wailing that the former president whose lethal presidency caused a local journalist to seek refuge in a foreign country must be prosecuted – someone they painted as heartless and incompetent; a thief who together with his associates plundered the economy; an autocrat who has caused so much pain?
What does it mean to the reputation of the renowned model of democracy in Africa when multitudes of voters actively and happily rally behind an elderly former president who feeds extreme bigotry and abysmal falsehood? What does it tell us about our political leaders when the opposition which is expected to be fighting for social justice, accountability and the rule of law openly massage the poster boy of hate politics?
The 2019 general elections look set to witness one of the ugliest and most deceptive campaigns in the history of Botswana and this because a popular bigot is leading a party that defines itself by extent of its hatred of incumbent President Dr Masisi than what they stand for.
Aside anti-Semitism, it is not always that hatred of an individual can be a unifying factor in national politics to the extent that someone can commit a chunk of his fortune to form and bankroll a hate movement. It is thus preposterous that dislike of an individual is being used by former President Dr Khama as a tool to achieve his weird and unconventional objectives.
While Dr Khama’s hatred of President Masisi is his choice, the reality that multitudes of citizens always erupt in chorus chants of approval of this hatred and its accompanying activities gives rise to prejudice of frightening proportions. The new reality about our politics is that Dr Khama and his angry cabal have taken hate politics from the margins to mainstream politics draping hate-mongering in the guise of freedom of expression and association in democratic Botswana.
They have raised the bar of hate politics and deception to new heights. Worryingly, Batswana are rejoicing in ways that make us a nation of airheads and skunks who celebrate the spectacle as Dr Khama clearly senses that his survival and immunity from possible prosecution is wholly dependent on hate politics.
Addressing the ill-famed Serowe meeting where he manipulated his followers into throwing away their BDP membership cards while he retained his, Dr Khama said that he had come to inform his subjects that he had a huge problem with incumbent President Dr Masisi.
In an emotional tone that sought to make people hate the incumbent state president for ill-treating and abusing their Godfather or Kgosi kgolo, Dr Khama cried that he would be the first former president to be raided and arrested.
Like a victim pleading a special case, Dr Khama sought and succeeded in stirring powerful and deep emotions for his protection by telling his subjects that ‘they want to bury me, my family and all of you’. Certainly this is cheap falsehoods but because irrational minds of idle villagers tend to believe lies more than they would believe the truth, we now have popular songs going like ‘eseng mo go kgosikgolo’ as rallying calls for tribesmen to protect Dr Khama.
Revealingly, one of the founding members of the hate party vowed to make it his mission to ensure that President Masisi and his Vice President do not return after the general elections in October 2019, going further to state that if the BDP wins the general elections, he and Dr Khama will relocate from Botswana.
The founder leader is quoted by a local newspaper saying ‘I just want those two people. They cheated me in the primaries, trying to humiliate me, replacing me with an illiterate who cannot even count up to 10…I speak a curse on your party’. God have mercy!
Nonetheless, such childish outburst is understandable because we always suspected that most in the ruling BDP must have escaped before full conception and the immaturity in displaying so much vile is a solid testimony of a former member in good standing.
However, it remains a mystery that hatred of President Masisi resonates deeply with the leadership of the main opposition. It is indeed disappointing and frightening that our leaders in the opposition are enthralled by hate to the extent of collaborating with a hate movement whose leaders are on record that they just want President Dr Masisi out.
Every time Dr Khama speaks about President Masisi his tone drips with utmost contempt in a way that is intended to incite people to hate and ridicule the state President and this was never UDC’s style. Dr Khama’s intolerance and prejudiced provocative is often intended to foment rage and hate against certain individuals whose only crime is to stand by the Head of State and again this was never UDC politics until they started learning modern witchcraft from this hate party.
Thus, the hate party and its thoroughly inept bus load of followers seemingly in vegetative state, drunk in their anti-Masisi rhetoric and bitterness wouldn’t have had any chilling effect on my concise had the opposition collective not sold its soul.
For the opposition collective, our only hope for a future of prosperity and just society, to be party to a movement of hate-filled demagogues disguising as national politicians is disgustedly beyond anything that can be classified as rational politics and indeed beyond anything that can be tolerated by sane minds.
By cohabiting with the BPF, the UDC actions have fundamentally shaken many people’s concise for they have suddenly become a mouth-piece of a treacherous former President, a traitor who is prone to stoking the flames of divisions and prejudice for personal gain.
The anti-Masisi rhetoric that is championed by this hate group under the tutelage of former President Dr Khama has morphed into abuse and the signature crusade against certain individuals on the basis of ethnicity and/or their freedom of association is sickening and a manifestation of the worst form of hate politics.
For the UDC to have turned into Dr Khama’s praise poets and home-schooled senior counsels is just embarrassing, nauseating and demotivating. The sight of opposition leaders flirting with an autocrat and leading a clueless but excited mob in a chorus about removing President Dr Masisi from the State House over personal issues has not only generated intense interest and drew critical scrutiny but is rendering the UDC a motley mob of diehard opportunists.
In collaborating with Dr Khama and his gangsters to inflame hatred against President Dr Masisi and instill imaginary fears about state security agencies, the UDC is sliding into irrelevance. Their actions and deeds are a stark reminder that politicians are mob whose divisive agenda is as obnoxious as their compulsion to take the voter for granted.
The UDC decision has fundamentally altered the character of local politics and undermined our moral standing in Africa and elsewhere. The UDC/Khama marriage is an indescribable exhibition of cutting-edge hypocrisy and a harrowing show that has blended hate politics into our way of life in order to elevate misfits and serial thieves to the highest decision making positions.
The widely circulating videos of UDC leaders seated side by side with the spiritual leader of the hate party resemble video adverts for a hate summit about turn coating and the practice of deception for time-honored hypocrites.
Many of our voters have lived long to know that politics is a game of numbers and that a majority of politicians are proud compulsive liars but the barefaced falsehoods that former President Dr Khama has to resurrect from retirement and team up with the opposition for the good of the country is the kind of politics that would make political thugs quit the game – a bucket full of nonsense.
Hate politics seems to have become the surest way to electoral victory for those who are into politics for protection against prosecution and/or those intending to plunder the economy. Unleashing a slew of insults; recycling the name of Botswana founding President Seretse Khama; brandishing the chieftaincy ticket; ranting about having elevated some people to Cabinet positions; pontificating about President Dr Masisi becoming an autocrat is to perpetuate a very cheap fantasy that befits a nation of zombies.
The culture of hatred in politics seems like a winning formula for paranoid and dangerous crooks with divisive agendas that appeal to those who have been brainwashed to see evil as good and a despot as Mr Fix-it.