Duma Boko: Saint or Pathological Liar – Lessons from the USA

08 May 2019

“I am lying a lot more, and my lies are far more egregious than they have been. When faced with a choice to either lie or tell the truth, I lie. It’s a strategy that works because when I lie, I’m essentially telling people what they want to hear, and people really like hearing things they want to hear. Even if they sort know that nothing I’m saying is true”.  It’s a freeing strategy, because I don’t worry about facts or being accurate or having any concrete positions of any kind”.  This was uttered by Mitt Romney.

Chronicling  what he termed “ Mitt’s Mendacity”, Steve Benen reported that in the run up to the 2012 USA, Presidential elections debate, President Barack Obama and his campaign team became increasingly assertive of Mitt Romney’s dishonesty. Mitt Romney the Republican challenger strayed from the truth with unfortunate frequency, leading Obama to repeat the words “not true” a half dozen during the debate, Benen reported.

Benen chronicled some of the lies by Mitt Romney.

The President of UDC, Advocate Duma Gideon Boko’s has been accused of the same by his critics.

At a speech in Chesapeake, Virginia Romney boasted, “If I become president…. We finally get America on track to a balance budget”. 

No we don’t was the response. Romney’s plan slashes tax rates (which makes the deficit worse, not better), increases defense and entitlement spending (which makes the deficit worse, not better), and every independent analysis reaches the same conclusion. Romney’s numbers don’t add up.  

Romney also argued, “We have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office”. 

The response, “No matter when we start the clock, there’s a net jobs increase under Obama, both overall and in the private sector.”

Romney added, “If the unemployment rate was 7.8% when he took office. It’s 7.8 percent low now. But if you calculated that unemployment rate taking back the people who dropped out of the workforce, it would be 10.7percent.

The response, “That’s ridiculously untrue.”

Romney also said, “I put out a five point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take home pay”.  This claim was proven false, repeating it only adds insult to injury.

Romney said, “The only reason the unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the people that have dropped out of the workforce. The response was, “I wish he wouldn’t say nonsense like this.”

The current ongoing political soap opera in the country has led to Boko’s critics chronicling his lies. They accuse him of being a pathological liar, a loud mouthed charmer boy, a showoff who has not recovered from having studied at Harvard University, as if he is the first and the last person to do so from the country. His critics accuse him of playing deeply deceptive and playing voters for fools. They accuse him of flirting with King Khama IV, a divisive character who has off late been uncontrollable issuing out what one political commentator has said resembled a summons from BagaMmangwato royal court.

South Africans’ involvement with Botswana’s election politics recently caused embarrassment once again when two planes of the controversial South African businessman, Zunaid Moti, were impounded at Francistown airport. Moti offered his small business jet, a Beechcraft Premier 1, and an Agusta 119 helicopter for campaigning by opposition leader Duma Boko of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). On being interviewed as to why the planes were grounded the UDC, President instead of acknowledging the mistake chose to lie.

In an interview with The Voice Boko said he believed detention of his aircraft was an instruction from a higher somebody, whose interests are political. The UDC president said he was shocked because they have long obtained flight clearances and that flight plans were duly submitted to the briefing office.

“The aim is basically to derail, undermine and frustrate our campaign. But we are undeterred, we’ll campaign, we’ll not stop. This thing can only make us stronger. However BURS General Manager of Communications Mable Bolele told The Voice that they don’t act on political instructions but are guided by the Customs Act. She said the issue is not political, but a simple matter of compliance. “Yes we grounded the air craft’s,” said Bolele. “Boko did not follow the customs procedure. He did not declare the aircrafts at Customs as per the requirement,” she said.

By lying, Boko wanted to create false impressions and portray an image of someone who is being harassed, a tactic that has become synonymous with King Khama IV. When Ian Khama joined politics he claimed he was not interested in politics. It was the most dispiriting thing you can hear someone say, now post Presidency he has become something else, an unstable political mad Chief who can’t let go.

Not so long ago Boko’s Range Rover Sport was impounded by the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) on tax related charges. The UDC president subsequently appeared on social media boasting about “swiping another one” before showing up in his new acquisition, a black BMW 7 Series. Sunday Standard investigations have however traced the BMW to a South African company, Waleed Investment Holdings (PTY) LTD, based in Sandton.

His critics’ label him as a Benny comes to town, not fit to be the president of the country. They submit that he is also not even fit to lead the BNF and states that he is an embarrassment to the movement and is not living to its ideals and doctrines. 

His recent meet and greet utterances in Masunga were found wanting, disrespectful, shameful, disgusting and did not resemble someone who is a father, husband and a human rights activist. His critics say, because he is a self-centered ego maniac, he will not apologize for making such silly and stupid utterances.

The 2019 UDC campaign message revolves around employment creation and economic empowerment of Botswana. The UDC has also pledged to increase the minimum wage to P3000.00 in order to tally with the cost of living among Batswana. However, this has been dismissed by a local economist, stating that the party should forget about attaining that target owing to the country’s current economic status.

Ironically Boko downplayed the expert advice and resorted to lying in his recent campaigns. His critics say he is sweet deceiver, very impulsive and overly excited fellow who lies without reflecting and they cite a number of incidences such as the Matsha student fatal accident, BNF-YL, P60 000 amongst other things. 

His former collectives at the University of Botswana describe him as a useless talkative comedian who despite having spent 10 years, with the University, there is absolutely nothing to show that indeed he is an intellectual gladiator, (see, Gazette 23-07-2012, by Nevah Tshabang). In his opinion piece Dr Nevah Tshabang was just short of calling on Boko to just shut up. Nevah simply dressed him down.

Some observers have even suggested that he needs to be re-packaged, coached and remodeled for he is out of shape. They emphasize an urgent to re-brand of the UDC because in its current state, it will chase away even swing voters. The hardliners are even suggesting that Dumelang Saleshando should swap positions with Duma. They state he can perform and serve much better as the President of UDC and is also comparably trustworthy, unlike Duma. They state Boko is just an un- polished, easily excitable over grown baby.

What actually captivates us about politics is the drama of it all, the Shakespearean tragedy, history, comedy and farce. It’s the soap opera we love. It’s the stranger-than-fiction scheming and plotting of the actors on this stage, as they crawl over and under and through each other to get to the top or the bottom or wherever they end up. Scheming politicians are captivating, but politics is about more than a soap opera.

In each generation, a few public figures come along who have a personal magnetism that makes strangers care deeply about them. Call it star power, call it charisma, this infrequent gift is akin to the power that great actors have. In real life when charismatic politicians speak, they are able to turn a room full of strangers into a community rich in shared meaning, just as a great actor creates such a community within a theatre

Does Duma have that charm? Or is he just a pathological liar? Playing deeply deceptive and playing voters for fools.

As they say “Ke kgotla o mone” with allegations that some have had their lips sweetened with honey to speak diatribe and spit venom. Money is being splashed around to sponsor rejects to stand as independent candidates primarily as a mechanism to protect himself and his cabal from what may come to his door step post 2019 elections – Jail and the best way out is to flirt with Duma Boko’s UDC.