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Party politics in Botswana is like Wild West as it regularly showcases scenes of extreme confusion, chaos and discord. If you factor in the unruliness of party members including elders and office bearers, it is actually not far from Hell. Bring into the equation the verbal shoot-outs between fellow party members and/or comrades that are routinely recorded and shared on social media and you will readily agree that our party politics mirror a chaotic and freakish setting like Hell.
Looking ahead as Botswana count down to the 2019 general election, it is certainly going to get worse as the energetic geeks intensify making a nuisance of themselves in their attempts to be outspoken and talented in sounding like they are still under construction. The tragedy of it all is that honest people with the potential to become great leaders no longer want to be associated with party politics because it is now commonly believed that that people who are involved in party politics are abnormal, corrupt, self-interested and morally weird.
Many of us grew up wanting to become politicians after being inspired by the likes of Nelson Mandela, the young Robert Mugabe, Thomas Sankara, Kwame Nkrumah, Seretse Khama and such other great leaders who led their countries through painful transitions and revolutions. But today many of us have nothing but contempt for our politicians. We are cynical about almost all politicians because we are convinced, and rightfully so, that they are incorrigible thieves and irredeemably inept and dishonest.
It has to be noted that this public mistrust of politicians did not arise because some relentless armchair critics have poisoned the voters’ minds against politicians. The near universal apprehension is mainly born out of a failure by current politicians to measure up to our yesteryear heroes whose wise and far-sighted decisions improved the lives of the majority of our people. Significantly, the mistrust is reinforced by a lack of guts and conviction by modern day politicians who never use common sense and cannot relate to the people they represent.
Modern day politicians are such moral cowards and inveterate weirdos who flip flop across parties and between opinions like a genderqueer. By and large, the rapidly growing public mistrust of politicians explains low turn at the polls. Thus, most voters are not apathetic but are angry with politicians who seem to have a gift of lying and breaking promises and getting away with it all the time, under our watch.
In consequence, there is notable consensus that politicians are useless if not inimical to the advancement and consolidation of our democracy. Even die-hard, self-anointed chaperones who consider themselves the equivalence of the Biblical disciples in party politics are dismayed at their own rot as individual politicians and at the rot in parties. And when you reach a stage where people who have never tried any other career apart from politics; a stage where people who have never spent a day outside politics since they escaped from the wombs are upset, ashamed and rattled by the state of local politics you know for certain that we are one foot in Hell.
The tragedy though is that we are simply being reluctant to face reality that our national political landscape is polluted, crowded and has been hijacked by bizarre half-human, half-devil hairy apelike beings who are often indecisive, frighteningly lacking real-world experience and terrified by their own shadows. In this instance, our politics has become a show business for people who were praised for their mental paralysis and prodded to stay home and play with expensive toys and motor bikes while their peers were in classrooms learning and getting life skills. Our politics has become a show business for abnormally eccentric people who behave like some dumb mammals that want to position themselves for a good start during the mating season.
But again the painful reality is that politics and by extension politicians are actually indispensable to our everyday lives. From unemployment, poverty, destitution to violence against women and children, our daily lives are affected by politics more than we may want to admit and perhaps more than they have been at any point in time since Botswana got her independence in 1966.
It is therefore a mystery that voters would show disinterest in a game that virtually controls our lives and determine our future. A compelling explanation for this paradox would be that these talkative clones who pretend to have colourful lives are not the men and women for the job. It reveals that our politics is infested with a useless bunch of immoral people who deserve to be publicly scorned and abused until their maker recalls them like manufacturers recall products with some defects.
Voters need to start taking themselves seriously and remind these turncoats of their responsibilities to the nation. Voters must acknowledge that complaining about these silver-tongued traitors while doing nothing to banish them is the worst form of national betrayal. Too many politicians pitifully lack imagination and have the rare gift of embarrassing themselves like a neutered male dog mounting a female in an attempt to get some. Such characters must be denigrated even if it means abusing them if that is what it takes to make them understand that they are unwanted.
In living memory there has been no greater political deception than in the rift between a sitting and a former state president. It is an unprecedented and distasteful experience with the potential to reduce Botswana to a rump. It is an embarrassment of monumental proportions to have a former Head of State doing absolutely everything to undermine a sitting president in ways that suggest that the former president is running a parallel government.
It is absurd and ridiculous and does not portray this particular former president as a normal person. Worryingly, this irritating controversy means that a lot of quality time and public resources will have to be redirected towards defending the government of the day and the nation at large against an outlaw. Equally worrying is that voters appear absolutely helpless and are just praying that this barbaric feuding be resolved sooner so that government can focus on things more important to the ordinary man’s life.
And then you have an opposition that ambitiously and repeatedly do everything to suggest that it is only interested in its own famous internal squabbles. Just when voters thought they have every reason to be excited about the 2019 polls, it is becoming clearer that there actually might be no credible candidates across political parties to deserve our votes.
Whereas the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) only needed to purge its reputation for graft in order to restore its image as the only alternative, recent development project a party that is besieged by the mischief of a former president who is clearly itching for revenge with hyperbole. Ultimately, it would seem that in 2019 Batswana will be going to the polls just to legitimize rule by a bunch of impaired and clueless politicians hence confirm that indeed we thrive on a Wild West circus-like political activity.
However, at the end of its all, it is probably a fair game because the cunning politicians cannot dare point a finger to remind voters of their responsibilities to their nation. Equally, voters cannot dare tell politicians that Botswana needs a bit of exceptional leadership because they (voters) take a bigger share of the blame for creating these madmen with axes to grind and mischievous agendas to advance.
As a matter of fact, our politics tells a tale of a rapid decline of civilization!