The pool from which our great movement selected a Vice President this past weekend is bottomless, and the choice could have been any of many dedicated, firm and capable candidates. Exactly because of the spirit of service and determination that abides within these prospective leaders, they instead elected to defer and accord the role and responsibility to my person. The circumstances in which both our party and country find themselves mean we cannot always, on our own, decide on or choose which roles we must play in the unfolding political narrative.
I am inclined to borrow the words of a wise leader, who upon being summoned to take high office declared “I feel like a criminal who is going to the place of his execution, who will lose the benefit of his healthy body for an ocean of difficulties without that competency of political skill or abilities and inclination necessary to manage high office.” Still, fairness, determination and the best of me is all I can promise. It is a promise that our movement and its leaders deserve; a promise that I make unreservedly to all our citizens that are generous enough to offer support to a struggle to free our nation from a Government led by a close-knit circle of individuals whose decisions and style point to myopia and the neglect for the sanctity of the human life.
The current public mood is that of distrust for those who are in political roles. And, understandably, many will ask why they should trust again. In the circumstances, to ask for the trust of our people would be to ask for far more than I should ask for. Consequently, mine is a minor request: I ask you – our movement (the Botswana Movement for Decmocracy), our umbrella partners (the Botswana National Front and the Botswana People’s Party) and ordinary people from all walks of life – to trust in your own power, the power to unlock the treasures and the promise of our nation’s future. I ask you to trust in your ability to shape the future of this country.
Our movement and its umbrella partners are entrusted, in the hearts of many, to deliver our people’s desire to live in a country they can truly call theirs, a country united by a spirit to bring out the best in all its people, through fair-minded and effective governance; a country whose people and process, through creativity, initiative, diligence and tenacity will create wealth and with wisdom encourage the sharing of rewards; a country whose education system is sharpened to mould balanced, technical and practical entrepreneurs and managers. This is what our people hope for ÔÇô the hope whose flame we are duty-bound to keep alight ÔÇô this is our conviction. This is what I ask all of you to trust in ÔÇô I ask you to trust in the clarity of your dreams; I ask you to trust in the tenacity of your spirit; I ask you to trust in your vote; I ask you to trust in your authority to throw away all those who divide us and all those who do not deserve to be trusted; I ask you to trust in your ability to select the right people to lead this nation; I ask you to turn away from the petty issues that blind us from seeing the path that lies ahead of us as a nation.
We turn especially to the young people of Botswana: your destiny is now in your hands, your future, the future of your children; it is within your reach, waiting for you to call it by name. You have it within you to change this country. I look to you because I believe our parents have done their best, they have done their part and our insistence that our parents should continue to think for us is an act of both laziness and selfishness. There comes a time when we must fly on our own. The politics of “slash and burn” are intended to distract you, blind you and plant seeds of doubt about your own ability to change this country. If we are not strong enough to withstand the current storms then we are not fit to lead or serve. We must work to return our nation to its people. This is what I ask of you.
BMD Vice President