There is no doubt that the drama that has lately become a part of the ruling party has done a great deal to hide what is an equally deplorable performance from the opposition side.
Under normal circumstances, the opposition, most especially the BNF, would be natural beneficiaries of the mayhem consuming the BDP.
But not so in our case!
While the BDP will not be getting 70% of the popular vote they like talking about, all the same they will still be in power after next month’s General Elections.
Thanks to a mediocre leadership in the opposition ranks.
Voters look around desperate for a replacement and all they see is an inadequate opposition, a cluster of pretenders to the throne that is unfortunately doing nothing to prove its worth.
Botswana’s opposition parties are behaving as if we owe them something.
Rather than working hard to demonstrate their worth, they come across as people who think that having waited in the wings for so long, it’s finally their turn to get a bite at the cherry.
The voters do not owe the opposition a thing.
Had the BCP and BNF agreed to cooperate four years ago their chances in next month’s elections would have been greatly enhanced.
That, of course, is now water under the bridge.
To win the voters’ favour all opposition parties in their small groupings have to earn it.
Nobody in their right mind doubts that the BDP has grown arrogant, unaccountable and too drunk with power.
But even then that its no guarantee that the voters will simply ditch it for some unknown outfit by whatever name.
The general antipathy to President Khama has kind of clouded the terrible performance by opposition, most especially the BNF.
As of Friday this week, with only a few weeks to the General Elections, the BNF President Otsweletse Moupo was in court trying desperately to salvage what little is left of his personal credibility and that of his party.
He lost the case.
He may be a nice man, but Moupo is an embodiment of political failure.
There is no questioning that Moupo was once a revered revolutionary intellectual, but in real life politics he has been out of his breath.
He may be good at memorizing Karl Marx’s literature, but the man simply does not understand the real life hurly-burly politics.
I think with hindsight Moupo should have chosen priesthood for a career, not law and, certainly, not politics.
The man’s lack of vision has taken the BNF light years behind.
To catch up, once he leaves the scene, the party is going to need an extraordinarily talented leader.
For them, recovery is going to be a toll order.
Perhaps as a demonstration of their meaninglessness, four weeks to a General Election there is not much public outcry that the BNF does not have a candidate for Gaborone North ÔÇô a constituency which used to be the party’s outpost during the days of Maitshwarelo Dabutha.
This cannot be a party that can beat Ian Khama; a man so skilled at saying something while doing the exact opposite.
Opening the Inter-Parliamentary conference this week and fresh from his momentous High Court victory against opponents in his party, President Khama was in his element.
He talked fiercely against tyranny by many of the African leaders and called on his audience to respect the will of the people.
In a tone of a true statesman, the President denounced African leaders who like cutting deals for themselves every time they lost an election.
These are the words of a shrewd tactician.
Moupo and his ilk cannot be expected to handle him.
I cannot imagine a more glaring example of a failed leadership than BNF’s.
If anything, Moupo’s weakness and that of his BNF only makes the BDP stronger.
There is no doubt that defeat would do the BDP some good.
There is no doubt that some high ranking members would even welcome such defeat with relief.
The best way to save a troubled political party is to get it of power.
Out of power, the party would reflect, lick its wounds and reinvent itself. But no, that cannot happen in Botswana. There simply is no alternative centre to talk about in this country.
In all respects, Botswana is a one-party state, except perhaps in the law books.