The last thing we need now is a comprehensive BDP landslide at the polls.
Every Motswana of goodwill, with any measure of love for their country and its democracy, should dread an engendered BDP landslide victory that would lead to a total takeover of urban constituencies currently held by the opposition.
Yet it’s very clear from the ramblings and actions inside the BDP, especially their recent superficial fixing of primary elections (which, by the way, amounts to electoral fraud) that nothing short of a crushing opposition defeat would give them any delight.
It’s quite clear from their actions that the BDP are plainly going for a kill.
Their body language, clearly taking cue from Ian Khama, is that of wolves smelling blood.
Buoyed by images of a sickly opposition the BDP thinks only an unimaginable fit of luck and miracle would save the opposition from a crushing defeat at their hands as so craftily planned by Ian Khama.
Thus, if the nation is not vigilant enough, the BDP could very well be on their way to getting even more than they had imagined even in their wildest of dreams of an opposition-free parliament. That is dangerous.
As voters, we should not just criticize political parties for falling short of our expectations; we should also constantly compare and set them against one another, the better to control them.
It is only when we have control and make them fight each other over them that we can widen their differences as to meaningfully use their appetite for our affection to the fullest.
Pushing the opposition into the wilderness as Khama wants us to do will rob us voters of this leverage.
Weak as the opposition is, unceremoniously pushing them into the cold would in the end work against the voters’ own interests.
Total defeat of the opposition is becoming real and it’s so far the most potent danger Botswana’s democracy has faced in a long time.
It is a danger that can only be beaten off by voters who would have to fill a vacant position left by an irresponsible opposition that cannot unite, not even for own self preservation.
Allowing the BDP a landslide victory will have greater ramifications much more than making all of us look as enamoured and mesmerized by Ian Khama as the BDP currently is.
Total defeat of the opposition in the urban areas would give the BDP a new opportunity to further contaminate the country’s institutions of democracy and governance.
Total opposition defeat would allow the BDP to go up another rung in stacking all the country’s institutions with more of their cronies thereby further entrenching their already acidic network of support and patronage in all the country’s important centers of power.
Total victory would be interpreted by BDP patronizing hawks as a new license to do as they please with the country.
That is the last thing we need.
Yet to our surprise not even the bogey of their annihilation and extinction seems to be a specter big and frightening enough to force our opposition to unite.
Although they pretend otherwise and are putting on a brave face, the opposition is drowning.
They have the loosest and shallowest connection with reality than at any point during their troubled history.
Admittedly, it is not our job as voters to save a careless opposition.
But we can only save ourselves by saving them.
Evidently, public distaste for their casual behaviour has been palpably growing, including in their strongholds.
Yet bad as they are it would be calamitous and reckless to vote them out.
Voting them out would undermine democracy, and so the best way not to be complicit in their bad behaviour would be to halt the greater evil of a BDP total takeover.
Of course, this is not to say there are no good people inside the BDP who know what annihilation of opposition entails and are averse to the idea.
But they are trapped, unable to dare say their minds for fear of being read to rock their master’s pet project. So they have been rendered meaningless as the big train to annihilate the opposition blazes on.
Contrary to Khama’s convictions that he needs a bigger mandate to run the country, his total victory could make him and his party twin obstacles to the cause of democracy whose interests they pretend they want to serve.
A total obliteration of opposition will lead to a total disintegration of the country’s democratic traditions.
Again, admittedly, performance by political opposition, especially in parliament, has not helped the situation.
Inside parliament, they have grown exceedingly timid and unassertive.
They have generally performed below expectations. But then their performance is not an end to itself. As a nation, we, in our quest for self preservation, have to look beyond the narrow horizons of their despicable performance.
This week, the BNF President Otsweletse Moupo talked about his party going back to its core beliefs and recapturing its natural constituency.
We can’t ask for more.
It’s worthwhile to note that the BNF’s collapse of discipline and moral authority has been central to the reawakening of an increasingly emboldened BDP.
We hope that, for once, Moupo knows what is at stake and could be on the verge of a reawakening that would make him measure up to the challenge.