Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Botswana party politics caught in a catch 22; a booby trap; a Zugzwang!

Just as we commence our routine activities after the Christmas break to find that although 2019 is a year of general elections in Botswana, nothing has actually changed. Batswana are stuck with comical and annoying politics. Our lives remain miserable and the worst is yet to come because we are still to change the way we do things and the things we believe in. Unless we start believing that we deserve better from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the opposition, we risk being overtaken by baboons in the race to full evolution.

With the intensification of politicking ahead of the 2019 general election, Botswana risk having a total breakdown of law and order. This is because our politics has always been the same with mainly waste people [criminals and their families] grasping for power using cheap thugs to intimidate credible people. Moral decadence, hatred, bullying, intimidation, harassment and thuggery will reach frightening levels. Many unemployed youth are likely to be offered money and drugs to provide thuggery services to political elites.    

Essentially, Botswana politics is stuck with problems that must be confronted if people do yearn for a better life. Whereas contemporary politics offers an opportunity to make Botswana great again with the youth as the vanguard of change, it also offers an opportunity to cultivate and consolidate the values of modern dictators as key influential people surrounds themselves with loyal kin who they trust to do the dirty work for them. In respect of the opportunity to make Botswana great again, one is heartened by the reality that from the acidic, violent and vulgar politics that has become entrenched in our polity, the ideal of a new generation that will remedy wrongs is born.

One big problem that we need to confront is the divisive actions and statements made by former President Dr Khama. It is a fact that Dr Khama is no longer the president of the Republic of Botswana. However, it is noted that he is using his former position in addition to his tribal leadership position to get an audience. The problem is not about his privilege to address communities, groups of people and/or his subjects but rather his divisive statements that are aimed at disparaging the government of the day and sow seeds of discord.

Former President Dr Khama has taken to speak on a variety of issues in a manner that questions the wisdom of government. It cannot be right that a former President could make public statements that seem to suggest that he is not accountable to anyone. In fact, his actions and statements represent an express return to the animal kingdom. His is not how a former president should speak or behave unless he actively represents a new breed of dictators who vacate office only to cause problems from their state-built retirement homes.

His is vulgar indiscipline that the ruling BDP should have never condoned for it has the potential to infect the small man and ultimately lead to lawlessness. As a self-respecting nation, we must condemn and confront this indiscipline at party and national level. Thus, this arrogant display of unrestrained indiscipline by Dr Khama as a BDP member in good standing and private citizen who happens to be a former commander of the national army has split the nation down the middle.

This is the more reason why those who have power should use it to reign in this Lone Ranger and save the nation from further polarization. There is no more time left to vacillate between threats and inaction. With his executive powers, President Masisi certainly controls the processes and is well-placed to engineer a desirable outcome. However, herein lies the paradox. If President Dr Masisi invokes his executive powers in order to restore sanity we will condemn him for being Dr Khama’s copycat in the use of executive orders. If he does nothing and hope Dr Khama and his legion of rabid opportunists and thoroughbred thugs will fizzle away, we will mock him for being a weakling. But as state president, he cannot do nothing forever unless he considers himself illegitimate.

The biggest problem that we face as a nation is an opposition that is refusing to take over state power from the ruling BDP. Somehow the opposition, individually and collectively, has become experts in squandering opportunities at every general election. The state of the opposition in Botswana is embarrassing and deflating. Many opposition party members are simply delusional with huge egos that make them believe that they were manufactured from special recipes reserved for making leaders.

As a result, they all want to lead and none want to be led, which is why they prefer to go into elections in their own small parties of family members and hired bastards, each fighting for a dignified loss. This is a painful reality that we must confront. As much as we loathe tender-preneurs and panty-preneurs for living on the spoils of their dirty operations, we must also strongly condemn these bigoted party-preneurs for turning party politics into a profitable enterprise for themselves and rented thugs.

As things stand, Botswana voters are stuck with a tired BDP that is doing all it can to surrender state power and an opposition that refuses to be weaned from breastfeeding and playing with broken toys. For many voters it is not that the opposition is a not a better option but that the alternative option that is the opposition is just opposition in name only, which might actually prove worse than the monster we have come to be familiar with.

It is a mystery that the opposition is not keen to take advantage of the BDP internal wars but instead they are actively and openly aligning themselves with BDP factions centred on President Dr Masisi and former President Dr Khama. What this means is that voters are caught in a catch 22, a zugzwang to use the German phrase. Whichever way, we are damned! It seems voters are better off with nothing but they cannot do nothing, they have to vote with the hope that from the many turds destined for the August House, they can emerge less contemptible souls to lull us into believing that we are on track. For if they do not do something, they might get the outcome they fear most ÔÇô a BDP whose members compete with each other for the coveted prize for the bravest and smartest looter.

Philosophically speaking, the 2019 general election raises the possibility that voters will come out with nothing if only because that is what will happen if nothing else happens first. To avert this disaster, we must cause something to happen first and this means compelling the opposition to find ways to work together as a matter of urgency. Those who opt to do it alone from their little corners must be vanquished now so that they do not cause confusion at the polls. All that voters need to do is to believe that Botswana and Batswana are better than this; that we do not deserve a government that will stick a knife 12 inches into our belly and then pull it out slightly and call that massive progress before pushing it back further across the spine; neither do we deserve an opposition that makes members hop from one political outfit to the next like chimpanzees in group sex.

Batswana deserves better than the poor quality of life that our BDP government guarantees. If only we can stop feeling guilty for frowning at those who are making our lives miserable, we can surely make Botswana a better place for us all.

Let us look forward to 2019 for a new start on old habits with confidence and COURAGE!

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