Sunday, November 27, 2022

BSMD’s victory could make history at UB

The University of Botswana (UB) students will this week elect the new Student Representative Council (SRC). As always, political parties will be represented by their respective student political bodies within the UB, to fight for the control of the SRC. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will be represented by GS26. The Botswana National Front (BNF) and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) will be represented by a coalition of Mass and UBCD. The two student bodies have formed an alliance that will see them fight from the same corner. This year’s UB SRC elections will be interesting in that, featuring among the aspirants will be a new kid on the block. The Basco Student Movement for Democracy (BSMD) will be making its debut at the SRC elections under the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) ticket. It is their maiden appearance at the SRC polls that makes the whole election issue not to be ‘business as usual’. When the BMD was formed, it was quite clear it had received warm reception from the youth across the country, including at institutions of higher learning like the UB. It will therefore be interesting to see if the BSMD will be able to cash in on the hype that came with the arrival of their mother party.
I have been following closely, the goings on of all the student political bodies vying for the control of UB SRC. I am not a UB student and as such I won’t be taking part in the voting of SRC members. However, I want to take this opportunity to endorse the BSMD candidates. Yes, I urge all UB students to vote for the BMD’s BSMD. As I have already mentioned, I took time to look at all the parties aspiring to take control of the UB SRC and the BSMD strikes me as the best from the rest.

Firstly this is the time for UB students to try out a new leadership. They have tried the rest and I think it’s time they tried the new entrant, which as I see it, looks to be the best. I had the time to interrogate the BSMD leadership so as to understand why they pulled out of the opposition cooperation in the upcoming SRC elections and I must say I fully understand their move. When cooperation was mooted, it was agreed that all parties will be allowed to scrutinize and reject candidates of any participating party if they advance reasons for their non approval of such candidates. In this case the BSMD advanced their reasons for their displeasure and non approval of some candidates from one of the participating parties and their plea fell on deaf ears. They had questioned the credibility of some candidates and argued that it would be hard to sell such candidates with tainted background in as far as student politics are concerned.

It is also worth noting that even as the mother parties are working towards opposition cooperation, there was never a memorandum of understanding or agreement that was binding on the part of the BSMD. it is so unfortunate that many people never attempted to listen to the grievances brought forward by the BSMD and were quick to label them as uncooperative and having no interest in opposition cooperation. The poor kids found themselves in the lurch with even some officials from their mother party abandoning them. It is the vigour and determination displayed by these students that leaves me with no doubt they are ready to work for the SRC. They displayed maturity and dedication throughout their campaigns. With limited resources, and financially handicapped, the BSMD leadership proved that advocating for what they believe in, takes only the hearts and guts. I never picked any signs that showed they were intimidated by the pomp and cash-flashing that is synonymous with their opponents. It is also pleasing to note that the BSMD is the only body with more women representation. Out of the 13 positions in the SRC, the BSMD has fielded 4 women, surpassing even the much talked about 30 % quota. The combined forces of MASS and UBCD only managed a paltry 2 while the BDP’s GS236 has only one lady. I was also impressed by the BSMD’S candidates when they explained how they intend to transform the UB SRC. Their Presidential candidate, Rodrick Mogotsi had this to say, “unprejudiced new approach to old problems-students first”. His Vice President, Takula Lenyatso said, “accountable leadership for smart people”. The Minister of Bar and Canteen, Callistus Ramasa was sweet and short “it’s time, lets socialize”. Their beautiful Treasurer, Mpho Tshwaane calls for “true financial leadership”. The aspiring Minister of Information and Publicity Tiro Diepo says “publicity and fresh beginning for effective communication”. The Administration Secretary, Charity Phologolo calls for “a different approach to admin issues.” The aspiring Minister of Academic Affairs, Ronald Moshoboro calls it “a way to prosper.” The Minister of Student Affairs, Reward Tsietsego says she will be “leading through students. I think she deserves a reward for that. The aspiring Minister of Justice, Thabo Nlebgwa is adamant “justice shall prevail.”The candidate for Ministry of Sports, Gosenyang Gospel Gosenyang is preaching the fitness gospel and says “let’s join hands and play, keep fit.”The man seeking the position of Minister of Entertainment, Bose Siku pleads for “lively, energetic leadership for students.” Thatayaone Baadgies, who is contesting for the post of Minister of Refectory, says she will fight for “a healthy living for all.”The guy eyeing the post of Secretary General is Rapula Mlavo Kegopilwe. I listened to the boy speak and I must say he makes sense to me than the Secretary General of the BDP ever did. He calls for “students perspective, leadership and success”.

With that, I wish to declare my support for the BSMD as they take on the tested but not necessarily trusted student political bodies that have been given the chance before, to prove their mettle but failed in many instances. I publicly declare and endorse the BSMD candidates because I have the right, and yes, the privilege, to do so. I have in the past endorsed and took sides during the BNF Youth League elections. I will do so with all other political parties. I will take sides in the upcoming BMD leadership elections. I will do so with the BDP, that is if they decide to have elections but knowing how Khama’s word is always final, I don’t see them pushing for elections.

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