It all happened in 1998. In that year, Pfizer, a drug manufacturing company launched Viagra, a virility drug used to treat some dysfunction in men. Because of its vigour and vitality, this drug has become a household commodity and it is widely used by men who can’t get it up. Pfizer, through Viagra, has saved many relationships from collapse. Just as men were about to give up, Viagra came to the rescue and now men are divorced for other reasons but not for failing to fulfill their bedroom obligations.
What a coincidence. In the same year that Pfizer delivered Viagra as solution to troubled men, Professor Lawrence Schlemmer, a political consultant, delivered a report that was supposed to be the solution to the troubled BDP. The Schlemmer Report is believed to be the reason Ian Khama left the army for politics. Apparently Ian Khama was brought into the BDP fold to bring unity and stability. He was seen as someone best suited to neutralize and eventually do away with factionalism and bickering in the BDP. With Ian Khama, it was thought, the BDP jack would retain its strength and be forever up. So, the sojourn of Viagra started at the same time as that of Khama’s life in politics, back in 1998.
Twelve years on, I have not heard of any reports suggesting that Viagra is failing its intended purpose. Infact it has since replaced the dog as man’s best friend. Relationships are blissful and it’s all smiles in the bedroom. Sadly, the same cannot be said about Viagra’s contemporary at the BDP. Schlemmer’s prescription has induced painful side effects on the BDP. The BDP jack has lost its strength it can no longer hold up. The BDP is on the brink of collapse. Whereas Ian Khama was roped in to bring stability and unity in the BDP, signs are he has only managed to do the opposite. Erstwhile members of his party have had enough of his leadership style, resultant of which is the latest divorce which has seen a section of the BDP bolt out of their long time political home. It is no secret Khama’s intolerance and vindictiveness is the reason for this sudden departure by some members of his party who can no longer stomach the persecution at the BDP.
Schlemmer, in mapping out the BDP’s future must have thought the only threat that the party faced was the opposition parties. I doubt it ever crossed his mind the BDP would become a threat unto it’s self. It has happened, instead of the BDP boasting it’s stamina through some sort of political Viagra, they have, and it would appear, opted for an overdose of the lethal Ethanol. All that remains of the BDP is a sorry shadow of its former self. The BDP is politically dehydrated and terminally ill but the party leadership is in denial. The party is becoming so thin the skeleton is protruding the flesh. Elders such as Sir Ketumile Masire have tried to counsel the party so it could accept all is not well but his wisdom has been rudely rejected. Maybe, and just maybe, Ian Khama was good at the barracks in that he led what appeared like a united and disciplined army. And maybe it was his military credentials that convinced his recruiters that he would make a good leader of a democratic country like ours. I pity them for they probably rue the day they called him to the negotiating table. Had they known that one swallow doesn’t make a spring, they could have envisaged that being a good army commander would not necessarily make Ian Khama a good president.
And that is what you get when you hire a carpenter to do plumbing. Khama’s recruiters missed to comprehend the difference between the barracks and the country. Soldiers apply to stay and abide by the commander’s rules. By virtue of the rules and conditions of their work, they are not expected to question their leaders. The same cannot be expected from the rest of us because we did not apply to be Batswana. We just happen to have been born Batswana. We come from different societal and family backgrounds with different characteristics and it would be wrong for just one person from Serowe to dictate to all of us when we should sleep and what we should drink. Soon we might be told whom or what to have as lovers.
Instead of Ian Khama admitting and coming to terms with the fact that the BDP will never be the same without the brilliant minds that he kicks out of the party every week, he goes around the country telling Batswana that all is merry in the BDP. Well, we would not be bothered with his raving about his now personal party but he should avail the public media to his critics so that Batswana, and not him, could judge and extract the truth between him and those that are opposed to him. I strongly feel it is unfair of Khama to use State resources to traverse the breadth and length of this country speaking evil of people who hold divergent opinions to his and not have the courtesy to extend the same platform to them so they can narrate their side of the story. This propaganda leaves us with no option but to conclude there is something that Khama wants to keep away from the nation. Could it be Khama is afraid that the truth would be revealed should the State media, which enjoys countrywide coverage, be allowed to report without bias, nose-poking and gagging by the ruling party’s stooges?
It is interesting how Khama has all of a sudden forgotten there is the BNF and BCP in the country. It is also funny that while Khama tells BDP followers not to worry as the renegades who have since formed a new party pose no threat to the BDP, they’re always the main item in his agenda at all his rallies. If they pose no threat why then should Khama be obsessed with dismissing their mission? Yes, the answer could be found in that word, denial.
Instead of quelling the storm brewing inside his party, Khama took it as an empty threat and instead went around the country sitting around fires with elderly people who have no clue of what the Media Practitioner’s Act is all about. He only interacts with people who have no idea of how many civilians have died at the hands of his security agents. They have no idea of the economical and social implications brought about by his strict liquor laws. These are people who do not know that Btv and Daily News have been barred from reporting on national issues that are deemed detrimental to the survival of the BDP. The Btv boss has since made it clear he is the puppet behind the degeneration of news reporting at the Mass Media Complex and we all know even if he is not under strict instructions from his political bosses, he is doing it to curry favour with them and they are happy at the disservice he is doing the nation.
Khama goes around bragging about his populist pet projects which have no long term solutions to the problems faced by the populace. Instead of teaching people how to fish, Khama hands out fish. Instead of representing the country at World forums, Khama would rather send a representative while he embarks on Safari adventures disguised as nationwide consultations. He gallivants across the country like a tourist or a researcher with thesis on Botswana. The now registered Botswana Movement for Democracy is giving Ian Khama sleepless nights and restless days. We are told he will be embarking on a countrywide tour to discredit its founders. We should brace ourselves for a drastic decline in government business productivity as all the energy and resources are diverted to the fight against BMD as if government has no pressing issues to address such as the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, poverty eradication and monitoring of government projects. Khama snubbed workers and instead addressed his party faithful in Francistown, on a day dedicated to their recognition. On Friday he addressed a political rally which started at 2pm. His cabinet ministers and government employees who have to follow him around had to abandon their official work to attend the rally. BDP is now eating on government time as his rallies are held during government working hours. Lastly, it’s a pity that while Khama refuses to warm up to the private media, he vents his spleen on them. He accuses them of not being patriotic and I wonder if he expects them to twist facts and praise him all in the name of patriotism. Mr President, let the media be what they are supposed to be, the watchdog.