Monday, April 22, 2024

Incessant diatribe on BCP is potentially distractive

In the Watchdog of the 8 and 15 February  Spencer Mogapi discusses the impending unity talks between UDC and BCP, ceases the opportunity to make a case that  BCP should join UDC only to donate votes and not bargain either to have stake in the envisaged new order both in terms of inputting or driving its agenda (leadership), argues that  last talks collapsed  on account of constituency allocation and that most critical issues were agreed and therefore talks should take off from where they were.


Curiously  he portrays BCP not only  as seeking refuge in the UDC when he said “their loss in the last year’s election has brought them closer to earth”, claims it is lead by power hungry people and that it would be uncomfortable of being part of any arrangement it would not lead. He goes on to seal off UDC positions arguing they are cast in stone (Ndaba’s), implores Boko to retain Motlatsi Molapisi as chairman. Interestingly he couldn’t hide his pain for some within the opposition camp whom he alleged to associate BMD (which he claims some findings concluded it is more leftist than BNF), with BDP.


He posits that  “ Given their culture, the BCP is going to struggle to be a member of any order of which it is not a leader. The party has always been led and dominated by control freaks who genuinely believed their running this country is their pre-ordained right. The biggest question now is what becomes of these control freaks ÔÇô some of who are financial benefactors – once their party is a member of the UDC? Based solely on their past instincts, the party is going to be reluctant to accept anything less than defacto leadership of the UDC…..the arrival of the BCP is yet another Achilles Heel that they now have to contend. Rather it is about the inevitably destabilizing influence on the entire edifice that BCP will have. And in Botswana’s politics, the BCP, at least until recently, has invariably proved more tribal and sectarian in its espousal of its definitive ethos so much that even the most ardent adherents of opposition unity will need time to it pass over”.


Spencer’s history of consistent and undisguised bias against BCP and his penchant for gutter journalism. This rejoinder aims to continue engaging  hypocritical, subjective, reckless views he advances which often comes across as personal vendetta rather than objective analysis expected from a journalist of his standing.


After the collapse of unity talks, a lot happened including presidential debate that pitted Dumelang Saleshando and Duma Boko and in the process highlighting  fundamental/salient differences in various policy positions between UDC and BCP. At least officially/on paper,  both BCP and BNF espouses social democracy while BMD are liberal democracy and BPP nationalists, how then BMD is more leftist remains Spencer’s wish. UDC is a minimum program, a vehicle meant to pool primarily votes and resources to deliver regime change against the intransigent BDP and give Botswana a fresh start. Why some issues should be precluded from negotiations smacks of ingenuity and has all the hallmarks of big brother attitude, strangely (not from BCP partners) but him, this has in the past proved to be a recipe for disaster. His tribal charge reiterates and reinforces the BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane’s and interestingly he carelessly flouts it despite the Sunday Standard commentary on 28 May  2012 where the paper reigned on Tona Mooketsi who had said Isaac  Mabiletsa should not have defected to the BCP because it is a political party belonging to Bakalanga, Bayei and Babirwa.


BCP negotiations with UDC are borne out of humility, maturity and most importantly, to circumvent the MDC/Zimbabwe scenario which would not be far fetched should BDP win 2019 general elections and effectively put paid to hopes of regime change. Contrary to the banal view that BCP is selfish, led by control freaks who cannot be part of an arrangement where they are not at the helm, it put Botswana 1st by negotiating from a position of weakness (not surrender) after 2014 elections which demonstrates its ability to transcend differences in pursuit of regime change. BCP could still opt to go it alone and its decision to work with UDC has not come easily as some within its ranks preferred it remained solo. Suggestions  that there is no need for BCP to negotiate since last talks collapsed on account of constituency allocation and according to him not policy differences and that top positions of UDC belongs to the incumbents, preempts  any bargaining by BCP which is unfortunate but not surprising especially coming from a scribe who has abrogated to himself powers to prosecute, judge and be the jury.


*Moncho is a BCP activist


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