Perhaps it is happening elsewhere, but for sure it is an integral part of Botswana politics today. The internal wrangling in political organisations is the cause for nightmare and disaster that have besieged political parties in Botswana.
Ideally history should teach whoever cares to learn from lessons of the past. Nations have seen organisations big and small torn asunder for lack of political maturity. Those in management positions many a times disregard the integrity of members who elected them into party offices. Experience has taught us that members of Central Committees/National Executive Committees have a tendency to slumber at the expense of the masses. They fail to address wanting situations whenever there is an opportunity to do so. The disease cuts across all the political spectrum.
The existing structures such as Regional Committees whose role is to oversee and supervise branches under their domain as required by the constitution have failed to prevail over matters of concern. Such committees usually address issues under tremendous pressure. Situations of this nature usually surface because a plan of activities is not followed and at times it is non existent. As a result, the bulk of the people in various branches remain idle and have no direction to follow. ‘go le gantsi maloko a tlhopha batho ba ba senang boleng le boikarabel ka go tlhoka kitso ee tseneletseng’.
It is certain that party membership is large at branch level. Constitutionally, the branch committee is mandated to oversee and supervise activities at both ward and cell levels. Such committees are expected to prepare annual plans of activities to be followed, and reviewed periodically. ‘Le one maloko a dikomiti tse bontsi jwa bone ga ba itse tse batshwanetseng go di dira’. During the period in office, committees completely forget all about members who elected them into office, only to remember them when a major activity is about to take place. For information purposes, major party activities include party congresses, political forums, primary elections etc.
The reason why parliament and councils are not performing to the level of expectation is because of the failure by political parties to provide the nation with good quality representation. Ideally, the interest of the nation should come first. Nna le wena ‘re isa makakauwe le magotlo kwa palamenteng le kwa khanseleng’. It is the responsibility of all political parties to provide guidance and political education to the people they serve. What dominates political platforms are in fights particularly at top levels, such situations adversely affect the humble general membership.
Motswana a re ‘bontlenyane bo seng nosi’, the Englishman says ‘all that glitters is not gold’. These expressions are meant to warn all against dangers ahead. Proper education can provide individuals with appropriate tools to separate ‘iron’ from ‘ore’. Time has come to decide on proper leadership to take Batswana to greater heights. ‘Mekgwa ya go tsutlaganya batho (factions) le go rotloetsa dintwa (wars) should be completely discarded. These things are happening here in Botswana.
‘Go kubetsanya ga boeteledi jwa diphathi tsa sepolotiki go farafere dipolotiki mo lefatshing la Botswana’. The political leadership should always remember that they exist because they have been elected into office by the masses, therefore must show respect to their integrity.
‘Fa tlou dilwa, bojang ga bo mele’. If factional fights persist particularly at the top, obviously the grassroots are bound to suffer. The first and the most important area to be affected by such an endeavour is the communication line. It is a fact, however, that under such circumstances vital information would not reach the people it is meant to receive. If the agenda is such that the general membership are denied the right to know, then a political organisation would not meet its obligations and objectives.
How could a sensible man measure success in an organisation if the intended plan is meant to disrupt the function of the ‘umbilical cord’. Furthermore, how could leadership hope to gain political mileage when all is not well at home. Organisations with dubious characters at the helm definitely would not make set programmes work. Success can be realised only if the roots are recognised. Going back to the roots whilst the opportunity is availed, the organisation can yield high dividends. Botswana today needs people who can intelligibly communicate fairly across the board.
Preparation for final examinations begins at the very beginning of a course. Getting ready to sit for exams is a long and tedious journey to undertake. Success in exams depends entirely on the commitment and the mind set during the process. The same thing applies to preparations for an election. Success begins at the very inception stage. Doing things the last hour is tantamount to gambling with the lives of the people to be served.
On realising failure to communicate when there was time to do so, the tendency would be to resort to short cuts. Imagine a scenario where plans are not implemented as they should, and a situation during which the leadership reverts to unholy tactics, and ultimately by pass the constitution to make the situation appear rosy. For Batswana to genuinely prosper, they should make a deliberate plan to remove from office characters who are still engaged in factions, nocturnal meetings and unwarranted conflicts. Taking cognisance of the masses is a step in the right direction.
To an extent, failure to communicate leads to numerous problems in branches. Committees at grass root levels are not formed, cells and wards remain in disarray because the empowered group is involved in unnecessary wars. At the end of it all, it is the organisation that suffers most. Emerging political parties should awaken lest they fall into the same trap.