Friday, September 25, 2020

Khama magic waning ÔÇô national survey

If President Ian Khama was running for the 2009 elections on the basis of his leadership style alone, he would already be clearing his office drawers and packing his bags.

A survey report released by Afrobarometer on Friday states that, “there are perceptions that since assuming office in 2008, President Khama has issued more directives compared to his predecessors. Although it is still early to be conclusive about his style of rule, these directives suggest that he has a propensity to act alone and rule by decree. Be that as it may, Afrobarometer survey indicates that Batswana totally reject one-man rule, whereby a president abolishes parliament and elections and rules on his own. In fact Batswana are more inclined to reject one-man rule than any of the other forms of non democratic regime. Distaste for one man rule has risen somewhat over the years, climbing from 86 percent in 1999 to 92 percent in 2008.”

The survey further stated that “perceptions on rule by the military have come into public view since retired army officers joined politics. This has fuelled perceptions that they are making inroads into the civil service. In his road map to govern this country, President Lt Gen Ian Khama indicated that there can be no democracy without discipline. The Vice President Lt Gen Merafhe is on record as saying that he agrees with the president that if people fail to listen to them in addressing the “moral decay in society” they would “borrow some disciplinary measures from the military” to instill discipline. Although there are intimations that military style rule could be invoked, Batswana strongly detest military rule. When asked if the military could be brought in as a form of government, 89 percent rejected it, the highest level ever recorded in Botswana. The presence of former military leaders in high office clearly does not mean that Batswana would accept military rule as an alternative to democracy.

The Afrobarometer is produced collaboratively by social scientists from 20 African countries, including the University of Botswana. Coordination is provided by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IREEP-Benin) and IDASA (South Africa). Support services are provided by Michigan State University and the University of Cape Town.

The Survey involved face to face interviews in Setswana and English with a nationally representative probability sample of 1200 adult Batswana selected from across all 26 districts in October 2008.

According to the survey findings, 86 percent of the respondents support democracy as a preferable form of government, and a negligible 5 percent would in some circumstances prefer a non democratic form of government.

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