Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Large crowd attends Kwelagobe’s launch

“Democracy, wisdom and fresh air are too important commodities to be availed for commercial trade, without the risk of granting enterprising individuals the latitude to patent in any or all of them and ultimately lay claim to a monopoly in them,” said Bahiti Temane, one of the surviving Botswana Democratic Party stalwarts and few learned former government ministers.
 
To safeguard against such risk, Temane pointed out that democracy should be practiced and premised on the appropriate balance of roles between the established institutional arrangements for governing the nation.
 
“Domination of any one of these institutions (the executive, judiciary and the legislature) by another can result in catastrophic consequences, such as could lead to chaos,” cautioned Temane.
 
For this reason, he warned against the danger of leaving democracy to the whims of an individual, regardless of the circumstances, adding that if by any chance there be those in doubt as to its sanctity, to the extent that they think it would amount to waste of resources and time nurturing it, then they should be ready to face the consequences of their irresponsible decisions.
 
Speaking at the occasion of the launch of the Botswana Democratic Party hopeful for Molepolole South Parliamentary representative, Daniel “DK” Kwelagobe, over the weekend, Temane seemed to suggest without being specific that part of the explanation for the ongoing crisis in the BDP may be due to abuse of power by some individual leaders.
 
This became especially evident from statements made by other dignitaries who addressed the gathering, including the ever vocal MP Botsalo Ntuane and the party’s South Central Regional Chairman, Gomolemo Motswaledi.
 
“It is for the express purpose of defending democracy and the constitution that we are gathered here,” said Ntuane.
 
Declaring his open support for Kwelagobe’s candidature for the party’s chairmanship at the BDP’s forthcoming July leadership Congress, Ntuane intimated that it is because of his commitment to the principles of democracy and good governance that he believes DK deserves his backing.
 
“Let it be the people who determine the outlook of the party leadership, and not some individual prescribing what is right for the party, otherwise what role would you fellow democrats be assigned to as the owners of the party?,” quipped Ntuane.
 
Motswaledi, on the other hand, as if directing his words at Kwelagobe, urged, “As I pledge my support for this man of substance, tried and tested over the years, I want to sound it to you that, if only he would see the need for prompt and proactive response to concerns by the public on any matter.”
 
He cited the now common query that members of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security are allegedly involved in bugging communications of those they suspect of being on the side opposed to loyalists of the faction favoured by President Ian Khama.
 
 In his speech, Temane, who was also the keynote speaker, made reference to conflict situations taking place around the world as some of the indicators of instability that Botswana and, in particular, the BDP must shun and strive to prevent.
 
Some believed that the statement was only coined to offer a slot for his warning, that “armies are better suited for the purpose for which they are established”.
 
┬á“…national security and individual leaders should at all times guard against the temptation to use state machinery for their personal security,” posited Temane.
 
This follows widespread allegations that Khama’s zest to ensure the victory of his faction has led him to unleash the national security system on citizens.
 
Information passed to the Sunday Standard that Khama unsuccessfully tried to lobby Central District Councilors, most of whom walked out, to support his machinations have been viewed by others as early warnings of the need to check his advisory panel.
 
The unilateral pronouncement by the president that Cabinet members choose between roles is yet another example cited as pointing to failure by Khama.
 
In addition, the watchdog role of the media, according to Temane, places the “fourth estate” in the same league, and no less significant than the three arms of national governance.
 
┬á“So much so that by taking cognizance of its criticisms, many of the mistakes would have been avoided,” said one BDP supporter, who preferred anonymity.
 
In essence, all the speeches resonated with the message from Temane about Kwelagobe to the effect that: “Knowing his efficiency, political skills and dexterity, I believe you can’t go wrong by investing your vote in him in pursuit of the attainment of the noble goal of our nation building aspirations.”

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.