Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Let’s give credit where it is due ÔÇô the BDP is much more tolerant than UDC

The developments during the week, where a group of senior editors were arraigned before the police for questioning after being reported by UDC should be enough cause for ominous reading.

Unsurprisingly, media freedom was only convenient when the media concentrated on the ruling party without raising pointed and uncomfortable questions about the opposition.

Opposition attacks on the ruling party about free media, often made in ringing tones were false sermons, made more out of convenience than conviction.

Such sermons, we now know have always been void of honesty, conviction and belief.

The moment the media started treating opposition the same way they treated the ruling party, it became clear who among the two was more tolerant of criticism.

The opposition has come out to show not just its potential ruthlessness, but also its inherent cunning and untrustworthiness.

The only difference between the ruling party and opposition UDC or some such people claiming allegiance to it, however questionable is that the Botswana Democratic Party has state power at disposal.

Their behavior by opposition towards the editors is really emblematic of what we should expect from them were they to one day come into power; God forbid.

A narrative is being created of a media conspiracy against the Umbrella for Democratic Change; that the media is working with some dark forces to produce fake intelligence reports against the UDC.

UDC knows very well that this is not true.

But then in their contrived world, winning state power is much more important than everything else.

How that state power is won does not matter. The ends justify the means.

It does not seem to matter to them that among them are dyed-in-the- wool drug lords masquerading as politicians.

The decision to report the editors to the police, followed by endlessly pestering the police on what action has been taken have all been informed by wrongful fears that the media was derailing the UDC’s narrow path to power.

The public furore over the fake intelligence report has been constructed to sanitise the so-called complainant.

Fundamentally, no effort has been spared to create a narrative that the editors knowingly published falsehoods.

Inside the UDC there are no inner built mechanisms to take care of what are brazen predations of those at top leadership.

Batswana cannot afford to give power to UDC with the hope that the party leadership will change their attitude once in power.

That would be too big a blanket leap of faith.

Looking at the current top leadership of the top UDC one cannot think of a more uncomfortable combination.

Even for an infernal optimist, it is impossible to see the silver lining. There is darkness in every direction one looks.

UDC might calculate that it wants to put the glare of national attention on media misdemeanours to discredit the media and also divert public attention away from the forlorn existence that the party has become compared to a periods preceding the last General Elections.

It’s a hopeless undertaking. The political utility of shifting blame to the media instead of focusing on character flaws of their leaders is likely to backfire.

The next elections will be fought over honesty and integrity.

This is what will make the next General Election so exciting.

It is a battle that the current UDC top leadership cannot honestly hope to win.

But there is also another side to it. The party is not fully able to face up to its loss of mystique, emanating from the questionable character among some in its leadership as enunciated by the media over the recent past.

Thus this holier-than-thou attitude postulated by some in UDC is nothing but a fa├ºade – a fraud, really.

UDC needs to start working on the character of its top leadership.

By now UDC should be aware that the public will take very unkindly to imagined artifice that lack authenticity when it comes to who the true character of their leaders.

Botswana needs honest leaders not pretenders.

At its heart ÔÇô the fight between UDC and the Alliance for Progressives is really over decency, integrity, morality and honesty.

Under its current makeup, putting the UDC in charge of state would be akin to assigning foxes to guard a henhouse.


Read this week's paper