The Botswana Movement for Democracy Chairman, Nehemia Modubule, has welcomed the damning report commissioned by US-Africa Command, suggesting that Botswana’s democracy is waning and warning that President Ian Khama might refuse to cede power in the event that he loses elections.
The report also indicated that the opposition coalition will most likely topple the BDP government in future, describing the ruling party as a waning political force.
It further said that the DIS was formed because President Khama is becoming increasingly concerned with security issues, and surrounding himself with army officers. It also suggests that Khama might refuse to cede power as he fears that the government that takes over may prosecute him or, at least, investigate his family’s business dealings.
It described the presidency as too powerful, and further decried the passing of the Media Practitioners Act, which stifles press freedom.
Modubule welcomed the CSIS report saying it is even more significant because it was released before the opposition resolved to form an umbrella party to contest the forthcoming general elections.
“Equally significant is the fact that this conclusion was arrived at before the historic public sector strike. Our view, also held by many Batswana, is that a combined opposition, together with the support of the labour unions, recently expressed willingness to a change of government in 2014.
We therefore call on democratic forces to draw more motivation from the CSIS report,” said Modubule.
He said it is commendable that, for the first time since independence, a reputable, Western organization has pronounced that 2014 will be the year of change. He urged the opposition and all democratic forces to be extra vigilant as the report states that the BDP government might seek to sow dissent and disunity within the opposition.
“The prediction of the CSIS report is consistent with the prophecy made by the famous Zambian seer and traditional intellectual Dr Francis Ngombe that the BDP will lose power after 15 years. Dr Francis Ngombe made his prediction in 1998, and the year 2014 will mark culmination of the 15 years,” said Modubule.
He urged all foreign missions in Botswana to also put pressure on Khama and ensure that he does not refuse to cede power after the BDP loses elections.
“It is critical for those who have Botswana’s best interests at heart to ensure that President Khama does the honourable thing and gracefully hand over power in 2014. The BDP government should further state its commitment to a smooth transition of government and respect the democratic will of the people,” said Modubule.