Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Motswaledi should blame his party for messing up his campaign chances!

Up until a few months ago, it was plausible to predict that Gomolemo Motswaledi was going to win the parliamentary contest for Gaborone Central against the incumbent Dumelang Saleshando.

Such a prediction no longer makes sense now.

Well aware of the headway he was making, Motswaledi had even started talking like he was already a Member of Parliament.
When I met him at the time, the demeanour was noticeable even in his dress code.

Dark grey and pin striped suits with matching bespoke shirts had replaced the African attire from his days as a choral choir leader.

Not only was he smelling blood, he was also clearly and cheerfully sizing himself up for bigger things to come; a future appointment to cabinet was not an altogether wild dream.

To put a cherry on top, Saleshando seemed out of breath, for the first time privately conceding to me that Motswaledi was making tremendous inroads in his backyard.
That was then.

Saleshando is once again back on top.
While it once seemed like the BCP incumbent was resigned to a prospect of a loss, he is now all of a sudden back on a rejuvenated mood.

He even jokes that he does not think Motswaledi wants to become a Member of Parliament.

“We hardly ever see his people any more,” one BCP council candidate told me last week, before adding that it’s possible the BDP man has already felt defeat.

Motswaledi must be a wounded man.
How could he not be?
Not without justice, there is a strong feeling that Motswaledi had been set up to lose the Gaborone Central parliamentary contest.

Given the depth of BDP’s factional animosity, it is a conspiracy theory that cannot be easily dismissed.
Since late last year, a consistent pattern has emerged which portray leading Government functionaries actively picking unnecessary fights with students at the University of Botswana.

Never fond of the BDP to start with, the situation has gotten so worse that they now actively hate the government and its representatives.
With amazing alacrity, the government has been rubbing salt on already red open wounds.

Yet, as we know the University of Botswana is an integral component in the political dynamics of Gaborone Central.

It’s not exactly clear why, but it would seem like the more the economy loses its grip, the more virulent, the Government attacks on the University of Botswana students become.
Just why government would vent its frustrations on these little, helpless souls boggles my mind.

The end result though is that Motswaledi is now on a full retreat.
Not only is his future as an MP dire, his campaign team seems to have all of sudden crumbled on its knees, dead and probably never to rise again.

Where he once looked like a bubbly future MP, Motswaledi today casts an unenviable image of a forlorn politician struggling for survival.
His ambitions to become a popularly elected Member for Gaborone Central appear all but doomed.

That is sad to say the least.
In his wisdom and, more importantly, to his credit, Motswaledi now seems to be forgoing parliament in favour of a much bigger prize; becoming BDP Secretary General.

Parliament can wait, after all, it is public information that Motswaledi is not among President Khama’s favourite politicians.

Diverting his attention towards becoming BDP Secretary General is an extremely significant decision, which naturally is not sitting well with his enemies inside the ruling party.
The fact of the matter though is that the decision has gone a long way to show just what a pragmatic politician Motswaledi is.

He should blame the BDP Government for his misfortunes.
The dice was cast the day government mindlessly imposed a 30% levy on alcohol.

That rubbed a good number of his potential voters the wrong way.
I have no wish to be mean spirited, but Motswaledi should for now abandon his parliamentary ambitions and concentrate on becoming the BDP Secretary General.

After all, that is wherein lies the real power, the power that he can later on use to catapult himself to even greater heights up the power rungs.
The young orator should accept the hard truth that, as an ordinary Member of Parliament under President Khama, he will never be as powerful or be able to enjoy as much influence as he would as a ruling party Secretary General.

Motswaledi is a very resilient politician, but it is very unlikely that his campaign will recover well in time to be able to win the October General Election.

It, therefore, is in his interest to concentrate his resources, time and energy in that one area where he has a real life chance of winning ÔÇô the BDP Central Committee.


Read this week's paper