This week, the BNF President, Otsweletse Moupo, announced that he will not be defending his position at the party’s elective congress scheduled for July.
Up until this week, it was common knowledge that Moupo was going to stand and defend his position.
An experienced politician that he is, there is no question that Moupo has done a lot of soul-searching.
We applaud his decision.
It takes a lot of courage and a lot of humility for a man to climb down and go against his earlier public pronouncements.
This goes to show that contrary to existing perceptions that Moupo was bent on obliterating, annihilating and driving the BNF into extinction, the man still has a lot of love for the organization that has been his political home for decades.
He has said it and we believe him when he said he has made mistakes.
By the way, who doesn’t?
Having served close to ten years, its now time to give others a chance.
The BNF under Moupo became a shadow of itself.
It was during his tenure as BNF President that the party had unprecedented chances of attaining state power, not least because it was under him that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party experienced the worst internal fighting.
But instead of taking advantage of the BDP weaknesses, the BNF veered into internal fights of its own, foregoing what has so far remained an unprecedented opportunity.
Moupo suspended and expelled many of the comrades who had sponsored his ticket at the BNF Kanye Congress when he literally found himself at loggerheads with the BNF founder and intellectual beacon, Dr. Kenneth Koma.
There is no need to emphasise the fact that for the most part of his leadership, Moupo squandered and disappointed too many hopes, shattered too many dreams and simply failed to live up to the high expectations Batswana, not just BNF members, had of him prior to him becoming BNF President.
Our opinion is that he made too many mistakes, most of them unpardonable, some of them so glaring as to be chiefly responsible for BNF’s poor showing in last year’s General Elections.
It is time for him to go.
In fact, the less charitable will say he has over stayed.
Our opinion is that if Moupo has a legacy to talk about at the BNF, such a legacy does not need his personal protection for it to endure.
In fact, his continued stay at the top would only contaminate the legacy.
On another note, it is our firm belief that his getting out of the picture will not only allow the long festering wounds inside the BNF to heal, he also in a big way is giving the party he says he loves a second chance.
Botswana’s politics is at a crossroads.
Our very existence as a nation state is being put to the test.
Never before in the history of this nation has there been a greater need for a stronger and more cohesive opposition.
We want to observe that even as it disintegrated somewhat, the BNF still managed to retain a sizeable following, many of whom simply got disillusioned and stayed away from politics without necessarily joining other new parties.
Now there is a hope that the people who have been expelled and those who have been under indefinite suspensions will come into the fold if they so wish.
These are the people who have to be courted by a leadership that will take over from Moupo. These are the same people without whom the BNF can never rise to its original heights.
We salute Moupo’s decision to bow out.
One needs not be a leader in order to be able to serve his organization.
In fact, our considered view is that Moupo best served the BNF when he was outside the leadership structures.
Having said that, we join him in his statement that “may history be the judge.”.