When eleven Members of Parliament and scores of councilors broke away from the Botswana National Front to form the BCP, they literally chopped the head off the BNF body structure.
While the body remained behind with the name and almost all the popular support base, it, however, struggled (headless), with little success to regain the requisite quality of the political leadership needed to sustain and manage, with any relevance, a modern political movement of its size.
That is partly the reason for the current turmoil eroding the Front.
They are paying a price for failing to groom a pool of quality leadership.
Even in parliament, the BNF performance is generally not impressive.
Therein, none of their dozen or so MPs comes anywhere close to the BCP?s Dumelang Saleshando, a solitary BCP member who, for his age, is extraordinarily talented, with depth, savvy and with outstanding debating skills.
That is also why, despite a near consensus that current BNF President, Otsweletse Moupo, has not lived up to expectations, there is no corresponding agreement on who should replace him.
It is also because of an absence of a pool of high quality leaders that, despite Moupo?s weaknesses, every other mentioned challenger comes across as a dwarf besides him.
It will be interesting to see how the BNF will maneuver their way out of the current quagmire where every Jack and Jill thinks they can become the party president or hold a position of influence inside the Central Committee.
It?s become a madhouse.
Consistent with their respectable political base, the BNF has been able to reclaim its numbers in parliament, a situation, unfortunately, not complemented or rewarded by corresponding mellowing in performance.
It is exactly because of a despicably low quality of the BNF leadership (across the board) that the party has not been able to catch up with relevant national and international issues, which, by the way, are increasingly becoming more complex, especially in parliament.
On the other hand, the BCP has quality leadership but no numbers beneath to support the top structure.
That is a big challenge which, if they want to remain relevant, the BCP has to confront head on.
Unfortunately, it seems like the once lively and vibrant BCP is losing the spark.
For some reason, complacency has begun to set in.
There seems to be no sense of urgency within the BCP.
And it seems like the once raging fire of ambition they used to have in their bellies is extinguishing.
This leaves them with no visible strategy to capitalise on the BNF?s endless problems.
My biggest worry is that the BCP could actually be regressing to the culture of recklessness that they left behind at the BNF.
If that happens, the political race in Botswana will once again be reduced to a one horse race.
Effectively what that means is that the BDP will remain unmarked.
Then we could as well kiss bye-bye all our pretensions of a democracy.
The BCP, however, still has a chance.
But to grab their chance the BCP should not fall for the denial trap that has now incapacitated their older brother, (or is it father).
The BNF?s denial mentality has proved deeply counterproductive and, for them, they are now paying a hefty price.
Next week?s by-elections in Sefhophe, in the Babirwa constituency, is going to be very crucial in the BCP?s ten year history.
The BCP, therefore, should approach this particular ward by-election as if it was a General Election.
For them it?s do or die!
?Do? because it is a last ditch effort to prove and convince everyone that they are a growing party that continues to appeal to people, even in the rural areas.
?Die? because a loss, especially with a wider margin, will confirm the skeptics? view that the BCP is a spoiler for the BNF, a noisy but peripheral political entity that would do itself a favour by rejoining the BNF as a starting point to providing an appallingly absent leadership therein.
In the last general election, the BCP became a close second in the ward now being re-contested.
If the BCP wants the nation to take them seriously they either have to snatch the ward from the BDP or, at the very least, reduce the margin even more.
It is not going to be an easy task, especially because since the fallout of opposition parties at their unity talks, they have all been tarred with the same brush ? of irresponsible brats that should not be given a chance.
It is never going to be easy beating the BDP, but the BCP should at least know what is at stake for them.
Losing this particular by-election could reduce them to an ordinary small party in the mould of BAM and of course the BPP.
It?s an ugly prospect, with real life chances of happening.
Observers will be watching to see the drama with great interest.
For the BCP its do or die.