Sunday, July 14, 2024

“In defense of BCP against the rabid Watchdog”

Reading the Watchdog diatribe on BCP, one cannot help but see a political mercenary/hired gun with dexterous marksmanship strategically deployed who often speaks to issues and represent partisan views with utmost skill and fanfare. The conjecture of his and UDC views is reminiscent of Chobe (where Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana) confluence.

It is not intended here to either locate his political inclinations or objectivity/fairness expected from journalists, though a cursory observation depicts a man who masters the art of undermining professional ethos with impunity, under the pretext of opinion pieces, an abuser who perfected the psychology of his victim and does as he pleases, when it does.  Whatever the motives, BCP respect his right to express his views unhindered, by the same token it is common cause that the party, its members and other should engage him without fear.

Journalists have opinions, so do we, it is obnoxious and irresponsible for Spencer Mogapi to want to be at liberty to express, while likening BCP to ISIS for holding views different from his and or those of his cohorts. He chooses the ferocity of his weapons, so shall we.

He has taken issue with our view that 2014 election campaigns were characterized by negative campaigning, particularly from UDC, which were not accorded the attention they required, that some sections of the media (individuals, publications or both) individually or severally misrepresented facts in the public domain which negatively affected BCP performance, he claims to have been vindicated on his toxic views towards BCP, he, particularly argues that UDC should not prioritize the issue of bringing BCP within its fold as it is a high risk and may destabilize it,  these will form the crux of this rebuttal.

When BCP says it didn’t deal appropriately and adequately with negative campaign it doesn’t shift the blame but rather takes it and concedes the flaws of its strategy to focus on what it considered important “Molaetsa”/electoral pledges and deliberately least prioritized dealing with untruths peddled against it and its leader(s). The assumption was that voters would decipher and ignore pettiness and focus on pertinent issues. The issue is whether or not 2014 election campaigns were negative and whether voters can indeed believe and carry such negativity to the voting booths.┬á

2014 general election campaigns┬á were the most negative in the history of Botswana, hostile seeds of intolerance, and disrespect were sewn. In answering this question Dr. Charles T. Kenny in his article (How Negative Campaigns Work, American Thinker, in Why did Mitt Romney lose? posits that “ The explanation lies in the universal rules of marketing and communication. These laws are rooted in a Right Brain understanding of how the laws of branding and positioning work in the voters’ minds. The laws always work because they are based on neuroscience, the science of how the mind works. This campaign worked so well for Obama, it is necessary to know how the mind is affected by negative suggestions. Negatives are powerful poison to the mind. They impact the Right Brain, the emotional mind. They always have an impact, especially when they are repeated again and again. And in this case, Obama had the benefit of the media repeating the negatives over and over.”

Dumelang Saleshando was alleged to be in business with BDP bigwigs, Tswana Bank and other allegations were bandied with reckless abandon by UDC activists and the media reported on them without due care, least bothered to establish facts, or simply because they were equally part of the conspirators.

Spencer Mogapi claims to have been vindicated by BCP’s poor performance at the polls. How laughable, he┬á perpetrated negativity about both BCP and its leader repeatedly and now claims to have been exonerated when neuroscience teaches the effectiveness of such, this boarders on sorcery (boloi) by falsely orchestrating the downfall of a goodman and playing a critical role in influencing the outcome of the results only to laugh uncontrollably can only make a cold blooded, callous and heinous person excitable.

I however agree with him that unity of opposition parties is not a priority, I further argue it is unnecessary.  The question is not whether or not BCP should join or cooperate, the real deal is whether it should prioritize exigency (to catapult those with insatiable appetite for power) over beliefs, values and ideals in the name of change.  No doubt 2014 election campaigns brought to fore practical differences in what each stands for and underscored the need for a third way, BCP fills this void perfectly, both in the interest of democracy, plurality and political peer review, BCP remains the real Watchdog.

It is illogical to suggest that because a party didn’t perform to expectation or terribly as he would say, it should liquidate itself into some forces of conspiracy, Moono, which unashamedly conspired against it only to let go of the very party that holds power. The party┬á not in denial as pessimists would like to make, it has a rare opportunity to demonstrate its character by overcoming setbacks, which can only make it better and readier. ┬á


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