I was surprised to read an article in which the BNF’s president, Rre Moupo, is said to have referred to Botsalo Ntuane’s retraction of his revolting comments on the liquor regulations as signalling a bad omen for the country’s democracy. I was further surprised to learn that even the BNF’s copy cats, the BCP joined the chorus in condemning Ntuane’s decision to do the right thing after being advised to do so. One thing that kept boggling my mind as I read through the article was whether the two opposition parties have any moral authority to question BDP’s democratic posture.
It is understandable why Ntuane was motivated to tone down his attacks on the BDP but one fails to piece it together why Modubule was suspended from the BNF, when the poor chap was trying to exercise his democratic understanding of the ‘democratic’ constitution of the most ‘democratic’ party in the country! One wonders if issues of democracy only arise when it is the BDP concerned and when it is Moupo purging and exorcising his mafia movement then all is amen!
Ntuane, like any democrat, has every right to critic his movement but he ought to have known better to use appropriate language. A language that will not open up the BDP to ridicule by those who falsely claim to hold the fort to perfectionism. Ntuane was right in retracting his sensationalist and inflammatory statements. Obviously, the BNFs and BCPs were more than excited because he used an untoned language close to theirs. They should understand that Ntuane is BDP and his criticism of the party should be done with sensitivity just like Modubule was expected to criticise the BNF with sensitivity before he was suspended for talking to the media about his party.
It is laughable to learn that even the BCP, whose Taolo Lucas recently ran amok between Ramotswa and Francistown constituencies trying to suppress and restrain his comrades from speaking against BCP’s bogus pact with BAM, could afford to claim better understanding of inner party democracy than the BDP. Why don’t they allow their comrades to speak, castigate and condemn them with the strongest possible terms? Why do they want to clamp down on those who have dissenting voices and yet want the BDP to allow its own members to criticise it in a reckless and hazardous manner?
I am still not convinced that our two opposition parties have any better understanding and practice of democracy than the BDP. Even in issues of morality, we have had all parties having their own moral down points. Just recently, a former BNF Executive Secretary also former BNF parliamentary hopeful for the Borolong constituency in the 2004 general elections, Mr. J.I. Mathokgwane was convicted for molesting a minor. So one wonders if it will really be appropriate to remove the BDP and replace it with either the BNF or the BCP. Of course, the BDP has its own shortcomings, but will the BNF or BCP really be better replacements? Do they have a clean bill of records?
Batswana should not just be excited by BNF and BCP’s ability to pin-point BDP’s mistakes; they should also check if the same parties are not culprits of the same mistakes for which they are grilling the BDP for. In conclusion, therefore, I wish to say, imperfect as the BDP may be, there is still no alternative.