Wednesday, October 20, 2021

‘We will lose some battles, many battles, but we will win the war”

Numbers coming out of the Sekoma by-election indicate that the ruling BDP, with 1118 votes, pulled ahead of the marvellous UDC whose count is said to have registered 955 votes.

The win in the tightly contested council by-elections belongs, therefore, to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party. A win is a win, and our members will do well to accept the results as are. We should not take away from those who win elections.

It is true that many of people are immensely disappointment by what appears like a lost.

Others regret they were not able to transport the one vote that could have made the difference. Many feel bitter about the immense resources that the competitor splashed, to endear themselves to the voters. In some circles, there are murmurings that those involved at the different levels of the campaign management should have deployed a different set of tactics or personnel to secure a win. These feelings are natural, and in some cases justified, but they
must cloud or take away from the bigger picture: that the UDC is a marvellous movement of the people that is on course to foment a new people’s Government in 2019. In fact, the UDC has much to be proud of.

Despite the scarce financial resources, many ordinary citizens, from every part of Botswana, offered themselves to the Sekoma campaign. They did so, not because they had any prospect of personal material gain ÔÇô they offered themselves because they believe in the possibility of a new Botswana. They believe that they, as citizens, carry the keys that will unlock these possibilities. They believe that the opportunity is now here, to build the foundation for a UDC-led Government in 2019, where and when every citizen will truly believe in the idea that if they applied themselves diligently and creatively, they too could achieve anything for themselves, their community and their country. These citizens have planted these seeds, towards a nation that is becoming more and more conscious, and alive, to the idea that power, true power, lies with ordinary people, and not a few elites.

No great movement or leader has ever won ALL or every battle. In fact, the greatest warriors lose many battles. However, what characterises these great victors is their ability to keep their eyes fixed on the big picture or big prize. What sets these great victors apart is their ability to recognise the good and gallantry of those who fought in a battle, and lost, but were able to draw lessons from the battle to calibrate for battles ahead. And make no mistake, we will lose many more battles. It is the war we must and will win. Our movement is the most remarkable our country has ever had ÔÇô it is a movement that draws strength and existence from its true owners, the people.

It is a movement that nourishes and encourages talent and the talented.

It is movement that enjoys the goodwill of the young and the old, the wealthy and the poor. It is a movement of visionaries, men and women who have ambition for the welfare of each citizen. It is a movement of the people, for the people and of the people.

Credit should go to Cde Nthaile, campaign manager and MP for Jwaneng-Mabule,
his immediate team, as well to our industrious members of parliament, Cde Khan, Cde Salakae, Cde Nkaigwa, Cde Butale all of whom assisted coordinate our efforts. The UDC Head of elections, Cde Kgosikoma (the BNF secretary general) applied himself heroically despite the harsh financial realities. Cde Rammidi, Cde Arone, Cde Keorapetse and Cde Rantuana, worked tirelessly to mobilise. However, it is to our members, and ordinary people, that we should be grateful, for their goodwill and for their growing sense of belief as a nation.

Let the results at Sekoma not provide an excuse for our mouths to spew venom.
Let it be an opportunity to elucidate the hope and vision that is burning within us. Let this be an opportunity to unite our people and bring out the best in them. Let this be a message to us that the road is still long and many battles away. Let it be a letter to us, advising that we need to learn more and do more, each one of us. This is a reminder that the journey belongs to all of us. The spirit is rising in me, and it has never been clearer to me, that in 2019, victory for our people is certain. Well done Cde Robert Rantsho, well done UDC, well done moono people.

*Gaolathe is deputy leader of the UDC

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