It is time to read the Botswana newspapers when I become reticent and numb for a while in defeat. The words prick my heart with great strength and send to my brain the conspicuous reality that the evil has found another lease of life. The opposition has done it again not through losing elections this time; but by refusing to prepare to win. The culprit manifests the usual lame degree of thinking and provides enough verification that Botswana National Front leadership is not politically mature to lead Botswana to glory, except to the utopian victories that form part of its dreams. In leadership positions we need leaders who will not find pleasure in displaying the supercilious behaviour and thrive on people’s misery. It is disheartening that the BNF leadership has ignored the voices of the down trodden by advancing flimsy reasons to deny the masses of the people victory. The BNF leadership has demonstrated lack of judgement.
Let me thoroughly assess the reasons that the beloved comrades advanced when they refused to budge. The comrades claimed that they tried the PACT before and it did not generate impressive results. It can not be a good reason because it is only the rattle brained politician who will hold tenaciously to such a flimsy reason. What this translates to mean is that BNF does not have capacity to learn from where it fails. I think the BNF together with its partners should have worked towards coming up with better modifications of the PACT model preferred by the majority of the negotiating partners drawing from their experiences. If I was to visit the point of principle here, I am fully convinced that the BNF will emerge as a hypocritical entity. If the BNF leaders are really serious about principality, then it is essential for them not to contest in the constituencies in which they lost in the last elections because they should maintain their stance of not trying those engagements and processes from which they did not get impressive results. Period!
If the point for contesting is that voters can change depending on strategies that will be employed, then why will they not change when better strategies are employed in the PACT model? If they can not customise the PACT then voters should vote them out. It is also incongruous to see BPP as having the same numerical strength as BCP. To suggest that the BNF can not get different results working with a stronger partner is embarrassing. I think numerical strength is supreme in politics because it is the number of votes that determine the victor. It is obvious that employing a PACT model with the BCP will not bring the same results that the BNF got before.
The BNF leadership points out that the PACT model can only serve to regionalise the BNF which the theorists believe is a national party. This is where I get very upset with quack politicians. This reasoning is illogical to say the least, because BNF is already a regional party that does not have any parliamentary representation north of Dibete. They claim also to be concerned about tribalism and not so much about elitism that characterise the BNF.
The BNF is going through its usual political anathema and confusion. The theorists and intellectuals who are remunerated by the same regime they pretend to want to remove from power are at it again. The problem with some of the opposition parties in Botswana is that they are infiltrated by the intellectuals who are alienated and not significantly different from those that they pretend to be their adversaries in the BDP camp. It is not in the interest of the elites to disappoint their kind. You will be surprised to learn how close some of these intellectuals are to the BDP. I leave it for you to investigate.
The members of the opposition who are progressive and want regime change do have some simple task ahead of them. As they are told by the intellectuals in the opposition to use their democratic right and vote out the BDP; my conviction is that they must first exercise that democratic right to vote out intellectuals from their political organisations. The intellectuals are not in the propensity of freeing any oppressed people. To them politicking is a hobby and the plights and predicaments of the poor are useful in generating journal articles. People can not remove BDP from power with the intellectuals and tycoons as their leaders. They belong to the same class as some democrats and therefore lack revolutionary commitment. They are alienated and some of them are not even mindful of the suffering of the powerless citizenry that is in squalor and abject poverty.
They are not willing to see the paupers freed from the claws of asperity of deprivation. They are highly loquacious, deceitful and pretentious. They will make you believe they share your plight when they are indications to suggest otherwise. I request you the down trodden to be vigilant from now on. When a flashy car passes you on your way to the taxi rank look carefully at who is in the driver’s seat. It can be one of the intellectuals or tycoons heading to your destination to tell you what the Permanent Secretary is driving and how s/he is remunerated. You will not be told how much the academics at the university get. Find that out.
These intellectuals are not only found in the BNF. They are also in the BCP and NDF. They do everything under the sun to give the impression that they form the vanguard of the struggle. Just ask yourself where they were when Professor Kenneth Good who was their beloved colleague was ordered to leave Botswana within Forty eight (48) hours. They were as quiet as corpses. They could not stand against injustice meted at their colleague whose only transgression was to teach Politics. Some of them were in the corridors castigating him for mingling in the internal affairs of their country. They were on the side of the BDP then. They had no shame displaying their ignorance, expecting Professor Good to behave like he is a physics or statistics teacher. The unfortunate Professor was a political scientist and had every right to mingle in the political affairs of my country. I take it that for him to have been humiliated in the manner he was should have propelled the academics to political disapproval. That never happened, maybe because Professor Good is Australian and white. Then what principles guide their abomination of tribalism when they can easily find solace in xenophobia and racism?
The message to the masses of the people is very simple and clear. At any available opportunities vote out the political intellectuals and tycoons. They are just as elitist as some of the democrats. Do not hesitate to Vote for comrade Moupo again if he promises never to turn to the elites for financial help. I think you can do with his demeanour than with hypocrisy. It is good that his law firm is not doing well because he does not represent democrats when they shoot each other. Find out who is famous for representing democrats; if is Comrade Moupo let me know. It would mean he thrives on blood money; not diamonds this time. When the most renowned leader in Comrade Nelson Mandela became a strong politician, he first lost his law firm. This is the beginning of the making of a seasoned and hardened politician in Comrade Moupo. Just wait!!
I am on the firing line and armed.
Dama Mosweunyane is a lecturer in the Department of Adult Education at the University of Botswana.