Saturday, May 28, 2022

Rammidi is one of BDP’s most promising politicians …but grim times lie ahead!

Already, he has started to establish himself as a figure of major importance inside the ruling party.

He is one of the few ruling party Members of Parliament who has taken time to directly address the striking civil servants.

And this at a time when the President, usually an embodiment of composure, seems so irascible that any mention of the demands by the striking government employees literally guarantees conflict.
It is my considered view that Kentse Rammidi has many qualities and greater strengths necessary for a party in crisis, such as the BDP today.

There is a danger though that disaster may strike before he realizes his full potential.
Almost like what happened with Gomolemo Motswaledi, who, until his career inside the BDP was cut short by the party’s astonishingly crude absence of inner democracy, was a rising star with the potential to one day lord over that party.

Rammidi’s commitment to grass-root politics is complete ÔÇô a splendid throwback to Daniel Kwelagobe of the 1980s before the then BDP Secretary General was abducted by powerful commercial interests that mercilessly exploited and ultimately destroyed his popular support for their own sectarian interests.

There is no doubt that Kwelagobe’s name still carries weight. Big as his influence remains today, it is nowhere near its height in 1980s and 1990s epoch when he was a virtual rainmaker in total control of both the party and government, enjoying the full blessing of the then president, Sir Ketumile Masire.

In exactly the same way that Kwelagobe was a marvel to listen to in his public rallies, Rammidi’s casual deameanour strikes a chord with ordinary people. I have listened to Rammidi speak and I am convinced that his grasp of language will ultimately endear him to ordinary people.
His down to earth, casual mannerisms are out of this world.

Ordinary people relate to him because they see him as one of theirs.

He is totally at ease among his constituents, and speaks very passionately about his constituency.
Officially, he resigned from cabinet so that he could concentrate his efforts on becoming the BDP Secretary General, but I have no doubt that he disliked his ministerial job because it took him away from the people to whom he easily connected.

As a minister, he was unable to spend as much time in Kanye as he would have otherwise wished.
Resigning from cabinet has not only freed him from the boring official meetings and stage managed engagements that are often choreographed to a hilt, he also will henceforth be able to mingle more with the people he easily relates with at constituency level.

Free from the shackles of officialdom he will henceforth be eating with his people, drinking with them, eating with them, dancing with them and, of course, crying with them as he not so long ago generously did after leading the BDP to victory in Tonota North.

Just like Daniel Kwelagobe, at least of yesteryear, party politics is a terrain Rammidi understands and masters best.

He has what I prefer to call a common touch.

One particular attribute that makes Rammidi a potentially successful politician is that he is not a prisoner of power and all its trappings.

He knows so well that for one to be really powerful, they have to be prepared to give some power away.

I suppose he had this in mind when he chose to take the long route of going the party way instead of the expansive but short-lived way through cabinet.

His recent decision to resign from cabinet to pursue party politics, his first love, must have taken an act of both courage and determination.

This makes him a rare breed inside the BDP, where indifference, detachment, aloofness, pretence, spin and commercialization of politics have taken root.
For that, he enjoys my full admiration.

Since a decree was passed that thou shall not be in cabinet and party simultaneously, Rammidi is only the second man to have chosen party over cabinet, the first having been Daniel Kwelagobe (no coincidence.)

But he better be careful.

Difficult times lie ahead.
The BDP is currently led by people who do not like sharing the limelight.
It is controlled by people who do not like competing for attention.

If his influence inside the party is perceived to be growing too fast, there will be no hesitation to chop his knees.

To me, it has come as no surprise that President Ian Khama would not even have the presence of mind, the generosity to allow Kentse Rammidi to serve a month’s notice after the latter resigned from cabinet earlier this month as was expected.

His expunging from office was all an act of pure revenge. We may be headed back for the dark ages when Gomolemo Motswaledi was persecuted for daring to ask the president and his lawyers a few simple questions.

How sad!

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