Monday, September 21, 2020

Should he lose, would Khama gracefully bow out?

He was faced with only one battle, that of national presidency in October, but Ian Khama decided to engage in in-camp sparring just a month before the national bout.

Whether the warrior savvy in him aroused a conviction that sparring with Motswaledi cannot inflict any injuries prior to the big encounter in October is really beyond my comprehension.
There was no way to cancel the October fight but for him to allow another match, which he had the prerogative to avoid, says a lot about the confidence and assurance he has on his intentions.

All it required of him to abort his duel with Motswaledi was to simply reinstate him and dedicate his energies towards the general elections but the Sandhurst Military Academy graduate would have none of that.
He would rather be in two battlefields simultaneously.

The one question which keeps cropping up in my mind is, will Ian Khama gracefully accept defeat should he lose any of the two fights? Will he do the honourable thing and step down as head of the BDP?

Why do I sound skeptical on his acceptance and reaction thereof in the aftermath of the two battles?
Well, mind is still fresh with memories of the Kanye encounter where Ian Khama didn’t take kindly to the white wash meted out on his A-Team at the hands of Motswaledi’s Barataphati.

After Kanye, Khama showed to be a relentless fighter who could never sheath his sword until his opponents are de-skulled.

Not only did he fail to return to Kanye and congratulate the winners but he went on to ensure they are polarized by unilaterally injecting members of the losing team into the BDP committees.
He renewed contracts of some elements without the courtesy of informing fellow central committee members. This was clear enough to prove his disapproval of the popularly approved central committee.

In fact, if you trace how the BDP ended up besieged in the current mess, you will realize it was started by the people Khama single handedly shoved into the BDP committees.

In their quest to thank and further endear themselves to Khama, they, like irritating kindergarten kids, reported and accused Motswaledi of hallucinatory misdemeanor. Some dug into their personal pockets and bought newspapers’ space to flight their Khama poems.
Not to be outdone, some rushed to the management of private radio stations with puerile complaints.

The silly season is here indeed and many are scrambling to be rewarded with special selection into parliament.
Whether he wins or loses his case against Motswaledi, his reaction will be a litmus test on his dedication towards uniting an already, regrettably divided BDP.

Will he win and further annihilate and punish Motswaledi and the people who supported his court case? That will depend on whether the judges entertain his immunity shield.

What if he loses against Motswaledi? Will he step down as president because the fact of the matter would be, his leadership acumen would be in tatters. He would be an injured captain and the dictates of the game would be for him to make way for a fit player.

So, will he accept the substitution? He is not known to giving in so easily so chances are he might ignore the booing spectators and continue to play, albeit with injuries and in pain.

He might take stepping down as a sign of cowardice and decide not to retreat and surrender. His delusion of grandeur is exactly why he is in court with Motswaledi at this moment.

His reluctance to bow down to pressure resulted in a court case that will have adverse effects on the performance of the institution he is only mandated to lead but has chosen to be bigger than it. If he had the best interests of the party at heart he could have simply reinstated Motswaledi without probably thinking the reinstatement would make Motswaledi a hero and him a zero.
I developed goose bumps when I heard Khama had said the wishes of Gaborone central constituents are irrelevant to his decisions. Those words can never be attributed to someone who claims to be a servant of the people (or did he ever say he was?).

Let’s now ponder on the possibility of him losing the national elections in October.

In the short space of time since he was declared first citizen, Ian Khama has changed and acquired so many things for his perusal. A lot of them have been tailor made to strictly suit his personal tastes. In fact the most expensive of his acquisitions are still to be delivered.

Since he became president, Khama is still to set foot in the State House because it had to be re-built before he could occupy it. Not only did they have to remove the ants that had lived peacefully with Mogae for ten years but the soil that Mogae stepped on is also being removed to make way for a permanent Army base that will accommodate sixty soldiers, manned by a BDF commander, right in the State House yard.

The president has acquired a presidential jet and it is still to be delivered because the manufacturers were not tasked with any of their regular productions as this one has to meet certain specifications. Still to be delivered is the presidential caravan of German make.

Khama’s portrait is still spotlessly clean on crisp legal tender notes. So like I said, some of his acquisitions, like DISS, have already been delivered while delivery men may knock at his door any time from now to deliver the rest. This is what prompts me to digest how he would react should the voters deny him the chance to be president in October.

Will he easily have no qualms leaving his newly acquired parcels, some still wrapped, to be opened and utilized by someone who didn’t order them in the first place? I’m just asking.
He may do it but surely that would be a bitter pill to swallow.

BDP members should not despair in these trying times. This is the time when their intervention is most needed. A lot of people I interact with, especially the youth, vow to vote for the opposition in October as they think it would be a way of protesting against Khama’s leadership.

As for me, it’s no secret I’m not happy at Khama’s way of doing some of the things but I still will be voting for Botsalo Ntuane on the 16th October.
Yes, by extension I will be voting for Khama and there is nothing wrong with that.

On the flip side, Khama deserves a pat on the back for shaking us from the deep slumber. Thanks to Khama we now know our constitutions need to be revamped. If it wasn’t for Khama perhaps it would have taken ten more years for us to realize that bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
Now we are alive to the fact that the greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse. BDP members should not punish Khama through their parliamentary candidates.

I know in hard times two years may appear like a life time but the BDP members have a choice to remove or retain Khama as president when the next congress is called in two years.
By the way, a lot of people ask if I’m not scared to write these truths and my answer is, nowadays who wouldn’t be. But Edmund Burke, British statesman and philosopher once said, “no passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear”. And it was Khama who said, at his inauguration, “only democracy guarantees human rights, the rule of law, accountability and basic freedoms that we have enjoyed over the years.”


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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

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