Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The BCP should not become a BDP carbon copy!

There are reports, supplied by his acolytes, that BCP President Gilson Saleshando is on the throes of being lavished with more powers by his party.
If those reports are correct, Saleshando will, in the near future, have a free hand in hand picking the party’s Central Committee.
Now that is absurd.

For those who had thought the BCP was a progressive party, this must have come as a shocking announcement.

It is a disturbing throwback to the days of Kenneth Koma’s BNF, from whence was born the BCP, which always pretended to be so much different.
The lightweight justification put forward for more powers is that the BCP is about to become a government.

The enhanced powers for the President are part of the preparations.

Talk of punching above one’s weight!
The BCP’s confidence is misplaced.
No doubt, the BCP are a disciplined party enjoying a lot of goodwill.

It’s too early for them to be laying claims to any major electoral triumphs.
More importantly, their Gilson Saleshando does not need any more powers.

What they need now is to show more competence.
Saleshando has to be careful to ensure that his motives as a politician are trusted by the public he is courting into his confidence. A call for more powers is scarcely the way to go about it.
Allowing his cronies to root for more of his powers under the blatantly false pretext that the BCP is about to take over state power will no doubt undermine rather than enhance his personal credibility.

The whole exercise smacks of bad faith, dishonesty and a terrible disingenuousness.
It all goes to show how little the BCP has grasped the public’s thirst for an honest and trustworthy political party.

This is bad for BCP, but it is worse for many people’s hopes for the emergence of a reliable and honest party that is different from what prevails today.

The BCP should avoid creating an unnecessary conflict between itself and the public, not least because the nation is at long last beginning to regard it a serious political party ÔÇô but, of course, nowhere near assuming state power.
For them to get closer to state power, they will have to stay focused, more disciplined and honest.

More importantly, they will have to resist the temptation to take themselves too seriously as to recklessly exaggerate their true worth.
Unfortunately, self restraint is one virtue our politicians seem to lack – across the divide.
Exactly because they have become a serious national player, the BCP should be more careful and discreet about their public conduct.

Their growth of national influence means that they do not have the luxury to behave like BPP or MELS.
For far too long, the BCP has been allowed the latitude to go about their business unchallenged, with their every word taken for it.

Things are, however, about to change, chiefly because the BNF is sliding further and further down the rankings, while the BCP’s importance is rising.
So, in a way, the veil of protection will soon be lifted and they will get more scrutinized.
Politicians are past masters of deceit.

History teaches us that politicians cannot be trusted with too much of power in their hands.
It is in the nature of politicians to clamour for more powers without first saying how they intend to use the enhanced powers to improve those they lead. Accountability and responsibility have never been a part of the tribe’s chemistry.

In this case, Gil Saleshando has proved just another politician. May be we should not be disappointed after all.

The bedrock of democracy is that for every inch of power surrendered to a politician, it has to be countered and checked by an oversight balance. Only then can we sleep assured that there will be no arbitrary abuse.

As things stand, public trust among politicians is in serious decline and Saleshando’s shameless lust for power (even when confined to inside his little kingdom) is not helping his position as an aspirant for the position of State President.

The implications of giving far reaching, summary powers to just one individual, however sincere the motives, should be a concern to those who cherish the ideals of a transparent and accountable democracy.

To their eternal credit, the BDP rejected such tactics at their Special Congress last month after Khama’s henchmen suggested that route.

In substance and in spirit what Saleshando’s want to do is exactly the same thing that Khama’s lackeys wanted to achieve.

In a totally unintended way, the BCP action underscores what the party critics have always suspected but never dared express in public that the party is not so much different from the BDP.
And this at the time when there is resentment inside the BCP that the party is reeling under the weight of the Saleshando axis ÔÇô with the father holding the position of Party President and the son sitting as the party’s solitary Member of Parliament, spokesperson and public face – all in one! This is a deficiency the BCP and Saleshando cannot take for granted.

The BCP should be careful not to become a BDP carbon copy.


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