Friday, June 21, 2024

The BDP and Khama’s tantrums in Maun reach a new low

Just as we were beginning to think we had seen the worst and that the ruling party had reached rock bottom of this electoral campaign events in Maun have conspired to prove us all wrong.

What happened in Maun was bad and distasteful; in every way and at all levels.

It was bad for the country and also bad for our politics.

It was not only bad for the BDP but also for the integrity of the government.

The poison spewed out in Maun was bad for the president and indeed bad for the high office he occupies.

The language used was expressly un-presidential – ruthless, unpalatable and demonic.

I have no interest in discussing what the many hirelings accompanying the president had to say.

Their voices are in this context merely incidental sideshows that can only serve to distract us from the main act.

For a Head of state to parade Tawana’s ex-wife as a public beggar before saying the ex-husband is not man enough to take care of his family takes away the integrity of the Office of President.

What the President did and said was deliberately designed to be venomous, demeaning, humiliating and insulting.
It is not only an attack on Tawana’s person it also is an affront of our national values as Batswana.

Some people are saying Khama’s behavior underscores a conviction that as always he can get away with anything.
Others are of the view that the outburst is a sign of desperation.

Whatever the truth, it should never happen because it goes against all the very values we have always stood for as a nation.
The nation should register their disgust.

With election fever pitch getting ever so high, keeping quiet may be of service to the ruling party and possibly to the president, but less so to the nation of which we are all a part.

Keeping quiet can only make us accomplices in a national disgrace.

Some attempts have been made to defend both the party at the president behaviour in Maun.

Such attempts have only served to make the Maun tantrums even more unpardonable.

The tone against Tawana goes to the heart of who President Ian Khama is; a self-centered, self-obsessed and self-regarding showman who does not want to see even the slightest hint of the emergence of another centre of power that vaguely threatens to compete with his.

In his insecure cocoon, Khama views Tawana as a potential threat.

Tawana, we have to keep reminding ourselves, is like Khama a multi-hatted politician.

Like Khama he is a paramount chief.

Like Khama, Tawana is by birth a traditional leader of a supremely proud and major tribe which owing to their rich natural habitat has watched with loathsome helplessness Khama’s greedy encroachment into their pristine backyards which he is forcefully turning into an exotic playground for himself and his expatriate friends.

Like Khama, Tawana is independent and strong-willed. And when all those are put together, conflict between the two is as inevitable as to be guaranteed.

And to put a cherry on top, Tawana steadfastly refuses to kowtow to the president by accepting that he is a lesser chief than Khama is.

From what he was saying about Tawana, about Tawana’s former wife and about Tawana’s son who we gather is the heir apparent to the Tawana lineage, it is clear that the issues of dignity at least to the manner that they were presented to the world as part of Khama’s “D” in his inauguration speech do not matter anymore.

Khama’s disdain for the country’s opposition betrays a subliminal disrespect that borders on innate doubts over the wisdom of having allowed the constitutionality of such an institution afterall.

As always the BDP voting fodder are ululating and clapping their hands from the sidelines.

While in a way the damage wrought in Maun may in the long term prove irreparable, what should worry us most, especially those of us from outside

the ruling party is that there is neither a word of horror nor anxious disgust from within the party faithful at just how far away their party has deviated from the principled ethos of compassion, botho and such other sacrosanct virtues as clearly defined by founding fathers who incidentally include President Ian Khama’s father.

Regardless of Tawana’s alleged past transgressions and misdemeanours, does Khama’s behavior in Maun represent what the BDP stands for?
We hope not.


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