The ruling Botswana Democratic Party is at its weakest moment in its long and glorious history.
For them, the problem posed by Daniel Kwelagobe’s ramblings has generated a crisis far greater than many analysts are generous enough to readily admit.
Only to a truly trained mind is it discernible that disaster is about to strike.
The divisions presently paralyzing the BDP are far worse than the traditional factions which, to its credit, the party has over the years internalised, mastered and learnt to live with.
All signs are in the air that rebellion is on the way and when it finally strikes, blood will be spilled all over the floor.
Insiders insist that things are actually far much worse than they appear to us outsiders.
Which makes the whole thing even scarier!
Not least, they point out because there is a side play to the ongoing main circus; an entire army of discontented members has broken free from the mother body and has opted to go it alone and stand as independents, challenging the very legitimacy of the party from which they spawned.
There is a lot of bitterness, a lot of disenchantment and plain hatred directed at the centre.
This is a moment of profound dilemma for the party in general and the President in particular.
It is no exaggeration to say Ian Khama is facing the greatest political storm of his Presidency.
Not only that, even without Kwelagobe’s spirited resistance against all attempts to blackmail him, the BDP’s share of popular vote had started declining at a rate that virtually guaranteed defeat in the foreseeable future ÔÇô reaching its lowest ebb in the last General Elections.
Yet even as we go to the polls with all these seemingly insurmountable problems, the BDP is as certain as ever that they will comfortably win the coming General Elections.
For those reasons, psychologically, Batswana, are resigned to the idea of a further five more years of continued BDP rule even as they would have wished for a change.
With such an easy victory placed in his lap we shall never know for sure just what an electoral asset Ian Khama is.
It’s a paradox of some sorts.
But all the blame should be laid squarely at the doorsteps of both the BNF and the BCP.
True to character, swimming in the full knowledge that by hook or crook the victory is theirs to lose, the kingpins of the ruling BDP have naturally become arrogant, unaccountable and contemptuous.
The enduring hatred between the BNF and BCP is responsible for all these.
The failure of these two parties to work together stretches far beyond their mutual hostilities. One wonders just how much each of them appreciates their contribution towards cementing this country’s reputation as a de facto one party state.
In a totally unintended way, the BNF and BCP have connived to hold the entire country in bondage.
In other jurisdictions, this would be tantamount to a criminal offense, punishable by law.
The greater loser of the two has got, of course, to be the BNF, which has, by all intents and purposes, become so irrelevant that a majority of people have already factored it out of their lives.
The party’s leaders do not want to acknowledge that, as politicians, they are no longer a part of the public domain. Nobody knows any longer what the BNF really stands for, not even its diehard supporters.
The BCP, on the other hand, is doing all in its power to fill the void.
It is not easy.
The mutual hatred between BNF and BCP has poisoned Botswana politics by further entrenching the BDP hegemony and helping fulfill Botswana’s fate as a one party state.
The enduring hatred between the BCP and the BNF has denied Botswana the emergence of a vibrant civil society.
With all the leisure, leeway and space to experiment and do as it pleased, the BDP government has systematically unleashed its might against the media, attacked people’s freedoms and liberties, crushed all resistance to their overbearing authority and weakened as to render irrelevant institutions like parliament and the Ombudsman.
Because of the weakness of both BNF and the BCP, the ruling party has had all the time to treat with disdain, bitterness and distrust anyone, including its own members who dared question the direction that the country was taking.
Exempt from intense scrutiny that can only be administered by a strong and coherent opposition, the BDP Government has allowed itself a status of a one-eyed monster that literally feeds on own children.
As so ordained right from the beginning, it will not be long before the BDP sets its eyes far afield and starts wrapping its knuckles around the judiciary.
Don’t be surprised if reputable judges resign and get to be replaced by lackeys that sing exclusively from the BDP hymn book.
For their own safety the judges may as well start taking lessons on how to sing the BDP songs.
If that happens, the judiciary should blame the BNF and the BCP for refusing to even acknowledge each other’s existence.