Monday, August 15, 2022

The opposition we don’t deserve

Plainly, the country’s opposition political parties are going through a state of utter madness.
We should thank God they have never tasted state power.

Given their resolve to cut each other’s throat, they would gladly lend their hands to reduce this country to ashes.

Their prejudices against each other have never been more explicit.

With their latest actions now bordering on delinquency, the nation should not remain aloof.
The BNF and BCP’s latest full frontal assault on one another, especially at Gaborone City Council and Kgatleng District Council, has all the hallmarks of cannibalism.

It would seem like the two’s hatred and contempt for each other increases markedly every time circumstances militate they should move closer together and show more tolerance and coexistence for one another.

They clearly are not reading the mood of how the BDP is poised to be more united in the wake of an appeasement cabinet reshuffle announced by President Festus Mogae last week.

If the BNF and BCP are not careful, what happened at Kgatleng and Gaborone Council elections could be foreshadowing an ugly lurch into oblivion by the two parties.

Something extraordinarily phenomenal will have to happen to save the two organizations from extinction.

The two’s latest bout is premised on mistaken presumptions by each of them.

The BCP wrongly believes it will be the chief beneficiary of the Front’s fast unfolding brand contamination while the BNF thinks its past goodwill is sufficient to safe it from itself; a mistake which inevitably leads the Front to exaggerate, overstate and bet everything on their history of resilience.

What the BCP does not want to accept is the simple fact that they have not grown very much beyond being a glorified product of an incessant public relations exercise- supported more by a handful of immensely credible leaders at the helm but acutely devoid of the crucially important popular grassroots support structure.

Public relations remains the apogee of BCP’s survival skills.
In short, the BCP’s media image is disproportionately higher (much higher) than their membership support base.

To disprove this statement, the BCP will have to make much more substantive achievements at the polls than they have mustered so far.
It’s unlikely that the BCP will receive any windfalls from BNF’s mounting troubles.
The beneficiary of the two parties’ assault on each other is going to be the BDP.

The BNF, on the other hand, can no longer rely on their history as a party of the poor and marginalised to be able to bounce back.
They have disappointed that constituency so often and for so long that it no longer associates with the party.

The poor will be too happy to sacrifice the BNF if only to inflict a revenge on the people who have shattered their dreams so often.

I cannot think of a single group of individuals more determined not to grow out of their childish ways.
It is a case of tragic irony that one of the consequences of the opposition parties’ attempts to wreak a cooperation utility has been the strengthening of the BDP.

As much as they like to fight amongst themselves, the BDP factions have learnt one thing that has eluded the opposition which is the mastering of the boundaries and the rules of such an engagement and, more importantly, knowing when it’s in their interest to observe a truce.

What is happening between the BNF and the BCP is dishonourable and every citizen of any good will would wish the two were humbled in the coming elections until they accept it as mandatory that they have to work together before thinking of deposing the BDP.

It is only when the two are forced to pay a heavy price for their transgressions, including by way of a popular expulsion from all organs of governance (especially parliament and local government) that the two will stop taking voters for granted.

What happened in Kgatleng, in Lobatse and, this week, in Gaborone is a big leap backward, not just for opposition but Botswana’s democracy.

It is a dismal failure by opposition to offer itself as an alternative, a kind of an upright moral compass against an excessively powerful and often arrogant ruling juggernaut that has been at the apex of this country since independence.

While the result will be ill consequences upon both BCP and the BNF, the gloomier result has been to confirm Botswana as a one party state.

However one tries, it’s difficult to discern how the BNF and BCP actions coincide with the national interests they like to say they represent.
The nation should not offer acquiescence to such naked selfishness.

We better brace ourselves for another forty years under BDP.

It’s an alarming prospect, precipitated by an opposition we don’t deserve.


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