It is official! Kenny Kapinga, former Deputy Commissioner of Police and ambassador to South Africa and Zimbabwe in the recent past has joined the BCP. The move by Kapinga has caused consternation and panic within the ranks of the BDP. First, it was Shaw Kgathi, the BDP Deputy Secretary General, who derided Kapinga on radio for sharing his perspectives on the state of the Republic. Knowing Kgathi’s trademark pettiness, I dismissed his rantings about Kapinga as the usual “mean” talk that has become synonymous with the Bobirwa Member of Parliament. Then, it was Botsalo Ntuane, the BDP Secretary General who authored a full page paid advertorial in private newspapers castigating Kapinga.
The advertorial portrayed Kapinga as both ungrateful and unpatriotic. Ungrateful for the positions he was awarded by the BDP Government over the years and the education he received under the same Government and Unpatriotic for daring to show the weaknesses of our institutions and the frailties of the President of the Republic of Botswana. The same statement also carried innuendos and suggestions that by joining the opposition, Kapinga has betrayed the BDP that has been so good to him. The hurt that Kapinga inflicted on the BDP is deep and massive. The BDP is realizing that Kapinga’s move may embolden many top civil servants who are unhappy with the direction our country is taking to join the opposition ranks on retirement. Such development shall spell a death knell for the BDP. It shall enhance people’s confidence on the opposition and its ability to govern. Attacking Kapinga is a ‘scare tactic’ employed by the BDP and its surrogates to arrest the hemorrhage or gravitation of high profile people towards the opposition. It should be ignored.
Kapinga’s move to join the BCP is born out of necessity. Our country is imperiled and a horrendous tragedy is upon us. Plunder, corruption, wastefulness and mismanagement are rampant. The ruling class is running amok and selling state enterprises. BCL and Morupule B are the immediate victims of these dubious sales. Many more will follow in this scorched earth destruction of our country. Many of our public enterprises are in a state of flux. Botswana Meat Commission, Air Botswana, Water Utilities Corporation, National Development Bank, Botswana Railways and Botswana Tourism Organization are all in dire straits and bleeding heavily. As Kapinga has pointed out when he was welcomed at the BCP offices, Botswana has ceased to be a meritocracy. Appointments to higher positions are based on party affiliation, kinship relations and friendship. Mediocrity is elevated and rewarded under the current regime. Those with a conscience cannot stand this and they shall break their silence as Kapinga has done. People with good hearts cannot sit idle as performances in our public schools deteriorate each passing year. They know that poor performances of children at schools spell doom and suffering for the current generations and generations unborn. The high maternal mortality rates in our hospitals are also reason enough for all right thinking people to rise above themselves and seek change for the benefit of our people
We are in the age of unilateralism and fear peddling in Botswana. Critical decisions affecting our polity are taken without consultation. The increase of Specially Elected Members of Parliament, the introduction of the Electronic Voting Machines, the suspension of supplementary voter registration, the review of the President’s retirement package and categorization of teachers as essential services are but some of the decisions taken without the input of the affected. Directives have replaced engagement. When all these happen, an atmosphere of fear is cultivated and dissenters are victimized. We can hardly call ourselves a free society as expression of opinion is often misconstrued as unpatriotic if not disloyalty to the hand that feeds you. Those who hold a different view like those in the opposition are blatantly denied popular outlets to express such views. Matlho-A-Phage has been killed and BTV has been turned into a video show for President Khama, Mokgweetsi Masisi and the Ministers. Radio Botswana only sings praises for the BDP leadership. It’s a blackout for the opposition. Those who have not murdered their souls are concerned and worried about this state of affairs. They are yearning for change.
Kapinga has taken a bold move to join the BCP. He was not unaware of the backlash that would follow his decision. He did it because he loves his country. He did it because he wanted to advance the values of opportunity, freedom, liberty, fairness and justice. He took the move to associate with the opposition to safeguard the interests of future generations. He has not allowed the forces of retrogression to intimidate him. As the BDP vilifies and stigmatizes Kapinga, many in the country admire his courage and the personal sacrifices that he has made to join the opposition. He will inspire many to break out of their cocoons to serve humanity. As a society we cannot afford to have our enlightened members sticking to their small corners and comfort zones when the country is facing its darkest hour. Those who have been fortunate in society should contribute their fair share in the empowerment of the downtrodden. This silly notion that those who are doing well in society owe it to the BDP like Ntuane and his BDP opines, should be rebuked by all. Those who are successful have a moral obligation and duty to engineer progress and bring enlightenment to society. It shall be a sin of monumental proportions if intellectuals fold their arms in the face of gross injustice.
We urge all persons of goodwill especially those at the top echelons of the civil service to emulate Kapinga’s example. As the opposition builds an infrastructure to unseat the BDP in 2019, we will need human resources with diverse skills, expertise, knowledge and experiences to turn our prospectus for governance into concrete deliverables for the people of Botswana. It is important that such personnel demonstrate their pedigree and commitment during these difficult times. We thank you Kapinga!
*Taolo Lucas is BCP coordinator in Bobirwa