With the hunting ban having taken effect, Roy Sesana and his people in the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) have been all but reduced to vegetarians. However, should a President Duma Boko be installed in the State House after this year’s elections, the new Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) government will grant people living in the Kalahari, Ngamiland and other areas, “hunting rights and application mechanisms for such rights.”
As CKGRers squat by an open fire, crude wooden skewers in hand to tend (legally) sizzling eland meat in a Metsiamanong homestead, to the east in Gaborone, His Excellency President Boko and a UDC-dominated parliament will be repealing “local brew and liquor prohibitions.” This pledge holds promise that nightclubs will go back to their pre-April 2008 operating hours: sunset to sunrise. However, UDC recognises alcohol and drug abuse as a challenge that it pledges to deal with under its fifth pillar of “Secure and Fulfilled Families.”
The party promises to do all these should it form the next government on the other side of the 2014 general election.
Countries like the United States have made tonnes of money by investing heavily in their arts and culture sectors. This is an example that the UDC (whose deputy president, Gomolemo Motswaledi, is a highly accomplished musician) plans to emulate. The party’s manifesto says that although the government cannot dictate how the economy should behave, “it is possible to cultivate a focus on sectors which we believe possess the highest chance of success, provided we nurture the right environment for productive and creative activity in those sectors in particular.” One of those sectors is “Entertainment, Leisure, Sports and Tourism.”
Research and development undertaken in it will be geared at identifying rich artistic talent, and providing the managerial and financial support systems to catapult it to success.
“We will develop the immense talent in the arts and music within our country. The UDC government intends to elevate the standard of our sport development and management and intervene in the early development of talent, and push for a massive and systematic export of our art, music and cultural pride. We will cultivate the seeds for the professionalizing of sports and also deploy sports and arts as levers to project a positive image of our country internationally,” reads the manifesto, adding in another part that the arts will be integrated into the education system from as early as primary school.
By the standards of one third of the alliance (the Botswana National Front), one of the electoral pledges in the manifesto would qualify as plagiarism. The latter is in the habit of accusing the Botswana Democratic Party of stealing its ideas and its pledge to “ensure the local art and handicrafts are the dominant design in government buildings, hospitals and other government infrastructure” has President Ian Khama written all over it.
The UDC says it will establish what will be known as the Ministry of Tourism, Sports, Culture, Youth and the Creative Arts to implement all these plans.