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Political silly season – return to bread and butter issues

Publishing Date : 10 July, 2017

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Every time there is a chance to elect new leaders for a political organization, we expect all forms of diversions from real issues – all the while we are aware that these organisations must be led and must be given strategic direction by elected leaders.


The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is holding its elective congress this weekend and the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) is expected to conduct its elective congress next weekend. We take these events seriously because the point to a direction the country will take in the next few years because politicians run the country in the final analysis. We are of the view that party congresses should have a gloss of principle ahead of everything else.

In politics nothing can be discounted or taken for granted, but individual party members in the form of opinion leaders and followers should have the interest of the country at heart when they vent their emotions either in verbatim or through a vote. Those seeking positions will pull every trick in the book to win votes – and they are within the political manual so to speak, but those who vote usually carry the power to apply conscience to their application of mind and power.

The Method of Operation in politics sometimes caters only for the final results but does little to mitigate repercussions and or implications. As a result of the ongoing congresses that are expected to usher in fresh leaders for some of the most recognized political organisations in the country, it is important that the rank and file elect people who will tackle challenges facing our country head-on.

The reason why we calling for sobriety at these congresses is that we are of the considered view that they must give Batswana responsible visionary leaders. We cannot run away from the fact that politicians are in control, and as of now, just about 1000 people from each of these parties will be deciding the future of this nation by voting leaders to the governing structures of these political organisations. We encourage these delegates to vote, and vote responsibly because this country is dependent on their decisions.

The BDP as the ruling party is giving this country policy direction. The economy is shaped by the actions and orientations of the BDP leadership. Owing to the challenges we are facing as a nation today, it is imperative that those elected are able to choose the next possible direction for the country with clear minds undiluted of self and greed. We have so much interest in the BDP because whoever they elect this weekend will call the shots when it comes to policy direction. More importantly, we note that this is not just an ordinary congress, it has all indications that the ruling party is shaping its next generation of leaders.

We are of the considered view that those who are elected must give the country strategic direction in the next few years. We are faced with a lot of challenges and the BDP as the ruling party controls our purse as a country, it gives the country policy direction owing to its election promises and manifestos. Therefore it is important that the men and women who are elected to the BDP’s governing council are alive to our problems as a country.


They must be in a position to recognize that there is increase in perceived and real corruption, the rate of unemployment is growing, the performance of students at all levels of education is declining, there is a an upsurge of communicable and non-communicable diseases, the economy is not performing to the desired levels, among other things. We hope that these delegates of political parties, including the BDP, do not just vote someone because it is ‘fashionable’ to so.

We are also interested in the BMD because it is a component of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), a party that is considered a government in waiting. It is important that the BMD elects leaders who will carry its mandate responsibly within the UDC.

It is possible for the UDC to win power in 2019, hence all the legs of the UDC must be stable for it to carry out its mandate. In any case it is important that the UDC remains in perfect shape so that it holds the government of the day accountable by providing checks and balances. All in all, these political parties must end the silly season and get back to bread and butter issues – our people are hungry, our people need solutions.



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