Finally, the date for the general elections has been announced. President Ian Khama has revealed that the Friday 24th October, 2014, is the day of elections. We are also told that the Khama administration has set aside the day as a holiday so that every Motswana who has registered for elections can go and cast their vote. This is commendable and we implore you, the voter, to do what is right and make sure that you cast your vote for the candidate of your choice. There are many reasons that have been advanced, that are still being put forward by different politicians of various political persuasions who are all clamouring for your attention. You need to take your time and study them individually and even look at their party policies so that on the day of elections, you will know whom to cast your vote for. There are so many things that we as a people aspire for in our individual and collective lives as a community and society. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party, which always touts its incumbency and a four- decade undisturbed administration, is in a position in which it needs to be critically examined. You need to look at its policies, projects-both failed and successful-under its governance, and many other things, before you can decide if they are worthy of your vote. The other matter of great importance when you look at that brown voting card of yours, dusting it and taking it back to where you keep it safely, think hard about the political leadership that you wish for, for your ward, your constituency and most importantly your country; thus who you want to be your president and cabinet ministers. It is important that you take all these into consideration, especially that, after all, when they take decisions on domestic and international relations issues, they do so in your and my name. We therefore need to know our leaders and approve of them. The same applies to the opposition. Look at their leadership and make a conscious decision on whom you want to win; who is worthy of your vote. Whereas the BDP is represented by Khama for the presidential seat, the Umbrella for Democratic Change has Duma Boko as its candidate and the Botswana Congress Party has its leader, Dumelang Saleshando for the presidency. With our system, as you might be aware, there is no direct presidential election. The one whose party gets a majority with a 29 or more parliamentary seats ascends to the highest seat and becomes the first citizen. So we urge you to ensure that you vote. We also urge you to encourage your family members and neighbours and colleagues at work who are registered to vote, to go and vote.
On a different note, it is sad to note that Israel, which is biblically associated with goodness, humility, love and all, has resorted to pounding Gaza with bombs and missiles. Every day we learn of heavy casualties that include mostly unarmed civilians, especially children. There are many sordid details of poor Gazans shelled to death by Israeli missile while they sought shelter in schools that also double as residence. Recently, in a senseless and barbaric attack, the aggressive state of Israel bombarded a school run by the United Nations Refuguees Camp, killing multitudes of people. Businesses, homes and lives have been destroyed. This madness must stop at once. We are not saying the Israeli forces are solely to blame for this. We are very much alive to the historical hostility that has played itself out over decades and we urge all parties to stop the war. What do we gain as human beings, by killing each other? Powerful nations like America, should support the United Nations in ensuring that all aggressors are taken to task to put an end to this.