THE OBSERVER: Dumelang Saleshando is a coward!

SHARE   |   Monday, 19 October 2015   |   By Simon Gabathuse
Saleshando Saleshando

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) must stop speaking in parables and give out its pure position to the potential voter. Having managed a 20% popular vote cannot be used as a negotiating tool. This country is using First Past the Post model. We are not using Proportional Representation. Percentage equals to nothing, number of seats in parliament equals everything. The BCP cannot fool us. It can only fool itself. And such fooling of itself is suicidal. Dumelang Saleshando must stop being a coward and pronounce a clear position and stop this rhetoric that the BCP has grown. How does a party grow when it has lost half of its parliamentary seats and majority of its council seats? That is such an absurd and empty thinking.
What has to be used as a negotiating tool is the three seats it has in Parliament. It is what the Botswana Congress Party could manage, only three seats in parliament. Joining the Umbrella for Democratic Change is just like buying shares in a company. The more money you have the more shares and in this case number of voters is the capital, it is the money. The Botswana Congress Party does not have voter capital. It has too little of it to be considered a meaningful share holder at the UDC. It is actually being done a favour by being offered shares at the UDC. It must take whatever it is being offered silently and with great gratitude and just shut up and enjoy the shares! If it feels it deserves more than it can have itself at a 100% without sharing space with anyone, it can just remain BCP of the BCP instead of BCP of the UDC. There is nothing wrong with that.
Then there is this confusion about its leaders who are blowing hot and cold. They must exactly say what their position is clearly. Do they want to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change or not. And they must not be apologetic about it. That there are those who want their party to be a part of the UDC and those who do not is not the issue here. All institutions will have differing opinions and it is up to capable leadership to steer the organisation to an appropriate position. Dumelang Saleshando has failed to do this since the year 2011. We are at the end of the year 2015 and he is still failing. What a perennial failure! The way he present issues with absolute eloquence and clarity could fool you into believing that he is bold and courageous. Until when you wonder what the position of the BCP regarding the umbrella that’s when you will realize how a coward and far from capable leader Dumelang Saleshando is.
The notion of still consulting is too much of an old broom to be used in a new house. This tact has not worked well for the BCP before. Whenever Dumelang Saleshando, the president of the Botswana Congress Party mentions that they are going to consult I look at him and wonder: is this guy really a leader? Is there someone at the back of his jacket telling him what to say and how to say it? Why can’t this guy lead his party to a decision just like how Comrade Duma Boko of the Botswana National Front, Mokaulengwe Gomolemo Thatayaone Motswaledi (May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace) of the Botswana Movement for Democracy and Comrade Motlatsi Molapisi of the Botswana Peoples Party did with their establishments? Why can’t this guy simply refuse to join the umbrella and stop saying he is consulting. Or if he wants the BCP to join why can’t he just do that. People follow their leaders and it is not the other way round. He should lead, he was voted to do that and not to be in the balance as he has been since 2011. Coming to think of it, those who recently left the BCP are probably correct that his leadership is far from inspiration and that his persona is too confused for a politician.
If Dumelang Saleshando is of a conviction that the BCP should go it alone then he should just say so. The whole thing of running a party in suspense is not helping. There is nothing wrong with the BCP not joining the UDC. There is equally nothing with it joining the UDC. But there is everything wrong with the BCP not having a position on such a simple matter. If the BCP cannot simply pronounce if it is in or out why should it even be afforded a single vote at the polls?
Then one wonders why the old men and old women including the young of the BCP retain Dumelang Saleshando as a leader when he can’t steer their organisation to make such a simple decision! The assumption is that Dumelang Saleshando is the best the BCP has and can offer to the nation as President. If this assumption comes out to be the BCP’s reality, that a man who fails to be bold, or to be precise; a coward, is the best the BCP has then the BCP can be classified as nothing but non-existent! The purpose of leadership comes out into open space when decisions have to be made, and it is almost five years since the BCP leader has failed to pronounce an absolute position.
Though leaders are encouraged to consult, such consultation must be done within the confines of reason, otherwise you breed renegades as Dumelang Saleshando has done. People become renegades because they lose patience in leaders and the establishments that such leaders lead. Renegades are a manifestation of frustration! The BCP renegades such as Phagenyana Phage, his name though, are a frustrated lot at the man who simply fails to say: BCP is going it all alone. Then there are other renegades such as Morgan Moseki who are frustrated at Dumelang Saleshando’s failure to pronounce that: BCP is joining the umbrella now. It is very simple to pick a decision such as this when you are a capable leader. But it is equally not possible to pick a decision such as this when you are a coward and such is Dumelang Saleshando.



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