THE OBSERVER: Whoever of the candidates wins, the BDP has lost

SHARE   |   Monday, 11 July 2016   |   By Simon Gabathuse
THE OBSERVER: Whoever of the candidates wins, the BDP has lost

Some things are painful to say, yet so true. Yet so painful they have to be said; because not mentioning them does not make them go away. Next week Saturday will be the Ramotswa Kelemogile Ward by-elections and this is essentially where the political focus will be. It has become a norm that political parties use whatever form of resources they have to lure in voters. I have expressed in this column after the Sekoma by-elections that; crying foul that electorates were bought with free alcohol, ample sex and galore cash shall not help the situation. Our political landscape has proved to have moved to where every other African political landscape has moved to. Those with resources are more likely to attract the vote than those without. It is what the great philosophers call; the poverty of mind!  It has become clear that the many days and resources spent towards the campaigns mean very little compared to what happens on the night of the polling day where free alcohol, ample sex and galore cash are widely distributed without a pause of thought.

I have had the opportunity to attend both rallies of the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and that of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). And sadly, both campaigns have centred not on any other issue of importance to the voter or the people of Kelemogile Ward. Both have rather been campaigns having found a niche in the difference between being led by an elder and a youth. Some have expressed their concern elsewhere that it is not right to judge the BDP candidate on the basis of age. I continue to differ that voting the elderly against the youth is essentially regressing the gains made thus far. I concur with those who are dismissing Mr Best Mosadi of the BDP simply on the basis of age and being worn out. I do not see any reason to differ with them for supporting Ms Seitiso Ditlhong of the UDC for simply being a young and being a woman. We must get rid of the habit of sugar coating basic issues. The Botswana political scape has not grown beyond petty talk, free provision of alcohol, ample sex and galore cash. This is the society we have made and this is the society that shall decide leaders based on what it has been taught and what it has experienced. It is called being cultured. We have been politically cultured to be these species and we shall continue to behave the same way until we are re-cultured to be a society of working minds.

The voter is inevitably young and the country is relatively young in population and age. The economy has over the years been shifting from agriculture, where the elderly have had monopoly of wisdom to an era where the economy is only understood by the young. The young are the unemployed, they are the ones without housing; they are the ones without proper education and training and the ones forced by their painful circumstances into crime. The youth are the ones being pushed into being alcoholics because they have nothing else to do except to drink. The youth are yet the ones without money to pay for their alcohol. Thus the youth are the ones expecting free alcohol. Ii is in this extreme imbibing of alcohol that the youth find themselves sexually desired and it is the youth who appears to be providing ample sex. Well, in exchange of alcohol. These things must be said. We have a society that is rotating between alcohol and sex. And so shall and is its political understanding.

The BDP must be reminded this lesson at the polls so that in the next opportunity to field a candidate, they must as the ruling party behave as an institution with experience of what it has created.  Trying to play moral in a society that is deep within moral decay without finding the cause is only but insanity! The BDP must ensure that it aligns the need of the young people with a progressive future and doing so is within availing resources. In continuing to shout that people don’t have discipline without finding the causes will not make the problem go away. But in deciding the future of the country through provision of ample sex, free alcohol and galore cash we must all bear in mind that the nation shall continue to lack in development since those who are supposed to take the charge are still busy drinking free alcohol and enjoying ample sex. The opposition cannot pretend to be not playing the game, it has opted to dance to the gallery. We can’t blame them. 

The Umbrella for Democratic Change represented by the ailing Botswana Congress Party (BCP) at this by-election must be applauded through the vote for putting into consideration the needs of the current society and placing them ahead of the generation that has failed the current society. It defeats logic that such an old man who has been presented as the BDP candidate should not have been left to enjoy his retirement and pension in peace than being made to spend so much time and energy traversing Ramotswa for votes. The UDC has done well in terms of the choice of candidate and youth must not shy to go and vote in one of their own simply because she is young. There is nothing wrong with that in the political landscape of Botswana. It is not a problem of the youth that the vote has been sold many times that it has become normal. The UDC has so far never attributed the need to vote for their candidate on any reasonable case, except that she is young and female. They are the only ones who are aware of what that means.

One can only hope and implore those who had registered at the Ramotswa Kelemogile Ward to exercise such a democratic and free right to elect a leader of their choice. Well, one cannot forget to also remind those who were trafficked in the last elections from other wards and constituencies that they might as well go and use that opportunity as they had done before. Besides, no one is voting for sense, we are all going to vote for the side that will give us an opportunity. Either way the vote goes the BDP has lost it. It has raised a society that has deviated from working minds with intent to develop the society. No one is going to vote with a sober mind, the vote is with that side that shall provide enough for the day.
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