Who exactly is Duma Boko talking to?

SHARE   |   Monday, 12 December 2016   |   By Simon Gabathuse
Who exactly is Duma Boko talking to?

There has developed a new political tendency to pull populist stunts in a bid to showcase brilliance or relevance. Unfortunately, this tendency takes away the valuable time that could be used to present real alternative issues. Presenting alternative issues is not primarily waiting for someone to say something then you come in the offensive. You have to consistently prove your case. It is not the case of who has done wrong in your view and explaining the wrong from your view. In public governance, it is providing, consistently models that you believe and are convinced will alter the living conditions of a nation for the better. If you find yourself unable to consistently presents such issues and you are only brought to action when somebody else has presented their ideas, when you never present your ideas without reacting to somebody’s ideas, you cannot be said to be innovative. You are merely reactive, or to put it more bluntly, you are a reactionary. I will here give credit to the President of the BMD, Honourable Ndaba Gaolathe. He talks to the masses, to the ordinary Motswana at home. He talks to the whole country. His utterances are not meant to present some form superior intellect in adversity, his utterances are of hope, practicality and purpose. Having observed the Comrade Boko trend since he entered parliament, I cannot say the same of or for him.

If the Botswana’s massive inequalities are abundantly obvious to even the most casual observer, who then is Duma Boko talking to when he decorates his language skills in Latin, big words, crude language and deviation from the subject matter that is; inequalities. Is he talking to himself? The ordinary Motswana at home has consistently reacted to Duma Boko utterances as being flashy, beautifully presented yet not understandable. This has been happening over time and yet he still finds some sort of comfort in pursuing this route. Comrade Boko should not be talking to political activists. They already know the message; that is why they are a part of political activism. He should be communicating with Motswana at home who still needs to understand what the whole opposition hype carries for him or her and the children at home; unemployed, unskilled, and those without health care facilities, without roads, without water, without electricity, without access to the social safety net, without technological infrastructure. Assuming the purpose of his utterances is to make sense to the ordinary Motswana then he is doing badly in his attempt. He should not be talking to himself. Unless utterances are meant for the already enlightened, then he is on the right track. But then again, this will imply that the idea is not to get new voters to his fold. This then will defeat he logic of perceiving one’s party as a compelling alternative. Elections are won through a majority vote, numbers, and in not attaining or thriving for new members, then the intention cannot be said to be of growth. And if the intention cannot be said to be of growth, then the intention, politically speaking, is to remain within opposition ranks until Jesus comes back.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the UDC 2014 election outcome also carried with it what some political commentators call a patchwork of disparate groupings for popularity who will behave in any manner that is likely to present them as heroes in the eyes of those who view political commentary as entertainment. It is the kind of Boko people who have now become the constant backdrop to all conversations about the state of our country, the economy, the education system, the health services, everything. To them this is just a game of politics where the loudest and the crudest in language is the most popular - they are thriving hard to be crude and loud without pointing out the actual problems. The problems of this country cannot and will not be solved by decorating English language. The assumption is that when the leader of the opposition in Parliament responds to the State of the Nation Address, he or she is presenting alternative views. And if the crude utterances that were presented by Duma Boko are the alternatives promised Batswana, then we are in for a curse. Unless of course I am missing a point, the only thing that came out of Comrade Boko’s crude utterances is that there is a compelling alternative. But then how he presents the compelling alternative irks the mind in bad way. One wonders, who is he presenting this compelling alternative to; to himself?

I am sad to mention that my observation of Comrade Boko since assuming the Leader of the Opposition seat in Parliament, the expectation that he will protect the envisaged democratic transition, seems so lost, so misplaced. His utterances also present a gloomy picture as to whether the opposition legislatures do discuss before going into the National Assembly for presentation and debates. I will choose to believe that they don’t caucus and that is why such crude utterances by the Leader of Opposition, who is supposed to be guiding are rather leaving the majority of the population in shock and awe. If the opposition legislators do discuss before presentations and debates in Parliament, this will mean the opposition bloc agrees with crude utterances brought by Comrade Boko to Parliament. Then this poses a problem in that they perceive being crude as being brilliant. I will rather choose not to believe that there is such a discussion before Comrade Boko’s crude utterances in Parliament. He is just being Comrade Boko and in that process having abdicated his role and duty as leader of opposition in the National Assembly. May the reader please allow me to remain at this choice!

It is unfortunate that there are those within opposition politics who misunderstand radical transformation and radical politics as being crude, loud and insultive. Radicalism in politics is about robust ideas in a respectful manner. It is about differing through progressive and revolutionary debates. The trend unfortunately has changed and those who are supposed to show young cadres the proper way are the worst perpetrators. Now no one dares to express any type of radical approach to our national woes unless it is some loony populist stunt. Taking out the decorated English language, crude language and loudness out of comrade Boko’s utterances leaves us with only a shallow presentation of what is supposed to be a ‘brilliant’ view of the opposition and a compelling alternative. It presents a man so far detached from the woes of the society. Comrade Boko is living in some country somewhere unknown. I differ with Comrade on this. The urban and literate will continue to view him and opposition in a mode that he might, or does find comfort in. But this is the very category of the society that is already within the opposition bloc yet unable to effect democratic change through the vote. The vote remains with the rural people, the actual people, and they can’t hear Comrade Boko speak. Who is Comrade Boko talking to? Why is Comrade Boko talking to himself? Should Comrade Boko be talking to himself?

Simon Gabathuse is available at:
Facebook: Simon Gabathuse
Twitter: @SimonGabathuse