“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, was for good men to stand by and do nothing”, said, Montesquieu.
There was considerable irony in the advice of the thirty nine former BDP legislators to their former Head of Party and of Republic. The title of the counsel reads: “BDP is much bigger than any individual.” The insincerity contained in the counsel was its inaudible denial and antagonism to principle and to individual which holds that no collective was bigger than its individual members!
A free collective, was the same thing as a free political party, free government, free law, or a free election. Each derived its ‘just powers from the consent of the governed.” The ‘collective,’ was like fruit. Fruit was product of seed. Seed creates fruit. The governed create the governor. The governing citizen, from President to Park attendant in government, was product of the governed citizen. Government derived it’s just powers from the consent of the governed. No government and certainly no BDP was bigger than any governed individual citizen.
None of the thirty nine former BDP Legislators who authored the counsel to Kgama IV, was a political novice to the history and collectivism of Democracy. Since each, according to their God-given talent, knew even before their election and selection to govern, that a system of unlimited majority rule, contained the irony that it unfailingly destroyed itself by its very illimitability.
None among them was a novice to this idea that the popular and majority in government or in law, much less in a political party, were not measures of basic truth or its substitute. Equally, they know that the unpopular and a minority, were not by those measures, proof of their untruthfulness. They knew that it was to prevent unlimited majority rule to have power to ask for and gain the infringement of the individual that the American system was made a limited constitutional republic, and not a democracy. A constitutional republic, which each of them was acquainted with, was made to deny unlimited majority to have any say on the basic principles governing governance. A democracy was unlike a limited constitutional republic. It was not restricted to the protection of the individual. Democracy was unlimited in its unrestraint to ask and gain infringement of the rights of the individual citizen. It’s just powers, were ‘not’ derived from the consent of the governed. I ask: especially this thirty nine former BDP legislators: what was the motive of the BDP government’s initial choice of a system of unlimited majority rule over a limited constitutional republic? How ironic!
“We the undersigned are pained by the gross contravention of the BDP culture which was displayed at a meeting addressed by former President, Lt. Gen. Dr. SKIK, in Serowe on 04th May 2019”. It was not ordinarily the practice of the party to tender counsel to party members, through the Patriot on Sunday for breach of party culture. The enterprise, they say, was initiated by the magnitude of the error, and the infringement was by a former head of BDP and Republic.
If such an honorary one had infringed BDP culture, in the scale and depth alleged, were there not established honorary institutional cautioning processes for honorary membership? Which of the thirty nine former BDP governors/eldership, by this public, unlimited, and dishonorary counsel, was in point of fact acting consistent with elder culture, and we are talking not merely BDP elder culture, but universal elder culture? Ironic!
Did Khama IV, the alleged dishonour of BDP elder culture, not have recourse before and now to counter-counsel his former BDP elders through the same medium they picked to engage him, as party elder? He did then. Still does now. It cannot be done and avoid being imprudent. It was indiscreet. Impulsiveness was hardly an elderly trait. It disaffirms elder-demeanour, and yet it was an end to which all elders were constantly called to affirm in action. When the same party Eldership, Chairperson, SG, and State President first made public that they willed to stand against some members of the party and will stand with others, thereby willing to polarise the party, rather than marry and reconcile it, were they in the first and present instance, figurative of good sense, prudence and discernment – right parenting? Ironic!
The Ngwato King’s particular differences of opinion from his former party legislators was presently unknown to the general public, much less to his subjects. What ethical restraint was at work in the King which prevented him to do as his party elders through this and other public platforms have now willed or felt unrestrained and manipulated to do? Answer: “botho.” It was part of basic Tswana and Ngwato culture to not be coarse and lacking basic gentility. Tswana history was a history of judicious eldership, of honorary heroes and of holy compatriotism. Governance was a thing to keep free from indiscretion, and from injudicious decisions and from imprudent decision-makers. At no time was a King, at liberty to act contrary to the merit of sobriety, presence of mind, quickness of conception, and felicity of expression in any of his present, past and future callings. Khama IV was Tribal King of the Ngwato Tribe, former military commander of the Republic’s Army, former Serowe North Legislator, former Chairperson of BDP and former President of the Republic.
“The desire to put the interest of nation and of party before those of individuals was the reason for the party’s history of strong foundation.’ An ironical statement!
We have shown by the principle set out at the beginning, which was that ‘no collective was bigger than its individual members.’ that no desire to put interest of nation and party before individuals was attainable at all through a desire to put the interests of BDP, being ‘… much bigger than any individual” before the interest of the individual members of the nation and of the party. The end that was sought cannot be reached with the means used. We are here discussing a national condition which was not merely an outcome of the failure of the system to deliver on desired outcomes. The ‘no collective was bigger than its individual members principle and the BDP is much bigger than any individual” philosophy were opposing and antagonistic systems.
It was past fifty years and still BDP and the majority of the individual members of the nation/citizen, were yet to agree as to what were the rightful desires or outcomes this nation must realise. Interest of nation before interest of individuals, was as much a contradiction in terms as the desire to put interest of party before that of its individual members. Placing the interest of nation before individual members of that nation was to place the interest of some fluid, imprecise, abusable and unquantifiable group of people called nation (being BDP of course), over the interests of the fixed, precise, and quantifiable individual members of the nation and or of the party. Sacrifice of the interest of the individuals constituting the general overall population to the interests of the members of the BDP, and over BDP stood resolutely supreme, has for the general population hunger where there was no famine, and for the BDP, change and growth without progress for the people. Observe the irony! Governance demands that He who was put to govern, shall derive his just right of governance from the consent and satisfaction of the interests of the governed.
“We wish to stay true to our culture of internal dialogue…and wish to plead with the entire membership and all Batswana to allow the current administration room to lead. We are convinced most Batswana agree that Dr. Masisi administration will open opportunities for more Botswana.”
The desire to stay true to internal dialogue, could not be attained by seeking solace in public media, which was hardly a space for private, internal dialogue! Was membership of the BDP and of the nation of the view that they held any room which they needed to give to Dr Masisi to lead! How has the general BDP membership and the general population infringed upon Dr., Masisi’s administration to lead since April 1, 2018? It would appear that the only Batswana convinced of Dr. Masisi’s Administration, and who held high/strong hopes that it will open opportunities for Batswana, were a BDP which was a bigger than any individual membership of the nation and the party membership. What was ingrained in the Dr. Masisi BDP Administration which was absent from the past four BDP Administrations, and which convinces the former BDP legislators that hopes for an inclusive economy may be created and sustained by declaring a desire for exclusive ownership of country and party, and at the expense of the population of the land? Ironic! Governance, was not an individual persons’ administrative mandate. I have heard many members of BDP cabinet across its various succeeding administrations, maintain and declare the ministries they head, as ‘my ministry,’ ‘my department’. But if meaning was attached to terms, a public ministry or any state apparel; governance, ‘was a general abstinence from the possessions of others’.
“Batswana are reminded that this nation was not built on regionalism and tribalism nor on anything that borders on those.” We should not let these divide party and nation. We grew up in a united Botswana and shall not rob future generations of equal environment that our fore fathers left for us.” Ironic!
So the caution and the counsel was also intended for Batswana in general? But Batswana in general or as a nation or as a conglomeration of tribes under distinct tribal rulers was generally much older than the birthdate of the BDP party. This constituency of Batswana, much of whom have gone the way of all earth, lived and died having not imagined later generations will need reminding, and with all due gentility, that Bechuana was in-fact built on regionalism and tribalism! Our form of tribalism for hundreds of years was never the divisive and predatory sort which the BDP and other commentators are fashionably warning Batswana against. There was presently division and much intemperance within the nation and within the BDP, and a general enterprising wind of anticipation of the unknown and unknowable outcome of this momentous clash of temperaments. These preliminary pre-2019 election temperaments were absolutely gigantic, and several layers more motivated for change. For the BDP, the season was extraordinary and perplexing. The temperamental BDP was coming to terms with the inescapability of the outcome its “BDP was much bigger than any individual” policies. For the voter, the crossroad, was an enterprising opportunity for them to assume responsibility to compel themselves and their governance systems to derive their power and authority make programs informed by the consent and the consideration by the governor of the interests of the governed.
Toxic tribalism, the malicious sort, do not form part of fabric as a people. It certainly never did make any significant infringements on our course of self-governance, before Independence and after it. Botswana was at this particular historical junction, not as an outcome of tribal fires fanned by the King of the Ngwato, Khama IV, as people seem willed and coached to believe. Our nation was like a festering sore. We are a country led and following after laws and characters lacking merit of temperance, considerateness, and good-sense. Tribal loyalty toward bad people qualities do not generate our praise. Toxic Tribalism was basically next door to racism. We are a country founded on the recognition of the right of every race to co-exist with neighbouring races. We will not as a people ever easily descend into barbarism. Tribal loyalty to tribal qualities which generate our praise and approbation was hardly worth our condemnation, much less, call it tribalism!
“BDP has not harmed the former President in any way, and so there was no cause for him to incite BDP membership to ditch or work against it. We collectively call for sanity to prevail.” Ironic! There was much indignity in the intimation by CAVA and Comp, that King Khama IV was endowed to incite tribal wars. This was injurious to the name and dignity of our King as his tribal subjects, although, it was an injury which God would not permit to permeate beyond the King and the Tribe’s capacity to be stilled against. King and subjects feel aggrieved and compelled to stand for their cause as a people, against the rising pockets of self-declared enemies to King Khama IV, his people, and against their interaction. This rising of tribe for King and of King for Tribe should have been anticipated. They were not acts bordering on thoughts or desire to violate or prevent the self-determination of tribes. Ngwato territory was home to miscellaneous tribes. History will redeem Bangwato. If BaNgwato were tribalistic, how was it that they were still the most divers tribal groups over other tribes, Bangwato are the least homogenous groups and yet its tribal leadership has from time past kept and maintained peace among the divergent tribal stratus. These subject tribes were a permanent part of the fabric of Ngwato society, indefinitely. This was established custom, and which Democracy, will not quench or oust.
What is the name of that Army General and Royal, who after a through scientific search for a stabilising anchor from within the entire BDP, which could unify divergent temperaments within the party? Khama IV was one of the most and well inducted Paramount Chiefs of our time by his own Father and Tribe.
“Let sanity prevail.” Truly. May some island of sanity indeed prevail over our seas of madness!