Following the Botswana Democratic Party government’s fallout with the media especially over issues of press freedom, the party has launched a charm offensive to win the hearts of the fourth estate.
On Wednesday the party hosted an interaction session with editors at Wine Bar owned by Fish Pabalinga, BDP’s head of communications and International relations subcommittee, at Airport Junction Mall in which most observers say is part of an overall strategy to revive the party’s dented image and broken relationship with the private media.
The session comes after the BDP led government waged a war against the media by arresting Sunday Standard editor Outsa Mokone on charges of sedition which also led to the paper’s senior reporter Edgar Tsimane seeking refuge in South Africa.
The news attracted international media and saw the the United States government condemning the arrest. The BDP came with guns blazing accusing the US of meddling in their affairs while they have committed more serious atrocities across the world.
Surprisingly, during the relaxed session, the BDP Secretary General did not want to talk about the government rebuttal noting that the media event was just for interaction.
Balopi also refused to talk about the recent attack by their former statesman, Sir Ketumile Masire in which he accused some of the current BDP leaders of being bootlickers.
It was clear during the informal session that they have accepted the fact that they can no longer ‘abort an already born baby’ thus chose to remain silent.
After realising that their star is now fading, government is said to be going all out to ensure that they seduce undecided voters during the independence celebrations.
The independence celebrations which are held under the auspices of the ministry of youth, sport and culture had ensured that all Batswana are included in the celebrations.
For the first time in the celebrations, they will be a church choir festival which be held on the 27th of this month.
When he took over in 2008, President Khama stopped the independence celebrations. They were only restored last year.
This is said to be part of the strategy to woo voters to the ruling party.
The on air President
Last year BDP announced that President Khama due to his tight schedule will only launch two candidates that is his young brother Tshekedi Khama and former party chairman Samson Moyo Guma.
The party has now somersaulted and the President is always on air traversing the breadth and length of the country to canvass votes for the BDP especially in marginal constituencies.
Some of the constituencies he has visited on several occasions include Boteti South and North, Nkange, Sefhare-Ramokgonami and Nata/Gweta.
He is expected to visit more constituencies where the party’s prospects are under immense threat from the opposition.
This has not gone down well with Botswana Congress Party (BCP) who is accusing him of abusing the state resources to campaign for his party.
BCP Secretary General Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang has indicated that they are going to report him to Ombudsman for abusing state resources.