University of Botswana (UB) lecturer, Professor Agreement Lathi Jotia, has dismissed opposition political parties as unfit to govern. Presenting a theme paper at the just-ended Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) Central Executive Committee (CEC) at in Palapye, Jotia said opposition political parties are suffering from big brother mentality. Labeling the opposition political parties chauvinistic due to their lack of caricature of advancing the interests of the masses and improvement of the well-being of the citizens, Jotia said it will take ages for the opposition to overthrow the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). The BDP has been governing for the past five decades since independence. Around 2010/11, opposition parties – Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Peoples’ Party (BPP) and Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) – formed a coalition and called it the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). The intention was to launch a combined opposition force against the ruling party. However, BCP pulled out of the coalition. In 2016, the opposition parties renewed their coalition romance once more that led to the return of BCP to the UDC. New problems emerged in the BMD and BPP. BMD now have a splinter – Alliance for Progressives (AP). “It is absolutely perplexing to learn that trade unions in Botswana behave like our opposition political parties where politicians hate each other to the core,” bellowed Jotia amid a thunderous round of applause from a seemingly fed up public working class. Jotia added: “Opposition politicians hate each other to a degree that they can declare that they cannot sit at a table with one another (just) because of their ideological differences” though they claim to be fighting a common cause – liberating Batswana from the jaws economic captivity.
“At the same time, opposition politicians advance fallacious political gospel that they want to take power from the BDP. Seriously? Disintegrated, hating each other yet craving to take power from the BDP?” rhetorically asked Jotia. “So, what will we have in the ultimate – a government of uncompromised haters and hated,” charged Jotia before lecturing the UDC about social political process which is founded on the principles of plurality and diversity of thoughts. Jotia said a true leader who is a seasoned democrat develops the character of listening even to those voices they abhor the most – that is the spirit of democratic leadership and the functional discourse of democracy as a process of socio-political agreement. “Unity and solidarity are like faith – they can move mountains,” said Jotia when encouraging opposition parties to work hand in glove if they still harbor any ambitions to wrestle governance from the BDP. Speaking at the same event, UDC vice president and BCP president Dumelang Saleshando said the opposition coalition is doing everything within its power to ensure that a common ground is found in the umbrella. Saleshando said he will serve as a living testimony to other opposition parties having doubts in the power of working together. “I learned it the hard way during the 2014 General Elections,” said Saleshando in reference to the dismal performance BCP suffered in the last elections.