The year is 2024, a year to be characterised by a fervent of activity. We are emerging from a beehive of activity occasioned by Christmas and New year’s Holidays, leaving many grappling with self-endured exhaustion. Unfortunately, there is no time to nurse fatigue. Come October 2024 as is the norm, the nation will be going to the polls. Di XADILE!!
Let me start by motivating all Batswana eligible to vote, to exercise their democratic right by registering in the ongoing Voter Registration Exercise scheduled for 05 January to 03 February 2024. I motivate them furthermore to vote in large numbers come October 2024. I know that some leading opposition politicians did not think that casting a vote mattered, until they stood for elections themselves. With that mindset, they just cannot be entrusted with leading the nation. There are also some who labour under the wrongful and mistaken belief that “after all, what difference can one vote really make?” But the truth is that every vote matters, every single vote does count. Voting is one of the most critical rights we have as citizens, and it’s crucial that we exercise this right to have our voices heard. The process starts with Voter Registration.
As alluded above, I am calling on ALL eligible Batswana to register and more importantly BDP members and supporters. We want a resounding victory against the Opposition Parties. In the 2019 General Elections, we won the elections after securing 38 National Assembly seats. The main opposition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), secured 15 seats while the Botswana Patriotic Front won three and the Alliance for Progressive only one. We want to increase our tally far beyond 38.
President Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi has proven himself beyond any reasonable doubt that he deserves and should earn a second term, a resounding one at that! Of the electoral promises he made to this nation in 2019, so many, and some more, have been ticked on the box! For the first time in my lifetime, Botswana is feeding itself and has attained food security through a revival of the agricultural sector. This month, Botswana’s first ever mega Citrus project in Selibe Phikwe with around 800 000 citrus trees in Botswana will have its very first yield, thousands of tones of citrus fruits are expected to be exported to target markets including China, Europe and the USA. This would be the largest consolidated citrus development in Southern Africa, a first for this country, a first in the SADC region! Also being rolled out is electrification of villages, provision of clean water, roads, schools, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure and digitalization of the public sector to improve service delivery, among others.
Since the last general elections, as is the norm with the Opposition Parties, there has been a backslide with the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) withdrawing from the UDC. This also entailed some BCP MPs in the likes of Hon Dithapelo Keorapetse, Hon Dr Nevah Tshabang, Hon David Tshere and others pledging to remain with the UDC at the expense of their party, the BCP. They even went to the extent of toppling their Leader from the position of Leader of Opposition (LOO) in Parliament, because he was decrying lack of inner party democracy in the UDC.
Since the coming into being of UDC, which was formed in 2012 with the sole purpose of removing Ian Khama from power, it is common knowledge that the Party has never held elections for their leadership positions, talk of dictatorship par excellence. I want to argue that a lack of inner party democracy in the UDC is a microcosm of what the party will practice once they are in power. Our Academics especially political scientists at UB should engage on the subject matter. Batswana need to know and understand the serious implications of lack of inner party democracy in the UDC, worst still when the UDC is sleeping in the same bed with the very same man it was formed to remove, Ian Khama.
From time immemorial, our opposition parties have been preaching opposition unity devoid of inner Party Democracy. And every time the Opposition Parties preach Unity, each time they become disjointed. Leading to the 2014 General Elections, the Opposition embarked on Unity talks which nonetheless collapsed. The BCP remained out of the UDC and contested as a separate entity. The BDP still emerged victorious. Once again our opposition Parties embarked on Unity talks and contested the 2019 elections as a mix masala under UDC. The water and oil mix masala included the sworn enemies BNF and BCP, to mention a few. The UDC was thumped by the BDP in the 2019 general elections. As a precursor to what would have happened had they won the 2019 general elections, the true colours, again. Like in the 2014 elections, the BCP is set to contest these year’s elections outside the UDC. Inner party democracy remains a pie in the sky for our opposition.
Based on the aforementioned, I can readily predict the outcome of the 2024 general Elections. I am no prophet, but I can boldly predict that the Leader of Opposition Hon Dithapelo Keorapetse, Hon Nevah Tshabang, Hon David Tshere (christened the Judases by the BCP masses) to mention a few, are going to lose their seats, not to the BCP but to the BDP. In the dog-eat-dog political world, the UDC will fight tooth and nail to ensure that their nemesis in BCP President Hon Dumelang Saleshando, Hon Lucas, Hon Hikuama, Hon Kekgonegile, and Hon Dr Gobotswang do not return to Parliament. The BDP is set to capture all the abovementioned seats. We don’t need Political Analysts to tell us. The writing is on the wall.
Opposition Parties are good at one thing, doing the same thing over and over, again and again and expecting the results to be different. We have not hidden it from them what they ought to do if they are to ever give the BDP some competition. The opposition cannot govern itself, what more of a country? Batswana, go out and register in large numbers, our democracy depends on it.
BDP Secretary for Communications & International Relations
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