Friday, 11 January, 2013Yet another Botswna Movement for Democracy (BMD) founding member has rejoined the BDP. The defectors have been very reluctant to give their true reasons for leaving BMD. The grapevine tells us there were rifts with BMD president but in the absence of any admission from the defectors it is impossible to draw a fair conclusion.
One cannot help but wonder if BMD as an organization is not imploding. What could be so bad about a party that the very people who founded it decide to return to a party they denigrated so much? The defections would appear to give credit to theories that the BMD was a spoiler, an agent provocateur thought up by the well resourced ruling party to break up opposition. It is difficult to debunk this conspiracy theory considering the rate at which BMD appears to be haemorrhaging especially that BMD itself is not coming up with a particularly convincing spin on the issue. Responding simply by saying that the defectors had been inactive in the party for a while is NOT a particularly smart response about prominent people leaving your party. It suggests a malfunctioning organization that has no control over its own members. In an instance where there are accusations and allegations of a rift between the President and other members of the executive, the response merely confirms this. It may be true but the impression it gives is one of a party that has lost its direction.
Where then is the BMD? Is it fair to dismiss the BMD on the account of the defections? One thing is indisputable, BMD is experiencing life threatening labour pains. The hard truths of starting a political organization are beginning to hit them. They are beginning to understand that there needs to be structure and limit to dissent! It cannot be a free for all anything goes gang bang where all and sundry throw in their pula’s worth of opinion. Dissent has parameters and democratic right to expression has limits within an organization. This however cannot be blamed on the BMD but on the immaturity and, or naivete of the politicians who cannot handle not getting their way.
The mere fact that the defectors themselves have by and large failed and, or refused to give reasons for leaving cannot and should not be blamed on the BMD as an organization. There is some dishonesty in leaving an organization that you founded for the people and upon leaving you refuse to give the reasons. Whether it is disillusionment or a change of mind it is a must that an explanation be given to the people. The BMD as chaotic as it appears to be now cannot be and should not be held accountable for confused politicians making very personal and otherwise inexplicable reasons for leaving them. Without a doubt the BMD must clean up its act and sort out whatever teething problems they are having and fast! Sometimes however you cannot do much when someone takes a decision to leave an organization. Unless there has been a “gentleman’s agreement” (and I use the term loosely) between the BMD and the defectors not to discuss the reasons, and that is a real possibility, then the defections should not be put down to BMD having problems, rather the defectors motives and character should be brought into question.