Last Updated
Thursday 20 October 2016, 17:30 pm.
Duma Boko, the charlatan at large

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president, Duma Boko, dissembles revolutionary profile. He opens his end-of-year message with a quotation of V.I. Lenin, the 1917 Bolshevik Revolutionary leader: "We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path , firmly holding each other by hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to advance, almost constantly under fire."
By Staff Writer Thu 20 Oct 2016, 21:26 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Duma Boko, the charlatan at large

Before he calls himself a Leninist, let us call off the brewing bluff. The analogy of "compact group" from UDC vis a vis the Bolsheviks is sacrilegious. "Compact group," when the UDC's BMD elements  swear on liberal  ideology and its BNF elements swear by social democracy (the two are uneasy ideological bedfellows ), and again while both are shedding adherents to their archrivals, the BDP and the BCP, at alarming rates, is a mockery of the "compact group" concept Lenin coined.

And the BPP? Well, with nothing to shed except the awful memory of what could have been had the party adapted to the dynamics of politics and joined a more vibrant stream while there was time, they must now tag along to destination unknown. The BPP's consolation, however, is the history of having been the first political party in Botswana. That, we must admit, will save the BPP from the oblivion that is alleged to threaten some political species! "Compact group" plagiarised analogy is but a fig-leaf to cover the state of affairs at UDC by Boko. A whistling in the dark!  The Bolsheviks were a monolithic party with a rock solid ideology.

Further down his message, Boko attacks Michael Kitso Dingake without mentioning him by name, describing him as a "sojourner in foreign prisons" and someone "soon to pass into political oblivion". He has the audacity to refer to a 15-year prison term as a "sojourn" and suffers a rare xenophobic disease of alluding to kindred South Africa where Batswana originate and where he has first cousins, as foreign! He deliberately forgets or is ignorant that the Lenin he quotes effusively was an internationalist and an un-ashamed jailbird; that he died almost a century ago but refuses to go into political oblivion even as the counterrevolutionaries in his country remove his statue from a public square and virulent anti-Leninist academics of the crisis-prone laissez faire capitalism system fail in relegating his pragmatic views to history. Unsurprising that even in the backwaters of Botswana, we come across charlatans who perform acts of crude political stunts, behaving like buffoons mouthing his name.

I do not know whether Boko, student of revolutionary treatises, has read another of VI Lenin's works, "Leftwing Communism an Infantile Disorder." If not, I recommend the work to him. It might teach him some revolutionary balance, a bit of humility, self-discipline, adaptation to conditions of the moment and avoidance of the venality of self-importance and ability to come down to Mother Earth and learn her ways, and learn mother tongue and community customs, politics-wise. Karl Marx, the father of revolutionary theory and Lenin's mentor, writes in the Communist Manifesto: "....the beginner who has learned a new language always translates it into his mother tongue: he can only be said to have appropriated the spirit of the new language and to be able to express himself in it freely when he can manipulate it without reference to the old, and when he forgets his original language while using the new one." Boko is a political neophyte still uncertain whether to vote or not. Shouldn't he start his political lessons in the polling booth?

Quotes from political philosophers don't impress until translated into applied action and until those who parrot them do what Karl Marx hinted: change the world instead of interpreting it! I am convinced that the man/woman who talks democracy and wishes to lay its law for others must first understand its fundamentals: That it is rooted on equality derived from the universal franchise, the vote. Someone who doesn't value the vote is unfit to preach democracy since democracy is a strange animal to him, an animal he has never owned nor touched; a man or woman who believes he/she is  an expert on democratic procedures would not dismiss or suspend members elected by his party supreme congress to the central committee with him, capriciously without scrupling about the democratic norm.

The trouble with our budding Leninist, is that all said and done he is a stranger to politics; he thinks politics is what he reads in works of philosophy, political science textbooks and political novels. Politics is more than that; it is about tangling with political issues actively as they arise and interacting with party colleagues on a basis of equality and respect. It is not a one-man show, a profession of magicians with their wands and chants of 'open sesame!'  When Lenin penned, 'What is To Be Done?' he was thinking hard over the challenges that confronted his countrymen and party and was inviting party colleagues to join him in debating  issues that demanded collective decision. And when he talked about enemies surrounding them, these were identifiable enemies armed with weapons of war, hell-bent to check the revolution.

Ask Duma Boko who his enemies are and he will tell you BDP and BCP. BDP, obviously because it is in power which he is striving verbally to dislodge. He believes to dislodge the BDP from the saddle one must concoct some hair-raising anecdotes to incite militant reaction or call on  opposition parties to unite willy-nilly under his gavel of mumbo jumbo of 'national project' sprinkled with curses of severe repercussions to dissidents like the BCP! No, you don't order people to unite and expect that to happen with a twang of your fingers!  (END Part I)

Batswana are adults, mature politicians imbued with a democratic culture. To be

stakeholders in the Umbrella they must be canvassed and voluntarily agree to be part. Coercion or manipulation, by insinuating vague enemy labels to disparage the reluctant won't do.  Such tactics stink!

The next enemy Duma Boko will mention is the BCP. Why? Because the BCP, a democratic organisation believes in inner party democracy. The party is different from either the BDP under Ian Khama and BNF under Duma Boko. The BCP hates tyranny and tyrants whether of governments or of political parties. In Botswana frankly, political parties are rivals not enemies! A prepared presidential speech talking of enemies instead of rivals may be appropriate for gutter audience!.

Why does Boko accuse Dingake and unnamed fathers and sons of preventing the BNF from assuming power when it was about to? Thumb-sucking. He doesn't say how, since he doesn't know, who the men and women were, who propelled the BNF to the brink of wresting power from the BDP in 1994. He doesn't know the BNF was an opposition mass without professional organisation, administration and leadership, a party without modern offices, without centrally issued membership cards, floundering, lacking resourcefulness to mobilise electioneering funds, confused and convinced it could win power by boycotting general elections! Where was Duma Boko to advise the bungling BNF leaders of the time that you don't win elections by boycotting, but by participating, unless you can produce a viable alternative! The feat of winning the dramatic 13 seats in Parliament in 1994, did not belong to the pedigree of the Chiang Kai Sheks who withdraw from the Long March only to emerge when victory is declared to make undue claims. The feat belonged to the dissolved central committee, the heroes and the heroines of the dramatic 1994 general elections results. Boko must know,  it was the authoritarian presidency like his which led to the 1998 split? Fancy dissolving a constitutionally elected central committee or suspending unilaterally the entire Executive committee! Typical de javu.

The 1998 split deprived the BNF of the dynamic leadership of the 1997 Ledumang Central Committee in the same manner that the BNF Executive Committee suspensions last year has paralysed  the BNF by depriving it of the stalwarts who had remained after the split to reconstitute the BNF. Like a bolt from the blue Boko arrives, to deny the mature and experienced BNF Executive the opportunity to lead.  

"We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies... ..." Ouch!

 Boko doesn't need enemies, he's HIS OWN ENEMY with personality riddled with anti-Boko landmines:
Boko is a tyrant. He demands that his colleagues genuflect before him. It is not a done thing in living democracies!
Boko  is an opportunist.  He waits to impose himself in leadership positions when he feels the time is opportune to succeed. Leadership vacuum at BNF in 2010 wetted his appetite for BNF leadership; BMD and BPP weak partnerships projected his leadership opportunities in UDC !

Boko's integrity is questionable. He must convince the public that he was) never an NDF member. Time is longer than rope. Rumours may yet become facts! b) he must reconcile statement that Tsabong conference irrevocably endorsed the umbrella as sole model with the original 2010 Mochudi Congress decision cautioning against any form of unity dissolving the BNF.

Boko is a crybaby. He keeps telling the public what Dumelang Saleshando said while the BCP was still Umbrella I partner, why? The public awaits constituency allocations report from him and what the UDC policy is, precisely? Politics is not an academic exercise nor some legal fencing in a court of law to win cases. Drag someone into a pit, and you stay there with him!  Boko is a political narcissist. Don't be surprised to see him hug and kiss himself and order  onlookers to cheer! It is probably why he never voted because he never was an election candidate. Steady! People, the voters, the media, and political commentators will make objective assessment of him after he has learnt to cast a vote and has stopped crying like an orphaned child!

Boko is petty and vindictive. Remember BNF and BCP MPs democratically agreed to elect Isaac Mabiletsa Leader of the Opposition and Boko a non-MP shot down the decision to impose Botsalo Ntuane under a coalition designed by him alone?

Ntuane and others from the BNF soon decamped and made it possible for BCP Dumelang Saleshando  to be Leader of the Opposition. Again Boko, petty and vindictive, intervened to annul LOO by driving BNF/BMD members to defect to UDC shell to create a hung opposition in the 10th Parliament. Petty heroics! Huh! 

Above Boko characteristics make Boko HIS OWN ENEMY. Boko waits in ambush to bring Boko down!

Editor's Note
As a result of a misunderstanding last week, we published half of this epilogue under Rre Dingake's regular column on Tuesdays, As I See It. The BNF subsequently complained that the author stood in abuse of his privileges as a columnist. We want it noted that Rre Dingake had never intended to publish this or any part of it in his column and emphasise that the mistake resulted from a misunderstanding between the author and our News Editor. We apologise to both Rre Dingake and the BNF for any inconvenience that the error may have caused and take full responsibility for it.

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