Mmegi Blogs :: A History of the BDP
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Monday 24 September 2018, 15:01 pm.
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A History of the BDP

The news that the BDP intends to produce a history of the party is indeed welcome. (Monitor 14.6.16) The major surprise is that it it has taken it so long to recognise the need to do so.
By Sandy Grant Wed 15 Jun 2016, 17:01 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: A History of the BDP








The leaders of this initiative will have do exceptionally well, however, to pull off a significant publication in time for September 30. Books take an age to produce and if the BDP is yet to commission an author and gather material, it may need to think about getting a slim volume, a quickie, on hand within a few months and something more substantial, later on.

Those who are given the responsibility for gathering archival material both for the proposed book and the proposed museum will be brought face-to-face with the nasty reality of past profligacy, with the disregard and disinterest of key government departments which, during those 50 years, allowed huge chunks of the country’s records, its material heritage to disappear and be lost for ever.  The BDP may be expecting to find a mountain of material readily accessible and available. The reality it will discover will be sadly and uncomfortably different. How much material will be found for a book will be one issue, how much will be found for a proposed BDP museum may prove to be something else. 

Okay. A big project matches well with a big political party, but a museum is expensive and comes with all sorts of complications. It may be worth considering, if with an opportunity to start all over again, the National Museum might now be something very different. What would it have wished not to have done? Anyway, projects of this kind take time to emerge and there will be every

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opportunity to work out what formula might serve everyone best.  In the meanwhile, I believe that the first election in 1965 would make a small book on its own. Just look at the group photo of the first elected National Assembly members – not all are present. Consider their personal backgrounds, and the efforts they had to make to pull off that remarkable electoral win. And then compare them and their resources with the situation today. Gaborone was hardly representative of the whole country, but the results of that first election were extraordinary. 

A record 4,372 people voted for the person who would be the first MP for ‘Gaberones and Ramoutsa’. Norman Molomo from Mochudi, with two opponents, pocketed 4,069 of them! In contrast, just 232 people participated in the local government elections for the eight wards of a minuscule Gaborone. Six of these wards were uncontested, seven were won by the BDP with the eighth being taken by an Independent candidate, Derek Jones who was unopposed by the BDP and three were won by baruti.

In only one ward was there any sort of genuine slogging match -   ‘Gaberones polling district’ where Bolly Rex Hirscheldt overwhelmed the other Independent candidate, Jill Fox by 50 votes to 46.  Yet another feature of this extraordinary election was that the BPP,  the sole opposition party,  managed to field only a single candidate, O.M. Ramanteba, whose 65 votes failed to challenge the 71 picked up by the BDP’s M.I. Lentswe.

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