Mmegi Online :: We welcome more political players
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Last Updated
Wednesday 18 September 2019, 16:07 pm.
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We welcome more political players

It is just four months before the country goes to general elections.
By Mmegi Editor Fri 31 May 2019, 21:18 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: We welcome more political players








The political silly season is upon us as every household receives unfamiliar visitors on a daily basis selling their respective political movements. These are the visitors with Hailey’s Comet tendencies; they are seen once in a while and they will reappear when they want another mandate to be our representatives again either the local council or the National Assembly.

Some of the candidates, the prosperous ones usually from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will bring with them little ‘bribes’ to convince the potential electorate to vote for them. Even the poor of the poorest are now dooming new T-shirt for different political parties. Some of the marginalised in the society are bought by food parcels! That is the state of our politics. The hopelessly unemployed are used as campaign foot soldiers and as a reward they are plied with alcohol.

Some in the media are also used as sloganeers in the social media and the media houses they work for. It is that time that journalism ethics are thrown outside the window by some journalists in order to give other candidates some advantage over other candidates. Credibility of the media during this period is at stake. The so-called fake news defaming other candidates would be the order of the day.

Despite some few negative connotations associated with elections, the nation cannot run away from giving fresh mandate to politicians to run the country. It is interesting to note that there are few political players in the field.

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We welcome addition of more voices in the political space. There is the Alliance for Progressives (AP), Real Alternative Party (RAP) and the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF). Others would think the political space is overly crowded but we beg to differ.

The entrance of these political parties is healthy for political plurality and democracy as it strengthens our democratic credentials. For decades, some people have been questioning Botswana’s democratic credentials. Since independence, one party, the BDP, has been ruling Botswana. We submit that in practice Botswana is a multi-party democracy but on paper it has been a one party state. The arrival of these new movements will also strengthen the country’s institutions such as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). It also improves political participation hence we welcome AP, RAP and BPF.

What we do not welcome is deterioration of political dialogue ahead of the general elections.  We call upon all the political parties and independent candidates to compete in the spirit of Botho as the old Setswana adage goes: mafoko a kgotla a mantle otlhe. It is expected that some candidates will go astray but we call upon all participants to keep it clean. Media should not amplify the tribalistic or other discriminatory remarks we may hear as we head to October. Batswana deserve issue based elections. After the election, we will all still be Batswana. Let the best party win.

 

Today’s thought

 

“The true victory is the victory for democracy and pluralism.”

 - Hosni Mubarak

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Fri 31 May 2019, 21:18 pm
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