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Dear BDP

KGOSIETSILE NGAKAAGAE
I wish to congratulate you on your most recent victory.  I can not claim bragging rights that my blood at birth was red, black and white but I however admire on how you continuously claim victory at the polls.

How did you do it?  I mean you had your backs against the wall this time around.  You didn’t have the Khama magic this time.  Quite to the opposite, Kgosikgolo was terrorising you in the north.  Duma Boko and company had unprecedented loads of cash to match your Cava machinery.  Alliance for Preogressives (AP) appeared to be intellectually superior.  Well, what matters most is that you are in government. That I tip off my hat to you and I wish to once more congratulate you on your overwhelming victory.   You predicted a whitewash, but you got more than that.  You have managed to take the BDP to its old glory days.  But I need to warn you though that you need to get your act together.  You have been given a lease of life. 2024, will likely be harder. There will be no sympathy votes based on presidential transition feuds.

Pardon me if I come out as patronising, but considering some of your antics of late, you have been lacking in maturity.  The old adage that if you don’t want to be treated like child, then don’t behave like one, comes to mind.   The current Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) rumblings can only be seen at school yards. It is so high school.  One new friend of mine likes saying sometimes “we Batswana think like children”.  And he is right. It is because the leadership in any organisation or institutions sets the tone for everyone.  And BDP off lately is robbing us of our thinking capacity.  We are stuck in endless petty squabbles and silly law enforcement antics.

The President was sworn in early November.  Then followed Members of Parliament.  Then ministers.  Yes, the political dust may have not settled with the opposition threatening all manner of legal suits disputing the election results, but it is safe to say that the demographics of this past elections showed that the south overwhelmingly voted for you while the north did not. 

The current divide within the nation all started within your party.  The fight was with your President and his predecessor. Beware of the temptation to use state machinery to fight political wars.  Right now trumped up charges are flying all over the place to hurt the other party and to score cheap public relations points. 

Batswana might not be clear who is winning the battle, but it is no doubt that it is the people of the country who are losing. Water, a basic necessity of life, is used as a weapon in the fight. The Masama-Mmamashia project is practically in abeyance. The ongoing and increasingly aggressive battle

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between the factions of the ruling party (let’s face it, Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) is merely a faction of the BDP) is denying the country the seriousness it deserves to tackle real issues facing the country of unemployment, diversification of the economy, poverty eradication and economic growth. 

It is denying the very people you represent, a hope for the future.  It is putting a dent on the reputation of the country. It is even tarnishing the nation’s image.  Never has our country been associated with headlines of rigging of elections, coups, regime change and acts of terrorism. Batswana are made to pay the price of this folly.  We are paying the price of a situation you have all created.

Let us face it, the cost of corruption will never fully be known.  When one hears of billions stolen (if indeed this is true), money lost within government departments and the reckless expenditure spent on the army and Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), one wonders what could have been done instead.  One wonders how far this country could have been further developed. The last 10 years have been a waste and extending the party feuds further does not help and already bad situation.  People of this country deserve better. It is time to focus on national development.

I somehow believe that forgiveness is based on the fact that you do your part.  You BDP should respect Batswana and put their interests ahead of all else. You should be reforming yourself.  And yet shockingly, instead of rooting out corruption, you have brought back some Ministers who we know have dockets at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).  Some senior civil servants are long overdue to be prosecuted, and yet they run important institutions that are meant to safeguard the savings and accounting of this country.   Instead of giving new energy to the fight against corruption you have chosen a selective approach, were you cowardly keep placing charges on children of the other side so as a means of hurting the opposing side. 

To be fair BDP, with your new administration you took over a country that was by all accounts damaged goods. What everyone then hopes from you is a process-driven, sincere approach of cleansing the country.  Not the egotistic, self-serving approach we have seen in the past transition government. Not the Al-Capone tactics displayed by some of your institutions. If the anti-corruption drive is true, let it be total and non-discriminatory. If the economic development, citizen empowerment and employment creation efforts are true, let such be resolute and let us have measurable targets.



Chief On Friday

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