Spare us the New Jerusalem vs Cava circus

I am not enjoying this Cava versus New Jerusalem dogfight anymore if I have ever enjoyed it to begin with. It is nothing but a ridiculous fart contest.

It is not a political struggle for power based on principles and values. The nakedly egotistical and often tribalistic contest is totally devoid of socio economic relevance to the nation.

No Motswana stands to benefit from it in any way. In fact, seldom have we, as a nation been in this position where tribal or regional sentiment is used as a trump card in election campaigns. Some people are being labelled Zimbabweans, Malawians and others, British. I do not say that they are not. Frankly, I don’t know. But why now? We are told, indirectly, of the existence of an imaginary North versus South border on the basis of which we should determine who to support.

That there is, a potential Northern Botswana president and an incumbent Southern Botswana president and that those who hail from North of Dibete must consider the Northerly contestant their best representative. I have never before come across such a load of tripe. 

From the Dalai Lama visit, to the elephants issue, it would appear that the warring factions have decided that all is fair, in love and in war and that if the country burns, so be it. In fact, it is the nation that has been relegated to irrelevance. Tell me of a day during the standoff, when the two camps discussed transparency, economic policy, tolerance, social welfare, unemployment, conservation or any subject of national relevance. All we are told is that President Masisi’s security has been beefed up because of imminent threats.

We are told that Guma Moyo has run away and is in hiding because the government of the day wants to kill him. It is, “Carter Morupisi did this… Carter Morupisi did that”. We are daily bombarded with fake coups, fake assassinations plots, fake dead elephants, and other Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn tales totally irrelevant to our national lives and urgent problems as a nation.

A silly season is upon us and it is on steroids.  It is on all that hogwash that as the public are expected to vote or show support for a potential national leader. I can assure you that the President and the challenger will never sit down for a debate on socio economic policy and national interest issues ahead of Kang. Nor will their uncritical and unthinking followers, lost to sloganeering and empty rhetoric face off on an ideological platform.

Internal party democracy is a good thing. The era of strongmen and strongwomen must fade away. There are growing voices for direct presidential election and I support such. Leaders must serve at the pleasure of the people and not at the pleasure of parties. I have therefore,  never agreed with those who say that a President should not be challenged and must have a free pass based purely on party tradition. Tradition, according these unthinking and sycophantic followers, should trump internal party democracy. Such an approach is an endorsement of cultism and is symptomatic of chronic sycophancy and grave political miseducation, if not complete illiteracy. Every Motswana should be able to have a clear shot at the Presidency be it at party or national level. You cannot expect leaders who ascended through undemocratic processes at party level, suddenly to embrace democracy at national level. The incumbent must be applauded for not pushing the nonsensical “postpone the congress narrative” and subjecting himself to an electoral contest with an uncertain outcome. Whether he wins or MmaVenson-Moitoi wins, the people would have spoken and their voice should be respected.

But this is not your typical American presidential candidate nominee contest between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders or between little hands Donal Trump and Jeb Bush. Here there are no issues. Just empty rhetoric, unbridled stupidity, headless sloganeering and meaningless song and dance by the conflicted learned and the clueless alike.

Well, the day of reckoning is here anyway and soon this madness will be over. Kang is upon us. The ruling party will come out of Kang with either a reassured and triumphant president or one limping towards an ignominious end. Either way, the party will never be the same. I just want to be spared the ongoing meaningless circus. I really don’t care if the party splits into a thousand pieces.

There are issues of real national significance that need to be tackled. Of course, the vanquished will be bitter and would unlikely embrace the triumphant in the interest of party unity but who cares. There will be other parties to rule if the BDP comes out of Kang in no shape to govern. Our lives, as Batswana, do not start and end with Domkrag. For all I care, the colossus that was Domkrag, as Batswana have known it for half a century, is one foot in the grave. This singular factional tear will be much harder to mend past Kang. But then that will be a BDP matter.

There is another perennial circus show waiting for its moment on stage. Importantly here are national issues to deal with and we need whoever is going to lead this country, if that person should come from the BDP, to pursue the public mandate without undue distraction. Batswana are suffering.

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