Manifestos, not insults please!

As the media have been under attack lately for sharing unpalatable political messages mostly through social media.

Whether textual or electronic, whatever we share with you represents exactly what our leaders say. They say what they want you to hear and believe you would approve and thereby cast votes in their favour.

Quite frankly, it is not that the electorate relish in hearing politicians using foul language during campaigns. Therefore we to take this opportunity to call on political leaders, followers, and indeed all Batswana to shun this uncouth and barbaric behaviour that has lately found its way into our political discourse.

We know for a fact that the mad season is upon us as politicians across the parties outdo each other to catch the vote to take them to office. But other leaders have to be civil in their engagement with each other so that they do not confuse the man for the ball by stooping to uncalled far banal levels. The electorate would like to hear our leaders firmly articulating their agendas for positive changes to people’s lives.

Our leaders should not take the electorate for granted by treating them to a contest of hurling profanities. A reflection on what has so far transpired pitches our leaders ‘great’ on insults and low in telling the people what they would do for them once elected into office.

Botho is a key component in each and every Botswana household defining good mannerism. Hence it is not by mistake that Batswana have always resolved their differences amicably without either insulting or belittling each other. It is has become the order of the day to hear politicians from different political persuasions exchanging uncouth statements.

With this moral decay where we see politicians insulting each other during rallies, we cannot keep quiet anymore. And to make matters worse, parents and children of some political leaders have also been dragged into this moral decadence. This is totally unacceptable and we would like to urge all to exercise restraint.

On another horizon, there could be hope to stem the culture of insults in politics though. For an example, at a recent Alliance for Progressives (AP) Margaret Nasha, a former legislator and Speaker of the National Assembly, expressed concern over the use of foul language, which was rife during the just dissolved 11th Parliament.

In her lone voice, she keeps on urging AP candidates to campaign clean and speak clean while elected in power. We thus congratulate AP leadership for instilling the values of maturity and civility.

We wish to see Nasha’s message sink and flourish in our society. It is indeed enjoyable to laugh while listening to politicians. Jabs can be thrown in, but they do not have to be spiced with insults. Political parties have manifestos that they should sell to the electorate.

It is important that they deliver the manifestos to voters in a calm and not angry manner so as to ensure they capture the important messages rather than insults. We also urge the civil society to play its part in nurturing our democracy.

Our children attend rallies and they should not grow up to think it is okay to use foul language especially in public. Majority of the parties are guilty of this offence and we do not want to point fingers as the culprits know themselves.

Today’s thought

“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.”

– Barbara Januszkiewicz

Editor's Comment
Botswana needs proper rehabilitation centres

Our sister publication The Monitor earlier this week carried a story on serious human rights abuses being meted on people who have gone for rehabilitation at a boot camp in Kgatleng. Allegations cite verbal and physical abuses, children being stripped of their dignity and shaved in front of others. While the abuse came to light after a suicide incident of a 23-year-old, Botswana Institute for Reintegration and Rehabilitation of Offenders’...

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