Of late many Batswana are complaining about the language politicians use against each other in political events. There is no doubt that this year’s general elections are going to be historical.
One can safely say that for the first in Botswana’s political history, it is not obvious which amongst the contesting political parties is going to win the elections, come October. In the previous elections, voters were always certain of the outcome. Batswana always knew that Botswana Democratic Party would clinch the crown. But now the atmosphere has changed. Oppositions parties are beginning to sense real possibilities of ruling the country in what could be a first since the country gained independence.
The changed political atmosphere has consequently put many politicians and party activists in a tight corner. Petty politics and insults seem to be the order of the day across the political divide. Of course, some leaders still choose to address pertinent issues in what could be a rarity, while others have resorted to using foul language and insult each other during their political rallies or in campaigns related events. On the other realm, Batswana are now more active in political debates, and want to interrogate promises made by politicians and whether such are in touch with reality.
Sadly though, many politicians are starving Batswana of that, but instead, give them not so useful information. The unrefined package will not improve the lives of Batswana, nor contribute towards the country’s development. Adults are supposed to be role models to the younger generations, but the rate at which local politicians are hurling insults at each other; youngsters interested in politics may have to look elsewhere for inspiration and roles models, lest we be known as the ‘petty politics’ nation.
For instance, while many people did not dare to mention any names, Facebook was quite busy over the weekend with many Batswana expressing disappointment and disgust at the words allegedly uttered by a politician. Instead of facing his opponent openly, the politician is alleged to have uttered unpleasant words about another politician’s father, something, which seems to have irked many Batswana. These petty issues will not take us anywhere as a nation.
One might no be wrong to conclude that maybe the political players are themselves incapable and therefore masking their lack of gift with insults. It is a known fact that not all those who registered to vote end up casting their votes, as some get demoralised along the way, because of petty issues like this one. So politicians need to up their game if they want to make voting an appealing process in which people should invest time on.