The political drums are beating harder than before, the rhetoric becoming louder, more desperate and less tolerant.
Election fever is taking hold and the country’s various political actors have begun their posturing and positioning for your attention, your votes. In the next months, expect more banners, branded vehicles, and political paraphernalia to inundate the country. Expect to hear more hoarse voices, more barely audible neighbourhood P.A motorcade systems and see sweaty faces at the “mega rallies”.
Expect more mudslinging, leaked tapes and Whatsapp conversations, rumours, denials and threats of lawsuits.
Power is being contested here and the battle, by nature, is not pretty in our part of the globe.
It is the season of the politician, that individual who will bend over backwards to convince you that they are willing to sacrifice their time, money and effort to compete for offices they say pay pittances, just to serve your interests.
That is their game and they all have their roles to play. You have a role too.
As a citizen of Botswana you have the constitutional right to register to vote and to participate in the general elections. As a patriot of Botswana, you have an obligation to register.
Voting for your country, its future and your own are inextricably tied and mutually inclusive. Citizens of other nations have and continue to shed their blood for the free right that is offered to you.
Many are imprisoned, many others persecuted and tortured for the right that you have in your hands. Do not take it for granted. If you have not done so already, wake up and register
Apathy or indifference has never built a nation. Apathy sits at home and complains, while action makes a difference.
If you have not, start tomorrow. Take your Omang and head to the nearest polling station within your chosen constituency and register.
To our candidates who have already kicked off their campaigns, we urge you to keep your eye on the values we all cherish as a nation.
Its pioneering practitioners will tell you that politics is about national service. It used to rank among the most noble of callings; an opportunity to rise from within a society, canvass its views and lead it towards a shared ambition and aspiration.
In those halcyon days, politics was not about self-enrichment, the relentless pursuit of influence or megalomania. It was certainly not about deceit, as so often happens nowadays when a candidate will hoodwink voters into believing one thing, when he or she in fact have other sinister designs.
The world’s eyes are upon as we once again restart a democratic process that is rare across our troubled continent. Go and register to vote Botswana. It is your inalienable and cherish-able right.
“For one to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
– Nelson Mandela