The gesture by Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) and Botswana Breweries Limited (BBL) to give P2 million to political parties is highly commendable. The donation comes at the right time when political parties are engaged in campaigns for this year's general election. Electioneering by its very nature is expensive.
Producing election manifestos, posters, billboards, combi advertisement and many others cost a lot of money.
In this era of technology, political parties have to embrace many types of advertisement to gain visibility and to access potential voters. Part of the reason people for particular parties or individuals is the message they receive from political contestants. But it costs money to relay these messages. Gone are the days when mass political parties were the only platforms that could be used to get votes. Many political parties, particularly in the opposition are unable to reach a wider audience due to resource constraint. We cannot as a result boast that our democracy is growing when other players are disadvantaged in the race to reach the electorate.
It is only the ruling party, which has a fleet of vehicles that can cover the whole country. The opposition enjoy no such luxury. This is an indictment on our system. It has been said - we regret to report this is true - that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is able to leverage its incumbency to gain financial assistance.
We know that the BDP goes into an election with at least a one brand new vehicle donated to each constituency for the campaigns. The ruling party
Some opposition parties have also benefited from mysterious donors. As a democracy, we ought to know who the financial backers of our political parties are.
We want to encourage other companies to take the cue from KBL and BBL. First to recognise that political parties too play a major role in social cohesion. They should be sponsored to play their role effectively. Secondly and most importantly, the donation must be transparent. Thirdly, the sponsorship is fair as it is based on a particular party's support in the country.
We hope the parties will use the donation from BBL and KBL prudently.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.