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Fallacy of BDP's lost glory

President Mokgweetsi Masisi PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES
“One of the most consistent patterns in business is the failure of leading companies to stay at the top of their industries when technologies or markets change. Goodyear and Firestone entered the radial-tire market quite late. Xerox let Canon create the small-copier market. Bucyrus-Erie allowed Caterpillar and Deere to take over the mechanical excavator market. Sears gave way to Wal-Mart.”, writes Joseph L. Bower and Clayton M. Christensen in reference to Disruptive Innovation in the January to February 1995 Harvard Business Review.

The above is certainly true for political parties as well. It cannot always be business as usual. If any party cannot adjust to the needs of a particular season, then it will fail to solve the contemporary problems of the people whose votes it seeks.

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is well aware of this as demonstrated in its bold and ambitious manifesto for the 2019 General Election. Our people want economic and social transformation, jobs and more inclusivity.

The party sums up all of Botswana’s contemporary needs in its 2019 Election Manifesto – advancing together towards a more inclusive economy. If the party cannot provide urgently needed interventions, then it would have misfired and it cannot attract the votes needed to win yet another General Election. Mind you, every party wants to win the 2019 General Election.

Under every Presidency, successive administrations had their set of priorities which they deemed as the necessary goals to pursue. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discover that the major problem facing Botswana today is graduate unemployment. Each year, the country produces thousands of graduates but the economy has not been vibrant enough to create adequate jobs for all of them.

It cannot be business as usual,  as a new approach must be employed urgently. Top of the list, in the approach to transform Botswana, must be Therisanyo. The best way that our people know how to solve their problems is through a collective consultative approach and by responsiveness to feedback. Now, judging by  President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s engagements at Kgotla meetings, media briefings, meetings with unions and the recent Townhall meeting with the youth, to mention but a few, therisanyo is a top priority and our people will fully take part in the process of diagnosing their problems and seeking solutions, thereof. Their feedback will be handy because we have a very responsive President.

Masisi has been very vocal about his intention to see the economy creating jobs. Now that the BDP has put down these promises in its manifesto, with ambitions like that of Botswana’s first electric car and later a solar car, we finally see that BDP is walking the talk. The appetite to earn yet another term to govern Botswana for a further five years is evident. Masisi is leading the charge and

his opponents must be worried because they never thought the party could have such ambition.

Borrowing from Marcus Aurelius, “A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions”, Masisi is demonstrating that his Presidency will be worth a lot and Batswana can excitedly look forward to a better future. The leadership is past thinking about small projects only, there is an intention to ride on the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and to drive Botswana towards a knowledge-based economy. This is exactly what today’s world requires and which BDP has certainly found in Masisi. With such ambition, it is a no brainer that Madomi sing “Re a ya , Masisi o a re bitsa” as they confirm their support for the President.

After the biggest ever BDP congress, in recent history, in Kang, signs are that Masisi is drawing more people behind the party.  As if that is not enough, the 2019 elections manifesto launch at UB was nothing short of remarkable. All around the stands, and right in the centre of the arena, an army of red appeared as a swarm as BDP, under Masisi, demonstrated its mobilisation power. Critics and naysayers must be warned, Masisi is not even at top gear yet. As is the custom of the party, he is the face of the party and it will use him for his goodwill in order to advance the party.

There will be challenges, but which President has not had challenges? BDP is a big institution and it has always overcome them. Building on the foundations of past leaders, Masisi and his party are proving that there is no lost glory.

If anything, the dawn of a new day promises glory like never seen before. He has not been disappointing so far in his promises for media engagement, youth engagement, and improved welfare for civil servants, a better functioning Public Service Bargaining Council, and enhanced international relations amongst many others. He has initially used his mandate with sheer mastery and uprightness since assuming the State Presidency. He deserves a renewal of that mandate at the 2019 General Elections. He is a trustworthy gentleman – let us talk facts and give him some credit.

*Ame Makoba is a member of BDP national strategy, communications and international relations

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