Political analysts have spoken out against the increasing ‘verbal violence’ in the political landscape. Following the circulation of a video clip in which former president, Ian Khama said words that were not taken kindly by the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members, political analysts have lamented the trend.
The commentators have hence called on politicians to stick to bread and butter issues following the verbal war of words.
The analysts believe the culture of the country’s politics that is usually characterised by the use of verbal violence must stop. Instead, they argue politicians should address issues that Batswana want to hear about.
“Our politics has been like that and the use of verbal violence is nothing new. This is the kind of language that our politicians normally use and they do not fight over that,” political analyst, Lesole Machacha said on Thursday. “For example, if you go to the rallies, the speakers would not say anything that could benefit Batswana. Former president Khama is a respected man in society and I urge him to stop campaigning using cheap politics. He must be careful with words because some people might stop respecting him and start using the wrong words against him.”
University of Botswana political analyst, Keaoleboga Dipogiso shared the same sentiments.
“Firstly, it is worth noting that the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) has converged to fight issues of reactance evidently suffered by Khama following his loss of influence on the political sphere. In most of his public appearances and utterances, there is less of how his party would have run an alternative government but much scorn on the current leadership and that they need to be removed,” Dipogiso said on Wednesday.
“Secondly, evidently the political spectrum is increasingly littered with petty exchanges that clearly have no relevance to the plight of Batswana. It shows that having emerged from a party he’s controlled and realising that the historic privileges he’s held have faded, Khama has found refuge in meting out verbal abuses to his political nemesis within BDP.” .
Dipogiso opined that Khama has always been hostile to people he differed with. Equally, the analyst said the former president ran an administration that was feared and reputed for extrajudicial killings. On the other hand, he loathed trade unions,
In addition, the political analyst said the only limitation Khama has now is that he doesn’t have the power he was accorded by the State apparatus to implement his heart’s desires.
“Likewise, the youth of BDP have in vengeance resorted to hurling unprintables against him.
“This is not good, even in Parliament we have noticed a deterioration of basic rules of engagement, where members resort to scolding each other rather than focus on deliverables bestowed on them by the public,” he said.
In their press release penned by their youth wing secretary-general, Otsile Machona, the BDP warned Khama of repercussions. “We have noted with disdain a video of Lt. Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama labelling the President of Botswana H.E. Dr M.E.K Masisi, with derogatory and disrespectful terms unbefitting of a former statesman. While we have accepted that Lt. Gen. Dr Khama has since retirement become an unpredictable man who at times seems unstable, we wish to place it on record that we are not incapable of deploying his own tactics against him. At this point, the only thing restraining us is our respect for his statesmanship, being a former president.”
However, the BPF youth league vice president Kesegofetse Magapa responded to the BDP press release saying Khama and his tribe were insulted by the former minister Dorcas Makgato and the ruling party never said anything about it.
“E bile gape, fa Masisi le goromente wa gagwe ba akela kgosikgolo Khama ba re o utswile P100 billion ne ba mo tlwaela, ebile ba tlwaela Batswana. And yes, ke go tlwaela Batswana to blatantly tell them you spent time as vice president ‘o bobile’ instead of advising and steering the country in the right direction. We are ready and waiting for Cava. We will not apologise,” said Magapa in the press release.