It can all be good- believe it or not

Electorate celebrating victory PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Electorate celebrating victory PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Yes what is going on now in post-elections Botswana is painful and worrisome to many. But it is good for all Batswana.

It is another wakeup call for the ruling party from decadent slumber, it has real competition now and for the opposition to get serious and cease its internal squabbles and get their act together as all of this drama plays out in Batswana rule of law.

Democracy is not a cake walk and neither is it like just taking a pill to say we have democracy now. It is not just a healthy free press always bantering.

Democracy is about us and our willingness to test it daily and to have the feet of governance held to the lava hot fire of public scrutiny and accountability.


If democracy is to continue to grow in Botswana expect the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) election challenge going before the High Court to be a tip of the iceberg of things to come in this matter and in future democracy development matters.

Becoming a viable democracy in Botswana is much more critical today than it was 50 something years ago at its independence founding.

There are simply too many issues and problems to tackle due to missteps and gaps of previous administrations not just the last one to aggressively address through democratic processes and institutions that need rejuvenation if not reinvention.

Boastful global measures of Batswana’s democratic development may have been nice to tout for a while.

But now the real work which only a strong transparent anti-corruption democracy can do must be done and quickly.

A sorely un-diversified economy with an overly bloated government employment sector with too much external corporate controls in consumerism and tourism , a poorly developed agricultural sector, the lack of exploitation of extraordinary solar natural resources,  the paralysis of a needed knowledge economy, an uneven functioning education sector from grade K through higher education ; and a citizenry well over their heads in personal bank and merchant debt are just a few of pressing public good issues facing the country.

So what is going on now in the land of usual tranquil peace is a good thing. It was bound to happen in any young democracy going through its first major hiccup or learning to ride a bike without training wheels.

Batswana voters did a good thing on their last national country in ridding the land of nepotistic family dynasty traditions that the nation needed for decades but has now outgrown as it moves on to greater tasks as an emerging African democracy.

Coming to age in a world where much more is expected of Botswana like Africa as a continent as international geopolitical centres shift so drastically from West to East and from North to South.

So come though it is only human to be in pain, to worry, to be angry, or smug or distraught respectively for winning or losing let this current vote counting controversy and its eventual resolution be read as a matter to learn from to grow from to continue to strengthen what Botswana must really become and remain as a real democracy of highly respected continental and global profile.

*Professor John H Stanfield II is SSR Chair of African Studies, University of Mauritius

Editor's Comment
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