"Caucasian fears about the possibility of Blacks developing a sense of oneness and unity of action is deep and centuries old. Many subtle schemes are used to maintain divisiveness, and with success." - Chancellor Williams (The Destruction of Black Civilization)
Many Afrikans, especially the mentally enslaved, would be shocked to learn that before the white man set foot on our shores, we had a robust democracy that was grouded on the Afrikan Constitutional Law, the Fundamental Rights of the Afrikan People - the present day equivalent is the bill of rights, a relatively new concept in Western societies - and a well balanced judicial system. The Afrikan Constitution was basically a "body of fundamental theories, principles and practices drawn from the customary laws that governed Black Afrikan societies from the earliest times" (Williams).
Our brand of democracy ensured cohesion and unity amongst us, and, as a result, it was only after centuries of unsuccessful attempts that the white man, through trickery, finally managed to conquer, enslave and colonize us. And to ensure that he continues to have total control over us, he imposed on us his own brand of democracy, namely, multi-party democracy (MPD), an extremely divisive political system completely divorced from our Afrikan values. Unfortunately, MPD is now entrenched in the psyche of many Batswana to the extent that, to them, an alternative to the system cannot exist, thanks to Western education, media and its Afrikan acolytes for ceaselessly drumming this falsehood into their heads.
Of course, abandoning MPD altogether would require tact; otherwise it would certainly invite a ferocious backlash from our enslavers. Nevertheless, something can still be done under the current political dispensation to bridge the political divisions that have resulted in the opposition leadership treacherously giving moral support to the country's archenemy, Stephen Corry . As the party in power, the ball is in the BDP's court.
It should therefore, to unite the country, extend a hand of friendship and teamwork to the opposition by doing two things after the next general elections. Firstly, it should reserve a good portion of specially elected political positions (members of parliament and councillors) for the opposition. Secondly, it should offer the opposition positions in Cabinet, top echelons of the civil service, parastatals, diplomatic corps and other government structures. The Leader of the Opposition could even be considered for the vice presidency, that is, after the automatic succession clause has been repealed.
The number of positions reserved for and offered to the opposition should be such that even the most sceptical of opposition members would be convinced that the gesture is not a political gimmick but a sincere attempt at nation building. If the BDP makes the offer, the opposition should stop regarding the party as an enemy, but as a potential instrument for change; after all, notwithstanding ideological differences, it is a political organisation run by fellow Batswana and not foreigners. For this initiative to achieve the desired result, the BDP should not play opposition factions against each other in order to further weaken an already fragmented opposition, but should give the opposition ample opportunity to debate and decide.
Of course, ideological differences would be the likely stumbling block. However, as part of government, the left-leaning opposition would be in a position to engage the BDP government on some of its neo-liberal economic policies. For its part, the ruling party would demonstrate to the opposition that as a developing country, there is very little room to manoeuvre since the economic policies are imposed on government as condition for accessing Western markets. The outcome would be an ideological compromise arising from a better understanding of each others positions.
Only when opposition politicians start to feel that not only do they finally have something to show for their hitherto unsuccessful long and costly political careers, but are also actively taking part in the development of the country and charting its course, will the country start to experience the political stability and internal harmony required to propel it forward and enable it to unite against its foes. We have witnessed how external threats unite Western countries to the extent that internal political divisions instantly disappear. For example, following the 9/11 attacks in the US, the opposition Democrats did not blame the Republican government's lopsided policy in the Middle East for the 'terrorist' attacks, instead, they immediately threw their full support behind government's response to threats against national security. This should also happen in Botswana and other Afrikan countries.