I see blood on the floor

11th July 2017
ERNESTO'S BRIEFS
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By ERNERST MOLOI


The writing is glaring on the wall – there’ll be so much blood spilled in Bobonong when Botswana Movement for Democracy meets for their elective congress. If Mochudi, Gantsi and Molepolole scuffles are anything to go by, BMD must postpone this planned godforsaken conclave and put their house in order first.

The BMD house is on fire! They may fool themselves into thinking they are purging certain elements or ‘counter-revolutionaries’ through the series of fist-fights and brawls that their branch congresses have degenerated into, but truth be told, they are tearing the Movement apart and dragging the Umbrella for Democratic Change with them. In the final analysis, it’s all to Botswana Democratic Party’s benefit!

They are watching these skirmishes with glee and are hoping the show goes on post July’s Bobonong Congress into 2018! It’s only natural that BDP should be happy to see BMD disintegrate, they desperately need them back! And Ndaba Gaolathe is the big fish they are after! After all, the Young Turks that walked out on the BDP to form the BMD never had any real beef with the party but with its leader, Lt. Gen. Ian Khama, whom they felt was something of a Stalin! Khama’s disdain for dissension is legendary as are tales of his enigmatic character.

A former soldier told me this fabulous story about the time BDF was deployed in Somalia on a UN peace-keeping mission (Operation Restore Hope) and how they distrusted the local community and kept an arm’s distance from it. He said there was this notorious market (Bakaara) that they feared to go into; in fact even the most hardened criminal would not dare enter that place, he averred.

But when Commander Khama came on a visit one day, he surprised them when he shed his military fatigues, left his arms and ammunitions and walked unguarded straight into that market! Quivering with fear and guilt should anything happen to him, our boys watched as their Commander walked into the lion’s den! Yet nothing happened! In fact the local Somalis were all over Khama fascinated by his skin colour and wondering why he looked different from the Batswana soldiers.

He asked the Somalis what they wanted and God have mercy, all they wanted was water! Khama ordered the Botswana soldiers to provide them with a water bowser, and that’s how Batswana soldiers endeared themselves to the Somalis! If there is another version to our famed military exploits in Somalia, I am game to hear it! Hence, BMD must tread carefully!

I am afraid the party may have been infiltrated either by those who want to safeguard and maintain the status quo, or it may be the party has no clue of what managing a group entails! Just because someone is articulate or is a good campaigner doesn’t mean he is a good manager! Or worst still, it could be the party’s constitution is porous; because in their flight from BDP, they desired to draft a liberal constitution that’d retain power in the people but failed to empower the executive committee!

Now there are two factions in the executive, which have torn the party right down the middle, who or what should we look up to, to mediate? Where there is rule of law, as should be expected of every organisation, it should be the constitution but, we hear (God forbid) from a PhD holder, that the Constitution is ‘just a piece of paper’ that can be tossed out the window when the shit hits the fan! In the end, when all the scuffles, name-calling and bitter feuds are disposed of, it will be to the courts that the two factions will seek recourse, and I bet my last thebe, the matter will be settled on what the party constitution says, not who is right or wrong!




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