Love is blind
Love..love..love, love is strange. When Lee Jin of South Korea married a pillow, it seemed quite strange. When Eija Riita tied a knot to the Berlin Wall, it came across as an extreme case of psychiatric disorder. When Liu Ye of China married himself, it was diagnosed as an extreme case of narcissism. But the blossoming ANC-BDP romance has left many self-help gurus of love speechless. Nobody saw it coming, not even the ‘legendary’ Pastor Mboro, the man who claims to have paid God a visit and saw Jesus in the company of Xhosa women. These new lovebirds confirm that indeed love is blind and that it can be found in the most unexpected places. So far it does not even need any ‘love expert’ to tell us that indeed these two are madly in love, it is all there in the open, even for the blind to see. You can see they are in love because they do not seem to care about each other’s previous relationships, after all, they say, if you cannot be with the one you love, love the one you are with. Whether ANC was for a long time in an intimate relationship with their political rival, the Botswana National Front (BNF), it matters less to the BDP. What matters the most is that, the ANC is now their honey-bunch. In fact, the very fact that they have snatched BNF’s ex-boyfriend, it is a cherry on top. So far, these ‘perfect strangers’ are enjoying their blind date and once again confirming words captured in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin that, “When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides.” But the madness aside, the begging question is, how deep is their love?
For your love, I’ll do anything
Although there is no doubt that ANC-BDP is typical blind dating, there is certainly more to that. It is common cause that historically and ideologically (whatever that means these days) ANC and BDP are worlds apart. In the ‘good’ olden days of the ANC, political parties such as the BDP were referred to as ‘Counter Revolutionary’ because of their ideological proximity to Western liberalism and their subscription to free market economics. This political outlook did not only inform the shape, character and mannerism of the ANC, most importantly, it distinctly distinguished ‘friends’ from ‘foes’ and in such circumstances, BDP naturally fell on the latter. As such, BNF became the natural ally of the ANC and played a fair role in the struggle against apartheid. However, nothing lasts forever, only change is permanent. The ANC of then and the ANC now, are totally two different animals. Hence, if we pay closer attention to the character, philosophy and trajectory of the current ANC, it is logical that they will be strongly attracted to the BDP. Currently, the two parties subscribe to the philosophy that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Their ardent defence for President Zuma and President Khama, even at the demise of both the party and the country, is a product of this flawed philosophy. Despite the glaring corruption in the two governments that is risking the wellbeing of their peoples, for the love of these two, the parties are prepared to do anything. In the BDP, this political inflexibility, ultimately led to the formation of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). In the ANC, factionalism is reaching boiling point and Alliance partners being South African Communist Party (SACP) and COSATU have repeatedly called for President Zuma to step down. They have openly threatened to pull out of the Alliance. If the current political tension in the ANC is left uncontained, then the possibility of a split is real.
If you thought Vice President Masisi’s ‘Camp-Dubai’ at the recent BDP congress was just meant to ‘floss,’ you are wrong. It was a manifestation of a new political philosophy premised on extreme materialism and consumerism. Besides, it was an arrogant display of the economic might of the invisible hand behind him. And many commentators have cautioned about this excessive expression of love by the invisible hand and its motives thereof. Remember, President Zuma’s troubles boil down to the invisible hand of the mega-rich Gupta family. By the time South Africans woke up, the family was literally running the country from their house. As we speak, the Guptas are now dumping their every asset to rent-a-millionaire like Mzwanele Manyi and Andile Mngxitama. This should serve as a warning to both Masisi and the BDP that too much curry-flavoured love will ‘kill’ them. However, the question still begs, is the ANC and BDP really in love, or it is just to make their respective ex-lovers jealous?