President Ian Khama who is also leader of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), has described the opposition as dissidents who celebrate when the country is hit by any calamity because they are not patriotic.
Alternatively, according to him, the opposition is “... a protest movement which has got no coherent policies that would lead this country astray should if by accident they would ever be in government.” Khama was giving a keynote address to the 37th National Congress of the BDP last week Friday in Tonota.
The sarcastic Khama noted that it is the BDP members themselves who can create the accident of a change of government. “Such an accident can only be created by ourselves because without it our position in government remains solid,” he said. Describing the opposition as incompetent, unpatriotic and power hungry, Khama warned the BDP diehards who had descended on Tonota in their thousands against complacency.
He bellowed, “The inherent instability that characterises all opposition parties in this country points to their track record of a lack of harmony, knowledge and ability within their ranks. Because they remain vulnerable to internal dissension and as preachers of the book of lies, we can only imagine the kind of chaos this nation would experience should they find themselves in government.”
The President added that under the BDP government, Batswana have invested too much in building the kind of country they have today as he warned his listeners that if opposition takes over government, it will damage everything due to its blind preoccupation with positions, personal interest and deceit.
“Our people must be wary of opposition parties because they not only lack a blueprint for government but cooperate simply because no single opposition party can match us on their own. Our rivals must be reminded that power must not be an end unto itself but rather an opportunity for public service for the betterment of the welfare of the nation and its citizenry,” added the President.
He warned that besides issuing baseless threats to prosecute everyone ever associated with the BDP government, the opposition has failed to provide a single idea of how they can resolve the challenges which the BDP are able to address. Instead, according to Khama, all the opposition is doing is to simply magnify and gloat about the same challenges as a cheap way of generating political capital.
Khama stated that, attempts by the opposition which he says is working with some of its allies in the media to discredit the BDP through false and baseless allegations which are revived time and again remind him of a child crying over losing in a game over and over again frustrated that it knows it can never win against a bigger and better opponent.
Said Khama who was in his usual element, “Shame, poor things, we are all witnessing their frustration at their own incompetence and their failing for their inability to persuade the nation that they are better than the BDP. They would have better luck at colonising the moon where they belong than ever being in government in this country,” said Khama. According to him, the opposition are unpatriotic citizens who go out of their way to disparage their own country and even produce alternative facts to completely deny the successes and achievements of the BDP led government. “These are our society’s dissidents who celebrate when we are hit by power outrages and water shortages and proclaim to the entire world how this government is unable to get a handle on things.
“When the lights are back on and water flows from the taps the same individuals instead of applauding our efforts because they too are beneficiaries go mute in sullen silence. Just why someone would harbour feelings of bitterness about their own country doing well is something incomprehensible,” wondered Khama.
He described the opposition members as citizens who have enjoyed top quality education locally and overseas on government support. Khama accused the opposition of being citizens who, on account of the enabling policies of the ruling party, have attained middle class and higher social and economic status never enjoyed by their parents just a generation ago.
“We are witnessing the phenomenon of citizens who will never think of living anywhere else in the world besides Botswana because what it provides for them but who in the same breath never say a single positive utterance in appreciation,” he added. According to the President, the opposition bang the loudest drums about their need to change government but fail to show what the new government that exists only in their imagination holds in store for the country.
“They are the ones who do not want this government to protect this nation and the people of Botswana by providing our soldiers with quality equipment to better defend them. They simply do not care to protect our citizens,” he noted. He called upon the BDP to, in the period leading up to 2019, seize the initiative and tell the stories that reflect the reality of the country.
“The duty of every democrat therefore is to educate the voter about the disaster of any temptation to cast a protest vote against the only party that knows how to govern and where to take this country, the BDP. I remain optimistic we are on course to do better and continue rallying a common cause that advances our country and its people and not any individual interest,” said Khama in an unusually long speech.
Waxing lyrical about his government’s achievements, the President said that, after 50 years of independence defined by spectacular progress, his government has every reason to be proud of its record. “Ours is not an indulgence in self-praise but a testimony to the multiple achievements that have been corroborated by various international bodies,” added the BDP leader who attributed the country’s success to the fact that the BDP is in government. He continued, “Despite our majority at every election we have never fallen for the temptation to use our majority to alienate differing views from the incompetent opposition.” Khama boasted that Botswana is one of the most peaceful countries because the BDP led governments since independence have not arrested and locked up the opposition.
Neither has the BDP governments closed down papers and radio stations that do not agree with it. “We do not ban unions who demand more from us, we do not persecute judges who rule against us. The opposition would never tolerate what we do. So it is because of our tolerance that we have peace. This is what makes us the parents and elder and them the juvenile delinquents,” stated the President.