“Bootlicking” BDP Can Do No Wrong with Torn Opposition

Ordinarily, news coming out of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in which its Secretary General Mpho Balopi educates the party youth about the benefits of ‘bootlicking’- should cause an uproar similar to one caused by VP Mokgweetsi Masisi in 2013 in which he extolled similar virtues of bootlicking.
However, with an opposition paralyzed by cloak and dagger schemes and bickering over constituency allocations and opposition leaders who seem only concerned with showboating and entrenching divisions instead of constructing the basis for a long-lasting consensus among themselves and their voters- the BDP can, with no guilt, still afford to sow its conservative agenda in which people are turned into serfs of the status quo instead of being its critics.
Balopi’s words to the BDP youth are not accidental, they are part of a well-entrenched BDP political culture where people are taught to obey authority; to beg and bootlick for favours which they are ordinarily entitled to, if they are merited. How does Balopi expect the youth in the BDP, who are otherwise hard workers and qualified to lead to bootlick- instead of placing the burden to scout for talent on party leaders- without attaching strings of Bolope?
This however should not surprise anyone because this is what makes the BDP the BDP. Leadership in the BDP circulates within some elite whom members are taught the party is the property of (like Balopi is doing). These elite wield a lot of power which has actual consequence politically and in real life. Some analysts define BDP politics as ‘Neo-Colonial’, that is- it uses economic, political, cultural or other pressures to control or influence its followers or whoever it deals with. This power also shields the party’s top brass from scrutiny when they make mistakes at a national level.
Bolope (Bootlicking) is a product of the Setswana culture in which so-called ‘ordinary people’ pay tribute to leaders by giving them presents, praise or public declaration of loyalty. Traditionalists have tried to explain the societal benefit of Bolope, especially ‘social order’; however, its underlying problem is that it entrenches class oppression and unaccountability among leaders.
Given the nature of BDP politics, especially its willingness to exempt white beneficiaries of colonialism from blame, it was expected in the run up to the 1965 elections that the BPP would help conscientize Batswana like other Pan Africanist movements in the continent, especially since its leaders were groomed in South Africa’s ANC. However, unending factional bickering and failure to agree on a minimum common agenda, like is the case today, led to the BPP collapsing- which only strengthened the BDP, helping it to entrench conservative politics in which Bolope thrives eternally.
So, like the BPP before 1965, divisions in the opposition today give the BDP an opportunity to entrench the kind of politics that have dwarfed the public conscience for over 50 years, allowing the level of unaccountability which the opposition loves to complain about  but has failed to provide alternative government to solve- and it looks like the 2019 elections will deliver no such alternative.