FRANCISTOWN: Oppositionpolitical parties havereacted irately to PresidentIan Khama for labeling them unpatrioticand nefarious, arguingthat he does not know oppositionbecause he never attends parliament.When addressing BotswanaDemocratic Party (BDP) delegatesduring the national congressrecently held in Maun, thePresident attacked the oppositionparties saying that they constantlylead people astray in pursuitof their unpatriotic and nefariousagendas against everything thattheir government does. “Thesepeople are shallow in their reasoningand do not contributeanything that is good for society.
They have blinded themselveswith negativity in their desperateattempt to discredit us, but thereis always something good thatcomes out of bad,” Khama saidwhen offi cially opening the BDPcongress.Contemptuously dismissingKhama’s remarks, the oppositionparties argued that the Presidentdoes not understand that theyare part of the government withan invaluable contribution to thecountry’s democracy.Responding to the remarks,Botswana Congress Party (BCP)Secretary General Dr KesitegileGobotswang hit back at Khamasaying that it is very strange forthe head of state to make suchremarks in the presence of foreignvisitors.
He advised that thePresident could have made theremarks in the presence of BDPmembers only. “Khama shouldbe ashamed of these remarks becauseif he thinks he is discreditingthe opposition, he is insteaddiscrediting himself. How canPresident who calls himself ademocrat make remarks that candestabilize the nation? It is sopathetic for the President to talkabout patriotism while he toleratescorruption in the country,”Gobotswang fumed.Gobotswang said as the headof state, President Khama oughtto know and appreciate the valueof the opposition in governance.He attributed Khama’s apparentignorance to his perpetual absenteeismfrom parliament. “Thereare lot of valuable motions andcontributions that were broughtby the opposition parties in parliamentand were supported bythe ruling party.
Even the nationalanthem was composed byan opposition party member,”he stressed adding that if Khamacannot see value in the oppositionit could be that he is suggestinga one party state system.Botswana National Front PublicitySecretary Moeti Mhwasasaid that Khama’s remarks arecharacteristic of an intolerantleader who wants to monopolizeeverything because he doesnot want people who differ withhim. “He is dismissing oppositionbecause according to himanyone who differs with him hasa negative attitude. He criticizedopposition because he has a negativeattitude towards us. Thoughhe accused opposition for beingunpatriotic he is the one who isunpatriotic because ever since hetook the reins our democratic credentialshave shrunk,” Mhwasasaid.