Migration has always been a way of life for both man and animals and without this continual movement of creatures, they probably would not have survived certain periods in the cycle of life. On an equal footing, political migration should not only be viewed in a negative way. There is a lot of positive things it brings into our political ecology.
Lately Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has suffered heavy losses and is left limping. Recent departures include the likes of Lotty Manyepetsa and many others in the rank and file of the party. The fellow seems quite content under the shadow of the red jack of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). He is oblivious of the fact that shadows in nature and politics keep moving and this means he must keep up with the speed at which they move.
Manyepetsa is not hiding his new found happiness at Domkrag. At a border crossing between Botswana and South Africa, I queued behind the fellow and he was bragging about how they at BDP are going to be buying cars in droves when Botswana’s registration numbers reach B 101 BDP. And he says “Rona ga re di reke ko Mogoditshane, re di reka ko Motor Centre.” The Customs fellow that was assisting him was left dumfounded by the statements.
The latest loss to the party has been heavy because it was a member of parliament. This came unexpected to most people but this is not absolutely strange in our current political ecology. Bagalatia Arone has not only saddened his constituents, but annoyed them. Angered to a point where they are invoking the spirit of the late Kavindama to curse him.
All those prominent members of the BCP who elect to leave seem to have chosen a common path leading to the BDP. This is by no chance a coincidence. These departures are always followed by stories of big money in the equation. BDP must be spending big in setting up these honey traps and this is not a conspiracy theory.
Both BCP and the UDC with all its member parties must rejoice at what is happening now. These exoduses are a healthy way of cleansing the party. These individuals who elect to be bought like goats in an animal market are doing the right thing at this time if they leave. It would be far more painful to have them leaving a few months before the next general elections. In fact the BDP’s poor timing is a blessing in disguise for the opposition.
The negotiations between the UDC and BCP will now commence with the latter having gone through a thorough cleansing process. The departures are only serving to leave politicians who are committed to the struggle. The individuals who have ditched the party were not worthy of being part of the greater political umbrella for Botswana’s opposition politics.
The UDC went to the last general elections cleansed of most of its unrighteousness. The BNF did not achieve its stability through magic. The current leader, Duma Boko who is credited with bringing stability to the party did not have it easy. His ascension to power was opposed to the point of going to the courts.
The BMD has seen its equal share of cleansing. Some began to question the credibility of the party when most of its founder members like Botsalo Ntuane and Sydney Pilane left before the general elections. For Kabo Morwaeng, members of the public only understood him as the “Johny Walker” of Botswana’s politics. This is a man who has phobia of gathering political moss.