BNF Youth League’s Khumoekae…be careful what you wish for

Were the remarks made by the newly elected BNF Youth League president not bordering on incitement we would laugh them away as infantile antics by a toy politician eager for his place in the political limelight. However Richard Khumoekae’s reported utterances at a press conference this week cannot be allowed to go unchallenged, more so that not only are they reckless but also expose hypocrisy of the highest order. It must be stated that freedom of association is protected under the laws of Botswana and this extends to political parties. Ever since this country attained independence, both elected politicians and ordinary party activists have switched parties on their own free volition. There is no law prohibiting such acts in Botswana. Certainly the law is not going to be changed because Khumoekae is upset that one of the opposition parties recently lost a prominent legislator to the BDP. As for Khumoekae’s hypocrisy it is evident to all. The BDM which constitutes the largest parliamentary bloc in UDC and which is the party that allows Khumoekae to fantasise about the UDC taking state power was formed by a number of BDP parliamentary defectors. Did Khumoekae voice objection at the and issue veiled threats against the same legislators? Not at all. It would appear therefore that only those who defect to BDP are traitors  and others going in the opposite direction are not. Since the 2014 general elections two (2) sitting councillors have defected from BDP to join the opposition. The BDP and its government with all the might of the state at their disposal never threatened their safety. And from Khumoekae there was presumably celebration and ululation because he was never heard objecting to their action. This is rank hypocrisy and exposes the shallowness of the BNF Youth League leader who seems to revel in the image of toy radicalism. Increasingly we see young politicians in this country mimicking the behavior of certain politicians in some neighboring countries. It appears Khumoekae has humped on the bandwagon of irresponsible political rhetoric designs to generate headlines in the media. By making veiled threats against politicians who exercise their freedom of association and also by calling for an uprising. We want to caution Khumoekae that he must be careful what he wishes for. Should his wish come true the consequences might not be what he expected because he could also be consumed. If he Khumoekae yearns for a change of government he simply has to wait for the polls to ensure his party is elected into office. In a constitutional democracy such as ours there is no need for talk of extra constitutional attempts at gaining state power because Batswana can exercise their right at the polls. Frustration by the opposition at losing every election since 1965 is no excuse for ridiculous utterances. Once again on the basis of the remarks in question we remind Batswana to thoroughly scrutinize the sort of characters who aspire to rule this country and decide if they can take a chance with them. We are heartened that the more we hear these sort of remarks and witness flagrant behavior that is foreign to our values and customs. Batswana who would otherwise have gambled on voting for the opposition now realise never to make the mistake.
Andy Boatile
BDP Youth Wing Chairman