The P10 million legal bill is not a UDC bill – it is our bill – it is an expense that every citizen (UDC or not) that cares about this nation should foot

The UDC has a legal bill of P10 million, or probably more. I see many comments on social media suggesting it is a deserved punishment for failing to concede the October 2019 elections. This view is grossly myopic. We don’t have to agree with the UDC about how to approach electoral griviences for us to realise that our democracy is at stake. We should not allow our differences in approach to be exploited by apologists of the current system at the expense of our democracy. These apologists will tell you do not make a contribution to this legal bill because it is not yours, it is a bill that should be paid by those who approached the courts and hired the lawyers. Far from it. This is actually our bill, whether we are UDC or not.

It is a bill we all need to pay, whether you agreed with the UDC or you didn’t. This is how nations are built. This is how systems and checks and balances are nourished, and reconstructed. Those who refuse to pay this bill will account one day – somebody will pay the bill, and they will claim the reigns of our country. Our nation is under the clutch of the rich and powerful, because we refuse to pay for our democracy. The rich and powerful pay for this democracy. They clothe you with t-shirts at elections. They pay the fuel for transporting voters to rallies and the polls. They pay for the printing of manifestos and adverts in newspapers. They pay for the campaign stages and the sound systems. They pay because the real owners, the ordinary citizens of this land, refuse to pay.

The citizens refuse to pay because they say they are poor, they don’t have the money. Citizens refuse to pay for democracy because they say politicians are corrupt, selfish and self seeking. They refuse to pay because their preferred candidates are not on the ballot. No one is too poor to pay for democracy; if everyone donated P10 per year, all of us, to a movement that represented our individual aspirations, this country would not be as vulnerable as we now are to the whims of the super-rich. We need a cultivate a democracy that makes leaders account, and these court cases were part of that process. We need to pay an insurance premium to ensure that no one in the future tries to rig any democratic process – these cases were part of that process too. These cases were a raw reminder of the inadequacies of our institutions and potentially the concentration of power in the executive – and so the need to reform, redesign and enhance our constitution as a nation.

We all need to participate in building of our nation, particularly our democratic and economic institutions. We need to contribute, financially as well, to democratic institutions including political parties. We need to contribute to churches and to community organisations that build our nation.

Nna ke a go lathela sengwenyana. It will not be much, mme ke a go lathela. Don’t say I didn’t tell you, twenty years from now, that if you don’t contribute to this, someone will pay, and you will have built a culture of selling our country on the cheap. Re tswanetse go hedisa mowa wa “ha di nkame”

Le tla nkomanya hela, mme ntlabo ke latlhetse. Ke robala jaaka lesea bosigo, ka gore nna kea e dira thomo yame, sikitinyana same ke ya se lema, go sa kgathalesege gore lewa le lebega jang kana le nchakgaletse gole kae.

Ke le weno,