Democratic advantage of the ruling class

Batlhalefi Leagajang

Cabinet briefs BDP NEC at Party treasuer’s house

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On Wednesday this week, office of the president announced a meeting of the ruling party’s central committee and cabinet at the party Treasurer, Satar Dada’s residence in Notwane farms.

According to the press secretary to the president Batlhalefi Leagajang, the objective of the meeting dubbed Morero, was to afford cabinet ministers the opportunity to give feedback and exchange views with members of the BDP central committee on progress made in terms of the implementation of the Party manifesto.

Leagajang further explained that the meeting was a first of a series of meetings that will be held on a regular basis between cabinet and the central committee to provide sectorial progress updates with particular reference to the implementation of the national transformation strategy, the economic recovery and transformation plan as well as updates on issues raised during the state of the nation address.

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Following the announcement many people, especially members of opposition parties went on social media to express diverse views. Some were of the view that the ruling party was using government resources to push its selfish agenda and thus abusing office for its gains.

FRANCINAH BAAITSE speaks to Leagajang, opposition member of Parliament and a political analyst on the subject matter and below are their responses.

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LEAGAJANG: Of course there are those against the move and that is normal in any democracy and in life in general.

His Excellency said in his opening remarks at the Morero that the farm has been offered at no cost by Mr Dada (Satar) who is BDP central committee member.

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I guess since this is a joint meeting between government and the party, it is therefore disingenuous to say government has funded a BDP activity.

This is a joint meeting and each party in this case, government and the BDP is bound to incur some costs such as travelling to the venue, getting PA system among other things.

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I cannot comment on the sentiments of the opposition or any political formation since I am a public servant.

However I have to reiterate the importance of this meeting which offers an opportunity for the cabinet which is deployed by the ruling party to government to go and account to the central committee on progress made on the implementation of its policies and programmes.

CARTER HIKUAMA (OPPOSITION MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT): There is no way HE President Masisi will wage a winning battle against corruption. Corruption is more influenced by attitude and moral values, not necessarily by law.

If we still have a ruling party that doesn’t see anything wrong with insider trade peddling by those in the corridors of power, forget about the fight against corruption.

Corruption in Botswana has been institutionalised and became part of the BDP governance.

Carter Hikuama

How can you justify a cabinet meeting held in a member of the BDP executive member’s farm?

Government resources are going to be splashed here empowering this member under the guise of financing government activities at the same time taking care of the President.

It has now become fashionable to sponsor BDP activities by public funds and other resources.

It is a shame for a shining example of democracy to resort to such an abuse and daylight looting of government resources.

If this does not constitute corruption according to the BDP leadership, nothing will ever constitute corruption and bad act of governance, political leaders should be ethical and feel ashamed of abusing power, the narrative that is being peddled by the BDP leaders of ‘no law has been breached’ defeats all efforts against corruption

KEAOLEBOGA DIPOGISO (POLITICAL ANALYST, UB): The first thing to acknowledge is the institution of a multiparty system used to compete for political power.

This is a process that yields winners and losers, where winners are bestowed with the political and administrative power to manage affairs of the nation state for a specific interval of time.

The second is to appreciate that these political parties have ideologies, principles and ideals that determine the sort of state that will form subsequent to the elections.

Ideally the policies of a party in power determine government policies. The policies determine the process through which mandate given in an election will be implemented.

Keaoleboga Dipogiso

It is therefore normal for the party in power to reflect on whether there is progress in terms of operationalising their ideology into workable policies that will efficiently run the state.

I cannot imagine any process apart from those determined by the party that will be more accurate in achieving that assessment.

The party may select an arrangement where ministers interact with party officials where government officers mingle with party officers and or where the party convenes congresses and or conferences to reflect on the progress attained since they were given mandate.

Now it may be by coincidence the case that party leaders in the central committee of the ruling party also double as leaders in cabinet of ministers.
It may raise such confusion as to the necessity between the ruling party and government may not be clearly defined.

But ideally the government has to account to the ruling party to ensure the programme made out of their policies and ideologies are properly implemented.

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