Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane has objected to an impression, he says has been illuminated in the press to portray his party’s government as illegitimate.
The former Member of Parliament (MP) for Bonnington South constituency said there has been a pattern wherein the media, “fed by opposition party propagandists,” has portrayed the 46% popular vote harvested by the BDP in the 2014 general election to somewhat signify the lack of legitimacy of its government.
Ntuane further said that, “contrary to propaganda, the BDP runs a legitimately elected government that enjoys a healthy majority in parliament that enables us to enact laws, govern unencumbered, and run a single party government.”
He described the issue as gaining popular currency in certain sections of the media, without any sign that it will let down any time soon. He further said that in a way it is designed to imply that the 46% share of the popular vote renders BDP somewhat unpopular.
He further asserted that “there is nothing out of this world about attaining less than 50% so long as a party is able to govern effectively and has the right numbers in local government”.
“The BDP attained 46% popular vote, all of a sudden everyone was telling us that the sky is falling and that it is the end of everything,” he said.
Ntuane continued further, “so much song and dance has been made about the fact that in 2014 our share of the popular vote dipped below 50% and for our detractors that renders us somewhat illegitimate and unpopular. Like earlier mentioned, this is self-serving propaganda that makes the opposition feel better when the reality is that they have failed to dislodge the BDP in 50 years.”
He also continued to state this in itself constitutes failure of historic proportions on the part of our opposition.
Ntuane further gave examples of 10 countries including Israel, Sweden, India, Malawi, Lesotho, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand as well as Mauritius which he said ruling parties have obtained far below the 50% popular-vote in general elections between 2014 and 2015 but are strongly in power. He said that while Israel’s Likud party amassed 23.4% in 2015 it is notwithstanding a senior coalition partner in government.
Ntuane also continued to say that: “no one in the countries cited speaks the kind of language we hear in Botswana about the 50% watermark.”He also said that the claim that opposition is more popular than BDP is another example of self-serving propaganda.
He further dismissed opposition parties 53% share of the popular vote saying there is no party called opposition in the country because the opposition popular vote is split between different parties.
“So this notion that you can conflate the separate figures into one common denominator and claim that there is a party called opposition is not true. If there was a party called opposition with a 53% share of popular vote, they will be in power,” Ntuane said.
He also said that while it is not to say that his party is happy with its share of the popular vote however, “the debate over the 50% should be brought to an end once and for all.”
Umbrella for Democratic Change and Botswana Congress Party attained 30% and 20% respectively while independent candidates attained 3% in the last general election.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.