On the afternoon of Monday, April 1, 2019, Ms Venson-Moitoi addressed a press conference at Travel lodge in the Gaborone suburb of Block 3. The first quarter of the year had drawn to a close and from the sound of her voice so was her enthusiasm. For her, the second quarter of the year which ushers in winter in Botswana brought with a cold reckoning for her. Next to her was her lieutenants, among them the seasoned political activist for the BDP and now special elected Councillor Ms. Roseline Pansirah (I have forgotten has marriage name). Her nervous jokes made it all clear of the cold reckoning that befell their campaign team.
As the conference proceeded, I could not help but think “you are preaching to the choir”. There was an irony about Ms Moitoi’s press conference. The roles had been clearly reversed. What has been good for gander when she was in the proximity of power and under the illusion of power during the Khama presidency was clearly not good for the goose. A ‘cry’ fest was in the offing. I doubt if Shonda Rhymes would narrate anything with so many plot twists. I mean Shonda is the master of storytelling and Ms Moitoi was on the verge of outclassing her. One would be forgiven in thinking that she was pitching the next greatest political intrigue movie to a bunch of film industry executives. The quivers and nervousness in her voice brought to light her increasingly darkening political future, she couldn’t bear to look into the twilight zone that she was heading into.
As I have indicated above, her ‘impassioned pleas’ reeked of irony. As she went on her tirade I was reminded of the words of John Kenneth Galbraith “But as the ghosts of tyrants, from Julius Caesar to Benito Mussolini will testify, people are very hard on those who, having had power, lose it or are destroyed.” I wonder if she is the tyrant who lost power and the world was hard on her or it is just me with my personal prejudices hard on her. What I can say for sure is that the medicine she so often dispensed with no mercy was being forced down her through. The taste bitter than a tot of cheap whiskey or dry red wine; unbearable.
During her days in the Khama administration, Ms Moitoi was a staunch defender of the very tactics she is crying fowl of. The times she ridiculed opposition parties for calling the electoral process unfair and not free are too many to count. I guess this is the universe serving her her own dish full of karma. I am by no way excusing or condoning what she alleges to be going on at the BDP. My point is she created a monster and now the monster is the bane of her political existence. I for one do not pity but share her concerns, though hers are self-serving, about the state of our democracy.
The situation as it stands calls for proper legislation on the conduct of political campaigns especially financing of political campaigns. I shall one day offer my thoughts on reform in this area. Ms Moitoi, you are preaching to the choir. I personally cannot take pity on you but will laugh my lungs out at the irony and later drown myself in tears of sorrow as I cry for my beloved country.