- An accomplished orator, the Leader of the Opposition used his response to the budget speech to lampoon Khama by drawing parallels between the President and his imminent successor whom he did not spare much from his astute jibes either
The leader of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Duma Boko has wished inbound president Mokgweetsi Masisi well but in the same breadth said how the opposition was looking forward to seeing President Ian Khama’s back at the end of March.
Towards the end of his response to this financial year’s budget speech, Boko – who is also the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, struck a mocking pose to wish Masisi the best of luck as president.
He taunted: “We look forward to the imminent departure of President Khama from public office. We wish his successor well as he tries to steady the ship of a moribund political organisation choking under the deadweight of its own iniquities and failures.”
Clearly on a roll, Boko also lampooned the Vice President, calling him just “a regular guy”.
In a thinly-veiled dig at Khama, he noted that his observation was that Masisi’s had not been a protected existence that shuttered him from the regular life of the common man on the street.
“In my dealings with Vice President Masisi, I have found him to be a regular guy, if you catch my drift,” Boko said. “He is not the cloistered synthetic creation that was born in isolation of the common man and was alien to both the language and the lived experiences of the common person.”
He then appealed to Masisi to approach the appointment of the next Chief Justice on the basis of meritocracy. Boko, who is now an advocate, encouraged Masisi to appoint a jurist of high virtue and eminence to the position of Chief Justice.
“I advise you now, Mr Vice President, as I have done in the private conversations I have had with you: one of your very first assignments when you assume office will be the appointment of a Chief Justice for this country,” he said.
“You must appoint a jurist of the highest eminence and virtue to that office. Please appoint on merit and, for once, resist the temptation to appoint on any consideration but merit and integrity.”
The MP for Bonnington North was indubitably relishing his field day at President Khama’s expense. He went on to petition Masisi to scrap the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which are earmarked for the next general elections in 2019.
EVMs have hogged controversy even before a law enshrining their use was ‘rollercoastered’ through Parliament in 2016. At the heart of the furore were fears that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party intended to steal the elections.
Many observers pointed to the timing of the introduction of EVMs, drawing a parallel with the rise in opposition prospects of winning the next elections.
Boko pressed on: “And the last request I place before you is that for the continued peace and good order of this country (and) for the preservation of what remains of this depreciating democracy: do away with the Electronic Voting Machines!
“Save this country the civil strife that will result if you insist on ignoring the demands of the majority of the people of this country.”
Almost pontificating, he said he looked forward to a robust and fulfilling engagement with Masisi and wished him continued good health and vitality as the Vice President prepared to assume the duties of President of the republic.
Boko intoned: “To my colleagues in the opposition, please remember that the voices and viewpoints of our reviled and disempowered citizens remind us ever to be vigilant in the pursuit of authentic change for this country. I say to you, Comrades, as I always have: Keep the faith!”