Editorials: Does Botswana deserve its reputation as a stable democracy? | Amy Poteete/The Washington Post
Botswana has a reputation for political stability, democracy, sound economic management and good governance. This opinion is widely shared — by foreign governments, international financial institutions, organizations such as Freedom House and Transparency International, and even academics. Developments in the run-up to the Oct. 24 elections have revealed a significant gap between Botswana’s reputation and reality. The campaign took a tasty turn at the end of July, when charismatic opposition politician Gomolemo Motswaledi died in a suspicious automobile accident. In September, another opposition politician was abandoned for dead in a ditch but survived; he claims to have been kidnapped and tortured by agents of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services. Other opposition politicians and activists complain about threatening phone calls and being followed. Some have been attacked but got away while others have moved to protect themselves.