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BPP: We are not joining AP, but…

Publishing Date : 21 February, 2018


The country’s oldest political party, the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) has stated that it will not be joining the four-day old Alliance for Progressives (AP) as yet.

Alliance for Progressives was unveiled Wednesday evening in Kgale View as a new home for the former Botswana Movement for Democracy faction that used to be led by Ndaba Gaolathe and Wynter Mmolotsi. BPP Vice President, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso told this publication that his party has not yet received any proposition from AP to join its ranks, either in a coalition or a merger. Lenyatso however said that the option to join ranks with AP remains sprawled on the table, in case their pleas with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) are not satisfactorily addressed.

He stated that BPP will meet as a party to address their disagreements with the coalition and take a decision afterwards, and secession is a prospect to keep close should the disagreements take longer to be resolved. Furthermore, Lenyatso revealed that AP must feel free to contact them adding that BPP will also feel free to contact AP if the status quo prevails at UDC.

“I urge them to engage and consult us. They can write us and request. It’s not impossible.”Lenyatso further added, “It’s also not impossible for us to tender a request after consulting with our members to realise a coalition between us and them.” He also said that BPP is grateful that members and leaders of AP didn’t stagger off to the Botswana Democratic Party where BMD seceded in 2010, arguing that it was necessary for the leaders to construct an organised platform that can retain the former BMD members and followers.

“We are happy that they didn’t go back to BDP. (We are happy that) they founded a new home where they could while away time and keep themselves organised.” Furthermore, he said that BPP views AP as brothers-in-arms urging that AP must never let BPP wander off sight and that even though they operate from different camps, it will be worthwhile to steer clear of crude language as they politick.

“We see them as comrades in opposition politics and they should never let us wander off their sight. We had mutual respect with BMD and we cannot just ignore them. It is our right to get closer and listen to them,” said Lenyatso. Lenyatso also said that the UDC still has some unfinished business to address such as a proper inclusion of Botswana Congress Party into its fold. Lenyatso added that they felt used by UDC after they invoked a provision to swop constituencies with BCP which fell on deaf ears.
BPP had wanted to assume BCP’s northern constituencies in exchange of its southern ones.

“We proposed to swop our southern constituencies with BCP and take up their northern ones. We felt used by comrades, we wrote and they never responded.” He also said that before going any further, the UDC has to unravel the issue of the Vice Presidency positions such as assigning duties to the holders of the positions and determining the president’s running mate becomes.He also stated that since BPP was given the position of Deputy Secretary General, the party remains in the wilderness as they do not yet know who they deputise since the position of Secretary General was converted into Vice Presidency.

BPP honours AP unveiling, snubs UDC address

In a telling sign of deep animosity, BPP was a no show at the UDC meeting held by Duma Boko and his deputy Dumelang Saleshando. Saleshando cast doubt on BPP’s loyalty to the UDC project. He revealed that BPP had been invited and the response was the party had to meet first.



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