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AP can win power - Maudeni

Publishing Date : 21 February, 2018


A political scientist with the University of Botswana, Professor Zibani Maundeni has urged all and sundry not to take the newest political formation in the country, Alliance of Progressives’ chances of assuming state power lightly.

Alliance of Progressives (AP) was unveiled Wednesday evening in Kgale View, Gaborone. The leaders of the new party rejected a suggestion by UDC that they should strike a compromise deal with the faction led by Sidney Pilane and share power. Even though it is still early days, Maundeni opined that there remains a vacuum for AP to fill in the body politic. He further stated that AP can actually win state power because the public is agitating for regime change, an assignment that the old opposition parties seem to have failed on.

Maundeni noted, “In modern politics it has happened that a new party can win power. So, of course they (AP) can win power because existing parties have failed and people have lost hope. That is what usually happens for new parties to assume power.” He highlighted the example of Lesotho Congress for Democracy which split from Basutuland Congress Party in 1997 and went on to win state power in the next general election. Maundeni further opined that, in fact former Liberian football star George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change might also come out on top in the next Liberian general election.

He described a possible AP victory as “not so much a credit on the new party but a discredit on the old ones.” He however predicted that at first AP leaders will try to maintain a semblance of stability but as time goes on factionalist jostling will also creep in. “The bigger problem I see is this party is going to be formed by people from different places. It would take someone who is so flexible, who doesn’t decide by himself. There will be so many leaders and a few positions. There will be too many factions from different places. They will need the grace of God.” Maundeni opined.

He also noted that if they should wrest power out of the hands of Botswana Democratic Party, AP could be faced with a mammoth task of governance since “nothing has been institutionalised or tested as yet.” Maundeni also predicted a spike in the proliferation of fake intelligence reports as AP fights for space with existing parties. “Their intention is to assume state power and they are going to take quite a chunk of members from UDC. After drubbing the credibility of UDC they will then come after Masisi’s credibility. They target the person and not the party policies, that’s what is what I have observed. There will be more of Tholwana Borethe.”

On Pilane

Maundeni also opined that it will be a huge tactical mistake for UDC to admit Advocate Sidney Pilane’s BMD inside UDC. He argued that for some reason he is not aware of, Pilane seems to be a reviled figure in the opposition collective. He also argued that ejecting BMD could preserve some credibility for UDC because if he is accepted it would seem to vindicate the wildly held view that Boko or Pilane had achieved the mandate of ejecting Ndaba Gaolathe from the collective.

On Dumelang Saleshando’s future

Maundeni disagreed with the idea that UDC Vice President Saleshando could contest the Gaborone Central constituency in a deal with BMD. Maundeni characterised the move as risky and Gaborone constituencies as unstable, arguing that BCP must find a constituency for Saleshando elsewhere. “Things are no longer safe for him. Anyone could lose, more so that the bigger part of action will be here.”



Do you think the courts will help put the UDC, BMD impasse within reasonable time ahead of the 2019 General Election?