The ongoing ramifications of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) split that saw its former leader Ndaba Gaolathe launch a new political party, Alliance for Progressives on Thursday could spell both good and bad news for the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) contracting partners, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Botswana National Front (BNF).
Following the withdrawal of the Gaolathe led group from the BMD, the remaining group led by Sidney Pilane may scrap to the bottom to identify potential candidates to represent the UDC as parliamentary candidates in 2019. The BMD was allocated 14 constituencies during the UDC negotiations on account of incumbency. Inside sources at the Pilane led BMD indicate that the party is going back to the UDC on Tuesday to report back on the proposal as was tabled by the Duma Boko led NEC. They are going to suggest that they welcome all the recommendations as proposed by the UDC and wait for the feedback. Political observers and commentators are waiting to see how the UDC leadership handles the issue of the BMD after the decision by Ndaba Gaolathe to withdraw and form a new party.
The Pilane led BMD, according to insiders, is considering doing a lot of trade off through bilateral talks with the remaining members of the Umbrella. While the only conundrum lies in Gaborone North where Haskins Nkaigwa is said to be against the idea of defecting, there are “two obvious constituencies where it is likely that we will do tradeoffs. These are Gaborone Central, Gaborone Bonninton South and Mogoditshane,” said a BMD insider.
The UDC leader, Advocate Duma Boko made it clear at the announcement of the verdict that during the negotiations, the only persistent and troubling source of disagreement was the allocation of constituencies. He said it was on account of allocation of constituencies that the UDC failed to have the BCP on board in 2014 as part of the project. “To rehearse these experiences is not to construct a prism to justify sentimental stories of achievement or melodramatic fables of success. It is also to accept our responsibility. It is also to accept that we need serious, sustained and deeply probing examination of ourselves…” he said.
The UDC leader emphasized that the issue of allocation of constituencies could only be opened where contracting partners among themselves want to trade off in a give and take spirit. He said parties are allowed to engage each other bilaterally where discussion on constituencies is concerned, but he stated that the matter is a closed case.
The BCP is in the process of identifying a constituency for its leader, Saleshando and it is understood that there is a possibly that the two parties, BMD and BCP could discuss the possibility of passing the constituency to latter. Saleshando lost the constituency to Phenyo Butale of the original BMD in the 2014 general election. The BCP through Tumiso Rakgare narrowly lost to Sedirwa Kgoroba of the original BMD and there is a chance that the BMD led by Pilane could give away Mogoditshane as well on account of which part has a strong candidate and better numbers.
Meanwhile the BNF could cash in on the Gabane-Mankgodi and Francistown constituencies which are currently under Pius Mokgware and Wynter Mmolotsi respectively. “We want to trade off these constituencies to demonstrate our genuine hearts to opposition unity,” said a BMD Pilane source. BMD Pilane wields bargaining power because of the constituencies it has in its possession. This publication learns that there are going to be more discussions around the constituency allocation issue as soon as the BMD of Pilane is formally accepted back to the table. Other observers opine that these position of the BMD of Pilane is only tenable in the event the Alliance for Progressives does not show interest in the BMD at all.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.