An opposition Member of Parliament (MP) has decried lack of consultation on the ongoing talks and the outcome thereof between Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) which will give birth to the UDC+.
The UDC MP, Sedirwa Kgoroba, representing Mogoditshane constituency said although he believes in opposition cooperation, he believes there should be thorough consultation and caution. “I believe in cooperation with others, but it does not mean that things should be done without our knowledge. Ideally we should be taken on board but we are not,” the controversial Mogoditshane MP told Weekend Post on Wednesday.
He added that “as Honourable MP’s we deserve honour and respect to be briefed about the talks and what has been agreed there before the message is taken to the public.” Kgoroba expressed the sentiments following the postponement of a planned press conference which was to announce the UDC and BCP marriage ahead of the 2019 general election.
Weekend Post has established that the press conference was aimed at sharing with the public the outcome of the UDC, BCP talks as well as what was agreed. It was also said to announce the new political formation the UDC+. Kgoroba, who is affiliated to the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) partner of the UDC said he was not aware of the press conference and even its agenda which he said was unfortunate. “As an MP, if the press conference is called which I am not aware of then that is not the proper procedure under normal circumstances.”
Kgoroba said he had called his BMD president who doubles as UDC Secretary General to inquire on the talks and the then impending presser but was also blank about the development. He added that if the UDC SG is not aware of crucial information like planned press conferences then he suspects that “maybe some may be trying to sideline them” in the movement.
He explained the move may be dangerous and that his worry has nothing to do with the anticipated new formation of UDC+ which he added that he is in supportive of but only query lack of basic procedure of “consultation.” When reached for a comment, BCP Publicity Secretary Dithapelo Keorapetse confirmed that indeed the press conference was scheduled to take place but unfortunately did not. He said the postponement was necessitated by the just ended by elections which have strained them, and presidents’ busy schedule as well as issues that cannot be disclosed.
He conceded the animosity within parties in the negotiation table while quick to pointing out that “people at the negotiations cannot agree all the time.” Keorapetse highlighted that those people who are anti-UDC+ and spreading rumours citing that there is BCP, BMD fall out will fail. As BCP, he said they have had a cordial relationship with the BMD and that Ndaba Gaolathe always attend their activities. His counterpart at UDC, Publicity Secretary at UDC, Moeti Mohwasa said he is also not aware of any animosity between BCP and BMD.
He added that the focus is on UDC+. Mohwasa also explained that the press conference did not take place as negotiations reports were sent to presidents who were supposed to consult members extensively, and it was anticipated that by Monday they would have done. “So that’s was not achieved so we postponed.”
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.