The opposition negotiations that would see Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) form a coalition with Botswana Congress Party (BCP) are nearing an end. The issue of two Vice Presidents is the only contentious one, with some in the negotiating team against such a move.
Indications suggest that the two parties will contest the impending 2019 general Elections as a single unit but not umbrella as some had expected. The main negotiators are expected to receive reports from the streams and deal with all the contentious issues, which are not many.
WeekendPost has established that, this week, the talks progressed well, although for now two teams are torn apart over the issue of Vice Presidency. Seemimgly, it will be a while before waters cool down so the parties resolved and have reached an amicable solution.
So far it is categorically distinctive that Duma Boko will be president of the coalition. It is understood that those who want two Vice Presidents contend that it is imperative that positions be created that would see Boko being deputised by other cooperating partners- BCP president, Dumelang Saleshando and BMD president, Ndaba Gaolathe.
It is still inexplicit as to what credible function Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) president Motlatsi Molapisi, who is also a key partner, will be allocated in the arrangement.
However other members at the talks maintain that the constitution is clear and provides for one portfolio of Vice president and this is incognizant of possibilities of when in government, and therefore want the status quo to remain.
The hot potato issue of the VP has been left hanging for now and will be pondered upon later on during coming meetings.
Another issue that is a bone of contention is to do with, not many, but one constituency of Mmopane/Lentsweletau. In the last General Elections, Vincent Seretse of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won the area by 7 170 to BCP’s Phagenyane Phage who attained 3 150 while Major General Moeng Pheto who was then an Independent candidate got 3 120 to Godisang Mbwire of UDC’s 2 999.
It appears that BCP believes that the constituency should be allocated to them on the basis that they were on position 2 and therefore most popular after Domkrag (BDP).
On the other side, UDC points out that although they came third they believe their results (UDC) should be added to that of the then independent candidate Moeng Pheto who is now a member of UDC.
There was also an issue however that both parties did not reach a threshold of 30% of the total vote in the constituency that is needed and therefore the area remains open for more dialogue going forward.
Information reaching WeekendPost also suggests that, at the negotiation talks, it was generally agreed that the UDC will contest in an estimated 40 constituencies while BCP has been allocated only 17.
“The principle in allocating constituencies and even wards is that the incumbent will contest and where BDP won the most popular party will take the latter head on. However there is room for negotiations here and there,” a highly placed source revealed to this publication this week.
The negotiation talks were commissioned on the 12th September 2016 at Oasis Motel in Tlokweng in the outskirts of Gaborone and although they were prior scheduled to finish end of October – indications suggest that they may drag for a while but expected to close -at least before December this year.
It is understood that the dialogues are premised on three layers in which the first layer, which is almost done comprises streams of one team assigned to address policy issues.
The other is assigned to negotiate the contentious issue of distribution of constituencies which is also almost settled while the last one is intended to look at matters of governance, the constitution and power sharing arrangements which is ongoing.
Predictions of constituency allocation for 2019:
Using the same principle that has been agreed at the ongoing talks of incumbency and the most popular party we present the potentials. It is probable that BCP will be allocated the following constituencies based on formula agreed;
Selibe Phikwe West
Okavango (but defected)
BCP’s most popular areas at opposition rank:
UDC on the other hand will likely be assigned the following areas;
Gaborone Bonnington North
Gaborone Bonnington South
UDC’s most popular areas at opposition rank;
N.B All the constituencies where UDC/BCP are popular above are held by the ruling party.The coalition appears set at least so far – to face the buoyant and spirited BDP at the next General Elections.
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.