Alliance for Progressives (AP) has expressed misgivings about joining the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) under the leadership of Duma Boko, instead preferring to work with Dumelang Saleshando’s Botswana Congress Party (BCP).
Chronicles of the all opposition leaders meeting called by the chairperson of the opposition forum, Dr Margret Nasha a fortnight ago, document how thorny the path to opposition unity would be in the build up to 2024 general elections.
The meeting was called after negotiators pressed Nasha to engage with the Presidents because “of the worrying fact that there seems to be no progress in the talks.”
Ndaba Gaolathe, the leader of AP, which is currently supporting BCP candidate in the Bophirima Ward bye-elections is said to have taken Boko head on, over some issues which he said have been recurring even at a time when they were still part of the Umbrella.
The governance issues, which includes failure to hold meetings by the UDC NEC as alleged by the BCP in recent days was among things raised by Gaolathe according to those who attended the meeting.
For AP to join UDC without hesitation, it is said Ndaba wants Boko to assure them that there will be no hiccups and there will be consultations and all parties will be treated equally. For some time, leading to the current squabbles in Bophirima, BCP has been raising the same.
Those privy to the details of the meeting, say, the AP leader, had misgivings on some remarks made by the UDC President at a time when negotiations are still ongoing. At the top of his concerns, AP leader is said to have questioned Boko’s remarks, in which he said all the negotiating parties should be ready for “UDC or Nothing.”
Ndaba is of the view that those remarks are intimidating, and each party should be free to present their own position of model rather than be imposed to subscribe to a certain model.
For now, this publication understands that, AP is in favour of a pact model. On the other hand, Boko at the meeting said the pact model would mean, after elections, the party would be free to negotiate with whoever in case there is a tie.
“When UDC is tied with BDP for example, and we need AP seats they can go either way as they can cooperate with anyone and that would have compromised opposition unity talk,” Boko allegedly said.
Again, another qualm that Ndaba has with joining the Umbrella are reports that even if they join, the two positions of President and VP will not be touched. This according to Gaolathe is not good for governance and should be corrected and all the parties should be equally represented in the UDC NEC senior positions. It was, however, corrected and resolved that UDC will avail all position to new entrants in the coalition.
Other meeting attendees were Dumelang Saleshando (BCP), Caroline Lesang (BPF) and Philip Bulawa representing Motlatsi Molapisi of Botswana Peoples Party (BPP).
It is at the meeting that AP and BPF presented their position papers, with UDC expected to meet sometime in April and consolidate their stand before submitting to the forum. Nasha, after the meeting, gave the negotiators postmortem of the meeting as to how everything transpired.
A letter inviting the Presidents blamed UDC for dragging its feet in facilitating the talks that were anticipated to conclude last year. “The committee has had to postpone its discussions on proposed cooperation frameworks for the 2024 general elections numerous times, largely because the UDC is yet to come up with an agreed position paper.
This has caused an air of despondency among cooperating partners, hence the need for your timely intervention.”
UDC is in talks with both AP and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) for by-elections and 2024 general elections cooperation.
However, the current UDC constituent members, BCP, BNF and BPP are favouring the current umbrella set-ups. This is actually a compromise, especially from BCP, which prefers a merger, sources say.
However, with AP backing BCP in Bophirima, some say they have rendered the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) redundant.
Commenting on the matter, UDC Spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa said indeed the AP stance undermined the MoU.
“Our expectation is that AP would support the UDC candidate because we both have an obligation to support each other in the bye elections in terms of the bye elections MoU that we have entered into.
Anything to the contrary would be undermining the agreement,” he said, before adding, “It is up to the UDC NEC to make a determination in the wake of this breach.”
DJ Bafana, a talented DJ from Francistown, is gearing up to host his very own one-man show, a groundbreaking event that aims to not only showcase his skills but also empower fellow musicians. This ambitious project is currently in the planning stages, with DJ Bafana actively seeking out potential sponsors to help bring his vision to life.
In a recent interview with WeekendPost, DJ Bafana revealed that he is in talks with two potential venues, Limpopo Gardens and Molapo Leisure Gardens, to host his show. However, he is facing challenges in securing sponsorships from companies, particularly those who do not fully understand the importance of music-related events. Despite this setback, DJ Bafana remains determined to make his one-man show a reality and to use it as a platform to empower and support other artists in the industry.
What sets DJ Bafana’s show apart is the fact that he will be making history as the first person living with a disability to host a one-man show in Botswana. This milestone is a testament to his resilience and determination to break barriers and pave the way for others in similar situations. By showcasing his talent and passion for music, DJ Bafana is not only proving his worth as an artist but also inspiring others to pursue their dreams, regardless of any obstacles they may face.
As DJ Bafana continues to work towards making his one-man show a reality, he remains focused on his goal of empowering and uplifting his fellow musicians. Through his dedication and perseverance, he is setting an example for others to follow and showing that anything is possible with hard work and determination. The date for the show is yet to be announced, but one thing is for certain – DJ Bafana’s one-man show is sure to be a memorable and inspiring event for all who attend.
Radio Personality Tebogo Sekgoma affectionately known as Lady of Soul is determined to keep pursuing her ambitions vigorously, in spite of hurdles and stumbling blocks.
In an exclusive interview with this publication, Sekgoma divulged that she is working on her memoir. Although she wonâ€™t reveal much, the broadcast veteran said she will essentially be telling the story of her life.
The former Sunday Live host is also serving as a board member (Secretary General) at Botswana Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted (BABPS). She is actively involved in advocating for the rights of the visually impaired, a hiccup she refused to succumb to.
The new Disability Law in Botswana is a significant step towards ensuring the rights and inclusion of persons living with disabilities in the country. This act, which was passed into law on the 11th of December 2023, is a reflection of Botswana’s commitment to upholding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
One of the key provisions of the act is the prohibition of discrimination against persons with disabilities in work-related matters. This means that employers will no longer be able to discriminate against individuals based on their disability when it comes to hiring, promotion, or any other aspect of employment. This is a crucial step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all.
The act also establishes a National Disability Council, which will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the act and ensuring that the rights of persons with disabilities are protected. This council will play a vital role in advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities and ensuring that they have equal access to opportunities in all areas of life.
In addition to prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, the act also sets out disability standards that must be adhered to by employers and other entities. These standards are designed to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access the same opportunities and services as everyone else, without facing any barriers or discrimination.
Furthermore, the act provides for actions plans to be developed to address the needs of persons with disabilities, as well as administrative penalties and fines for those who fail to comply with the provisions of the act. This sends a clear message that discrimination against persons with disabilities will not be tolerated in Botswana.
Overall, the new Disability Law in Botswana is a positive step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all. By prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and setting out clear standards for the treatment of persons with disabilities, this act will help to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their abilities, have the opportunity to fully participate in society.