The Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) has resolved to cast their fishing nets as wide as to the opposition ponds reasoning that they cannot wait in limbo for troubled opposition talks, according to the party’s recent resolutions document seen by this publication.
The move by the BPF is informed by its ambitions to grow its numbers and establish itself as powerhouse as it continues to bargain with the opposition parties in the beleaguered cooperation talks. In one of the resolutions reached at the meeting held on the 13th June 2022 on opposition cooperation, the BPF resolved to continue fishing for members from both the opposition and the ruling party.
“The NEC resolved that the BPF cannot wait in limbo for cooperation talks to proceed and that the party should continue with its recruitment drive and visibility. Other parties will engage the BPF at a time they are ready,” reads the resolution.
“The NEC resolved that there should be a call for expression of interest for members of parliament in 34 constituencies that NEC has selected as BPF having an interest in, and nationwide for councillors in all the 57 constituencies. This is to gauge the amount of interest from BPF members and to use the same for negotiations with other opposition parties at the appropriate time,” further reads the resolutions paper.
Not only that, in the same meeting, the BPF agreed to exercise extra caution on their entanglements with the warring Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) partners and will from now only engage with the UDC over properly resolved issues.
The BPF has deliberated on the issues and has resolved to keep away from the UDC quarrels. “The NEC resolved that BPF should not entangle itself in the issues of the UDC and that BPF will only participate at the UDC rally on invitation by the UDC, and not individual party rallies and once a UDC candidate has been selected for the ward in question. It was resolved that the BPF should not attend the rally,” reads the BPF resolutions paper.
The non-affiliates of the UDC have been at pains in engaging with a divided UDC, and have at times been on the receiving end for their choices depending on whose corner they have taken. At the centre of conflicts have been the issues of bye elections which have been the dividing factor for the opposition coalition.
Observers says the decision by the BPF to intensify its recruitment drive may strike some fears in their cooperating partners nerves as has been the case previously when the party patron, Ian Khama traversed the country recruiting across all political parties.
At the height of the party‘s previous recruitment drive after the 2019 elections, the party was forced to come out and defend its recruitment from opposition strategy. While others posit that the decision to mount another massive recruitment strategy during a fragile and sensitive stage of opposition talks, others say the BPF may be having a point that they cannot wait for a babe whose due date does not seem any nearer.
Opposition parties are currently at each other’s throats and political pundits are of the view that the BPF is currently standing on the touchline to replace the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which seems to be heading out of the UDC coalition. The UDC has suspended BCP‘s senior most representatives, president Saleshando and Secretary General, Goretetse Kekgonegile, a decision which the duo have rubbish as hogwash.
There are suspicions that the BPF may be targeting shaky opposition legislators and candidates who did not make in the 2019 elections, who are still grappling with whom to associate with as opposition tensions heat up.
The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.
The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.
Two Batswana nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal trade in mercury. The duo is being held together with a Zimbabwean national who is being questioned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.
The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.
Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.”