MELS dismisses opposition coalition in Tonota North Constituency
by Obusitse Kologwe
Although the opposition parties have harnessed their efforts in backing the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) candidate, Habaudi Hubona, to contest the impending Tonota North elections, the communist party leader of MELS (Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin), Themba Joina, has discarded this initiative, saying that opposition coalition should not be based on emotions.
He shunned the efforts to try and support candidate Hubona, asserting that his party does not find it worthwhile to join the coalition.
Joina told the Sunday Standard in a telephone interview that he perceives coalition movement as a positive thing but, as MELS, they do not want to be indulged in the cooperation that is why they have fielded their own candidate in the constituency.
“We have fielded Mbayani Tshekedi Phalalo who is our own candidate at the constituency,” he revealed.
Joina said that in this regard, MELS believes that cooperation must be based on mutual agreement and equal beneficiation of parties. He established that some of the parties that have been engaged in the coalition are just wandering in the dark without any clear purpose of the coalition.
Joina went further to mention that he believes that proper cooperation must be dealt with through a discussion in which a consensus would be reached.
“Parties should not just cooperate and embark into coalition acting out of emotions, a clear motive of cooperation should be defined,” Joina said.
He maintained that the recent cooperation by the other opposition parties to support Hubona is just a flaw like all the other coalitions that never materialized in the past. He also asserted that MELS did not support the coalition because it would be disrespectful to its membership. He went further to stress that even those who are currently in the endeavor are dragging their feet.
“As with the Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD), some of the members will support BDP as they have links with some members in the BDP Barata Phati faction,” he told Sunday Standard.
Cooperation, he said, can be a good initiative but the most important thing is for the parties to discuss a common policy at ground level so that if they do not agree other policies there could be discussed with the party membership. He added that the cooperation should create a win- win situation for all the parties.
The Tonota North constituency became vacant after the passing away of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Baledzi Gaolathe.
Dr Habaudi Hubona of BCP will be in a tug of war for the seat with Fidelis Molao of the BDP (Botswana Democratic Party) and Mbayani Tshekedi Phalalo of MELS on the 4th of September this year.