The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Alliance for Progressives (AP) have revealed that they have shared position papers as they prepare for opposition cooperation talks ahead of the 2024 general elections.
This is according to a joint statement signed by BCP Publicity Secretary Mpho Pheko and AP Secretary General Phenyo Butale.
“The Alliance for Progressives (AP) and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) inform their memberships and the nation that they held a bilateral meeting of their Executive Committees on the 5th of June 2022 in Palapye,” reads a joint statement.
According to the statement, “It must be recalled that this bilateral meeting is in line with a resolution of the meeting of all opposition Party Presidents that was held on 15 March, 2022 attended by Mr Duma Boko representing the Botswana National Front (BNF), Mr Dumelang Saleshando (BCP), Mr Ndaba Gaolathe (AP), Ms Caroline Lesang (Botswana Patriotic Front) and Professor Philip Bulawa (Botswana Peoples Party).”
The statement says the, “Presidents encouraged all the Parties to hold bilateral discussions with each other as a way of shortening the actual negotiations.”
They further agreed that each party represented at that meeting should submit their position paper on Cooperation as well as three (3) names of Negotiators.
“To this end, AP and BCP have submitted both positions papers and names of Negotiators,” said the statement.
It further stated that, “The AP and BCP would like to encourage other Parties to submit their position papers and list of Negotiators as agreed.
The bilateral meeting sanctioned the Negotiators from the two parties to compare notes on the position papers in line with the resolution of March 15, 2022, meeting.
The two Parties also resolved to hold their next bilateral in July with the hope that, by then, other opposition Parties would have made their submissions.
“We reiterate our commitment to opposition cooperation and remind our colleagues of the need to move with speed to free Batswana from the now moribund BDP,” the statement said.
The BCP is currently a member of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and its members contested the general election under the UDC ticket while the AP is not a member of the former. In recent months, the BCP has been at loggerheads with the UDC, especially President Duma Boko accusing him of failing to live up the coalition movement’s aspirations and expectations. The BCP insists that an inaugural congress be held.
Following a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held in Palapye, the BCP was ordered to retract all the negative statements made about UDC in the media. Reports indicate that the UDC’s NEC is due to meet again on 25 June. UDC spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa was quoted as saying that they expect the BCP to have apologised. On the other hand the BCP insists that it won’t apologise as it did nothing wrong.