The names of the Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) might soon be a thing of the past within Botswana‘s opposition party circles.
The two have reportedly come up with a common name suggestion for their merged entities. There are also talks of a common voting symbol as well as agreed upon party colours.
This past week, executive committees of both BAM and BCP gathered at Mmokolodi, where a decision to consult extensively with the membership of their parties on the outcomes of their meeting was made. The two had allegedly met to consider and discuss the various pre-conditions for a possible successful merger.
According to Dumelang Saleshando, spokesperson for BAM-BCP, no public announcement about the conclusions reached at the meeting can be made until the consultative internal process is completed.
“We anticipate the final decision to be made before the end of March 2010,” said Saleshando.
Saleshando was, however, quick to point out that the proposals adopted by the executives at the joint meeting may be approved, modified or rejected by the membership of both organizations.
“It must be understood that the proposals on party name, party voting symbol and party colour will only be adopted following consultation with the party structures,” said Saleshando.
The two parties have been gunning for a merger since a meeting in July 2009, when it was decided that the two should become one entity after the 2009 general elections.
It was also at this meeting that the two decided to take a swing at De beers, with reference to recent media reports surrounding Debswana and the ruling party, the Botswana Democratic Party(BDP).
Labelling Botswana a country under the tight control of a corporate entity, Saleshando said that the end loser in the De Beers and BDP debacle is the ordinary voter who is denied development on account of understated dividends from the two.
“The BDP has persistently refused to allow for state funding of political parties. This refusal to frustrate the development of our democracy was clearly fortified by the selfish interests of the BDP in the full knowledge that they were accessing public funds through unscrupulous means,” said Saleshando.
Following another lead from the local media, the executives then discussed the issue of the alleged corruption in tenders that were said to have been awarded to the Minister of Justice, Defense and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse’s company by security agencies under his supervision.
The committees revealed that their view was that the conduct of minister Seretse amounted to corruption on account of the clear conflict of interest.
“The BAM-BCP leadership views the above cases in very serious light. The parties will be consulting further to evaluate possible legal and political remedies to halt the systematic looting of public resources,” said Saleshando.