The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has accused the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s splinter group Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD) as nothing but a spoiler to Botswana’s opposition movement.
Over the weekend, the BCP held a rally at the Gaborone South constituency where BMD was fodder for the day.
Speaking at the rally, BCP’s publicity secretary, Taolo Lucas, blamed BMD for the collapse of the Umbrella talks.
He lashed out at BMD officials as an arrogant lot who had no place in opposition politics. The BCP heavy weight said that the opposition has recorded a 46 percent total vote cast from the 2009 general elections, shows that Batswana have some confidence in the opposition. He said, as such, for BMD to doubt the opposition strength was unfortunate.
“Now for them to go around and mislead the nation as if they just woke us from slumber is uncalled for,” Lucas fumed, adding, “These satisfactory figures were obtained long before BMD jumped ship to join the opposition ranks.”
While the party acknowledges the recent unprecedented split of BDP, BCP is however not pleased with the manner at which the BMD portrayed itself during and after the negotiations.
“We gave them 12 constituencies but still could not satisfy them as they dictated almost all the terms,” the former BCP secretary general noted, insisting, contrary to the notion “we portrayed ourselves as big brothers in the negotiations it was the BMD leadership that displayed the attitude”.
“We could not agree with them anymore particularly that they wanted to call all the shots when we could see they were a liability, ba tsile go re jesa. And as such made our points clear as a living example of a victim of a splinter party.”
Lucas took the audience down memory lane, reminiscing about BCP’s split from the opposition Botswana National Front during which period the party would dismally perform twice during the national elections garnering a single MP seat from each elections before they became a party of recognition in the eyes of the public.
He said after years of hard work, his party only managed to win 5 parliamentary seats in 2009.
“We told them plain blank these are opposition politics but they insisted on their own mentality… that they have been in power before. They have not been tested under their ticket and yet expect so much from the public,” he said.
Lucas said that his party is still on a countrywide consultative process on whether to return to talks or go into the 2014 general elections alone.
“We hear they are negotiating but we told them that we are still consulting our voters. The decision of the party’s leadership alone does not auger well for democracy, especially when dealing with a sensitive issue,” Lucas concluded.