Tuesday, September 29, 2020

BCP, BAM gunning for merger before July congress

A lobby list in which three well known Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) activists are listed amongst those preferred to serve under the Botswana Congress Party (BCP)’s executive committee for July has aroused new found interest in the BAM-BCP merger.

With Dumelang Saleshando as President, the list lobbies for BAM president, Lepetu Setshwaelo, to serve as the BCP’s vice president.

Dennis Alexander and Matlhomola Modise, who currently serve in the BAM central committee, are being lured to seat on the BCP central committee as National Treasurer and Secretary for Public Education, respectively.

As to who within the BCP will get which position at this year’s elective congress has been a subject of public speculation.

Perhaps as an indication that the BAM trio could end up serving in the BCP’s central committee, the top leadership of both political parties are scheduled to meet on the 24th of this month to discuss the conditions of the proposed merger between the two parties.

Information passed to The Sunday Standard is that the two parties were busy fast-tracking their discussions in order to prep-up negotiating slots for BAM politicians within the BCP’s upcoming central committee before July.

However, BCP’s current secretary general, Taolo Lucas, who is now favoured for the position of Information and Publicity Secretary, denied that his party was fast-tracking the merger to accommodate BAM politicians into the BCP central committee.

“We are not fast-tracking anything, everything is going according to plan. The issue of BAM-BCP merger is not a new one; we both attended a conference in July last year. It was at this conference that we passed a resolution to the effect that BCP-BAM would merge after the 2009 elections,” said Lucas in an interview with The Sunday Standard.

He also revealed that the two are currently engaged in a series of discussions in which the BAM-BCP merger is top on the agenda.

“We are engaged in a process of discussing the matter, that is to say how the merger shall be formed and the likes. By July, BAM and BCP will be a single entity, it will not matter who was from which party as they will all be serving the same interests, so, yes, some of the lobby lists might have names of those who are for now part of BAM, but by July, that will no longer be an issue,” said Lucas.

In the list, Annah Motlhagodi, has been favoured for party chairperson, with current Deputy President, Kesitegile Gobotswang, favoured to replace Lucas as secretary general.

Current deputy secretary general, Motsei Rapelana, is courted for the same position.

The BCP’s central committee is again scheduled to meet on the 20th of February in Francistown, after which a leadership forum is to be held the next day.

Lucas said that the issues to be discussed at the leadership forum include, amongst others, how the party plans to structure its congress.

“We will also be looking at a report that was complied by a task force during the 2009 elections. From there, we will be picking out different issues that we will tackle and map a way forward. And, of course, the BAM-BCP merger would be another important issue to address at the forum,” said Lucas.


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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.